Chelsea Clinton's lavish, top-secret wedding this Saturday to Marc Mezvinsky in Rhinebeck, New York is the most talked-about union of the year — but how did the former First Daughter fall in love with her husband-to-be?
Both from political families, Chelsea, 30, and 32-year-old Mezvinsky — the Philadelphia-raised son of former Iowa congressman Ed Mezvinsky and former Pennsylvania congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinksy, now divorced — first met as young teenagers at a 1993 Democratic political retreat in Hilton Head, S.C.
They became fast friends.
When Chelsea was choosing colleges in 1997, he even showed her around Stanford University, where he was a student. His tour worked: she enrolled, but her mother Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State) took pains at the time to tell reporters the two were "really good friends, just dear friends."
Chelsea went on to date writer Ian Klaus, but they split in 2005 after four years together.
The same year, she and Mezvinsky, by then both living in New York City, went public with their romance. The duo weren't afraid to be "cuddly and affectionate" at parties and public events, according the New York Times.
A one-time employee of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, Mezvinsky now works as a banker at the hedge fund G3 Capital; Clinton, who has worked as a consultant and as a financial analyst, is attending graduate school at Columbia University's School of Public Health. ("I will somehow serve my country," she said in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.)
They announced their engagement in an email to friends last November. "We are engaged!" the letter read. "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."
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."
Getting his hair cut for the big day, Ed Mezvinsky told Inside Edition on Thursday about the upcoming wedding. "I'm a proud papa," he said. "These are two wonderful human beings that have sensitivity about life and have a warm regard for family and that's what it's really all about."
(Former congressman Mezvinsky served five years in prison for swindling a swathe of investors out of $10 million; released in 2008, he is still on federal probation and owes $9.4 million. "I'm remorseful for what happened, " he said.)
One difference between the future husband and wife: Clinton is Methodist, while Mezvinsky is Jewish. While it is not known whether their ceremony will be presided by a rabbi, minister or public official, Clinton was spotted attending a Yom Kippur prayer service at NYC's Jewish Theological Seminary last fall, and has expressed interest in learning more about the Jewish faith, according to the New York Times.
Of the interfaith union, Chelsea's mom Hillary recently said, "Over the years, so many of the barriers that prevented people from getting married, crossing lines of faith or color or ethnicity have just disappeared."
The Secretary of State added that both she and Bill are "going to be so emotional" at the ceremony.
"I always thought being her father was my most important job, so it's a big day for me," Bill Clinton said in February. "It is the biggest day in her life, probably, and I'm happy."