US abuzz with `wedding of the century`

The picturesque small town of Rhinebeck, about 150 km from here, is all abuzz for former first daughter Chelsea Clinton`s marriage.

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2010, 12:48 PM IST

New York: The picturesque small town of Rhinebeck, about 150 km from here, is all abuzz for former first daughter Chelsea Clinton`s marriage Saturday billed as the "wedding of the decade" and "wedding of the century" by a frenzied media.

On the eve of the "top-secret" wedding of the daughter of former first couple Bill and Hillary Clinton, tiny Rhinebeck is undergoing a transformation from a sleepy little town to media Mecca.

Chelsea Clinton, 30, and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, 32, will wed on Saturday night at Astor Courts, a 50-acre estate along the Hudson River as a local daily Hudson Valley News reported. Many guests will reportedly stay nearby at the Beekman Arms, billed as the oldest operating inn in America.

A slim and smiling Bill Clinton pulled into Rhinebeck in a black Suburban SUV around lunchtime Friday, casually dressed and looking fit on the eve of daughter Chelsea`s big wedding.

Giving his future son-in-law a public seal of approval he said: "I like him very much. I really do. I admire him. Hillary feels the same way."

"Today is the most beautiful day ever," Clinton declared after sharing a pasta lunch with brother Roger, another relative and a friend in the small upstate town.

The crowd let out a huge roar when Clinton - in a black polo shirt and jeans - exited GiGi Trattoria. His party of four took a back table at the local Italian restaurant.

"Thank you, thank you," Clinton told the crowd before leaving about an hour and 45 minutes after his arrival.

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.

Said to number between 400 and 500, the guest list is rumoured to include Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Terry McAuliffe, Ted Turner and former British PMs Tony Blair and John Major. But President Barack Obama hasn`t been invited or so he claims.

IANS