Naomi Biden, granddaughter of US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, marries in what is the 19th time in history the White House has been used for a wedding.

"It has been a joy to watch Naomi grow, discover who she is, and carve out such an incredible life for herself," Biden and First Lady Jill Biden say. (The White House via AFP)

President Joe Biden has welcomed guests to the White House for the wedding of his granddaughter Naomi an unprecedented ceremony that was closed to the press.

The 28-year-old Washington-based lawyer married Peter Neal, 25, a law graduate, on the mansion's South Lawn in an 11:00 am ceremony on Saturday witnessed by about 250 guests, according to the White House.

The grounds were decorated with white flowers, as invitees in rows looked on, according to photos taken from far away by the AFP news agency.

Naomi Biden is the daughter of the president's son Hunter Biden.

"It has been a joy to watch Naomi grow, discover who she is, and carve out such an incredible life for herself," the president and First Lady Jill Biden said in statement.

"Now, we are filled with pride to see her choose Peter as her husband and we're honoured to welcome him to our family," they added. "We wish them days full of laughter and a love that grows deeper with every passing year."

The White House Historical Association says 18 weddings have been performed at the mansion, including those of Richard Nixon's daughter Tricia in 1971 and Barack Obama's official photographer, Pete Souza, in 2013.

The association says four times the White House has also hosted receptions for weddings held elsewhere, for instance that of George W. Bush's daughter Jenna in 2008.

But this is the first time a president's granddaughter is getting hitched there.

Private affair

Jill Biden's communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said the Biden family will pay for the wedding activities that occur at the White House, "consistent with other private events hosted by the first family and following the traditions of previous White House wedding festivities in prior administrations."

The White House in its brief statement said the Bidens hosted a wedding luncheon for family and the wedding party in the State Dining Room, and a reception with dancing was planned for later on Saturday.

But otherwise the president's office has given few details on this wedding, which is classified as strictly private and is closed to the press.

"The White House press has covered weddings held there through history because the space belongs to the American people and a president's participation is an event of national interest," Kelly O'Donnell, an NBC reporter slated to become the next president of the White House Correspondents Association, said Thursday on Twitter.

Naomi Biden announced her wedding plans in September on her Instagram account, which features photos of vacations, the Biden clan and her day-to-day life.

Biden is very close to his grandchildren, who call him Pop and are often seen with him, even at some official events.

Naomi is named after the president's first daughter, who died as a baby in a car crash in 1972 that also claimed the life of his first wife.

US press reports have said Naomi Biden plays an important role in the president's inner circle and pressed him, for instance, to run for president in 2020.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies