No Rain for Chelsea
By Doug Wead
July 31, 2010
There was a light rain in Rhinebeck, New York friday night and the weather forecast called for thunderstorms for Sunday through Tuesday. But are blue skies today and perfect weather for Chelsea Clinton's wedding.
The idea of a “rain out” for the July 31, 2010 Chelsea Clinton wedding to Goldman Sachs banker, Marc Mezvinsky, was getting some attention. Weather can be a big deal at weddings. And it was the one thing that even Chelsea Clinton could not control.
The wedding festivities between Marc Mevzinky's and Chelsea Clinton are taking place today at the Astor estate in Rhinebeck, 90 miles north of New York City. Those familiar with the estate say that it was probably chosen as the site because it can easily accommodate a rain emergency. The event will reportedly all be under tents to keep inventive paparazzi at a distance. The sky above was declared a temporary “no fly zone.” And yet, no matter how complete the contingency plans, rain could have made for a different wedding. Shuffling the 400 guests in and out during a New York downpour would have required some expert planning. The wedding pictures, with the requisite sunshine, may have had to take place under hot lights.
Jenna Bush and Henry Hager had to sweat out the possibility of a Texas thunderstorm on their May 10, 2008 wedding day. There was lightning and rumbling thunder throughout the nighttime sky before the sunrise finally appeared. The skies held all day. If the storm had come the Bushes would have resorted to their “rain plan,” but the ranch would have become a sea of mud, with cars coming and going, sometimes driving across lawn and open grasslands. Ladies would have been rushing into the tents, their high heels caked with mud.
Rain was a major consideration for the last White House wedding of a presidential child, June 12, 1971. Tricia Nixon was planning a Rose Garden ceremony. In the summertime, in Washington it rains every third day. As in the case of the Clinton’s and the Bushes, the Nixon staff had to plan two weddings which was an enormous strain and burden on the White House. It is why the staff had initially tried to talk Tricia Nixon out of her Rose Garden ceremony.
The morning of the Nixon wedding there were intermittent showers. President Nixon consulted the latest Air Force weather report which anticipated a break in the clouds around 4:30 pm. The White House permanent staff said that Tricia Nixon had nerves of steel. She kept to plan A. The break in the clouds came as predicted, the sun appeared, the plastic coverings were removed from the chairs and the only White House Rose Garden wedding ceremony in American history unfolded without a hitch.
Meanwhile, local residents in Rhinebeck, New York, were philosophical about the weather forecasts leading up to today's Chelsea Clinton - Marc Mezvinsky wedding. “Maybe rain this week is a good thing,” I was told last week, by a friend who has lived nearby most of his life. “If it rains enough, maybe the sun will come out next week in time for the wedding.”
And so it has.
The Clinton’s are a family who knows well the value of contingency planning and was likely ready either way. And Chelsea, known for her poise and self composure was not likely to be ruffled by a little rain.
Come to think of it, the Clinton's have had their share of rain in their lifetimes and come through just fine. A tent full of celebrating friends, trapped together, with a downpour outside, and good food and talented musicians inside, everyone dressed to the nines, at one of the most important social events in our lifetime, it might just have made for an unforgettable moment for the history books.
In the end, God had mercy on the ladies in high heels. The clouds passed, the coming storms are holding until tomorrow and today Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky will tie the knot with glorious sunshine and perfect weather that will register a high of 81 and a low of 58.
Daughters and fathers and public scandal
Presidents and daughters
Geraldo takes on the Chelsea Clinton wedding
Where are you Amy Carter?