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Chelsea Clinton to Marry Marc Mezvinsky Today -- At Last

4 years ago
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It's ClintVinsky wedding day and counting.

After weeks of erroneous rumors, wild speculation and breathless media coverage, Chelsea Clinton, 30, is within hours of marrying longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky, 32, amid a very heavy veil of secrecy.

Congratulations!! Mazel Tov!! Hooray!!

Some 400 guests -- or is it 500? -- began arriving Friday in Rhinebeck and other nearby Hudson River Valley towns for what has been described as everything from the wedding of the millennium (puh-leeze) to the wedding of the year (much better).
Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, rehearsal dinner
The bride is the only child of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was seen as the vital link between her parents during the darkest hours of the Monica Lewinsky White House sex scandal, and as the awkward, frizzy-haired adolescent who blossomed into lovely, dignified adulthood.

The groom is one of 11 biological and adopted offspring of a pair of former Democratic House members: Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of suburban Philadelphia, and her then-husband Edward Mezvinsky, originally from Iowa but now living in New York state after serving five years in federal prison for a $10 million fraud scheme.

The four parents were close friends during the 1990s (Margolies-Mezvinsky lost her seat after one term for supporting Clinton's 1994 budget). Their kids met in Hilton Head, S.C., during the annual policy/spirituality/wonkfest retreat known as Renaissance Weekend. They were devoted teen friends in Washington, and Marc, who now works for a Manhattan hedge fund, helped persuade Chelsea, who recently got her master's degree in public health at Columbia University, to attend Stanford University. He was a senior when she was a freshman. About five years ago, they began dating, and announced their engagement to friends during Thanksgiving, via e-mail.

On Friday afternoon, Bill Clinton, who seems never to have met a living, breathing human being whose hand he did not want to shake, glad-handed townsfolk and visiting gawkers after lunching with his half-brother Roger at a local Italian eatery. Casually dressed in jeans and a black polo shirt, he appeared to have lost most, if not all, the 15 pounds Chelsea asked him to shed before her Big Day.

The rehearsal dinner was held Friday night at a stone barn on the nearby Grasmere estate, followed by an after-party at the Revolutionary-era Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn, where some of the guests are staying. Among those spotted were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Democratic powerbroker Vernon Jordan and his wife, Ann.

Not surprisingly, Rhinebeck, an affluent, once-quiet enclave of those with old and new money, has been overrun by tourists and media in recent days.

Today's ceremony will be held under an elaborate, windowed tent at Astor Courts, a 50-acre estate with a sprawling Versailles-inspired "sporting pavilion" completed in 1904 and meticulously transformed into an elegant residence three years ago. Originally commissioned by John Jacob Astor IV and designed by Gilded Age architect Stanford White, it sits on a bluff with magnificent views of the Hudson, a perfect backdrop for post-nuptial fireworks.

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Elisabeth Gruender, right, a producer with ARD German TV, is interviewed by Today show host Natalie Morales, second from right, in front of the Beekman Arms Inn, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Chelsea Clinton and her parents have not yet confirmed that the former first daughter's wedding is being held in Rhinebeck Saturday. Still, signs congratulating her hang in shop windows, residents are talking to TV crews and officials are bracing for crowds. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Temporary parking regulation signs are posted in front of the Beekman Inn Wednesday, July 28, 2010, in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Chelsea Clinton and her parents have not yet confirmed that the former first daughter's wedding is being held in Rhinebeck Saturday. Still, signs congratulating her hang in shop windows, residents are talking to TV crews and officials are bracing for crowds. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

A bottle of Clinton Vineyards white wine is display at the Wines & Liquors shop on July 28, 2010 in Rhinebeck, New York. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are to be married July 31in Rhinebeck. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Balloons with a wedding theme are displayed outside a shop on July 28, 2010 in Rhinebeck, New York. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are to be married July 31in Rhinebeck. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

A painting by Diana Huff depicting Chelsea Clinton's upcoming marriage to Marc Mezvinsky is displayed at the Wing & Clover shop on East Market Street on July 28, 2010 in Rhinebeck, New York. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are to be married July 31 in Rhinebeck. AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Astor Courts is seen in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Chelsea Clinton plans to marry fiance Marc Mezvinsky at Astor Courts on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Astor Courts is seen on the Hudson River near the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Chelsea Clinton plans to marry fiance Marc Mezvinsky at Astor Courts on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Astor Courts is seen in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Chelsea Clinton plans to marry fiance Marc Mezvinsky at Astor Courts on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Astor Courts is seen in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Chelsea Clinton plans to marry fiance Marc Mezvinsky at Astor Courts on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding

Astor Courts is seen in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Chelsea Clinton plans to marry fiance Marc Mezvinsky at Astor Courts on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding


Better yet, it is sufficiently secluded at the end of a long, wooded drive to allow the Secret Service, local and state police to keep crashers at bay. The Federal Aviation Administration is temporarily closing off airspace to any craft flying below 2,000 feet in the area (take that, paparazzi). Several nearby roads will also be off limits to all but invited guests. Countless political heavyweights and big campaign donors were left off the list because Chelsea insisted only those people she and her beloved personally know be included.

The Clinton family is said to be staying at Astor Courts (note: guest bedrooms have much better river views than the master suite, which is just steps from the Mediterranean-styled indoor swimming pool). It's unclear whether anyone will take advantage of the indoor clay tennis court during the weekend.

Like everything else relating to this wedding -- cost estimates now range from the high six figures to somewhere near $3 million -- all statements about the event, including who is designing the gowns for Chelsea, Hillary and bridesmaids, should probably end with a question mark, not a period. (Where is Julian Assange and WikiLeaks when we really need them?)

