K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door
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Coverage of Katie & Tom's Italian Wedding
Wedding Day/Honeymoon Coverage HERE!

Wedding Album Pics HERE!
Wedding Day Arrival Pics HERE!
Plus PICS of Katie, Tom & Suri in Rome!

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Posted 11/13/06 at 8:00pm ET
Tom & Katie Arrive In Rome To Prep For Wedding

From Access Hollywood: ROME -- The countdown has officially begun until Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes exchange vows in the tiny town of Bracciano, Italy this weekend.

And as preparations are in full swing, Access Hollywood uncovers some of the details surrounding the wedding.

One thing is for sure, anyone in attendance will need the appropriate attire.

"It is going to be a very formal affair. It's black tie so all the men are required to show up in tuxedos," People magazine senior editor Galina Espinoza told Access Hollywood's Billy Bush. "Armani is going to be a very busy man this week because he is outfitting the entire bridal party --the bridesmaids and the groomsmen."

After videotaping son Connor's football game in Los Angeles on Saturday, Tom and Katie and the kids landed in Rome on Monday and a huge crowd of fans and photographers gathered outside the hotel they are rumored to be staying at to catch a glimpse.

And Castello Odescalchi is in full Cruise wedding prep mode. The medieval castle has been closed to the public since last week and the head of the town's local police, along with 30 security people, met outside to discuss fencing off the area for the event.

Privacy is all but insured, as the church is inside the castle walls.

Access Hollywood's reporter on the scene in Italy was able to provide some insight on the build-up towards the big day, saying the choice of the castle as the rumored location is perfect for the occasion.

"It's easy to understand why people who want to have privacy choose a location like this. Once you got in, there's no chance for paparazzi of any kind," the reporter on the ground in Italy said.

Locals have seen truckloads of catering and flowers entering the property for the family affair. Katie's entire family will be coming from Ohio, as well as Tom's kids Isabella and Connor.

And John Travolta will reportedly be piloting guests (including wife Kelly Preston, Will Smith and Kirstie Alley) to the Italian ceremony.

Access Hollywood has also learned that Brooke Shields will be attending the wedding, and even postponed shooting a film so she could travel abroad for the nuptials.

But while friends, family and media from around the world have flocked to the quiet Italian town, as far as the locals, they don't seem very interested in the event.

"Italian pop star Eros Ramazzotti got married here a few years ago, so it's not felt as a one-time event," our reporter on the scene said. "The feeling is starting to be the same as the Pitt-Jolie wedding that never happened -- it's the news who makes the news."

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Posted 11/13/06 at 8:00pm ET
Tom Cruise Arrives in Rome Ahead of Reported Wedding to Katie Holmes

From Fox News/AP: ROME — Tom Cruise flew into a Rome airport on a private jet Monday, airport officials said, setting off a frenzy among media and fans anticipating the star's high-profile wedding to Katie Holmes.

Cruise arrived at Rome's small Ciampino airport from Los Angeles with about 10 people, including his mother and his three children, airport officials said.

The 44-year-old actor and Holmes, 27, are set to marry in an undisclosed Italian location Saturday. Speculation on the location has focused on Odescalchi Castle on Lake Bracciano, near the capital. The romantic, 15th-century castle, with its halls and gardens, can host up to 1,400 guests.

Local officials and residents remain tightlipped, and Bracciano's mayor has only acknowledged that authorities received a request to clear the square in front of the castle.

Some 100 fans mingled with photographers and camera crews in front of the Hassler, the luxury Rome hotel on top of the Spanish Steps where Cruise was said by airport officials to be staying. An employee at the hotel's front desk, who refused to give her name, denied that Cruise was staying there.

Traffic police managed the crowd at the Hassler and bodyguards stood at the ready next to limousines parked in front of the hotel.

Holmes and Cruise became engaged in June 2005. Their daughter, Suri, was born April 18.

Cruise, has two children, 13-year-old Isabella, and 11-year-old Connor, from his marriage to Nicole Kidman. Kidman and Tom Cruise divorced in 2001 after 10 years of marriage.

Holmes, who starred in TV's "Dawson's Creek," had been engaged to Chris Klein. Cruise was also previously married to Mimi Rogers, and had a high-profile romance with Penelope Cruz.

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Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes arrived at Rome's Ciampino Airport on Monday with their daughter, Suri, nearly 7 months, and Cruise's children, 13-year-old daughter Isabella and 11-year-old son Connor, in tow.
 

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Posted 11/13/06 at 8:00pm ET
From Canada.com: The soon-to-be married Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes arrived in Rome on a private jet on Monday (Cruise carried Suri, who was wearing a red dress, to the limousine) and are now holed up in the penthouse suite at the Hassler Hotel until their wedding at nearby Odescalchi Castle on Saturday. Hotel sources reveal that Holmes’ first meal on Italian soil was prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella and melon. Celebrity wedding guests are starting to touch down in Rome, including fellow Scientologists John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley. Also attending is Andrea Bocelli, who will reportedly sing "Ave Maria" at the wedding.

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Posted 11/14/06 at 10:00am ET
Katie spends $3,000 on wedding lingerie

From MSNBC: Katie Holmes is getting a fabulous Armani gown for her wedding — and looks like what she’ll be wearing under that gown won’t be too shabby, either.

Tom Cruise’s bride-to-be went to Le Bra Lingerie in West Hollywood and spent more than $3,000 on lacy underthings, more than $1,000 of which was for a “bridal collection” set.

Among the purchases: a Chantilly lace bridal collection, reports a source. Among the goodies: a bra that cost $440, a $340 thong, a garter belt for $220, and silk stockings that went for $95 — for a total of $1,190.

