Chelsea’s Wedding The Full Recap

After weeks of obsessive speculation, the first kid finally got married over the weekend. Here’s a concise overview of the wedding’s details

Chelsea Clinton tied the knot with Marc Mezvinsky on July 31. 2010

After weeks of media obsession, speculation, and outright impatience, Chelsea Clinton and her groom Marc Mezvinsky were wed this past weekend in upstate New York. While the Clintons and their guests obediently safeguarded the details during the preparations, now all can be told. (Watch an ABC report about Chelsea’s wedding.) Here, a brief rundown of the festivities:

Where was the wedding held?
As expected, the event took place on Saturday, July 31 in Rhinebeck, New York, at the opulent Astor Courts estate, a private Beaux-Arts mansion on 50 wooded acres that overlook the Hudson River.

Who designed Chelsea’s dress?
American designer Vera Wang, a Clinton family friend who was also a guest at the wedding. (See wedding photos.) The strapless style, tightly draped across the bodice and cinched with a gem-encrusted belt, bloomed into a voluminous, laser-cut organza-and-tulle skirt. Chelsea wore a full veil to walk down the aisle, and carried a bouquet of all-white moth orchids. For the reception, Chelsea changed into a Grecian-style gown with a narrow, black grosgrain belt. Groom Marc Mezvinsky wore a wool-mohair-mix tuxedo custom-designed by Burberry.

What did the bridesmaids wear?
Strapless bias-cut gowns made of lavender silk chiffon with plum-colored grosgrain ribbons at the waist.

How about Hillary?
The secretary of state opted for an embroidered Oscar de la Renta gown in a potent shade of raspberry.

Did Bill lose the weight Chelsea instructed him to?
And more. By cutting out junk food and exercising more, the overachieving former president actually lost more than 20 pounds, going five pounds beyond the goal Chelsea had set for him.

Who conducted the ceremony?
Duties were split between James Ponet, Yale University’s Jewish chaplain (Mezvinsky is Jewish), and Rev. William Shillady of New York’s Park Avenue Methodist Church (Clinton is Methodist). At one point, after a breeze prematurely flipped a page in Shillady’s service book, Chelsea helped him remember his next line of verse.

What else do we know about the ceremony?
After the couple exchanged vows and rings, friends and relative read the customary Jewish Seven Blessings. They stood under an arch of twigs, vines, and flowers in a nod to the Jewish chuppah (wedding canopy). One of the couple’s friends read a 1943 poem by Leo Marks called “The Life That I Have” that was used as “poem code” during World War II.

Were many famous names in attendance?
Fewer than expected. Recognizable faces included acting couple Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the almost inconceivably wealthy Warren Buffett, and former Democratic national committee chairman Terry McAuliffe. Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Barbra Streisand were all (falsely) rumored to attend.

Was security a big deal?
The road to the exclusive estate was blocked off for the uninvited and a no-fly zone imposed. In addition, guests were barred from bringing any device capable of texting, tweeting, taking pictures, or transmitting conversations of any kind.

Where exactly was the reception held?
The event, which included dinner and dancing for the 400 guests, took place inside a premium windowed tent lit by chandeliers. The tent’s interior was transformed into garden-like wonderland — its ceiling and walls draped in fabric, its support poles festooned with flowers — with tables covered in gray-blue cloths and arrangements of pink, blue and lavender hydrangeas and roses.

And the menu?
Though the bride is vegetarian, the guests dined on locally raised grass-fed beef (short ribs) or grilled Atlantic char, risotto, salad, and dinner rolls, catered by the St. Regis Hotel in New York. However, all the bread served was gluten-free.

Did the cake, reportedly worth $11,000, live up to expectations?
It was certainly not modest. The eleven-tier chocolate cake — gluten-free in deference to the bride’s allergies — was created by La Tulipe Desserts in Mt. Kisco, NY.

I heard Bill’s toast to the bride was memorable — what did he say?
Perhaps his most quoted line addressed the battle of the sexes: Since his daughter had been able to voice her opinions, said the former President (not known for meekness), he has “been outnumbered” in his household. Now, with a son-in-law, “the playing field is even. I have someone else on my side.”

What song did the couple dance to?
They performed a choreographed tango routine to the Etta James classic “At Last.”

What was inside the gift bag?
A bottle of local Clinton Vineyards wine, a box of chocolates, pastries from the local Wild Hive Farm Store, and Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.

How much did it all cost?
The final tally is not public knowledge, but most estimates hover around the $3 million mark.

Did neighbors to the Astor estate mind the commotion?
That remains to be seen. To preclude hurt feelings, they all received complimentary bottles of wine for their troubles.

Where did the couple go for their two-week honeymoon?
That, at least, is still a secret. For now.

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