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Gore's Eldest Daughter Weds New York Doctor In Washington

couple In this story:

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 12) -- In a wedding described as "elegant and understated," Al and Tipper Gore's eldest daughter married a New York physician Saturday in Washington National Cathedral.

Karenna Gore Weds Andrew Schiff at Washington's National Cathedral.
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Episcopal Bishop Ronald Haines, whose diocese is based in the 90-year-old cathedral, presided over Karenna Gore's wedding with ministers chosen by the vice president's family and the family of the groom, Dr. Andrew Schiff.

The match brings together one of America's most prominent political families with one of Wall Street wealth and influence. The staunchly Democratic Gores reportedly get along well with the Schiffs, despite political considerations. David Schiff, the father of the groom and a prominent investment banker in New York, is a Republican.


The wedding was held in the neo-Gothic cathedral, site of some of Washington's most famous weddings, including that of the bride's parents 27 years ago. The Episcopal cathedral, which has a stained-glass window for each state, is often used for nondenominational events.

The ceremony, attended by about 300 guests, featured a violin rendition of the "Appalachian Waltz" and the singing of hymns, including "Amazing Grace."

At the reception, guests dined on minted lamb in tomato cups before dancing under an air-conditioned tent on the lawn of the Naval Observatory, located a few blocks down Washington's Embassy Row from the cathedral.

Aretha Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul, performed at the reception, reportedly serenading the couple with a selection from Puccini's La Boheme and two traditional love songs.

Rep. Norman Dicks (D-Wash.), one of the dozens of high-powered guests, said cheers greeted the father of the bride when he shouted "God bless America" as the wedding party made its way out of the cathedral.

Agents shoo away a raccoon

Moments before the bride and groom emerged, Secret Service agents had to shoo away a curious raccoon that had bolted out of bushes in the park-like setting, past a clutch of reporters and photographers gathered outside and up the steps toward the doors of the church.

Stymied by the clutch of bodyguards, the frightened critter scurried back into the woods.

After the ceremony, the bride, wearing a gown custom-made by New York designer Vera Wang, posed for pictures with her husband. She carried a bouquet of white Virginia roses tied with a satin ribbon. Her ivory satin dress featured a sleeveless fitted bodice and a full skirt. She wore a long veil pinned to her blonde hair.

Gore family friend Candy Stroud described the wedding as "stunning, simple, elegant and understated."

Couple will live in New York


The couple plan to move to New York City where Karenna will begin law school at Columbia University. She received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and has been working in Seattle as an editorial assistant at "Slate," Microsoft's online magazine.

The groom graduated from Brown University and received his medical degree from Cornell Medical School. He works as a primary care physician at New York Hospital. He was an unsuccessful candidate for a New York City Council seat last year. His father is managing director of the investment banking firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co.

The bride and groom were introduced last fall at the home of former Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.), a Washington lobbyist.

President arrives for reception

En route home from a European trip, President Clinton missed the ceremony but made it in time for the reception. Hillary Rodham Clinton remained in Europe for the weekend.

The Gores' three younger children -- Kristen, Sarah and Albert -- and Schiff's brother, sister and cousin comprised the six-member wedding party. Kristen, a Harvard junior, was maid of honor, and Scott Schiff, the groom's brother, was best man.

Bridesmaids wore sleeveless ivory chiffon gowns with satin, empire-style bodices, and Tipper Gore a pale green silk crepe gown designed by Kay Unger. The wedding photographer was Dennis Reggie, brother-in-law of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the photographer at the wedding last September of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.

The Gene Donati Orchestra, a big band known for decades of appearances at presidential inaugural celebrations, and a jazz and piano combo from the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz provided music at the reception at the vice president's official residence, the Naval Observatory.

The Gores are patrons of the nonprofit Monk Institute, which trains young musicians.

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