Chelsea Clinton Says 'I Do' and Marries Marc Mezvinsky
Bill and Hillary Clinton describe "great pride and overwhelming emotion."
RHINEBECK, N.Y., July 31, 2010— -- Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton married her longtime boy friend investment banker Marc Mezvinsky in a ceremony today that was marked by strict secrecy and what her parents said was "overwhelming emotion."
The wedding took place in Rhinebeck, N.Y., a picturesque town along the Hudons River, on a warm summer evening.
"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 former president and the current secretary of state said in a statement released 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. On behalf of the newlyweds, we want to give special thanks to the people of Rhinebeck for welcoming us and to everyone for their well-wishes on this special day," they said.
The ceremony was conducted by a rabbi and a reverend as Chelsea Clinton is Methodist and Mezvinsky is Jewish. The couple read a poem by Leo Marks titled, "The Life I Have," according to the family.
The short poem includes the stanza, "The love that I have/ Of the life that I have/ Is yours and yours and yours."
The former president escorted his daughter down the aisle. The bride was elegant in a sleeveless white, floor-length gown with a veil, diamond earrings and she carried a bouquet of white flowers. The groom, who is Jewish, wore a yarmulke on his head and a tallit - a prayer shawl - over the shoulders of his dark suit.
In the moments before the wedding, stars Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen arrived together holding hands. The only other bold faced names to run the gauntlet of press and gawkers was former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and designer Vera Wang.
"I knew her since she was a baby so this is a big moment," said Steenburgen. "She's a lovely, lovely girl."
Storefront windows in Rhinebeck displayed signs wishing the couple well. Grateful Clintons sent neighbors of the wedding bottles of wine for their troubles.
The affair has been cloaked in secrecy. Guests were invited to an "event" four months ago, but weren't given any details about what it was or where it was until just this week. Hotels were secretly booked and vendors were forced to sign strict confidentiality agreements from the Clinton camp.
The Secret Service has issued a no-fly zone over the town and all invitees are forbidden to bring cell phones, cameras or blackberries to any wedding event.
Security is tight in Rhinebeck, where everyone was prepared for an influx of dignitaries and A-list celebrities. Rumored guests include Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Barbara Streisand, who sang at Bill's inauguration and may serenade the happy couple.
One person left off of the guest list: President Obama. He told "The View" earlier this week that he did not score an invite to the exclusive ceremony.
Hudson Valley News Executive Editor Jim Langan said that the guest list wasn't full of just high-profile celebrities.
It will be "a little less high profile name and more of ... people who are actually friends with Marc and Chelsea, but there are still going to be some A-listers here," he said.
Hotels and wedding staff have reportedly been instructed to act accordingly, ushering the VIP guests from a nearby helipad to their rooms through discrete entrances, like kitchen doors, to avoid the media.
"There is a lot of security to protect the protectees, the former president and the secretary of state, so there will be requirements to follow," said Anita McBride, social secretary under President George W. Bush and chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush. "It takes some real coordination."
Despite the dignitaries and high-profile guests expected to be in attendance, the bride and groom are the only VIPs.
"At the end of the day, it's what the bride wants," McBride said. "The bride is your No. 1 dignitary."
The Associated Press contributed to this report