Video: Clintons sworn to secrecy over Chelsea's wedding

  1. Transcript of: Clintons sworn to secrecy over Chelsea's wedding

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: She was forced to grow up in the public eye, so you'd think Chelsea Clinton had a little privacy coming to her, but no. She's the daughter of a president and the current secretary of state. She was an active campaigner, and now Chelsea Clinton is getting married. `But where?' has been the question. And a whole lot of people are obsessed with the answer and the details with just days to go before her high interest, low profile wedding. Our own Peter Alexander was out looking today in upstate New York .

    PETER ALEXANDER reporting: Over breakfast today at the Rhinebeck Deli they're serving coffee with a side of speculation about next weekend's wedding between former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and her fiance, Marc Mezvinsky .

    Unidentified Man #1: All kinds of rumors. They're staying in the Beekmen Arms , they're staying at Soros ' place.

    ALEXANDER: The Clintons haven't even told their guests, a list rumored to include A-listers like Steven Spielberg , Ted Turner and Barbra Streisand , where to show up. But here in this quaint Hudson Valley town, they're already making plans.

    Unidentified Man #2: We have the Chelsea Choice Wrap . We have Bill 's All-American Sandwich , and Hillary 's The Secretary of Steak .

    ALEXANDER: By most accounts the Clinton wedding will -- well, may -- happen here at the exclusive Astor Courts on 50 acres that looks remarkably like the White House . This is about as close as we can get. The estate is something like three-quarters a mile down that road. But on Tuesday, a handful of trucks with Massachusetts license plates, which happens to be the same state as the reported wedding planner is from, were seen pulling through these gates. Around here, that counts as a scoop. Jim Langan , editor of the Hudson Valley News , is chasing one of America's best -kept state secrets . Is this the biggest mystery ever to hit Rhinebeck ?

    Mr. JIM LANGAN: This is the biggest mystery, and speculation just became the greatest parlor game since Monopoly .

    ALEXANDER: It may be calm in the kitchen at Terrapin restaurant now, but chef Josh Kroner is one of several names mentioned as a possible caterer for the rehearsal dinner.

    Mr. JOSH KRONER: I'm not confirming or denying anything about this because I can't talk about my clients.

    ALEXANDER: That's the best you've got?

    Mr. KRONER: That's the best I've got.

    ALEXANDER: Back at the deli, Vern and Mary Sipperly know the ingredients for a good marriage.

    Mr. VERN SIPPERLY: We were high school sweethearts.

    ALEXANDER: Married right here in Rhinebeck 57 years ago. Today they're wishing the soon-to-be newlyweds much happiness, no matter where they tie the knot. Peter Alexander , NBC News, Rhinebeck , New York.

Image: Clinton and Mezvinsky
MARY ANN CHASTAIN  /  AP
Chelsea Clinton, rights, sits with Mark Mezvinsky in Hilton Head Island, S.C., in this photo taken 14 years ago. Clinton and Mezvinsky are set to wed in the upstate New York village of Rhinebeck on July 31.
By
updated 7/21/2010 7:17:07 PM ET 2010-07-21T23:17:07

"I cannot disclose," says the caterer.

"We're not really speaking," says the restaurant manager.

"I can't say anything myself," says the bartender.

"No comment," says the hotel receptionist.

And so it goes on a walk through Rhinebeck, N.Y., a charming town on the Hudson dotted with galleries, boutiques, upscale restaurants and well-hidden mansions, one of which — we're pretty sure — will host the most anticipated wedding of many a summer: that of Chelsea Clinton and her investment banker beau, Marc Mezvinsky.

Not that the town isn't abuzz over the grand event, presumed to be taking place on July 31, though even that generally agreed-upon detail could be a ruse, some conspiracy-minded townspeople warn.

Image: Chelsea Clinton
Evan Agostini  /  AP
Chelsea Clinton met Marc Mezvinsky, her 32-year-old fiance, as a teenager, but only started dating him in the past few years.

It's just that anyone with any role in the event clearly has decided, or been told, not to speak — including the bride's own mother, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who very diplomatically told NBC News: "I am under very strict orders not to talk about it."

And so it's left to people like Regina Caridi, manager of a small, high-end clothes boutique in the town center, to merely speculate.

"I've heard it's happening at Astor Courts," Caridi said last week, echoing a widely held assumption that Clinton and her intended have chosen the jewel of a grand nearby estate, totally hidden from prying eyes along River Road.

