First came the outdoor "I do" part of the Chelsea Clinton-Marc Mezvinsky wedding weekend at the opulent Astor Courts estate overlooking the Hudson River on Saturday, complete with the groom stomping a glass
at the end of the interfaith ceremony.
That was before sundown. Then came a pair of joyous celebrations just steps away: a seated dinner and dancing for some 400 guests inside a structural windowed tent lit by chandeliers, and an after-party that began around 2 a.m. and rocked on until 4:30 in the private mansion's glass-roofed tennis court. The festivities ended with a Sunday brunch of lox, bagels and eggs in the stone barn at a nearby estate -- where Friday night's rehearsal dinner was held.
After weeks of deepest secrecy and wild rumor -- wedding costs ranging from $1 million to $5 million, Oprah and the Obamas as erroneously alleged invitees -- a few tight-lipped guests finally spilled a few innocuous beans. One called the marriage celebration of the daughter and son of a quartet of current or former Democratic politicians "wonderfully warm and loving and real." Another deemed it "just what you want in a family wedding."
Chelsea, 30, who starts work on her PhD at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service this fall, and Marc, 32, a hedge funder at G3 Capital, executed some nicely rehearsed moves for their first dance to the Etta James classic "At Last." It was a fitting song, given that they've known each other for more than half their lives. Chelsea, the only child of former president Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Marc, one of 11 biological and adopted offspring of former U.S. Reps. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and her now-ex, Ed Mezvinsky, have been close friends since their teens and became romantically linked five years ago. (Two of Marc's brothers, Andrew "Drew" Mezvinsky and Vu Pham were his best men.)
After the ceremony, conducted by a Methodist minister and a rabbi, the bride traded one Vera Wang silk organza confection for another. She slipped out of her full-skirted white strapless wedding gown
for a more dance-able ivory silk tulle Grecian number with a black grosgrain belt and crisscross back. The groom apparently saw no need to change out of his custom-tailored suit created by Burberry designer Christian Bailey, a Brit who told Women's Wear Daily he made it as a favor for the couple, who are good friends. A dozen bridesmaids wore
lilac strapless, bias-cut silk chiffon dresses with plum grosgrain ribbons at the waist (take another bow, Ms. Wang).
At the reception, tables were covered with gray-blue cloths and arrangements of pink, blue and lavender hydrangeas and roses, guests said. Although the bride is a vegetarian, folks tucked into locally raised grass-fed beef or grilled fish, risotto and salad.
In one toast, the notoriously emotional father of the bride spoke for himself and his wife of nearly 35 years: "Despite the fact that we have had interesting careers, we still consider the most important job we ever had [is] being the parents of Chelsea," Women's Wear Daily reported.
Dinner ended with a multi-tier wedding cake (gluten-free in deference to the bride's allergies). Then came dancing to the 18-piece Jim Valli orchestra. Chelsea danced with her Dad to "The Way You Look Tonight."
And what Jewish (or semi-Semitic) wedding would be complete without a rousing hora? Two by two, the newlyweds, the Clintons, Margolies-Mezvinsky (wearing a dark blue strappless chiffon gown) and Mezvinsky were hoisted aloft in chairs and danced around the room. (This can be an exuberantly terrifying experience if those doing the heavy lifting aren't completely sober or in sync.)
Around 2 a.m., guests were ushered into the after-bash in the tennis court, whose soaring ceiling and stone walls tend to amplify sound to mosh-pit levels. By 4:30, with sunrise not so far off, the much-ballyhooed extravaganza ended. Then came Sunday brunch, with lots of hugging, mazel tov-ing and occasional yawning before guests returned home.
And on that very same day, Astor Courts
-- a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed in 1902 by Stanford White for American aristocrat John Jacob Astor IV -- was back on the market for a cool $12 million after being temporarily de-listed for the ClintVinsky wedding.
There was nothing subtle about the full-page ad in Sunday's New York Post that trumpeted, "Yes, It's for Sale. Home of the Recent Celebrity Wedding." Calls and e-mails to the estate's owners, Kathleen Hammer and Arthur Seelbinder, and to Heather Croner Real Estate, which put Astor Courts at the top of its listings, were not immediately returned.
And the newlyweds? They're off on a two-week honeymoon to a secret location. At least, it's secret for the moment.