America`s `royal` wedding to expect a pleothora of personalities

New York: Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton will wed her longtime boyfriend Saturday in a ceremony that has been shrouded in secrecy but is likely to be attended by a plethora of famous faces.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were seen leaving a party honouring their daughter and her husband-to-be, investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, in Rhinebeck, N.Y. shortly before midnight Friday.

It is believed the couple will wed in front of more than 400 guests at the grand Astor Courts estate.

Roads were closed throughout the town of 8,000, while police, security guards and the Secret Service kept curious onlookers a safe distance from the estate and the Beekman Arms Hotel, where many wedding guests are staying.

While rumours have circulated that the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are on the guest list, fans looking for Hollywood star power have so far only caught a glimpse of movie producer Steve Bing, who was seen Friday night outside the hotel.

A number of political heavyweights have also been spotted, including Madeleine Albright, who served as secretary of state during Clinton`s second term as president, and former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan.

The former president himself wowed locals Friday by having lunch at a local restaurant, walking a few blocks of the trip to shake hands with dozens of people who shouted "Congratulations" and "We love you" as he walked by.

The notoriously publicity shy 30-year-old bride has kept many of the details around the ceremony under wraps. But one local resident said police told her earlier this week the road to Astor Courts will be closed from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., suggesting a late afternoon or early evening ceremony.

Andrea Alvin said Clinton`s wedding planner sent her a bottle of wine from the local Clinton Vineyards winery along with a note apologizing for the inconvenience.

"I think it`s great. It`s a happy occasion," Alvin said. "It`s good publicity for the town. It`s just a weekend. What`s losing a weekend in the summer?"

Clinton and Mezvinsky were friends as teenagers in Washington, where the groom`s parents served in Congress, and both attended Stanford University.

They now live in New York City, where Mezvinsky works at hedge fund G3 Capital. Clinton recently completed her master`s degree in public health at Columbia University`s Mailman School of Public Health.

Bureau Report