Chelsea Clinton says `I do` in New York

Last Updated: Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 08:47

Washington: Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton married her longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky "in a beautiful ceremony" on a perfect summer Saturday night in what was billed as the "wedding of the century".

The bride’s parents, former US president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, issued a statement shortly after the lavish ceremony in upstate Rhinebeck, New York, where family and friends gathered at a 50-acre estate for the ultra-private nuptials.

"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 in an e-mail at 7:23 pm.

"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."

No details around the ceremony were released, and the media was kept at bay as the 30-year-old former first daughter exchanged her vows with Mezvinsky, 32, a Manhattan investment banker and her boyfriend of four years.

Hundreds of curious onlookers -- along with hordes of reporters and cameramen -- gathered on Saturday at the main intersection of the tiny New York town in hopes of catching a glimpse of celebrities and dignitaries attending the wedding, CNN reported.

Well-heeled wedding guests wearing floor-length gowns and tuxedos were seen boarding shuttles to take them to what one event planner billed as "the wedding of the century”.

The entire town had been sworn to secrecy, but many storefront windows displayed signs reading "Congratulations Marc & Chelsea" and similar messages. One store had a live model in a wedding dress having her makeup done.

A man dressed up as a raccoon paraded through town with a sign asking Chelsea to marry him, the New York Times said.

"Teenage boys chased after former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, seeking autographs. Young women passed out slices of pizza with ‘I do’ written in pepperoni."

"Caravans of guests sped by reporters who waited forlornly in a pen on the road leading to the wedding site, while, just beyond, a dozen brown milk cows chewed on dinner," the Times said.

Chelsea wore a gown designed by Vera Wang, who caused a commotion of her own when she showed up in town on Saturday. The mother of the bride wore Oscar de la Renta.

The interfaith ceremony was conducted by Rabbi James Ponet and the Reverend William Shillady. Clinton is Methodist, and Mezvinsky is Jewish.

It included elements from both traditions: friends and family reading the Seven Blessings, which are typically recited at traditional Jewish weddings following the vows and exchange of rings, according to the Times.

A friend of the couple read the poem "The Life That I Have" by Leo Marks.

Many of the guests were friends of the bride and groom from college and work; they both attended Stanford University, and Chelsea Clinton recently received her master’s degree from Columbia University’s Joseph L Mailman School of Public Health.

Family flew in, too. The president’s half-brother, Roger Clinton, was spotted in town in a T-shirt and track pants hours before the wedding.

While the media and local residents have been buzzing for months about celebrities who were expected here - including Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and John Major, the former British prime minister - none of those particular bold-faced names were invited, the Times said.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 08:47

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