The president will welcome French President Emmanuel Macron next week in the State Dining Room, a smaller venue than the Obamas used.
For once, President Donald Trump is opting to go smaller.
The president who delights in bigness — of his buildings, his crowd sizes, his hands — is opting for a slimmed-down affair when he hosts French President Emmanuel Macron for his first state dinner on Tuesday.
Gone are the President Barack Obama-era days of outside event-planning firms and tents set up on the South Lawn to accommodate guest lists of more than 350. Like President George W. Bush, Trump will host the event in the State Dining Room, with a guest list close to 150.
But unlike his predecessors, Trump hasn’t invited any members of Congress from the opposing party. He’s also opted not to invite any members of the media, another departure from past state dinners.
“It is a break with tradition,” said Lea Berman, who was White House social secretary under Bush and wrote the etiquette guide “Treating People Well” with Obama social secretary Jeremy Bernard.
The last state dinner for a French president, to which Obama welcomed Macron’s predecessor, Francois Hollande, in February 2014, was a glittering, bipartisan affair headlined by Mary J. Blige.