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Chelsea Clinton ties the knot in secret-shrouded ceremony

RHINEBECK, N.Y. — Chelsea Clinton wed her longtime boyfriend under extraordinary security at an elegant Hudson River estate late Saturday.

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton announced in a statement that their daughter wed investment banker Marc Mezvinsky after weeks of secrecy and buildup that had celebrity watchers flocking to the small village of Rhinebeck for the evening nuptials. The site of the wedding, a Beaux Arts riverside estate called Astor Courts, was sealed off from the public.

"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," the Clintons said. "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."

Chelsea Clinton, 30, wearing a strapless white gown designed by Vera Wang and carrying a bouquet of white flowers, was escorted down the aisle by her father. The mother of the bride wore a fuchsia dress by Oscar de la Renta.

Bill Clinton appeared to have followed his daughter's instructions and lost quite a bit of weight for the ceremony. She had ordered him to lose 15 pounds, but people close to the president said he had actually lost more than 20.

It is estimated that hundreds of guests gathered at the historic estate near the end of a near-perfect summer day of warm temperatures, blue skies and cottony clouds. The ceremony was conducted by a rabbi and a reverend as Chelsea Clinton is Methodist and Mezvinsky is Jewish, and included a poem by Leo Marks titled The Life That I Have, according to the family.

The wedding was a mix of high society and high security. The road to Astor Courts was blocked off Saturday — neighbors received bottles of wine for their troubles — and the sky above was declared a no-fly zone by federal aviation officials. Police and security guards fanned out around this usually sleepy town.

Consistent with Chelsea Clinton's desire for privacy, the family had released no details of the wedding beyond the date. But the scope of the event became apparent when more than a half-dozen busloads of wedding guests were transported from a hotel in the village to the riverside ceremony as gawkers looked on.

Celebrities spotted in Rhinebeck for the event included Wang, actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Chelsea Clinton and Mezvinsky were friends as teenagers in Washington, and both attended Stanford University. They now live in New York, where Mezvinsky works at G3 Capital. Clinton completed her master's degree in public health this year at Columbia University.

Mezvinsky is a son of former U.S. Reps. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania and Ed Mezvinsky of Iowa.

Information from the New York Times was used in this report.

Chelsea Clinton ties the knot in secret-shrouded ceremony 08/01/10 [Last modified: Sunday, August 1, 2010 12:32am]

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