Well, that’s one way to celebrate your birthday. When Violet Affleck turned 17 on Thursday, Dec. 1, she and Jennifer Garner marked the occasion with an elegant mother-daughter date at the White House. Aside from President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who hosted the state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, the duo joined more than 300 other VIP guests, including John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, Anna Wintour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jon Batiste, Stephen Colbert, and Ariana DeBose, for the fete.
“The White House State Dinner last night felt like a dream,” Garner captioned an Instagram post the following day, thanking the Bidens for including them “in the magical and elegant evening celebrating the friendship between US/ France with gracious President [Emmanuel Macron] and First Lady Macron.” In addition to a solo fashion shot and a photo of her “Ms. Garner” place card, she also shared an atmosphere video with a violinist playing for the attendees. As the actor summed up, “My lovely date and I will remember it always.”
In the comments section, several celebrities, including Katie Couric, Julianne Moore, Holly Robinson Peete, Lisa Ling, Ina Garten, and Kimberly Williams Paisley, complimented her black Ralph Lauren gown, which she accessorized with Harry Winston jewels and Stuart Weitzman shoes. (Violet, for her part, wore a Carolina Herrera metallic midi dress with heart imprints, per Women’s Wear Daily.) “You and Violet looked stunning!” Couric commented. “What an incredible experience for her! (And you!)”
Garner — who also shares daughter Seraphina, 13, and son Samuel, 10, with her ex-husband, Ben Affleck, and largely chooses to keep her family life private — did not include Violet in her Instagram photos, however, highlighting just how rare the public outing truly was. In fact, multiple outlets pointed out that the last public event Garner attended with Violet was her August 2018 Hollywood Walk of Fame dedication ceremony.
“For my children, when you walk over this star, I want you to remember first of all, that I love you. And that this is about hard work. And good luck. And not a whole lot else,” The Adam Project star said during her speech, at the time. “You define me, not this wonderful spot in the pavement. Also, for the record, don’t spend too much time on Hollywood Boulevard.”
Though this might have been Violet’s first experience spending time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Garner was hardly a newcomer. In April, the actor even shared a hilarious TikTok from when she got “busted goofing off at the White House” with her assistant, Mo, and hairstylist, Adir Abergel, while she hosted a December 2021 Christmas concert. “We dance every time we’re together, and this time we were in the White House just waiting for the First Lady,” Garner explained during a July interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “Mo started filming us being goofy. We ran into the Christmas tree. We were waltzing away, and the First Lady walked in. We almost whacked her across the face, and the Secret Service did a catalyst. We were totally busted waltzing in the White House by Dr. Jill Biden.”
She hasn’t shared any embarrassing state dinner stories (yet, anyway), but it’s clearly a night she and Violet will never forget, regardless.