In pictures: Biden hosts Macron for state dinner
US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden greet French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on Thursday, December 1.
Produced by CNN Digital's Photo TeamPresident Joe Biden is hosting his first state dinner at the White House, honoring French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte.
Thursday night's dinner marks the return of a tradition that has not been seen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is being held in a tent on the South Lawn, which will comfortably seat the more than 400 guests expected to attend.
An indoor dinner in the State Dining Room is limited by space restrictions -- only about 120 guests can be accommodated.
The evening's entertainment is being provided by singer Jon Batiste, a native of New Orleans, a city that first lady Jill Biden said Wednesday is "shaped by both French and American culture."
The Macrons will visit New Orleans before returning to France.
A person with knowledge of Jill Biden's approach to the dinner said she was involved with all aspects of the planning, down to doing tastings of each dish and overseeing the seating chart -- much like her immediate predecessor, Melania Trump, whose first state dinner also happened to be for the Macrons.
The Bidens are serving caviar and butter-poached lobster for a first-course, Calotte of beef and watercress and sunchoke salad for the main, and crème fraiche ice cream for dessert.