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Wedding guest: Move due to Obama golf game 'not a negative thing'

By Jim Acosta, CNN Senior White House Correspondent
updated 10:36 PM EST, Mon December 29, 2014

Honolulu (CNN) -- A childhood friend of an Army captain whose wedding was moved to accommodate a round of golf for President Barack Obama said the bride and groom had to quickly scramble to find a Plan B. But the agile bride and her wedding party still pulled it all off without a hitch, the friend said.

Still, understandably, there were a few tense moments.

READ: Obama sorry golf changed wedding location

Obama's golf game forces wedding move

"She was like, 'I really don't know what we're going to do,'" Rebecca Dryer said of her friend and bride, Natalie Heimel.

Dryer said the couple received word of the President's golf plans after they wrapped up their rehearsal before the wedding was held on Sunday.

The message from the planner was, "The President wanted to play through," Dryer said.

But Heimel, her groom, Ed Mallue Jr., and the wedding party found an "equally beautiful" spot at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, according to Dryer. Not only was there an ocean view as they had envisioned, they could see some golfers on the course.

Adding to the unforgettable experience was an unexpected phone call from Obama, who phoned the couple to apologize for the mix-up.

Dryer said the President told Mallue, also an Army captain, "If I had skipped the 16th hole, I would have had a better score."

"He didn't know about it," Dryer said of Obama.

Weeks before their wedding, Heimel and Mallue had invited the President to attend, knowing he and his family would be making their annual trip to Hawaii. They didn't expect him to attend or even call.

"They were thrilled and so excited" to talk to the President over the phone, Dryer said.

"It's not a negative thing," she added.

Guests to the wedding posted pictures on Instagram about the wedding with the hashtag "#thanksobama14."

The White House did not know the round of golf would interfere with the couple's wedding plans, a source familiar with the situation said.

One more of the ceremony #thanksobama14 #malluewedding #breaktheinternet

A photo posted by Becca Dryer (@beccadryer) on