Chelsea Clinton Wedding Cost Estimates Out of Control
By Jo Piazza Posted Jul 30th 2010 04:30PM
Everyone loves to speculate on the costs of celebrity weddings. And in the case of Chelsea Clinton, a girl America has watched grow up and blossom into a beautiful young woman (those 'SNL' skits be damned), her upcoming wedding is the closest thing we get to a royal wedding of sorts.
So, of course, everyone is trying to price out her upstate New York nuptials to fiance Marc Mezvinsky going down this weekend. The New York Daily News, has the wedding costing between $3 and $5 million. ABC pegs the price at $2 million.
Say what? Political insiders and folks who know Chelsea and her parents call the extravagant cost estimates entirely absurd. Chelsea, for one, has never been a big spender, nor does she enjoy flaunting her parent's celebrity status. So, the hand-painted aisle that the News intimated she will walk down on her big day, probably not happening.
Putting it in perspective, the estimated price tag on then-presidential daughter Jenna Bush when she married at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch was only around $100,000.
Of course, Jenna got that venue for free. ABC is pegging the venue cost alone for Chelsea's wedding as high as $200,000 for Astor Courts, a mansion designed for John Jacob Astor IV in 1902. The house is on the market for $12 million. It also happens to be owned by Clinton donors Kathleen Hammer and Arthur Seelbinder, who were unlikely to rake their good friends over the coals. Plus, all the publicity from this high profile wedding will probably just drive up the sale price. Everybody wins.
Yes, the guest list for this weekend is big. It will probably shake down to around 400 of the Clintons' friends, family members as well as select celebrities and business associates of mom and dad, a list that includes various heads of state and titans of industry.
Because there are so many high-profile guests, the Clintons will certainly need to throw a tasteful affair, but they don't have to go over the top. With a budget of just under $1 million, the Clintons can spend $2,500 per guest. That gives them plenty of cash to play with for what is already being billed as the Wedding of the Century.
Chelsea's preferences aside, the entire Clinton clan is nothing if not media-savvy. Dad is the head of one of the largest charitable organizations on the planet, The Clinton Global Initiative, and mom is Barack Obama's ambassador to the world.
"How would it look if Hillary Clinton were showing up in Pakistan to speak to women who earn less than a dollar a day, or if Bill went to his donors to ask for money to build wells in Africa after they just spent Liza Minelli-style money on their daughter's
wedding. These guys are way too smart for that," one political consultant, who has worked with the Clintons, told us.
The guessing game will finally come to an end in about 48 hours, when select wedding details will be released to the press, and when they are, we will see a picture of a tasteful and beautiful affair that still cost less than Tom and Katie's nups. Mark our words.
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