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Chelsea Clinton's July 31 Wedding at Opulent Astor Courts

5 years ago
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The closely held details of Chelsea Clinton's wedding have begun to leak out, and the first major morsel may well be the venue.

She will marry investment banker Marc Mezvinksy, 31, at Astor Courts, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece overlooking the Hudson River designed in 1902 by famed architect Stanford White for American oligarch John Jacob Astor IV. From the outside, it evokes Louis XIV's Grand Trianon at Versailles. And inside? It's straight out of an Edith Wharton novel.

Speculation about everything from Chelsea's wedding gown (Vera Wang? Oscar de la Renta?) to the officiant (a Protestant minister? A rabbi? Both? Neither? ) to the honeymoon destination (still a secret) have been swirling around the publicity-shy only child of former president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for months.

Never mind that the bride's publicist, members of her mother's inner circle, the Boston wedding planner and the owners of the 50-acre estate on the outskirts of Rhinebeck, N.Y., have zipped their lips about all aspects of the celebration. The venue story first broke in the Hudson Valley News on Thursday, based on a unauthorized tip from a local resident. The July 31 guest list is said to be a nice, round 400, with each invitee personally known to the bride, reports New York magazine.

Now 30 and a Columbia University graduate student in public health, Chelsea will marry a man she's known since she was a teenager living in the White House and attending Washington's swank, private Sidwell Friends School. Both were at Stanford University, but the romance did not escalate until the past few years. He is the son of two former Democratic members of Congress: Marjorie Margolies of Pennsylvania, defeated after a single term in 1994 for backing President Clinton's budget, and her ex-husband, Edward Mezvinsky of Iowa, who served two terms in the House in the 1970s, and was later sentenced to seven years in prison for masterminding $10 million in fraud schemes; he was freed in 2008 and remains on parole.

The nuptial couple announced their engagement just after Thanksgiving via e-mail, following numerous false reports they would marry last summer on Martha's Vineyard.

Astor Courts, two hours north of New York City, is easy to reach by train or car, and elegant enough to provide a picture-perfect wedding backdrop while sufficiently secluded to offer security and privacy for the high-level guests, said to include foreign dignitaries, top U.S. officials and boldface names from the social, financial, entertainment and political worlds.

Built as a sporting pavilion at the turn of the last century, this onetime playground for American aristocrats -- think indoor clay tennis court and Moorish-style enclosed swimming pool -- is now home to Hillary Clinton supporters Kathleen Hammer, a former Oxygen Media producer, and developer-businessman Arthur Seelbinder. The couple spent three years restoring the decrepit wreck, guided by architect Samuel White, a great-grandson of Stanford White. Celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz lives down the road.

Although there has been speculation that the festivities will take place under a tent for added privacy -- who wants paparazzi shooting pictures from the other shore? -- the building's ornate 2,100-square-foot main hall, which looks like a Gilded Age ballroom, might work nicely for the ceremony.

What more could a 21st-century bride want?

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"Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable: what it is or what it means can never be said."___GEORGE SANTAYANA,THE SENSE OF BEAUTY,1896

July 07 2010 at 1:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

going to watch the mail for invite

July 06 2010 at 4:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What a colossal wast of money, which could be better spent for the public good.

July 06 2010 at 12:58 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to druid0621's comment

It's their money and they can spend it as they like. Why shouldn't they have a nice wedding??

July 11 2010 at 11:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How very sad that this young man is not marrying a Jewish woman. Any children they have will not be Jewish, either (unless she converts by Jewish Law before having them, or the children are converted according to Jewish Law).

July 05 2010 at 9:36 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

Why pray tell is it necessary to bring up the past of these parents when two young people about to embark on the most memorable event in their lives. They are happy and it should be a joyous happy article without saying anything about either parents past. Good Luck Chelsea and Marc...and continue the love you have for your parents...

July 05 2010 at 6:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

I have never met her in person, but I am convinced that Chelsea Clinton is a wonderful girl. She is smart, well manered, and she has made both her parents President Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proud of her. She is a loving and caring daughter and she is a wonderful person.

I wish her all the happiness in the world in her married life, she desereves it!
God bless her and her family.

July 05 2010 at 6:20 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Chelsea's wedding will provide income for many people in the chosen area; I am sure these people are happy for their own good fortune. Just think how many people will be employed to create this happy event.

Best wishes to Chelsea and Marc.

July 05 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I was laid off my job of 19years as of Dec 2009,that is not Chelsa Clinton's fault she did not create this mess and she deserves to have type of wedding she wants and as parents she has made them proud of her..I wish her the best and her wedding cost does not affect me..Best Wishes...

July 04 2010 at 12:20 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

I too do not care for the actions of Hillary or Bill Clinton but wish Chelsea a happy married life. I am sorry that she is marrying into a family where someone master minded $10 million in fraud schemes. Politics as usual?

July 03 2010 at 7:51 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Perri's comment

You don't care for their actions but you benefit in more ways than you know. Chelsea is marrying someone she loves and has known since high school that warrants congratulations not sympathy. Lastly, is a son liable for his father's actions? Edward Mezvinsky has paid for his crimes and continues to do so since he remains on parole after serving his prison sentence. Did you even read the article?

July 05 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The situation of the country or the people of the US, the political position of her parents, that is completely irrelevant to the upcoming wedding of Chelsea Clinton. The children don't have to carry the faults of the parents. This is a dream come true for Chelsea as it is for every girl and she is having the wedding her parents can afford. Congratulations Chelsea, may God Bless your new life.

July 03 2010 at 7:19 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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