Invitations By Couples Who Don’t Take The Whole Wedding Thing Too Seriously
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|Never before seen Royal Wedding pictures|
|Of course there real|
|Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry|
|And I’m sure these are too|
|Chelsea Clinton & Marc Mezvinsky’s Wedding|
Written by someone that was there
Although we weren’t allowed a camera at the wedding or any events – here is my attempt at giving the full rundown.
Astor Courts – Built between 1902-1904 and originally used as a sporting pavilion with guest bedrooms, it houses the 1st indoor swimming pool in the US, and a huge indoor Tennis Court. To get there you have to go through this long winding road, and the grounds are truly breathtaking on the Hudson. Upon arrival we had a quick glass of water, and then went to the ceremony.
Ceremony – It was all outside and the weather was great. They had yarmulkes for men, and fans for everyone in case it got hot. The chuppah was the most amazing one I have ever seen, and it was constructed out of willow branches and decorated with white roses and hydrangeas. It was shaped like a dome, almost like a pavilion and it was lit up at night so we could see it in the evening. Chelsea told me later that she was inspired by our chuppah! The Ceremony was very Jewish, about 80%. The rabbi did most of the talking and they had a nice Ketubah on display, and they had a Sheva Brachot whereby the Rabbi read each one and they had a reader repeat in English. At the end when Marc broke the glass, the Rabbi told us that they would use the broken pieces and put them back together to make a mezuzah for their apartment. I really liked that idea, and when I spoke with Chelsea she told me it was her idea, and she researched it and they bought it at the Jewish Museum. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into the ceremony and it was really lovely right at sunset.
Dresses – As has been reported Chelsea was in Vera Wang, which she really looked lovely and it had a long train. I was really blown away by Hillary, who looked great. She wore a beautiful red dress with embroidered flowers and she was so attractive. Bill looked great and lost over 20 pounds for the wedding. Both of them were really beaming throughout the whole ceremony. The bridesmaids also wore Vera Wang in light purple (which is one of a kind, because they had white dresses dyed the right color). After the ceremony Chelsea changed into another white dress (Vera Wang again). Needless to say Vera was in attendance.
Flowers – I don’t think there is a hydrangea left in the northeast. The main house was decorated in large bouquets of white hydrangeas/roses and over the fireplaces were long displays of white lilies (like they have in the George V in Paris, where they arc across the room). As I mentioned the flowers in the Chuppah were amazing as well. In the main reception area (Tented construction in the rear), there were a variety of arrangements but the tables had a minimum of 3-4 different arrangements – this time in purple/pink roses and hydrangeas again. I mean there were a minimum of 100/150 roses per table.
Reception – They set up a marquee in the back behind the tennis courts – and it was truly amazing. Chandeliers/air conditioning and a huge dance-floor. There were about 450 people but it didn’t feel that big. The tables were mixed arrangements – some circles, a very long dais (where Chelsea/Marc/Bridal Party/Family were). The flowers were arranged mixed, some high, some low, with a variety of candle/water arrangements. The color palette was soft lilac/white. We were seated at each table, with a personalized printed menu for each person (instead of a name card). Of course everyone was split up – so heather and I were apart from one another. It turns out that the parents of a couple at our table are very good friends with the Waldman’s (the Berkowitz’ of St Andrews) – Jewish geography (as they are not from Canada).
Band – The band was amazing and I think it was about 20/25 people with a full string section as well as a standard band. They could play anything and really led the crowd the entire night. The first dance was great and Marc and Chelsea did a pretty sexy tango style which was showed how much in love they were. Bill was crying when he danced with Chelsea. They did a hora, and yes, both Bill and Hillary were raised on the chairs and carried around the room. Hilarious.
Food: I thought it was good (and now I know that Chelsea is a Vegan, there were gluten free bread and the huge wedding cake was gluten free as well. Salad/Risotto/choice of Arctic Char, Angus Steak or Vegetarian/Desert/Cake. We didn’t finish eating until 1am or so.
After Party – The band wrapped up at 1:30, and then we went into the Tennis Court which was converted into a lounge, with different flowers (this time red hydrangeas/roses everywhere) and a dance floor with couches etc. Then came the comfort food, grilled cheese with Truffle, seared tuna, red velvet cupcakes, mini burgers etc). They had a DJ playing, as well as someone playing the electric violin. It was really great fun, and we headed back on the buses at 3am, and got back to the hotel at 4am. We started the night at 4pm, so a long night.
Guests – The press had it all wrong; it wasn’t a Hollywood event but more of a family a friend event. So the only “stars” were Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson (who partied till 3am as well). Madeline Albright, Vernon Jordan, and Terry Mcauliff. There were a lot of Washington people, but mostly it was family and friends which was great as it was very comfortable and we knew people.
Speeches – Hillary and Bill made the welcome speeches and both were excellent. Hillary welcomed everyone by saying “The press was saying – who is invited – well you are, everyone in this room has touched the lives of Chelsea and Marc either in the past or present and we hope you will be part of our lives going forward – we thank you for all that you have done for them both. Bill then said that he has been outnumbered in his house with Chelsea and Hillary and was looking forward to having an ally. The best men (brothers) made nice speeches and the matron of honor (Jewish girl) made a really heartfelt speech. The highlight was Marc’s where he described the moment he went to ask for Chelsea’s hand in marriage with Bill (and Hillary) which was funny and surreal. He also said that Chelsea embodied the finest qualities of both her parents and he thanked them for raising such a special person (Bill had tears at this point). Marc also said that as people have been there for them, he wanted to make it clear that he and Chelsea would always be there for everyone else – good times and bad. It was very touching and meant a lot to everyone in the room who knows them well. Chelsea’s speech was also great (off the cuff) and she radiated when she spoke of her love for Marc and again for everyone in the room.
Whew, then we had the Brunch
Location: The brunch (again hosted by Hillary and Bill) took place in this magnificent barn in Rhinebeck. We had to drive (ID checked again and again). And then a golf cart took us to the barn, which was just amazing. They had two 20 foot walls covered in Sunflowers and we sat at a communal table (it was informal) and had very good brunch food (again wheat/gluten free options). It was a beautiful morning and you could look out over this huge expanse of land and it was really special. Even though we were all tired, it was great. Hillary was out in force, being very Mother of the Bride and looking very summer cool. Bill showed up towards the later end of the Brunch, and Marc and Chelsea were both there (Chelsea again in a beautiful bright blue dress). We caught up with some more friends and Marc’s family whom I know, and it was a great end to the weekend
Madeline Allbright dancing with Vera Wang, and hearing Hillary say to Madeline at the Brunch “You were one hot mamma last night”
Bill and Hillary being lifted on chairs during the hora. Secret Service made sure there were plenty of men to do the carrying.
The grounds of Astor Courts lit up at night framing the marquee, pool area and the Chuppah under the stars
The relaxed elegance and beauty of the brunch – it was a special place.
Gift Bag – Last but not least they had a great gift bag (again with the same logo/writing as the invitations/save the date) – with wine, maps, sweets, pen, stationary, all local things sourced in Rhinebeck as a tribute to the Wedding.
…and that is all she wrote.