Additionally, Holmes picked out a silk nightgown with a matching robe trimmed with ostrich feathers that set her back $620, a lace bra with Swarovski crystals for $380 and matching thong with crystals for $175, as well as two sets of silk pajamas and matching robes at $425 each.

“They weren’t all white — and they certainly weren’t virginal,” says the source. “But she’s a mom, so I guess that’s appropriate.”

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Posted 11/14/06 at 6:00pm ET
Katie Holmes reportedly arrives in Rome

From MSNBC/AP: ROME - The 15th-century Odescalchi Castle near Lake Bracciano — the likely venue for the weekend wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes — has attracted other celebrities, including CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Italian pop star Eros Ramazzotti.

Speculation for the Cruise-Holmes event, to be held Saturday, narrowed on the romantic medieval structure, with its library with frescoed ceiling and a loggia looking out on the lake 25 miles north of Rome, as international media began gathering in the quiet town of Bracciano this week.

Cruise, 44, star of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, landed in Rome Monday on a private jet from Los Angeles with some 10 people, including his mother and his three children. He is said to be staying at the Hassler, the luxury hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps.

Airport officials said Tuesday that Holmes was also in Rome, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether the 27-year-old actress was staying at the same hotel as Cruise, and she wasn’t seen.

Local officials and residents in Bracciano have remained tight-lipped about speculation for the Cruise-Holmes wedding, and Mayor Patrizia Riccioni would only say she received a request to clear the square in front of the castle.

When Amanpour married then-U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin in August 1998, about 180 guests, including John F. Kennedy Jr., attended the reception at the Odescalchi Castle.

Earlier that year, Ramazzotti married TV hostess Michelle Hunzicker in Bracciano, gathering a crowd of pop and TV stars, including Tina Turner and motorcycle racer Max Biaggi. The reception was held in the castle.

Having once hosted princes and popes, the imposing residence is now used for conventions, gala dinners and receptions. With its six towers, halls, gardens, and a chapel nearby, the castle can host up to 1,400 guests. Its museum, featuring frescos and ancient furnishings, is open to the public.

Cruise and Holmes became engaged in June 2005. They have a daughter, Suri, who was born April 18.

Holmes, who starred in TV’s “Dawson’s Creek,” was previously engaged to actor Chris Klein. Cruise, an Oscar nominee for his roles in “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Magnolia,” was also previously married to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman. He has two children, 13-year-old Isabella and 11-year-old Connor, from his marriage to Kidman.

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Posted 11/14/06 at 6:00pm ET
Oprah Won't Be Going To Cruise / Holmes Wedding

From Access Hollywood: The Queen of Talk won't be going to the world's biggest wedding.

Despite two appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have not invited Oprah to their wedding, widely speculated to be taking place in Bracciano, Italy this coming Saturday.

"No, I wasn't invited, but if I was invited, I would go," Oprah told Access Hollywood last night at the New York Public Library's annual Library Lions Gala.

"But I love Tom, I love Katie, I wish them the best," she continued.

"I'm trying to think of what kind gift I can give."

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Posted 11/14/06 at 11:00pm ET
Countdown to the Cruise 'I Do's!'

From Entertainment Tonight: Our JANN CARL is first in Italy with breaking news on TOM CRUISE and KATIE HOLMES' castle wedding!

The powerful pair's plane -- from which they were seen exiting with baby SURI and Tom's kids, ISABELLA and CONNOR -- arrived in Rome Monday morning. But it was Monday night when OPRAH WINFREY, who's not attending the wedding, revealed what she may be getting the happy couple.

While the queen of talk was still trying to decide, she gave a hint as to what it could be. "Books," she says. "I was thinking of something like a first edition."

The highly anticipated nuptials are just around the corner for the superstar couple, who have confirmed that they will be saying "I do" on November 18 in Italy. Until the big day, the couple is said to be staying at the posh Hotel Hassler.

Today, barricades were placed outside to keep the paparazzi away. Meanwhile, for the wedding day itself, there is word that the Cruise camp has spent $1 million on security for the event.

Meanwhile, there are reports saying there will be 100 limos taking the guests to the wedding. The same papers also say Katie is treating her bridesmaids to a day of beauty at a local spa the day before the wedding and sources also claim that Katie has picked out cross necklaces as gifts for her attendants.

And as a gift to the town of Bracciano, the couple is reportedly paying for some of the roads to the castle to be repaired.

Their celebrity guests are also getting ready to head to Italy for the wedding of the year. New reports say KIRSTIE ALLEY, DAVID and VICTORIA BECKHAM, RUSSELL CROWE, STEVEN SPIELBERG, MIRA SORVINO and ASHLEY JUDD are all flying in for the event -- with JOHN TRAVOLTA reportedly shuttling the attendees aboard his private jet.

Famed Italian tenor ANDREA BOCELLI is said to be serenading the couple on their wedding day. Roman newspapers proclaim the blind singer with the angelic voice will be a guest at the wedding as well as singing for the couple.

Sources say Tom's ex NICOLE KIDMAN won't be attending, but that she's already taken care of the gift -- a pricey Baccarat vase.

In other TomKat news, Katie's ARMANI gown will reportedly be cream-colored, and Tom's tux is believed to be gray, which will also be the color scheme for the guest restroom towels. Another famous Italian design house, BUCCELLATI, will be doing the posh place settings.

