Barbara Bush Ties the Knot in Secret Ceremony

Barbara Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, and her fiancé Craig Coyne tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Kennebunkport, Maine on Sunday.

The “very short, sweet ceremony,” according to Bush, 36, who spoke to PEOPLE, occurred after a whirlwind, five-week engagement and just after Coyne, a screenwriter, relocated from Los Angeles to Manhattan to be with his now-wife.

“Barbara is named for a unique and strong woman — and rightly so, because she is unique and strong. @laurawbush and I are so proud of our compassionate, daring, fierce, kind, intelligent, loving daughter,” the father of the bride captioned a photo from the ceremony on Instagram. “And we’re thrilled to welcome Craig Coyne to our family.”

The ceremony was attended by only 20 family members, including Bush’s father, who walked her down the aisle, former First Lady Laura Bush, former President George H.W. Bush, 94, and her twin sister, Jenna Bush Hager, who served as maid of honor.

Hager’s daughters, Margaret, 5, and Poppy, 3, and Coyne’s niece, Emma, 5, served as flower girls, with Poppy having double duty as ring bearer, too. The ceremony was officiated by Bush’s aunt, Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch.

“We’ve been excited to do such a small wedding with just our family,” Bush told PEOPLE. “It’s just been a very sweet romance.”

(Photo: Instagram / @jennabhager)

“Happy tears, heart exploding as I watched this beautiful girl get married in the place that means love and family,” Hager wrote on Instagram. “I’m so proud to be this beauties sister.”

Although Bush’s grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, passed away in April at the age of 92, the 36-year-old bride honored the former first lady by accessorizing her custom ivory silk crepe Vera Wang gown with one of her grandmother’s bracelets.

“It’s really sweet. The ‘something borrowed’ that I’m wearing is this bracelet that my grandfather gave to my grandmother on their 70th anniversary,” she said, adding that her “something blue” was a pair of earrings from her sister.

Following the ceremony, the family attended a small reception, where Hager, an anchor on TODAY, gave a speech.


“I just told her and everybody how much she means to me. But I ended actually with a letter my grandfather wrote to my grandmother,” Hager recalled on TODAY. “Because I searched all the romantics and Shakespeare just wasn’t doing it. He was sitting right next to me as I read it.”

Bush and Coyne, who began dating after being set up by friends on a blind date last November, became engaged during a family gathering at Kennebunkport this summer. Coyne reportedly popped the question in the same spot where Barbara’s grandparents got engaged almost exactly 75 years earlier, in August 1943.