Chelsea Clinton Weds Longtime Beau in Lavish Ceremony
Chelsea Clinton has said "I do!"
She wed longtime boyfriend, investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, Saturday in a lavish ceremony at the posh, 13,000-square-foot Astor family palace in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
In a statement, the Clinton family said: “Today, we watched with great pride and overwhelming emotion as Chelsea and Marc wed in a beautiful ceremony at Astor Courts, surrounded by family and their close friends. We could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate the beginning of their life together, and we are so happy to welcome Marc into our family. On behalf of the newlyweds, we want to give special thanks to the people of Rhinebeck for welcoming us and to everyone for their well-wishes on this special day."
Details from the ceremony are being kept secret, but UsMagazine.com has some details.
Around 400-500 people attended. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, entrepreneur Steve Bing and actor Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen were all expected. President Barack Obama and his family were not invited.
The bride, 30, wore Vera Wang.
According to The New York Times, the interfaith ceremony was conducted by Rabbi James Ponet and Reverend William Shillady. (Chelsea is Methodist; Marc, 32, is Jewish.)
The Times reports that the ceremony honored elements of both traditions; family and friends read the Seven Blessings (which are typically recited at traditional Jewish weddings) following the vows and exchange of rings.
A friend of the couple planned to read the poem, "The Life I Have," by Leo Marks, according to The Times.
According to The Times, the wedding was planned by Bryan Rafanelli of Boston (he coordinated fundraisers for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign); Jeff Leatham, artistic director of the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris, handled the flower arrangement; and music was in the hands of Jimmy Vali, president of Vali Entertainment in Norwood, N.J.
The town has been readying for the wedding for days. Shops have been hanging "Congratulations" signs in windows; roads have been blocked off and the skies have even been closed over the wedding site.
For days, hundreds of people have gathered outside the Beekman Arms Hotel, where many of the guests are staying. Around 11 p.m. Friday, Bill and Hillary Clinton (in a gorgeous patterned turquoise dress) waved to the crowds after leaving a pre-wedding party there.
Earlier in the day, the former president stepped out for lunch and told reporters, "We're all fine. ... We love it here. Chelsea loves the area as well." Asked about his future son-in-law, he said, "I like him very much. I really do. I admire him. Hillary feels the same way."
Wedding experts told The Associated Press the wedding could cost $2 million to $3 million, but a longtime Clinton family friend said the cost will not exceed six figures.
The mother of the bride wouldn't dish when asked a week ago by NBC's Andrea Mitchell. "My lips are sealed," Secretary of State Clinton said. "I am under very strict orders not to talk about it, and I think for the right reasons, because it is her [wedding], and it is a family wedding. The people coming are her friends and people who have been meaningful in her life, as it should be."
The former first daughter announced her engagement over Thanksgiving 2009 in an email to friends. It read: "We're sorry for the mass email but we wanted to wish everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving! We also wanted to share that we are engaged! We didn't get married this past summer despite the stories to the contrary, but we are looking toward next summer and hope you all will be there to celebrate with us. Happy Holidays! Chelsea & Marc."
Chelsea and Marc -- the son of former Iowa congressman Ed Mezvinsky and former Pennsylvania congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinksy -- first met as teenagers at a Democratic political retreat in Hilton Head, S.C.
They became fast friends.
When Chelsea was choosing colleges in 1997, Mezvinsky even showed her around Stanford University, where he was a student.
Chelsea went on to date writer Ian Klaus, but they split in 2005.
The same year, she and Mezvinsky went public.
Former President Bill Clinton couldn't help but gush when he learned that the two planned to wed. Last December, he told reporters he was "very" happy. "He is great," he said of his future son-in-law. "He is a great human being."
Marc works as banker at the hedge fund G3 Capital; Chelsea is attending graduate school at Columbia University's School of Public Health.