Meanwhile, the pair will be in great company since they'll wed at Castello Odescalchi in the village of Bracciano, just outside Rome. The famed medieval castle is where JFK JR. and his wife CAROLYN BESSETTE attended the 1998 wedding of CNN's CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR. The castle, which is usually open to the public for tours, is now closed until next Monday.

And apparently the guests won't be leaving empty-handed! It's been reported that TomKat paid $8,000 for monogrammed embroidered towels as gifts for their guests.

Tom and Katie began dating in April of 2005 and announced Katie's pregnancy in October of the same year. On April 18, 2006, the inseparable twosome welcomed their baby daughter, Suri, and in September they revealed her to the world via a 22-page spread in Vanity Fair.

Tom proposed to Katie in Paris in June 2005. This spring, Jann Carl sat down with Tom on the set of 'Mission: Impossible 3' for some wedding dish. "I just want it to be a celebration of love and our relationship," he said.

This is Katie's first marriage and lucky number three for Tom -- he was previously wed to actress MIMI ROGERS and then to Nicole Kidman, with whom he adopted two children.

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Posted 11/15/06 at 2:00pm ET
Italian town hall rents views of Cruise wedding venue

From Yahoo/AFP: ROME - Windows in the Italian town hall overlooking the castle where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are to be married on November 18, are to be rented to the press for 1,000 euros (1,280 dollars) for the weekend by Bracciano's mayor.

Hundreds of photographers, television crews and writers are expected to travel to the castle 30 kilometres (20 miles) northwest of Rome.

One of the Odescalchi Castle gates opens onto the same square as the town hall, where the world's press will gather for a glimpse of the Hollywood couple.

Cruise and his fiancee, who arrived in Rome several days ago, dined on Tuesday evening at the Odescalchi family's palace in the centre of Rome, the ANSA agency reported.

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Posted 11/15/06 at 2:00pm ET
Jann's Latest Cruise News!

From Entertainment Tonight: Buongiorno ET Onliners!!! Jann Carl here with your up-to-the-minute Cruise Wedding News!

There was quite a bit of madness at The Hassler Hotel last night when Tom and Katie finally made an appearance -- though it was brief and hidden behind tinted windows.

The two sped off to Palazzo Odescalchi in piazza Venezia trailed by the entire paparazzi contingency that was in front of the hotel. Tom and Katie were guests of the Odescalchi family -- the owners of the Castle where they are reportedly tying the knot. Inside the private residence they reportedly dined with friends.

There's lots of buzz in Rome today about celebrity arrivals. It is the wedding of the year so you never know who's going to turn up. I can tell you that someone's already left a gift for the couple at the front desk of the Hassler Hotel ... a bottle of wine inside a shiny blue bag with a note addressed to Tom. Now, the only way to really see Rome is on the back of a Vespa, hence my new photo today. That's Stefano, my driver. Can you say ciao bello?!!!

We'll be showing you the super secret spots where a couple of Cruise dinner parties are rumored to be happening tonight on ET. First up -- Nino -- that's where a pre-wedding Cruise dinner party is scheduled for tomorrow night. Then Dal Bolognese where Tom might be having a bachelor party on Friday night. (The tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce is quite fabulous.) We'll also be heading out to our ET location at the Castle and you don't want to miss the aerial view we've just shot ... just for you!!

P.S. My luggage finally arrived, including a fab leather jacket for my scooter ride!! After all, a gal's gotta blend in!!

Ciao for Now!!! Jann Carl

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Posted 11/15/06 at 10:30pm ET
Cruise, Holmes and baby spotted in Rome

From Yahoo/AP: ROME - Tom Cruise and fiancee Katie Holmes made a late-night visit to City Hall on Wednesday, sending paparazzi chasing after them on motor scooters through the capital's streets.

It was their first appearance together in Rome in the days before their wedding Saturday, reportedly to be held in a castle overlooking Lake Bracciano.

Cruise wore a dark gray, pinstriped suit with matching vest and a striped lavender tie as he escorted Holmes, who was clutching what appeared to be a very sleepy baby girl dressed in a fuzzy-soft white sweater, white tights and print dress.

The couple, who became engaged in June 2005, are the parents of a daughter, Suri, who was born April 18.

Holmes, 27, wore a dark jacket over what appeared to be a dark skirt or dress as she crossed a cobblestone square atop ancient Capitoline Hill.

Mayor Walter Veltroni is a big movie buff and was the driving force behind Rome's first international film festival this year, and speculation quickly grew that the Hollywood couple was paying a courtesy visit to him. No one answered the phone in the mayor's office late Wednesday.

Cruise and Holmes were first photographed together in Rome in April 2005. Two months later, the "Mission: Impossible" star announced that he had proposed to Holmes atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The 44-year-old actor had been spotted by photographers Tuesday as he was being driven from his hotel atop the Spanish steps. Cruise had flown into Rome on Monday, and airport officials said Tuesday that Holmes was also in the city.

Residents around the imposing 15th-century Odescalchi Castle, which is rumored to be the venue for the wedding, were rushing to rent out windows and terraces overlooking the mansion to the media who have been pouring into the location near Rome.

The Bracciano City Hall, which appears to be one of the better placed, is renting the windows of a nearby building with a view on the main entrance of the castle for $1,280. Prices for other homes conveniently placed near the castle include a bargain $255.

In one case, though, the prices were not so reasonable: A private terrace overlooking the likely route of the nuptial motorcade and the castle's internal parking lot was offered to a TV news agency for a $128,000.

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Posted 11/16/06 at 11:00am ET
Countdown to the Cruise 'I Do's!'