The building — designed by renowned architect Stanford White for John Jacob Astor IV, the early 20th century millionaire who died when the Titanic went down — had recently been on sale for $12 million, local real estate agents say. But it was taken off the market, undoubtedly to keep away curious folks with no intention of buying.

Other than that, Caridi didn't know much, but was excited to have witnessed what she assumes was a Chelsea wedding reconnaissance trip this past spring. Chelsea walked right into her store and browsed among the designer jeans.

"She couldn't have been sweeter," said Caridi.

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Rhinebeck, a town of about 8,000 and an easy two-hour drive from New York City, may not be the most obvious choice for a wedding of American political royalty — as would, say, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod or the Hamptons — but it makes sense for the Clintons. Bill and Hillary Clinton live just under 75 miles away in Chappaqua, N.Y., and have passed through a number of times.

A framed newspaper article documenting their lunch at the Beekman Arms, said to be the oldest operating inn in America, sits in the hotel lobby, but don't try asking about anything Clinton at the reception desk, where friendly hotel workers simply smile sympathetically and say "No comment." (Yes, the hotel is sold out that weekend.)

As public as her parents are, it should come as no surprise that Chelsea Clinton's wedding has been shrouded in secrecy. When she was a shy young girl with frizzy hair growing up in the White House, her parents zealously guarded her privacy, asking the media to leave her in peace and even winning an apology for an unkind reference on "Saturday Night Live."

As she grew older, Chelsea guarded her own privacy, refusing to talk to reporters as she campaigned for her mother's 2008 presidential bid. The slim and fashionable Clinton, now 30, worked at a hedge fund and recently got a master's degree at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Image: Beekman Arms Inn
Bebeto Matthews  /  AP
Beekman Arms Inn is one of the many historic buildings in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

She met her 32-year-old fiance as a teenager but only started dating him in the past few years. He is a son of former Pennsylvania Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and former Iowa Rep. Ed Mezvinsky, who was released from federal prison last year after serving a nearly five-year sentence for wire and bank fraud.

Jeff Ackerly, a real estate agent whose office is across from the Beekman Arms, says he's seen signs of pre-wedding advance people scoping out the area. He thinks Chelsea and her groom made the logical decision in choosing Rhinebeck.

"She probably finds it appealing, charming and accessible," said Ackerly. "They say Rhinebeck is the Hamptons of the north, but we argue with that. We just want to be Rhinebeck! Lots of art, culture, fabulous galleries and food."

Image: Daniel Gendron
Bebeto Matthews  /  AP
Chef Daniel Gendron, owner of Gendron Catering in Rhinebeck, N.Y., reacts to questions about Chelsea Clinton's upcoming wedding.

Yes, the food — Rhinebeck residents seem particularly proud of that. At Gendron Catering, along Route 9G, owner Daniel Gendron's small office area is decorated with plaques declaring his company one of the best in the town, and his business has been rumored to be involved with the wedding.

Maybe. You can ask, but Gendron won't bite. "I cannot disclose," he said repeatedly while showing a visitor the garden out back where he's planted 16 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.

But sing the praises of Rhinebeck? That he could do.

"Great farms, great food, and exclusive mansions, beautifully restored," he said. "And you won't find a McDonald's in Rhinebeck!"

Image: Gendron Catering
Bebeto Matthews  /  AP
A sign for Gendron Catering greets visitors entering Rhinebeck, N.Y.

If not Gendron, who else might be doing the food? Perhaps Gigi Trattoria on Route 9? They're not saying. How about Terrapin, the elegant restaurant nearby, where some entrees run close to $30?

Seems like a good bet — only because manager Todd Dutt isn't saying much. Except about the virtues of Rhinebeck. "We're about great food, antiques, clothing stores — and just friendly people," he said.

OK, OK, but what about the wedding? Dutt, who could probably get a job as a press secretary for a politician if he wanted to, won't say they're involved, but won't say they aren't.

And if we weren't confused enough, he adds a note of uncertainty about that July 31 date, too. "Why would that one fact come out, but nothing else?" he wondered aloud. "It just seems strange." Could it be a ruse to throw the media off the trail? Hmmm.

Of course, Dutt probably knows exactly when the wedding is. But he probably doesn't know the guest list. The local Hudson Valley News, quoting anonymous sources, reported last week that it included Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. Former British Prime Minister John Major, too.

And what about the big kahuna? The newspaper also put Barack Obama on the list of expected guests, reporting that the president would land at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., and take Marine One across the Hudson to Rhinebeck.

