For a presidential daughter who spent most of her life trying to escape the spotlight, Chelsea Clinton has made one thing clear as of late: Her wedding will be rule-breaking and trend setting.
By Amy Eisinger for WeddingChannel.com
Though most presidential daughters have opted for relatively traditional and conservative weddings, Chelsea's nuptials on Saturday to Marc Mezvinsky have not only become the talk of the town because of who she is but also because of what's expected to happen. Chelsea seems to be going out of her way to throw the biggest, most expensive, and most lavish wedding in the history of first daughters.
Here, WeddingChannel.com breaks down the top five ways this usual wallflower is pulling out all the stops for her nuptials and bidding farewell to tradition.
When it came to announcing their engagement -- Chelsea and Marc took a nontraditional stance from the start. The message sent: This presidential wedding would be on their terms.
Forget society pages or save-the-dates, instead the twenty-first century couple opted for an email, sent after Thanksgiving in 2009. "We didn't get married this past summer despite stories to the contrary," Chelsea and Marc wrote, "but we are looking toward next summer and hope you all will be there to celebrate with us. Happy Holidays!" Since then, the hush-hush surrounding the wedding has only led to more gossip and speculation. Unlike Jenna Bush, who gushed about the details of her big day to Vogue, the Clintons have been tight-lipped about everything from the guest list to the location.
The Price Tag
More than any other category, the price tag is where Chelsea really sets herself apart. An estimated $200,000 will be spent on security alone, while the catering -- reportedly provided by three different vendors -- is expected to run about $750,000. That doesn't include the $500,000 estimated spend on flowers (from Boston's exclusive Winston Flowers) or the portable luxury toilets -- complete with marble counters, flushing toilets and hot water -- that ring up to a whopping $15,000.
Why so much expense? Part of the reason has to do with the remote location of the wedding, which is expected to be held at Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, NY. Trucking everything in to this distant locale is one sure way to easily rack up a hefty price tag.
The rest of the cost comes from the spare-no-expense approach the Clintons are taking on just about every level. Some 400 to 500 wedding guests are expected to show, each costing $1,500 to cover catering costs alone. And let's not forget the goodies they'll receive -- at the very least, all guests will be greeted with a bottle of wine from Clinton Vineyards.
For comparison, consider that Jenna Bush's 2008 wedding cost was estimated at $100,000 and the national average for a wedding in 2009 carries a price tag just over $28,000. Chelsea's estimates are already running between $3 and $5 million.
All of Nixon's daughters wore Priscilla of Boston wedding gowns while Jenna Bush opted for Oscar de la Renta -- but Chelsea is reportedly wearing Vera Wang. We expect the gown to be classic, tailored, and somewhat modest, in the range of $10,000 to $25,000. No dare devil when it comes to fashion, this may be the one aspect of the wedding that's more in line with what we do know about Chelsea: She's always kept her clothes practical and straight forward.
But while Jenna Bush and Tricia Nixon both made the cover of magazines for their stylish (and strikingly similar) lacy gowns -- don't expect to see Chelsea posing for any photo ops. Not to mention we don't anticipate their low-cut and uber feminine gowns being in any way similar to Chelsea's classic style.
And with super-tight security, we're likely to only get a single photo of the couple that's released after the wedding -- if that!
Unlike other spots with familial ties, Chelsea opted for the remote and quaint little town of Rhinebeck, NY. With her mother a former New York senator, getting married in New York makes sense for Chelsea, but Astor Courts hardly has the tight-knit history that helped other presidential brides select their location.
Caroline Kennedy, for instance, got her wish for privacy by holding the reception at the Kennedy family compound, while Jenna Bush kept her low-key wedding at the family's private ranch. And don't forget Tricia Nixon -- the only bride to be married in the White House's Rose Garden. All of these brides, unlike Chelsea, picked their location, at least in part, to familial ties and historical roots.
The Guest List
We know that there will be family and friends in attendance, but unlike previous presidential weddings mainly consisting of politicians and other White House allies, Chelsea's guest list will be studded with Hollywood A-listers. Earlier this week, the Hudson Valley News reported that the guest list will include queen of talk TV, Oprah Winfrey; singer Barbara Streisand; media mogul Ted Turner; director Steven Spielberg and even former British Prime Minister John Major.
With her wedding just a day away, Chelsea has made one thing clear to the world when it comes to saying "I do": Go big or go home.Is there ever a time when you don't need to send a wedding gift?
Photo: Getty Images
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