From Entertainment Tonight: Our JANN CARL is first in Italy with breaking news on TOM CRUISE and KATIE HOLMES' castle wedding! This just in today -- BROOKE SHIELDS has landed in Rome and is attending the star couples nuptials! Jann also ran into JENNIFER LOPEZ and MARC ANTHONY in town just hours ago! JENNA ELFMAN, JIM CARREY and girlfriend JENNY McCARTHY have also made the trip to Italy.

Tom and Katie were spotted in Rome on late Wednesday visiting City Hall, with baby SURI clinging firmly to her parents. The appearance sent paparazzi into a flash frenzy as the couple counts down the hours to their big day.

The stars are starting to wing their way over to the Eternal City for the nuptials. ET has learned that JADA PINKETT, one of the first stars to see baby Suri, is flying over to Europe.

ET has also learned that Katie has given the final seal of approval to her wedding gown after her last fitting!

Tom and Katie's plane -- from which they were seen exiting with baby Suri and Tom's kids, ISABELLA and CONNOR -- arrived in Rome Monday morning. But it was Monday night when OPRAH WINFREY, who's not attending the wedding, revealed what she may be getting the happy couple.

While the queen of talk was still trying to decide, she gave a hint as to what it could be. "Books," she says. "I was thinking of something like a first edition."

The highly anticipated nuptials are just around the corner for the superstar couple, who have confirmed that they will be saying "I do" on November 18 in Italy. Until the big day, the couple is said to be staying at the posh Hotel Hassler.

This week, barricades were placed outside to keep the paparazzi away. Meanwhile, for the wedding day itself, there is word that the Cruise camp has spent $1 million on security for the event.

Meanwhile, there are reports saying there will be 100 limos taking the guests to the wedding. The same papers also say Katie is treating her bridesmaids to a day of beauty at a local spa the day before the wedding; sources also claim that Katie has picked out cross necklaces as gifts for her attendants.

And as a gift to the town of Bracciano, the couple is reportedly paying for some of the roads to the castle to be repaired.

Expect celebrity guests galore for the wedding of the year. New reports say BRUCE WILLIS, KIRSTIE ALLEY, DAVID and VICTORIA BECKHAM, RUSSELL CROWE, STEVEN SPIELBERG, MIRA SORVINO and ASHLEY JUDD are all flying in for the event -- with JOHN TRAVOLTA reportedly shuttling the attendees aboard his private jet.

Famed Italian tenor ANDREA BOCELLI is said to be serenading the couple on their wedding day. Roman newspapers proclaim the blind singer with the angelic voice will be a guest at the wedding as well as singing for the couple.

Sources say Tom's ex NICOLE KIDMAN won't be attending, but that she's already taken care of the gift -- a pricey Baccarat vase.

In other TomKat news, Katie's ARMANI gown will reportedly be cream-colored, and Tom's tux is believed to be gray, which will also be the color scheme for the guest restroom towels. Another famous Italian design house, BUCCELLATI, will be doing the posh place settings.

Meanwhile, the pair will be in great company since they'll wed at Castello Odescalchi in the village of Bracciano, just outside Rome. The famed medieval castle is where JFK JR. and his wife CAROLYN BESSETTE attended the 1998 wedding of CNN's CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR. The castle, which is usually open to the public for tours, is now closed until next Monday.

And apparently the guests won't be leaving empty-handed! It's been reported that TomKat paid $8,000 for monogrammed embroidered towels as gifts for their guests.

Tom and Katie began dating in April of 2005 and announced Katie's pregnancy in October of the same year. On April 18, 2006, the inseparable twosome welcomed their baby daughter, Suri, and in September they revealed her to the world via a 22-page spread in Vanity Fair.

Tom proposed to Katie in Paris in June 2005. This spring, Jann Carl sat down with Tom on the set of 'Mission: Impossible 3' for some wedding dish. "I just want it to be a celebration of love and our relationship," he said.

This is Katie's first marriage and lucky number three for Tom -- he was previously wed to actress MIMI ROGERS and then to Nicole Kidman, with whom he adopted two children.

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Posted 11/16/06 at 11:00am ET
Jann's Latest Cruise News!

From Entertainment Tonight: Buongiorno everyone! Another beautiful day in Italy and another day of getting you the latest Cruise Wedding news.

Because of the time difference we are already up and on the go while some of you are just going to sleep for the night ... but if you're going to wake up early this is what you want to wake up to ... a sexy cool ride to tool around Rome in.

Check out me and my magnifico macchina!!! -- a fire engine red Ferrari!!! It's the only way to travel when you need to speed around the city tracking Tom and Katie. This morning everyone is on star watch as celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas and Steven Spielberg begin to jet in for the Cruise castle affair.

Rumors are rampant that the private airport here is about to look like the Oscars red carpet. The big moment last night was when Tom and Katie popped in to Rome's City Hall for an impromptu meeting with the mayor. Word spread rapidamente that the couple -- along with baby Suri -- had tied the knot! Entertainment Tonight was of course right there shooting and found out that the story was just a rumor -- and plans for the castle affair are still underway.

Tonight the happening spot is reportedly "Nino's" -- a lovely little Italian restaurant on the Via Borgognona. This is where Tom and Katie are rumored to be having a pre-wedding dinner with their celebrity friends and family.

We'll keep you posted on that ... but I've got to go -- this Ferrari's got a need for speed!!! Ciao for now! Jann

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Posted 11/16/06 at 9:00pm ET
Katie Holmes’ parents arrive in Rome as Holmes, Tom Cruise prepare to wed

From Toledo Blade/AP: ROME — Katie Holmes’ parents arrived today in the Italian capital for her Saturday wedding to Tom Cruise. The Toledoans were whisked away in a van that had been waiting for them at the city’s small Ciampino airport.