Image: Rhinebeck
Bebeto Matthews  /  AP
A sculpture stands by the entrance to a local smoke shop in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked if the president would attend, said "Not that I'm aware of" — leaving just a little wiggle room.

If not Obama, maybe Vice President Joe Biden? That was the rumor du jour at Village Pizza, where owner Al Mazzella said he'd heard it from "a good source." One former vice president is not attending: A spokesman for Al Gore, recently separated from his wife, Tipper, has said neither will be attending, though it's not clear if they were invited.

Rhinebeck is accustomed to celebrities, in its own low-key way. David Bowie and his wife, Iman, apparently came through not long ago, house-hunting. And actor-director Griffin Dunne's wedding last year reportedly brought in a slew of big names, Sasha Baron Cohen, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban among them.

Still, the star wattage of a Clinton wedding will write a whole new chapter in Rhinebeck's history.

"People come in, asking what we've heard," says Mazzella. "I myself don't ask. But I'm all ears if anyone wants to tell me."

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Chelsea Clinton then and now

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  1. A Chelsea morning

    The only child of former president Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton has grown up in the public eye. Here she is with her parents at the age of 1 week on March 5, 1980, when her father was governor of Arkansas. Her name came from the Joni Mitchell song "Chelsea Morning." (Donald R. Broyles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Daddy has her vote

    Chelsea was 6 when she joined her father in the voting booth during the Democratic primary in Little Rock, Ark., on May 27, 1986. Then-governor Bill Clinton was being challenged by former Arkansas governor Orval Faubus and W. Dean Goldsby -- unsuccessfully, it turned out. (Danny Johnston / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A cause for applause

    At age 11, Chelsea Clinton joined her father and mother in applauding her dad's inauguration to a new term as Arkansas governor on Sept. 20, 1991, in Little Rock. (Danny Johnston / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Hand in hand

    Chelsea Clinton holds her father's arm and hand at the end of the Democratic National Convention in New York City, Thursday, July 16, 1992. Bill Clinton would go on to win the White House that November. (Amy Sancetta / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Day of destiny

    Chelsea, 12 years old, arrives with her father and mother in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 3, 1992 -- Election Day. On that day, Bill Clinton defeated incumbent George H.W. Bush for the U.S. presidency. (Tim Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Hope and a hug

    Chelsea Clinton, just shy of 13, hugs school friend Elizabeth Fleming during the "Faces of Hope" luncheon on Jan. 18, 1993 at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. (Luke Frazza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Inauguration Day

    Bill Clinton kisses daughter Chelsea just before being sworn in as 42nd President of the United States on Jan. 20, 1993. (Tim Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Having a ball

    Just a few days after her father captured the White House, Chelsea Clinton was out on the soccer field on Jan. 28, 1993. (Mike Marucci / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Super Bowl Sunday

    On Jan. 31, 1993, Chelsea, her father, and her cat, Socks, watched Super Bowl XXVII at the White House. Joining them were Texas governor Ann Richards (left) and New York governor Mario Cuomo (right). (Robert Giroux / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. State of the Union

    First lady Hillary Clinton has a word for her daughter Chelsea during the introduction of President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address on Jan. 23, 1996. (Luke Frazza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Yuletide cheer

    In December 1993, Chelsea helped her mom and dad press the button lighting the national Christmas tree. (Luke Frazza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Sweet 16

    A 16-year-old Chelsea Clinton sits with friend Marc Mezvinsky while watching a football game on the beach at Hilton Head Island, S.C., in December 1996. Mezvinsky is the son of former Iowa congressman Edward Mezvinsky and former Pennsylvania congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky -- and Chelsea's fiance in 2009. (Mary Ann Chastain / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. I love a parade

    Chelsea joined her father and mother in the inaugural parade on Jan. 20, 1997 as Bill Clinton began his second term as U.S. president. (Paul J .Richards / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Budding ballerina

    Chelsea Clinton rehearses with the Washington Ballet in May 1997. She began taking ballet lessons at the Washington School of Ballet in 1993 and was on the board of the School of American Ballet. (Karin Cooper / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Running with president

    Chelsea Clinton joins her father jogging on Martha's Vineyard in August 1997. It was Bill Clinton's first public jog since undergoing surgery on his knee. (Stephen Jaffe / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. In Morocco

    In July 1999, Chelsea Clinton joined her parents and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Rabat, Morocco for the funeral of that nation's King Hassan II. (Mustafa Abadan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. At the Taj Mahal

