With the weather forecast for Rhinebeck, New York calling for thunderstorms for five of the next seven days, the idea of a “rain out” for the July 31, 2010 Chelsea Clinton wedding is getting more attention. We are in a drought now but it looks like changes are coming and what will the weather look like when presidential daughter, Chelsea Clinton marries Goldman Sachs banker, Marc Mezvinsky? As we move deeper into July each weekly seven day forecast is being anticipated and for a very good reason. Weather can be a big deal at weddings. And it is the one thing that even Chelsea Clinton cannot control.
The wedding festivities between Marc Mevzinky’s and Chelsea Clinton are believed to be taking place 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 will likely be declared a temporary “no fly zone” by Homeland Security. And yet, no matter how complete the contingency plans, rain can make for a different wedding. Shuffling the 400 guests in and out during a New York downpour will require some expert planning. The wedding pictures, with the requisite sunshine, may have to take place under hot lights or even a day or two before.
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, are philosophical about the upcoming Chelsea Clinton – Marc Mezvinsky wedding. “Maybe rain this week is a good thing,” I was told 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.”
The Clinton’s are a family who knows well the value of contingency planning and will likely be ready either way. And Chelsea, known for her poise and self composure is not likely to be ruffled by a little rain.
Come to think of it, the Clintons 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 make for a glorious, unforgettable moment for the history books. So rain or shine, Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky will tie the knot this July 31, 2010. The skies can do what they will.