The Obamas Host Their First State Dinner

Barack and Michelle Obama throw a celeb-studded White House bash in honor of the Indian Prime Minister.

The Obamas Host Their First State Dinner

Barack and Michelle Obama throw a celeb-studded White House bash in honor of the Indian Prime Minister.

-Margeaux Baulch Klein

Barack and Michelle Obama

In honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Obama and wife Michelle hosted their first ever state dinner on Tuesday night at the White House.

Although formal state dinners are typically held indoors in the State Dining Room, in an effort to show Singh how much the U.S. values relations with his country, the Obamas decided to serve dinner outdoors in a huge white tent on the South Lawn, complete with chandeliers and beige carpet. In his dinner toast, President Obama explained that special events are “often celebrated under the cover of a beautiful tent” in India as guests feasted on a mostly vegetarian, Indian-inspired menu.

On the 383-person guest list were notable Indian-Americans like Deepack Chopra and director M. Night Shymalan as well as mix of Hollywood and D.C. super-stars, including Steven Spielberg, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Oprah’s BFF Gayle King.

In keeping with the night’s theme, First Lady Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless, gold and cream colored dress with a matching shawl by Indian-born designer Naeem Khan and had told the press earlier that day that pulling off a state dinner was comparable to a swan, calm and serene above the water but “paddling like mad, going crazy underneath.” (Huffington Post)

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