    Chelsea Clinton takes the hand of her father as they walk past the gardens of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, in March 2000, on a trip that combined matters of state with sightseeing. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Convention crowds

    Chelsea joins her parents in a hug after President Clinton delivered a speech to the Democratic National Convention at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in August 2000. (Scott Nelson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Dad and daughter

    President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea walk from the White House to a waiting helicopter in October 2000. The president was on his way to New York for fund-raising events for his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was running for a New York Senate seat. (Mario Tama / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Casting her ballot

    Chelsea Clinton exits the voting booth after casting her vote at Douglas Grafflin Elementary School in Chappaqua, New York in November 2000. Later that day, the Clinton family held a rally in downtown New York City later to celebrate the Senate candidacy of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Stephen Jaffe / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Royal visit

    Chelsea Clinton joins her parents for a visit with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in December 2000. The Clintons had tea with the queen as they wrapped up a three-day trip to Ireland, North Ireland and the United Kingdom. (Paul J .Richards / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A senator in the family

    Chelsea Clinton and her father, President Clinton, were on hand as her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was sworn in as a Senator by Vice President Al Gore on Jan. 3, 2001. (Stephen Jaffe / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. A graduate on the ball

    Chelsea Clinton plays with friends during her Stanford University graduation on June 17, 2001. (Paul Sakuma / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Tennis, anyone?

    Chelsea Clinton and then-boyfriend Ian Klaus attended the US Open Tennis Tournament at Flushing Meadows, N.Y. in September 2002. Clinton and Klaus dated for three years, but broke up in 2005. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Hillary takes center stage

    Chelsea Clinton and her father, now a former president, watch Senator Hillary Clinton at a New York City rally in June 2008, during the senator's unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Meet my mom

    Chelsea Clinton is at the side of her mother, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, after introducing her at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Aug. 26, 2008. (Stephan Savoia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Got your nose!

    A baby pinches Chelsea Clinton's nose as she and her father visit a rural healthcare clinic in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda, in August 2008. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images for The Clinton Fou) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Madam Secretary

    Chelsea Clinton and her father look on proudly as Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as Secretary of State on Feb. 2, 2009. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Wedding bells

    Chelsea Clinton and longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky shop in New York City in April of 2006. The couple got engaged over the 2009 Thanksgiving holidays, according to a spokesman for former president Bill Clinton. The couple will be married in the summer of 2010. (INFGoff.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. A vintage occasion

    Chelsea Clinton attends a party for top winery Chateau Haut-Brion, accompanied by her groom-to-be, Marc Mezvinsky. The event was thrown by Prince Robert of Luxembourg to commemorate his great-grandfather’s purchase of the wine estate 75 years ago. (MCMULLAN/PatrickMcMullan.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Wedding day

    Chelsea weds Marc Mezvinsky at the Astor Courts Estate on July 31, 2010 in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The interfaith ceremony was held at the estate built by John Jacob Astor on the Hudson River. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Feeling Glamour-ous

    Sandra Fluke, Nicole Wallace, Cindi Leive, Stephanie Schriock, Abby Huntsman Livingston, Amy Holmes, Chelsea Clinton and Christine Quinn attend the Women In Politics Panel With Chelsea Clinton hosted by Glamour magazine on March 28, 2012 in New York. (Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Glamour) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Building Tomorrow

    Chelsea Clinton visits with school children at the Building Tomorrow Academy of Gita, about an hour outside of Uganda's capital of Kampala on July 20, 2012. (Barbara Kinney) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Story time

    Chelsea Clinton reads to children during Chelsea Clinton Story Time Reading at the Brooklyn Public Library in 2012. (Taylor Hill / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Around Africa

    Chelsea Clinton looks on as her father, former president and founder of the Clinton Foundation, speaks onstage during the 'Embrace Tomorrow - A Conversation Without Borders' program in 2013. (Jemal Countess / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Rosita knows best

    Chelsea Clinton speaks with Rosita the muppet from Sesame Street during the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting on September 24, 2013. (Ramin Talaie / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Like mother like daughter

    Hillary Rodham Clinton shares the stage with Chelsea while speaking at the Clinton Foundation's No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project at the Lower Eastside Girls Club on April 17, 2014 in New York. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Baby bump

    Chelsea Clinton speaks during the 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards at Sheraton Times Square on September 21, 2014 in New York. (Jemal Countess / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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