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HONOLULU (AP) — A couple getting married near President Barack Obama’s vacation spot in Hawaii learned the hard way that the big day rarely goes exactly as planned.

Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. — both U.S. Army captains stationed in Hawaii — were scheduled to tie the knot Sunday at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, a military course with ocean views near Obama’s rented vacation home in Kailua.

But after their rehearsal on Saturday, they were told they’d have to move their wedding away from the 16th hole because Obama and his friends planned to golf, Heimel’s sister, Christie McConnell told The Associated Press.

“They’re both pretty even-tempered and planners,” McConnell said of the couple, who met in 2011 while stationed in Germany. “I’m sure it was a little bit of stress, but they seemed fine.”

The ceremony relocated to another part of the course that offered better views than the 16th hole, she said, adding that some guests even caught a glimpse of Obama as he golfed.

After the ceremony was done and members of the bridal party were taking photos, Mallue got a call from the wedding planner asking permission give the president his cellphone number, said McConnell, a bridesmaid. Then, Obama called and Mallue put the call on speakerphone.

“We all hovered around, all excited, listening,” McConnell said. Obama asked how long they had been “going out,” chatted about golf and apologized for disrupting their plans. “He was really funny and nice on the phone.”

On Monday, Obama was back on the green, this time at a private course a few miles away. Putting on the 18th hole, Obama offered a few compliments to his golf partners before attempting a chip shot as the sun set behind him over the Koolau Mountains.

Typically, when Obama is involved in recreational activities like golf or hiking, the events are considered “unofficial” and not announced beforehand on his public schedule. Keeping the events a secret until they take place allows the Secret Service to minimize the costs and disruption involved in securing a location for Obama’s arrival, but it also makes it harder for the public to anticipate when a presidential visit might throw a wrench in their plans.

In this case, the White House didn’t know in advance that the couple was being told they had to relocate, said a person familiar with the chain of events, who wasn’t authorized to be identified publicly and requested anonymity. The White House declined to comment on the record.

This isn’t the first time Obama has faced questions about the timing of his frequent golf outings. In August, Obama golfed on Martha’s Vineyard just after speaking to the nation on the Islamic State’s beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley. Obama later conceded he “should have anticipated the optics.”

For the newlywed couple, at least, there were no hard feelings about the change in plans, which was first reported by Bloomberg. McConnell said the phone call from the president made the wedding all the more memorable.

“There were no hard feelings about the move,” she said. “It was all a good thing.”

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3 thoughts on “Obama Golf Game Bumps Military Wedding, He Calls To Apologize

  1. Since both are in the military, wedding or not what they should have done was show some respect by saluting their “Commander-In-Chief, yes that’s right even over the telephone.

  2. Yeah the other media said with much anger the couple said the President ruined they’re wedding and President Obama did apologize to the couple. Anyway I don’t see how the President ruined their wedding whereas they ended up getting a much better location and view than what they orginally had on the 16th hole. BS I don’t believe they were upset, most people would be very happy about what happened, the odds of that ever happening is zero!!!

  3. Wildflower on said:

    I saw this story on main stream media this morning and of course the story had a whole different twist to it. The couple was devastated their big day was ruined by the elitist in so many words. The apology was never mentioned nor was it mentioned that the party had an even better location than they first had. You can’t believe anything coming from the press these days.

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