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Chelsea Clinton's Big Day

A vegan cake, $250,000 in jewelry, and a planned fireworks show—The Daily Beast rounds up the latest from Rhinebeck. Plus, view photos of VIPs there.

07.31.10 12:44 PM ET

After weeks of speculation over which designer Chelsea Clinton will wear and the scuttlebutt over who’s invited, her wedding day has finally arrived. Here are the latest details on the Clinton-Mezvinsky union, from $250,000 in jewelry, to the vegan cake, to the party. Plus, read a full report on Friday’s pre-party and check out our full coverage here.

Many have  wondered whether Chelsea, a Methodist, will convert to Judaism, and as the wedding got under way, it appeared that Rabbi James Ponet and Reverend William Shillady  will officiate the interfaith wedding. 

The Rhinebeck Rumor Mill pinpointed Chelsea and her girlfriends at Haven Spa earlier in the day, getting bridesmaid beauty treatments, and a well-placed source confirmed exclusively that the bride will be attended to by an impressive 13 bridesmaids in lavender dresses.

Some high-profile guests have been spotted power-lunching in town Saturday. Madeleine Albright and Terry McAuliffe popped into Gigi’s for lunch, where Bill ate with his brother Roger on Friday. On their way out, they seemed game for good cheer, smiling and posing for pictures with customers. But the press smothered Vera Wang as she exited the restaurant shortly afterward—her presence supports the theory that the bride will wear Vera. Steve Bing wandered into Gigi’s for all the conviviality, after dining with Anthony Weiner at Foster’s Coach House Tavern.

Weiner, in shorts, T-shirt and a campaign-friendly New York Mets cap, was clearly not eager to speak to reporters, but told The Daily Beast on his way out, "I'm very happy for Chelsea. Rhinebeck’s a beautiful town.” An older woman asked, "Who's that?" “A Congressman,” came the answer. Perhaps spoiled by more thrilling sightings of Bill Clinton, she replied, "Oh. Who cares." Little might she know that Weiner is the husband of Hillary’s right hand, Huma Abedin.

Otherwise, the town seems to sit in a calm before the storm, save for the bubble of reporters in the media pen outside the Beekman Arms. More of the guest list continues to be identified: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have arrived, as have former Ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Bagley; her gorgeous blond daughter, Vaughn; and Eddie Trump. 

Click Below to View Wedding Day Photos & VIPs in Rhinebeck

Fireworks, $250,000 in Jewelry, a Vegan Cake, and More

Though wedding details have been top-secret—vendors were required to sign confidentiality agreements, and those invited months ago were not given any information as to the affair's location—as the final countdown neared, some information has leaked out. According to ABC News, the Clintons are shelling out $24,000 just for the videographers. At some point during the ceremony, there will be a fireworks display along the Hudson River, and the ever-conscientious Clintons have made contingency plans in the event of a power outage. "Apparently, they have an army of electricians and carpenters in case there is a thunderstorm and the lights go out," said Jim Langan, executive editor of the Hudson Valley News. "Electricians have been told to wear tuxedos." Chelsea will be draped in $250,000 worth of jewelry, and—if her recent trip to the Vera Wang boutique in New York City is any indication—will likely don a Vera Wang dress at some point. Hillary is rumored to be wearing Oscar de la Renta, a favorite of hers who she's worn to dozens of public events and fancier affairs like inaugural balls. Bryan Rafanelli, the head of Rafanelli Events, is the wedding planner and Laura Pensiero, one of Oprah Winfrey's favorite chefs, is rumored to be the event's caterer. Post-ceremony, the guests will nosh on a gluten-free vegan cake. And $15,000 is being spent on portable toilets.

Who's Going?

The guest list consists of, as one uninvited CEO put it, "The Triple-A list." Those in attendance will not be the usual suspects—such as donors, politicos, and famous friends of one of the most famous families in America—but those close to the bride. An anonymous attendee told The Washington Post that Bill and Hillary "respect [Chelsea] and what she thinks...They want what she wants," adding, "They raised her to be her own person—independent in thought." Those rumored to attend have been extremely tight-lipped, evading interview requests and issuing statements that they will not be addressing the wedding.

Click Below to View Images of the Guest List: Who’s In and Who’s Out

Note to the Neighbors

The Clintons are well aware of the wedding's enormity and its disruptive effects on Rhinebeck. To apologize to local townspeople for the wedding's inconvenience, the wedding planner sent  nearby residents a bottle of wine from the local Clinton Vineyards, along with an apology note and a number to call in case of any problems.

Father of the Bride Addresses Rhinebeck

Around lunchtime the day before he was to give his daughter away, former President Bill Clinton, ever the crowd-pleaser, answered questions from reporters and hordes of curious on-lookers waiting to catch a glimpse of a Clinton or two. "We love it here," he said Friday. "Chelsea loves the area as well." When asked about his soon-to-be son-in-law he said, "I like him very much...I really do. I admire him. Hillary feels the same way."

Click Below to View Images of Bill Clinton and Rhinebeck Townspeople Celebrating

Charles Sykes / AP Photo; Chris Wilson (3)

Click Below to View Our Map of the Festivities