Haley Meadows Kocher, daughter of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, got married in Atlanta on May 31, amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a ceremony that violated local caps on social gatherings.
The gathering is yet another example of administration officials actively flouting best public health practices and the report of the May 31 wedding comes at a time of increased scrutiny on Meadows, who drew President Donald Trump’s ire over the weekend for comments he made regarding his health status.
There were about 70 attendees, one of the people present said, and a wedding party of 11 bridesmaids and eight groomsmen. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, had issued an executive order in March banning gatherings of more than 10 people unless they could be spaced at least six feet apart “at all times.”
And at the end of May, the city of Atlanta had entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan, which allowed small “private” gatherings of no more than 10 people.
“I did not feel safe. I made a decision that I was gonna get Covid anyway because I made a decision to go, so I kind of assumed I had a bigger chance of getting it by going,” the attendee, who ultimately did not get coronavirus as a result of this event, told CNN in a phone interview and requested anonymity to speak freely about the event.
“In my mind, they did not break any laws, but they pushed the limits” with the event, the attendee said.
Meadows declined to comment.
Details of the wedding were first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
There was no social distancing practiced, and attendees largely did not wear masks. All of the vendors wore masks, two sources familiar with the wedding told CNN. There was a full band with dancing, as well. Chairs and tables during the reception were not socially distanced, and there was a long table for the bridal party surrounded by round tables.
There was a conversation about precautions between Kemp and Mark Meadows, one of the attendees said, noting that Meadows had his Secret Service detail with him. Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, was also in attendance.
“Meadows gave a typical dad speech about her being an amazing person,” an attendee said.
There was social distancing practiced during bridal preparations, which took place in a large conference room off-site from the venue.
“I did feel safe,” one source familiar with the preparations, who wore a mask, said.
The event took place one day after George Floyd protests in downtown Atlanta that at times turned violent.