It has been called the "wedding of the decade," the "wedding of the century" and the "wedding of the millennium." It will be much easier to judge later tonight after Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky have said "I do."
Chelsea Clinton, 30, and Marc Mezvinsky, 32, were teenage friends in Washington and both attended Stanford University. Clinton, of course, is the only child of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She completed her master's degree in public health this spring at Columbia University. Mezvinsky, a hedge-fund trader for G3 Capital in Manhattan, is a son of former U.S. Reps. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania and Ed Mezvinsky of Iowa. His parents, longtime friends of the Clintons, are divorced. Ed Mezvinsky was released from federal prison last year after serving a nearly five-year sentence for wire and bank fraud. Sally Quinn of the Washington Post writes, "Their faith will be a big factor in this wedding. Chelsea was brought up a Protestant. Marc is Jewish. Rumors abound that there will be a Jewish ceremony, even that Chelsea has converted."
Food and flowers
Various reports mention the wedding will be catered by a combination of Blue Ribbon Restaurants, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts and Olivier Cheng Catering and Events. The New York Daily News says chef Laura Pensiero, whose GiGi Trattoria opened nine years ago in Rhinebeck, is one of the caterers. "I can't talk about it," Pensiero told the Daily News. "How did you find out?"
Boston-based Winston Flowers, whose previous clients include Cartier, Gucci and Veuve Cliquot Champagne, will provide floral arrangements, as will floral designer Jeff Leatham, according to the Wall Street Journal. Leatham is the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, according to his website.
AisleDash.com reports that because of a food allergy Chelsea Clinton has asked for a gluten-free wedding cake. The bride-to-be has been a vegan for years. The English newspaper Daily Mail says it's an $11,000, five-tier cake.
The dinner was reportedly taking place Friday night in an old stone barn at the 500-acre Grasmere Estate. Guests were asked to wear "country chic."
Father of the bride
Former President Clinton gave his future son-in-law a public seal of approval Friday as he arrived for lunch in Rhinebeck, N.Y. "I like him very much. I really do. I admire him. Hillary feels the same way."
Smart money is on a $25,000 creation from Vera Wang. The Washington Post sighted the bride and her mother at the designer's New York salon twice this week. Chelsea was wearing a large white floppy hat in a futile attempt to disguise herself. Other reports have mentioned designer Oscar de la Renta, a favorite of Hillary Clinton.
• The portable toilets on site are equipped with porcelain, hot water and music and cost $15,000.
• The Secret Service has issued a no-fly zone over the town and the Clintons have reportedly hired $200,000 worth in extra security.
The guest list
Said to number between 400 and 500, the guest list is rumored to include:
Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Terry McAuliffe, Ted Turner and former British PMs Tony Blair and John Major.
Sources: CBS News; New York Times; NPR; Wall Street Journal; National Post; Associated Press; Daily News; Washington Post
Astor Courts, designed in 1902 for John Jacob Astor IV, is a Beaux-Arts sporting pavilion set on 50 acres in Rhinebeck, N.Y, a little town about two hours north of New York City. The pavilion features indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a bowling alley and a shooting range. A diamond-patterned terrace overlooks the Hudson River.