Five Things to Know About Chelsea Clinton’s Super-Secret Wedding Ceremony
Chelsea Victoria Clinton was 12 when her father became President of the United States.
But now, Bill and Hillary Clinton's little girl is all grown up and planning to tie the knot this Saturday. And while all the definite details are on lockdown— "I am under very strict orders not to talk about it," Hillary herself told NBC News—here's what we can tell you about what's going down this weekend:
1. Here Comes the Groom: The former first daughter is marrying Marc Mezvinsky, 32, an investment banker at 3G Capital Management in New York. The happy couple met in Hilton Head, S.C., when they were teenagers and then were undergraduate classmates at Stanford, but they didn't start dating until 2005. Marc is one of 11 children, both biological and adopted. While having Bill and Hillary as in-laws would be daunting for anyone, Mezcinsky's no stranger to the Beltway or scandal, his dad and mom having both served in Congress. His parents are divorced; dad Ed Mezcinsky was released from prison in 2008 after five years behind bars for wire and bank fraud.
2. Location, Location: Well, Bill Clinton isn't president anymore, so It's not going to be in the White House rose garden or at Camp David. The big money is on Astor Courts, a 13,000-square-foot Beaux Arts mansion built in the image of Versailles' Grand Trianon, in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The proprietress, of course, would not confirm any such plans to any news outlet, but the nearby Beekman Arms Inn and Belvedere Mansion were already sold out for the weekend of July 31 two weeks beforehand. Very uninformative invitations were sent out merely instructing the guests to be within driving distance of Manhattan on the big day with promises of more details TBA. The village of Rhinebeck (pop. 3,077) is recognized as a Colonial-era U.S. Historic District. Residents who have traded malls and McDonalds for horse farms and wineries brag that there are no chain stores or other corporate eyesores marring their Main Street. Emma Roberts and Rufus Wainwright were born in Rhinebeck and celebs such as Liam Neeson and Bette Midler keep vacation homes in the area.
3. Party People: Around 400 guests, all of whom are required to have some sort of personal connection to the bride or groom, are expected. The estimable list, according to various reports, included President Barack Obama and family (who aren't expected to be there), Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, and former British P.M. John Major. A rep for Al and Tipper Gore, who recently separated, has said that neither is attending the nuptials, though it's unknown whether they were invited at all.
4. Breaking the Bank: A shindig such as this one can run anywhere between $3 million and $5 million, including around $200,000 for security alone, according to large-scale event-planning experts. Chelsea is going to be walking down the aisle in an Oscar de la Renta—or Vera Wang—gown. (Smart money's on the latter, as she was spotted entering the bridal boutique on Tuesday.) According to the New York Times, Jeff Leatham, artistic director of the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris is handling the flowers, New Jersey-based Vali Entertainment is coordinating the music and the coincidentally named Clinton Vineyards is providing some of the wine. Boston wedding planner Bryan Rafanelli is tying it all together.
5. You Thought Security was Tight at Gisele's Wedding: Local police have already arrested two Norwegian photographers for trespassing on the grounds of Astor Courts—days before the wedding—and the police department has been bogged down with residents' complaints that there are reporters tromping all over the place.
(Originally published on July 27, 2010 at 5:15 p.m. PT)
Happily, this celeb wedding we can't wait for is only days away!