Six months after the death of Barbara Bush, her granddaughter Barbara Pierce Bush married actor Craig Coyne in a secret wedding ceremony surrounded by their closest family and friends. The two were engaged for only a few months before saying “I do,” and now, she’s revealed it’s because she wanted her grandfather, George H.W. Bush, to be there for their special day.

After his wife’s death, George also suffered a health scare of his own. Between that and his annual return to Houston in mid-October for the winter, Barbara and Craig knew they had to get their nuptials on the calendar sooner rather than later.

“He’s great — totally with it. He is, of course, 94 years old and misses my grandmother… We just thought, let’s try to do [the wedding] soon — a small wedding with just our family and my grandfather, here,” Barbara told People in a new interview. “We actually would have gotten married the next week if we could have. We just thought, let’s try to do it soon. We knew we wanted to be married — we’d already made that decision — so we didn’t need months of an engagement.”

barbara pierce bush george h.w. bush getty images
Getty Images

Barbara especially felt that way after unexpectedly losing her grandmother, who never got a chance to meet Craig, in April. “That’s the one thing about waiting,” she shared. “You can have this great career and this great life. But, of course, the older you get, you lose people that you love.”

That said, over the past few months, Barbara and Craig have been spending a lot of time with George — specifically in Maine, where they ended up tying the knot on Oct. 7. “It was just us three — quiet and beautiful. I would read to him. While he napped, Craig and I would go on walks, then dress my grandfather up and take him out for martinis and oysters,” Barbara gushed. 

And on the actual wedding day, George couldn’t have been happier to be there. “He was there with them all through dinner,” an attendee told People. We’re so glad he was able to celebrate their special day with them!