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Rustic Rhinebeck, USA, rings to the rustle of Clinton cash…

The good burghers of Rhinebeck, New York state (population around 3,500) have been rubbing their hands together with delight at the prospect of Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming nuptials due to take place on their patch this Saturday (July 31st.) Already a village funded substantially by tourism, Rhinebeck couldn’t believe its luck when the Clinton Caravan announced it was to come to town.

It’s said that our Bill and Hill have a country home nearby and Rhinebeck has the necessary charm for the job. In fact many say Rhinebeck challenges the famous and hideously expensive Hamptons on Long Island as theeeee place to hang out when chilling from the stresses of NYC.

The festivities will erupt just down the road at the village’s local stately pile – well, the US equivalent thereof, namely the Astor Courts Estate. This 25K square foot chateau-ette, the former home of a US tycoon who perished on the Titanic, was designed along the oh-so modest and subtle lines of the Grand Trainon in Versailles. Needless to say, being within a mere 100 miles of the Big Apple, it’s worth in the region of $12million dollars, according to media reports.

The Daily Mirror’s Derek McGovern is quoted as saying that this will be nearly the largest celebrity wedding of the year, eclipsed only – perhaps – by Katie Price a.k.a. Jordan.

Tongue-in-cheek … or wherever …

“Chelsea’s father Bill, the former US President, has pulled out of a big political meeting in order to give the bride away. It’s the biggest thing he’s pulled out of since Monica,” continues Derek. “The star-studded wedding promises to be the best day in Chelsea’s life, a proud moment for mother Hillary, and a great opportunity for dad Bill to hit on the bridesmaids. “

Total anticipated bill for this extravaganza varies according to which news report you read. The more modest journals say it’s about $2million dollars, whereas others go as far as to predict in excess of £3million pounds. The wedding cake itself is reported to be costing about £7thousand pounds (must be the solid gold platter it’s served on) and the flowers well over £300thousand pounds. Even the portable toilet trailers are expected to cost £10thousand pounds, but in mitigation they do come in solid porcelain with all mod cons and even piped music.

A fair old difference, you might say, from the Bill and Hill wedding back in 1975. This swanky affair in Fayetteville, Arkansas was celebrated in the nice brick-built house Bill had bought for him and Hill to live in. With the nuptials having been arranged pretty quickly (no, no, Chelsea wasn’t born until 1980) our Hill had nipped into the local department store and bought a dress for what we must suspect was much less than the £16 thousand pounds young Chelsea is reputed to be paying for her wedding gown.

Amazing how much 35 years in politics can swell your wealth

After their very small private ceremony, Bill and Hill threw a reception for about 100 people. Chelsea’s do, however, is likely to accommodate five times that many at least.

And there’s much gossip circulating about who will be attending the festivities on Saturday. It has been widely reported that such exalted folks as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand and even dear President Barack Obama will be among the guests.

But not according to, who claim that “President Barack Obama has not been invited to the marriage of Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

What does India know that we don’t?

Derivative and cropped work of Chelsea Clinton
Image via Wikipedia

“The president said,” IndiaServer continues, ‘I was not invited to the wedding because I think Hillary and Bill, properly, want to keep this thing for Chelsea and her soon-to-be husband. You don’t want two presidents at one wedding. All the secret service, guests going through (metal detectors), all the gifts being torn apart.’”

So there. I’m sure India will be watching this space, as will the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Rhinebeck, NY, is coining it in anticipation. Laura Bly of USA Today takes up their story …

‘”I think it will be a big boom for business in Rhinebeck,” says historian Doug Wead, who tracks presidential weddings at “First because the area has something to offer, especially in spring and fall, so people who discover it because of Chelsea’s wedding will come back. And second because it is so accessible to the city (100 miles, or less than a two-hour Amtrak ride from New York’s Penn Station).”’

I can’t wait to book my next US holiday in Rhinebeck, can you?


Pic credits :

Rhinebeck, New York state: charming backdrop for multi-million marriage

Pic 2

Bill and Hill Clinton’s nuptials in 1975…modest by comparison

And more Clinton wedding news…

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