Cruise and Holmes, who have been staying at the Hassler hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps, met her parents at the nearby St. Regis Grand Hotel, where they stayed for about one hour before returning to the Hassler.

Also spotted at the airport this morning were Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony; Jim Carrey; Jenny McCarthy, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Brooke Shields.

The couple’s late-night visit to Rome City Hall on Wednesday was a courtesy visit to Mayor Walter Veltroni, a big movie buff, city hall said today, quashing speculation they had gone there to get a marriage license.

Cruise, 44, and Holmes, 27, became engaged in June 2005. The Hollywood couple have a daughter, Suri, who was born April 18.

Shields and Cruise had a public spat last year after the “Mission: Impossible III” star criticized the actress for taking antidepressants after the birth of her first daughter.

Cruise, echoing the position of Scientology, said in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show that depression can be treated with exercise and vitamins rather than drugs.

In September, Shields said Cruise had personally apologized to her, and Cruise’s spokesman, Arnold Robinson, confirmed the two celebrities had made up.

Fabrizio D’Agostino, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology in Rome, said the church had not been contacted by anyone about the Cruise-Holmes wedding.

He said an exchange of vows with a Scientology rite is not legally recognized in Italy and would have to be preceded or followed by a civil union.

“If they’re getting married with these rites, it won’t be with a minister from the Rome church, so I would imagine that they would bring their own,” D’Agostino said.

Media speculation on the site for the wedding has focused on a 15th-century castle overlooking Lake Bracciano, near Rome. The Bracciano Town Hall said it had not received any request to celebrate the wedding, but preparations for a party appeared to be under way in recent days at the Odescalchi Castle.

The town hall said the mayor wouldn’t need much time to prepare for a civil ceremony if the necessary papers were presented before Saturday.

U.S. citizens planning to marry in Italy must present specific documents — including their passports, birth certificates and an affidavit that there is no impediment to their marriage — to obtain a marriage license. Because the documents need to be translated into Italian and certified, the process is generally time-consuming.

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Posted 11/16/06 at 9:00pm ET
Cruise, Holmes hit Roman streets

From Denver Post/AP: Rome - Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will likely wed Saturday in a Scientology ceremony held at a 15th-century Italian castle in a lakeside town near Rome, the town's mayor said today.

The wedding party, along with guests, are then expected to attend a banquet the same day in Rome, Bracciano Mayor Patrizia Riccioni said.

For weeks rumors have focused on Odescalchi Castle in the sleepy town of Bracciano as the likely venue for the celebrity wedding.

Riccioni told a news conference today she had met the couple the day before somewhere outside of her town, but she would not say where.

She was coy about other details, too, saying only that she expected the couple to arrive Saturday morning at the castle, which overlooks Lake Bracciano, for what she believed would be a Scientology wedding ceremony, followed by a banquet. She said she expected the couple to return to the Italian capital the same day.

Cruise, 44, star of the "Mission: Impossible" films, and Holmes, 27, have been staying at a luxury hotel near the Spanish Steps in Rome. They were photographed today with their infant daughter, Suri, as they walked to a restaurant in the city.

The area immediately surrounding Nino restaurant was cordoned off, and private security officials crowded the area.

Those spotted going into the restaurant included "Mission Impossible III" director J.J. Abrams, Brooke Shields and Jennifer Lopez. Lopez's husband, Marc Anthony, briefly stepped out to smoke a cigarette.

While Riccioni stopped short of confirming the actual date of the wedding, the town's Web site late today had a picture of Cruise and Holmes under the headline, "The wedding of the year in Bracciano, Saturday, 18 November 2006." "I want to thank Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for choosing this venue for such an important event," Riccioni said, showing reporters a congratulations card she had for the couple.

"When we met, they seemed to me to be far more normal people than what I believed. I think all this secrecy depends on them wanting to keep their marriage private and intimate," the mayor said, sparking laughter in the room filled with the journalists who have been trying for days to find clues about how the wedding will be held.

The Hollywood stars' late-Wednesday visit to Rome City Hall caused a flurry of speculation that they were getting a marriage license, but city hall said today it was only a courtesy visit to the mayor, a big movie buff.

As of midday today, the Bracciano Town Hall was insisting it had not received any request to celebrate the wedding, but preparations for a party appeared to be under way at castle.

The Bracciano Town Hall said, however, that the mayor would not need much time to prepare for a civil ceremony if the necessary papers were presented before Saturday.

To obtain a marriage license, U.S. citizens planning to marry in Italy must present specific documents - including their passports, birth certificates and an affidavit that there is no impediment to their marriage. Because the documents need to be translated into Italian and certified, the process is generally time-consuming.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology for Rome said they had not been contacted about the Cruise-Holmes wedding. Cruise belongs to the Church of Scientology.

"If they're getting married with these rites, it won't be with a minister from the Rome church, so I would imagine that they would bring their own," spokesman Fabrizio D'Agostino said.

D'Agostino said an exchange of vows with a Scientology rite was not legally recognized in Italy, and would have to be preceded or followed by a civil union.

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Posted 11/16/06 at 9:00pm ET
The Cruise Wedding Dinner

Video from Reuters

From Entertainment Tonight: Our JANN CARL is first in Italy with breaking news on TOM CRUISE and KATIE HOLMES' castle wedding!

Tom and Katie hosted a pre-wedding dinner Thursday night at Ristorante Nino, and once Tom arrived carrying baby SURI, with Katie by his side, the crowd broke into hysterics as the star couple smiled and waved to the crowd.

