Astor Courts, where Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky will tie the knot July 31st, is a turn-of-the-century 26,000-square-foot mansion, built to resemble the Grand Trianon at Versailles. The Beaux Arts mansion, built by Gilded Age tycoon John Jacob Astor IV, sits high on a bluff, surrounded by 3,500 bucolic acres and dense forest that, these days, are crawling with Secret Service agents—all in Defcon 1-style security mode for the closest thing America gets to a royal wedding.

To the intruder on the gravel path, the scene in the forest evoked Errol Flynn in tights as Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men hiding among the maples and oaks. Along the borders of the estate, workmen were busy repairing crumbling stone walls.

Josh Kroner, is the affable owner and chef of Terrapin Restaurant, an upscale eatery in town that’s catering the rehearsal dinner.

With 8,300 residents, Rhinebeck is sometimes dubbed “the Hamptons of the North.” The entire town, which grew rich—and Democratic—amid the influx of wealthy Manhattanites over the past 15 years, is straight out of The Great Gatsby—with a heavy dose of liberal consciousness thrown in. Still, a little digging reveals that some guests have been booked at the Beekman Arms, a favorite dining establishment of Bill and Hillary, who live in Chappaqua, which is a 90-minute drive south.

According to The Hudson Valley News, guests invited to the wedding include President Obama (though he’s not attending), Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe, and media mogul Ted Turner.

Source: Excerpt from an article written by Lynnley Browning for The Daily Beast

About this entry