In my long journalism career, I can't recall hearing as many reporters publicly uttering the phrase "we really don't know (fill in the blank)" before launching into speculative riffs about subjects as disparate as menus (we're told Chelsea is a vegetarian, or is it vegan? and suffers from gluten allergies); where the bridal couple is registered for gifts (they are said to be using aliases) and where the guests will answer nature's call (high-end bathroom trailers parked near the tent).

That no-news zone is fine by me because every bride deserves to call the shots at her wedding, and because Chelsea Clinton, strenuously aided by her very public parents, has spent much of her life ducking the press. Many guests -- who will gladly surrender all cameras, cell phones and other high-tech communication devices -- won't even acknowledge they've been invited for fear of letting something slip.

One insider exception is Ed Mezvinsky, father of the groom, who gave "Inside Edition" a few morsels. "We all hope that we can get through this without getting too teary-eyed," he offered after emerging from a haircut.

Paroled from prison in 2008 and living in Wellsville, New York, he still owes millions to those he bilked. "It was a terrible time, and I was punished for that and I respect that and I accept responsibility for what happened, and now I'm trying to move on," Mezvinsky said. He is now writing a book about the debacle. Why is this no surprise?

Marc and Chelsea, who first met in high school, have built a relationship based on such shared history as their Stanford education, stints on Wall Street and family scandals.

"It's great to see two people that really understand each other, that have a good feeling about each other," Ed Mezvinsky volunteered. "They are strong, wonderful, loving, caring, and sensitive human beings."

And soon, so very soon, they will be husband and wife. Of this I am certain, no?

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is set to marry longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky Saturday in what's been dubbed the "wedding of the decade." Here, the couple attend the 5th Annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York in September. Click for a look at Chelsea Clinton through the years.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Press-shy Chelsea Clinton stepped into the spotlight to campaign for her mother during Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential bid. Here, she appears with then-Sen. Clinton during the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, after Barack Obama had clinched the nomination.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Clinton recently received a master's degree, her second, in public health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She has worked at a consulting firm and a hedge fund in New York and serves on the board of the School of American Ballet. Here, she attends a School of American Ballet event in March 2007.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Clinton graduated with honors from Stanford University in 2001 with a degree in history. She then moved to England and earned a master's degree in international relations from Oxford. Above, she poses for a photo at Oxford in October 2001.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Clinton has remained a devoted daughter through her parents' political and personal highs and lows. Here, the college freshman holds her parents' hands as the family leaves for vacation in August 1998 during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Clinton sits with Mezvinsky in Hilton Head Island, S.C., in December 1996. Mezvinsky is son of former U.S. Reps. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania and Ed Mezvinsky of Iowa. The young couple met as teenagers in Washington in 1996, and later attended Stanford together. They now live in New York, where Mezvinsky works at G3 Capital, a Manhattan hedge fund.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Then presidential candidate Bill Clinton talks with 12-year-old Chelsea before a rally in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1992.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Chelsea shares a private moment with President Clinton at the White House in 1993. Chelsea's entire teenage years were spent in the White House.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

As a youngster, Chelsea excelled in school and took an interest in drama and ballet. Here, then Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and 6-year-old Chelsea leave the voting booth after the governor cast his vote during the Democratic primary in Little Rock, Ark., on May 27, 1986.

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

Chelsea Victoria Clinton was born on Feb. 27, 1980, in Little Rock, during her father's first term as governor. She was named for one of her parents' favorite songs, Jon Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning." Here, the Clintons admire week-old baby daughter Chelsea on March 5, 1980. (Sources: AP, CBS News)

Chelsea Clinton Through the Years

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99 Comments

Filter by:
Alex Medzonsky

Dear Chelsea and Marc.
Happy and healty many, many years!! Congratulations!! Mazel Tov!!

August 01 2010 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mzunocennt

May life be good to you both.

August 01 2010 at 4:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
nysbaby24

wish you both a happy long life together ...............God bless you both

July 31 2010 at 11:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
ettu

Never supported the political ambitions of the Clintons, but I do have to say they have done an exemplary job raising their daughter, and in keeping her from being exploited by the press. GOOD JOB........CONGRATULATIONS.

July 31 2010 at 10:37 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
CAROL-MAE

Congrats to you both, and we hope you have a very happy & long life together.
Sincerely,
Carol & Steve

July 31 2010 at 10:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
CAROL-MAE

Good Luck & Much Happiness to you both as you start your NEW LIFE TOGETHER!

SIncerely,
Carol & Steve Willett
(High School Sweethearts going on 28 Years in 5/11

July 31 2010 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeannie

I think you news people are discusting, why you have to bring up the past of there parents on such a beautiful day for the bride and groom. All of american knows and remembers about there past so knock it off and say something nice about the couple without bring up the dirt that has nothing to do with the happy couple.
Good luck Chelsea and Mark.

July 31 2010 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wanda Sue Bailey

I think Chelsea has the sweetest parent's ever..They have served our country well. I wish I knew them on a personal level, I almost feel like I do because they have both been my heros for years. Chelsea is much loved and deserves the best wedding ever,just like my own daughter did. Sometime money is not important..I think this is one of those times.

July 31 2010 at 8:43 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Patty

You are all entitled to your opinion, however, in the end, Ms. Clinton is also entitled to have the kind of wedding she wants...regardless of how much is costs. I wish them both a lifetime of happiness!

July 31 2010 at 8:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
robncxtrl

I know Americans has this thing about nostalgia but the story of camelot has already been played.

July 31 2010 at 8:07 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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