After the dinner, the couple left the restaurant as Katie held a sweetly sleeping baby Suri in her arms.

You would think it was the Oscars with all the star-studded dinner guests: BROOKE SHIELDS came in leather with husband CHRIS HENCHY; JIM CARREY and girlfriend JENNY McCARTHY arrived together; JADA PINKETT SMITH came without hubby WILL SMITH, who may fly in later with JOHN TRAVOLTA; Tom and Katie's friend JENNA ELFMAN was there, as was his 'M:i:III' director JJ ABRAMS and 'Vanilla Sky'/'Jerry Maguire' director CAMERON CROWE. Other stars in Rome right now include Tom's 'Top Gun' producer JERRY BRUCKHEIMER, and JENNIFER LOPEZ arrived in Rome in a hat and diamond earrings, clutching the arm of husband MARC ANTHONY.

Katie's family also arrived on the scene. The bride's parents, MARTIN and KATHLEEN HOLMES, were spotted at the Hotel Hassler with their daughter, while Tom's mother, MARY LEE, went to Rome's private airport to pick up one of his sisters.

Late Wednesday night, Tom and Katie were spotted in Rome visiting City Hall, with baby Suri clinging firmly to her parents. The appearance sent paparazzi into a flash frenzy as the couple counts down the hours to their big day.

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Posted 11/17/06 at 12:00pm ET
Jann's Latest Cruise News!

From Entertainment Tonight: What a night in Rome!! You've seen our exclusive video of TOM, KATIE and SURI arriving at Ristorante Nino last night -- now let me tell you what it was like on the Via Borgognona where the tiny eatery is -- pandemonium!!! JIM CARREY, JENNIFER LOPEZ, BROOKE SHIELDS, LEAH REMINI, JENNA ELFMAN, and CATHERINE BELL -- to name a few -- all strolled in to Nino's while hundreds of paparazzi and media crews from around the world popped off shot after shot after shot.

I was directly in front of the entrance and it was elbow to elbow -- nose to nose -- lens to lens -- craziness!!! Katie looked radiant and Suri is one beautiful baby girl. The outfits were all Armani and all glam! Later on, after dinner back inside the Hotel where many of the stars are staying, J.Lo and Marc Anthony strolled through the lobby with Leah Remini at about midnight and Brooke and hubby Chris arrived back at about one a.m. The hotel lobby was bustling with stars well into the wee hours -- all of whom were chatting and giggling about what a fabulous night it was celebrating the couple who has captivated Rome!

This morning we're off to cover the stars as they hit the shops and cafes and prepare for what will be the wedding event of the year. We'll be out in front of tonight's big Cruise dinner at the restaurant Dal Bolognese -- for all of happenings inside. It will be another wild crush of cameras but ET will get you all of the exclusive news you won't get anywhere else. Keep reading my blog for more breaking Cruise Wedding News. Ciao for now!

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Posted 11/17/06 at 3:00pm ET
FACTBOX - Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to wed in Italy

From Yahoo/Reuters: Following are details of Tom Cruise's wedding with Katie Holmes in Italy expected on Saturday:

THE COUPLE

Cruise, the 44-year-old star of Hollywood hits like "Top Gun" and the "Mission: Impossible" trilogy, got engaged to Holmes in June 2005 at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

They made their first public appearance together at a prize ceremony last year in Italy, where they are returning to wed.

Holmes, who is 17 years his junior, starred in the TV series "Dawson's Creek" and the movie "Batman Begins". It is her first marriage, though she was once engaged to actor Chris Klein.

Cruise has been married twice before, to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, with whom he adopted two children, Isabella and Connor, who are now 13 and 11 respectively. Cruise and Holmes' daughter Suri was born in April this year.

THE WEDDING

The couple and many of their guests are staying at the Hassler hotel on Rome's Spanish Steps ahead of Saturday's ceremony at a lakeside castle outside Rome.

Details are sketchy about the ceremony itself, but local officials say they have not sought authorisation for a civil marriage, so the wedding is likely to be purely ceremonial.

Twice-divorced Cruise belongs to the Church of Scientology, whose weddings are similar to Christian ones with rings, music, and flowers. The bride wears white and the groom a dark suit.

Scientology weddings often include a reminder to the groom to provide the bride with "clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat". The bride is told that "young men are free and may forget" their promises.

Holmes, who was raised as a Roman Catholic, will be wearing a wedding dress designed by Giorgio Armani.

Local media has also reported that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will sing Ave Maria during the celebrations, whose price tag has been estimated at 2 million euros ($2.56 million).

THE GUEST LIST

Hollywood stars and other celebrities on the guest list are reported to include: Brooke Shields; Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett; Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony; Jim Carrey; Victoria and David Beckham; Russell Crowe; Steven Spielberg; John Travolta (another Scientologist); Andrea Bocelli; Giorgio Armani; Cruise's producing partner Paula Wagner; directors Cameron Crowe and J.J. Abrams; Holmes' parents and Cruise's sister.

THE LOCATION

Odescalchi Castle is a high-walled medieval fortress on the shores of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. It has played host to kings and a pope, Sixtus, who stayed there in 1481 to escape a plague sweeping Rome.

Legend says a previous resident, Isabella Medici Orsini, would dispose of unwanted lovers via a secret trapdoor outside her bedchamber, into a ditch lined with sharp blades. Her husband discovered her dalliances and strangled her.

In modern times the castle has been in the hands of the noble Odescalchi family.

