While elsewhere in Washington on Thursday, Congress was duking it out over health care legislation, the Washington Hilton was full of fresh flowers and bipartisan pleasantries — at least as far as can be discerned through Instagrams posted from the annual First Lady’s Luncheon by Melania Trump and guests.
Unlike the Easter Egg Roll, this D.C. tradition is not planned by the first lady herself but held in her honor by the Congressional Club. The organization, founded in 1908, is made up of spouses of members of the House, Senate, and Supreme Court (and, yes, that’s men and women). Since 1912, they have honored the first lady at this event, which began as a breakfast but is now a luncheon with 1,300 to 1,400 attendees, according to the National First Ladies’ Library, because each member can bring up to three guests.
“Enjoyed spending time with Congressional spouses at today’s annual luncheon,” Trump wrote after the event. “I look forward to working with such an impressive group.”
The first lady wore a powder-blue jacket with a white top, matching the decor perfectly. Carolyn Yoho, wife of U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and the chairman of the luncheon, and April Delaney, wife of U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), were the organizers and planned the nautical theme. (The theme is generally inspired by the state where the chairman of the event comes from. This year’s was Florida, which fits well with the first lady’s connection to Palm Beach.)
Country singers Jessie James Decker and Lauren Alaina were in attendance, but whether or not they sang remains to be seen (apparently, there’s no press!).
Besides mingling with Washington elite, the main attraction of these luncheons is usually the gift bags. Past years have included Mary Kay Cosmetics kits, trendy bags, decorative pins, snacks from the organizers’ states, and other trinkets that are mostly fun because they’re free.
This year’s swag included scented Deco Candles:
There was Palm Beach “Southern White House” perfume, a nod to both Yoho’s home state and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
Yoho chose blue-and-white bracelets by Etsy vendor Wrapsody Studio, whose New Hampshire-based creator Vicki Halsor said she got the order last year, before the presidential election. The order also came with an invitation to the luncheon.
“It’s pretty cool except that [Trump] is a jewelry maker. She has her own line,” Halsor told SeacoastOnline.com about the possibility that the first lady will receive one of her bracelets. “It’s intimidating.”
One attendee said Trump left the luncheon early, which makes sense considering she and the president had to fly to New York City to meet Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife, Lucy.
Read More on Yahoo Style + Beauty
- Pippa Middleton Looks Incredible on Pre-Wedding Date Night
- Is Ivanka Trump’s Viral Dance Video Just a PR Stunt?
- Elle Brazil Features Two Women ‘in Love’ on Its Cover, and It’s a Hit