Who did the bride take for better or for worse? Vera Wang. And it was better than anyone could imagine.
In a floor-length gown with a bejeweled, shimmering waist-band, Chelsea Clinton surpassed the fashion expectations of the so-called "Wedding of the Century."
What do you expect at an event where even emergency electricians were instructed to wear tuxedos? For the rehearsal dinner at a nearby estate, the dress code was "country chic". But on the big day, the look among the 400 guests gathered at Rhinebeck's Astor Court, was American royalty. The Queen Mum, Hillary, wore a wine-colored Oscar de la Renta gown. But all eyes were on the princess bride.
From the moment the former first daughter confirmed her engagement to banker boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky in 2009, speculation turned to her wedding gown. By November, Vanity Fair had already pegged Oscar de la Renta as the forerunner. After all, he'd dressed Hill for her husband's '97 inaugural ball and again for Obama's swearing in. When Hillary was spotted at Oscar's Manhattan showroom this week, Chelsea's decision was clear. Or was it?
A few weeks ago, a new name was thrown into the ring: Vera Wang. After the bride-to-be was photographed (hiding under a floppy hat) at the New York designer's midtown showroom on Tuesday, Women's Wear Daily published a cover story proclaiming Wang the chosen dress-maker.
Family allegiances aside, it was an obvious choice for a celebrity bride. With a client roster that reads like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Wang's wedding gowns have draped everyone from Victoria Beckham to Jennifer Lopez-not to mention power daughters like Karenna Gore and Ivanka Trump.
Since launching her line in 1990, the Vera Wang brand has become synonymous with luxury weddings. Her gowns range from classically romantic to whimsically high-concept, taking detailed cues from past eras. That may have been a draw for Chelsea, a history major at Stanford.
Nevermind the fact that the first daughter has never followed in her parents footsteps-in career or fashion. "Vera Wang's recent collections have definitely had more avant-garde moments," says Fiorella Valdesolo, a contributor for New York Magazine Weddings and Style.com. "Recent seasons have seen multi-layered tulle and organza confections with horsehair sashes and complex trumpet silhouettes."
But for Chelsea's custom gown, Wang dreamed up a dress fit for a fairytale. Cinderella, to be precise. Tiers of white tulle bustled beneath a hand-stitched organza overlay. A jewel-encrusted waist completed the regal confection. In a floor-length veil draped over her elegant updo, Chelsea was escorted down the aisle by her father, as Wang-a wedding guest-looked on. No doubt, with pride.
[Photos: Getty Images]