Pop the questions on Chelsea's wedding

Posted: July 30, 2010

INTEL ON TOMORROW'S fairy-tale nuptials of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky is sealed tighter than the sturdy cap on the BP oil leak. Even the mother of the groom is under strict orders.

"I would love to talk, but I can't," former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, D-Pa., reluctantly told the Daily News this week. "They just asked us all to just keep a lid on it."

Well, Team Clinton didn't count on the wedding-hungry infotainment industry to be such a crafty bunch, did it? The blogosphere, newspapers and TV news have culled together enough tidbits for the Daily News to compile 25 random facts about the "Wedding of the Century" sure to make your life more complete.

1. The only fact that guests know for certain is the date. It's unconfirmed that 500 A-list invitees plan to attend the $3 million wedding at the Astor Courts estate, in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

2. Every news and celeb-sighting outlet is reporting the previous sentence as fact, so we're going with it.

3. Mezvinsky, 32, had his bar mitzvah at Har Zion Temple, a Conservative synagogue in Penn Valley. Random thought: Will a sneaky paparazzo be able to snap a picture of Bill and Hillary dancing the hora during the wedding reception?

4. Guests must hand over their treasured iPhones, crackberries and the like before they step foot onto Astor Courts, according to the Washington Post. Cruel doesn't begin to describe it.

5. The pain doesn't end there for invitees - purportedly the likes of Oprah, Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg. The VIPs all have to display credentials. So D-List.

6. The wedding planners - yes, you read correctly, that's "planners," plural - reportedly gathered guests' credit-card digits and booked their hotel accommodations after offering them the choice of three price ranges, the Post said.

7. The wedding celebration is estimated to cost between $3 million to $5 million, the New York Daily News reported. But A-Listers don't celebrate like regular folks. (See numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11)

8. How does High Society spell luxury? They don't. They just spend $15,000 for top-of-the-line portable restrooms with porcelain toilets that, hallelujah, actually flush, TMZ reported. Hot water and stereo music included, too.

9. Security costs will come in at around $200,000 because of all the glamourati and international politicos, the New York Daily News reported.

10. Remember that summer wedding when you sat in a tent with no cross vent? Team Clinton purportedly paid about $600,000 to rent air-conditioned tents for their guests, the paper said.

11. Bryan Rafanelli is the hired gun, the Boston-based Big Papi of wedding planners, with a reputation from here to Palm Beach. His fee is 15 to 20 percent of the event's total cost, the Boston Globe reported. If it's a $3 million wedding, then Rafanelli's looking at $450,000 to $600,000 for his efforts.

12. Rafanelli has been described as "the Chanel of party-planning," by a friend/client, the paper said. His partner, Mark Walsh, was part of Hillary Clinton's campaign staff, acting as the director of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender outreach. Rafanelli has worked for Clinton and other politicos, including five events during President Obama's inauguration.

13. VIPs, such as former President Clinton, Secretary of State Clinton and their 498 highly significant pals, can make things happen, just by being themselves. Team Clinton has secured a temporary flight restriction over Astor Courts due to "VIP (Very Important Person) Movement," according to the Federal Aviation Administration Web site. The restriction, which covers a 1.5 nautical-mile radius and extends 2,000 feet into the air, begins at 3 p.m. tomorrow and ends at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. An evening wedding it is, then.

14. Chelsea's compiled a tunes list to get her guests boogying through the night, TMZ reported: Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, U2, Michael Jackson, Dusty Springfield, and Ike and Tina Turner. Sounds like Bubba's paws are all over this '60s-heavy playlist. But where's "Chelsea Morning," by Joni Mitchell, purportedly the song that inspired the bride's name?

15. Marc Mezvinsky grew up on the Main Line in a Brady Bunchesque existence: Before he and his brother Andrew were born to parents Margolies-Mezvinsky and former U.S. Rep. Ed Mezvinsky, D-Iowa, his father had four daughters from a previous marriage. His mother had previously adopted two young girls as a single woman: a Korean orphan, Lee Heh, and an Amerasian from Vietnam, Holly, according to People magazine.

16. After the Margolies-Mezvinsky marriage in 1975, the couple adopted more children, increasing the total brood to 11. They divorced in 2007.

17. Marc Mezvinsky is a 1996 graduate of Friends Central High School, in Wynnewood. He went to Stanford University, receiving degrees in religious studies and philosophy. He now works for a Manhattan hedge fund, 3G Capital Management.

18. Mezvinsky makes good money. Two years ago, he paid $3.8 million for a 2,000 square-foot, three-bedroom condo in New York's Flatiron District. Chels lives a few blocks away, in Gramercy Park.

19. The couple met as youngsters at the famed Renaissance Weekend, the annual Democratic networking retreat in Hilton Head, S.C. They saw each other three years later at the same event when Chelsea was 16.

20. Chelsea, who was raised Methodist, has accompanied Marc to Shabbat dinner to learn more about Judaism. She's also gone with him to services at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York's Upper West Side. Question is, who will officiate tomorrow? Minister? Rabbi? Both?

21. No official word on anything, especially if Ed Mezvinsky, who served time in federal prison for fraud, will attend.

22. Other wedding costs, according to abcnews.com: $250,000 rehearsal dinner, expected to be held at Terrapin Restaurant at the Grasmere farm estate on the edge of Rhinebeck; $20,000 for hair and makeup; $40,000 to $50,000 for invitations (including postage and calligraphy); $50,000 for miscellaneous items, such as valet parking (about $10,000), wedding cake (another $10,000) and $17,500 for souvenirs.

23. Astor Courts, commissioned by John Jacob Astor IV to be part of his 2,800-acre estate, is a Beaux-Arts mansion built in 1904 as a sporting pavilion with guest bedrooms. Its residential indoor swimming pool is believed to be the first one built in this country, according to the Astor Courts Web site.

24. Chelsea, please. Wearing a ginormous, floppy straw hat to the Vera Wang shop in a lame attempt to "blend in" will not go unnoticed. Everyone and your mother's Secret Service agents saw you go inside because, according to WWD.com and various media outlets, the noted designer is the brain trust behind your wedding gown. Other published reports say that Oscar de la Renta is also in the mix.

25. The infotainers forgot to inquire about one vital tidbit: the honeymoon. Destination: unknown.

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