Chelsea marries banker in America’s `wedding of the century’ (Third Lead)

August 1st, 2010 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Chelsea Clinton By Arun Kumar
Washington, Aug 1 (IANS) Chelsea Clinton, the only daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, married her longtime beau, banker Marc Mezvinsky, in “a beautiful ceremony” Saturday night, an event that was dubbed the “wedding of the century”.

The lavish ceremony took place 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,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton in a statement issued shortly after the wedding.

“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.”

Media was kept at bay as Chelsea, 30, exchanged her vows with Mezvinsky, 32, a Manhattan investment banker and her boyfriend of four years.

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

Hundreds of curious onlookers - along with hordes of reporters and cameramen - gathered Saturday at the main intersection of the tiny New York state 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.

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.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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