Other celebrities who got married at the castle include television journalist Christiane Amanpour, Italian pop star Eros Ramazzotti, and director Martin Scorsese, who married model and actress Isabella Rossellini in 1979.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

People magazine reported that Cruise's ex-wife Kidman sent the couple a wedding present and wished them "a lifetime of happiness together". It called baby Suri "adorable" in paparazzi snaps of her out on the town in Rome with her parents.

Britain's "Daily Mail" said the couple "could try to outwit the media" by holding a secret civil ceremony on Friday.

There were media reports that Cruise's former girlfriend Penelope Cruz, who would not be attending, had sent 120 red roses to the couple's hotel suite. The pair is also rumoured to have prepared embroidered towels bearing their initials to give to their guests.

Spanish magazine Hola! said that Cruise looked plumper than usual meaning his Armani wedding suit would have to be adjusted before Saturday.

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Posted 11/17/06 at 3:00pm ET
Italian town prepares for TomKat wedding

From Yahoo/AP: BRACCIANO, Italy - The Italian lakeside town of Bracciano was busy Friday sprucing up its medieval facade with a touch of Hollywood kitsch on the eve of Tom Cruise's wedding to Katie Holmes, filling shop windows with greetings and naming restaurant menus after the actors' most famous movies.

Streets were cleaned, the grass cut and weeds pulled. Road signs outside Bracciano warned drivers that the center of town would be closed to traffic all of Saturday to free the area around the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle — the likely venue for the celebrity wedding.

By early afternoon, town workers began setting up barriers on the street leading to one of the castle's entrances. The historic town's narrow streets teemed with journalists and camera crews, while locals made their own preparations.

"We are all participating a little in this wedding," said Simona Palazzini, a restaurant owner in the square next to the castle. "And we are quite happy to do so."

At the Il Ristorantino dining spot, Palazzini offered a "Top Gun" menu that included fettuccine with seafood called "Mission Impossible" and apple pie with cream and hot chocolate named after Suri, the couple's daughter. At the nearby Trattoria del Castello, guests could order a "Tom e Kat" — a basket of parmesan cheese with truffles and mushrooms.

"Wishing you love and happiness," read one sign written in English and taped to the window of a coffee shop.

"Congratulations Tom and Katie," said a sticker on the window of a clothing store, whose two other windows displayed a wedding dress with a photograph of the couple, and a "Top Gun" theme with aviation outfits and jackets, and a poster of Cruise as Maverick, the pilot he played in the movie.

Nearby, a store had an arch of white balloons over its doorway, except for one red one shaped like a heart. A picture of the couple and a postcard of Bracciano hung from the red balloon.

"This is good for the town. It's a beautiful thing that will make Bracciano known to the whole world," said Iolanda Barbarani, who owns a hardware store.

Lidia Sabbatini, who owns a flower shop, said residents were beside themselves with excitement.

"Everybody is so enthusiastic. ... It's not an everyday thing to have a Hollywood star as a guest," Sabbatini said. "That's all anyone is talking about. Wherever you go, they're talking about it. People aren't even taking the time to buy bread!"

On Friday evening, Cruise and Holmes left the Hassler hotel where they have been staying in Rome to take part in a reception at a villa on a hill overlooking the Italian capital.

On Thursday, Bracciano Mayor Patrizia Riccioni said the celebrity couple would likely wed Saturday in a Scientology ceremony at the castle, 27 miles north of Rome.

While she did not confirm the date of the wedding, the town's Web site had a picture of Cruise and Holmes under the headline, "The wedding of the year in Bracciano, Saturday, 18 November 2006."

Riccioni, who met with the couple Wednesday at an undisclosed location and gave them a gift, said Friday she had received a large bouquet of white flowers, including roses, from the couple.

"These beautiful flowers arrived from both of them with a thank you note," Riccioni told The Associated Press.

Riccioni described her meeting with Cruise and Holmes and baby Suri, who was born April 18, as "intimate," saying that "they seemed to be a couple in love who is ready to take the big step of getting married."

She said that her office had not received any request to celebrate a civil wedding as of late Friday morning, and that she believed the ceremony in Bracciano would be a Scientology rite. She has not been invited to the ceremony, she said.

Scientology ceremonies contain many elements of traditional weddings — rings, procession, vows, etc. But they also include certain Scientology fundamentals, including vowing never to go to bed without communicating about any differences.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology for Rome, Fabrizio D'Agostino, said an exchange of vows with a Scientology rite was not legally recognized in Italy, and would have to be preceded or followed by a civil union.

Cruise and Holmes have been staying this week at the luxury hotel near the Spanish Steps in Rome. They dined out Thursday night with about 50 guests at a small, nearby restaurant.

Those spotted entering and leaving the restaurant included "Mission Impossible III" director, J.J. Abrams; Brooke Shields, Jennifer Lopez and Lopez's husband, singer Marc Anthony.

More VIP guests flew into Rome on Friday. Will Smith arrived at the city's small Ciampino airport in the late morning, and soccer star David Beckham and his pop-star wife Victoria arrived in the afternoon.

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Posted 11/17/06 at 10:00pm ET
Bocelli Won't Be Singing At Katie Holmes Wedding

From The Post Chronicle: Opera singer Andrea Bocelli has ruled out a performance at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' Italian wedding on Saturday, insisting he'll just be another celebrity guest at the nuptials.

It was believed the blind star would sing Ave Maria as guests arrive at Castello Odescalchi in Bracciano, but Bocelli insists he won't be performing on the big day.

He admits he was asked to sing but he'll be saving his voice for his tour. He says, "I will be there as a guest."

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Posted 11/17/06 at 10:00pm ET
Cruise-Holmes wedding revives Rome's Dolce Vita

From Yahoo/Reuters: La Dolce Vita is back. Rome basked in Hollywood glamour on Friday as paparazzi gave chase to Tom Cruise, his bride-to-be Katie Holmes and a jetload of celebrity guests, ahead of their wedding on Saturday in a lakeside town north of the Italian capital.

"La Dolce Vita returns to the Tiber" and "Hollywood decamps to Rome" read Italian newspaper headlines, reviving memories of the 1950s and '60s when the Eternal City teemed with film stars.

A medieval, imposing castle in the lakeside town of Bracciano, 40 km (25 miles) north of Rome, has been tipped as the venue for Saturday's wedding, but showbusiness watchers do not rule out a last-minute change of plan to outwit the media.

Actor Will Smith told reporters after arriving in Rome for the wedding that he wished Cruise and Holmes: "just have a beautiful time - eternal happiness."

"You know it is a beautiful time in their lives and I hope people will give them a bit of room," Smith said.

Footballer David Beckham and his pop star wife Victoria arrived a few hours later, and John Travolta, who shares Cruise's Scientologist faith, was also expected.

Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Brooke Shields, and "Mission: Impossible III" director J.J. Abrams are among the guests already in the city for the nuptials. Russell Crowe and Steven Spielberg are also said to have been invited.

Shields, who had a public spat with Cruise last year when he criticized her for taking medication to treat post-partum depression, braved photographers for a stroll at the Spanish Steps. Shields said she wished the couple happiness.

"I hope they remember this whole weekend," Shields said.

BESIEGED BY PAPARAZZI

The wedding will be a Scientology ceremony as twice-divorced Cruise, an ardent follower of the church founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, cannot marry with a Catholic rite. Holmes was raised a Roman Catholic.

Local authorities said this week Cruise, star of Hollywood hits like "Top Gun" and the "Mission: Impossible" trilogy, has not sought permission for a civil service either, meaning the wedding could be purely ceremonial and have no legal value.

Church of Scientology weddings are similar to regular Christian ones with rings, music, and flowers. The bride wears white and the groom a dark suit.

The ceremony often includes a reminder to the groom to provide the bride with "clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat."

Details of the event, whose price tag is estimated at 2 million euros ($2.56 million), have been shrouded in secrecy. The pair will be dressed in outfits designed by Giorgio Armani. Local media reported they will give their guests towels embroidered with their initials.

Cruise, 44, and Holmes, 27, have a baby daughter, Suri, who was born in April. Cruise also has two older children adopted during his marriage to Nicole Kidman.

After spending most of their stay in Rome holed up in the luxurious Hassler hotel, besieged by the paparazzi, the couple threw a party for some 130 guests at a central restaurant on Thursday, waving at throngs of cheering fans as they arrived.

They held another bash on Friday night at Rome's 17th century Villa Aurelia.

People magazine wrote that Kidman, who re-married earlier this year, had sent the pair a wedding present, wishing them "a lifetime of happiness together."

The normally sleepy town of Bracciano was cashing in. Paparazzi, named after the street photographer Paparazzo in Fellini's 1960 movie La Dolce Vita, swarmed in the streets.

"The wedding of the year in Bracciano" boasted the town hall's Web site above a picture of the smiling couple.

Photographs of the two were displayed in shop windows with well-wishing messages in English such as "Congratulations Tom and Katie" and "Forever." One antique shop sold an ornate brass clock with a picture of Cruise and Holmes kissing on the dial.

Owners of apartments overlooking the frescoed Odescalchi castle are renting their terraces to photographers and TV crews for up to 100,000 euros ($127,800).

Bracciano's mayor is charging reporters 1,000 euros ($1,279) for positions in the town's historic archives, which face the castle, and 300 euros to park a satellite truck.

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Posted 11/18/06 at 10:00am ET
Jann's Latest Cruise News!

From Entertainment Tonight: Last night at the Hotel Hassler the star sightings resembled something you'd only see on Oscar night! The crowd went wild as TOM, KATIE and all of their star guests headed out for the big rehearsal dinner at Villa Aurelia. As WILL SMITH and JADA PINKETT SMITH made their way through a sea of photographers, they made a quick beeline over to me for an update!

Clearly excited for Tom and Katie, Will and Jada expressed their wish for them -- eternal happiness -- and a little bit of breathing room as well! BROOKE SHIELDS told me she just hoped Tom and Katie would remember everything from this amazing weekend!

And what a time we had in Rome Thursday night!! You've seen our exclusive video of Tom, Katie and SURI arriving at Ristorante Nino -- now let me tell you what it was like on the Via Borgognona where the tiny eatery is -- pandemonium!!! Brooke Shields, JIM CARREY, JENNIFER LOPEZ, LEAH REMINI, JENNA ELFMAN and CATHERINE BELL, to name a few, all strolled into Nino's while hundreds of paparazzi and media crews from around the world popped off shot after shot after shot.

I was directly in front of the entrance and it was elbow to elbow -- nose to nose -- lens to lens -- craziness!!! Katie looked radiant, and Suri is one beautiful baby girl. The outfits were all Armani and all glam! Later on, after dinner back inside the hotel where many of the stars are staying, J.Lo and MARC ANTHONY strolled through the lobby with Leah Remini at about midnight, and Brooke and hubby CHRIS HENCHY arrived back at about one a.m. The hotel lobby was bustling with stars well into the wee hours -- all of whom were chatting and giggling about what a fabulous night they had celebrating the couple who has captivated Rome!

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