The countdown is on as George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin prepare for wedding of the century
The countdown has begun to the much-awaited wedding of George Clooney and his high-flying fiancee, Amal Alamuddin.
The couple posted their wedding banns at Chelsea Town Hall earlier this month, and these must be displayed to the public for 16 days before the big day - meaning that the nuptials of the century are due to take place any day now. After Brangelina's secret wedding, we are hoping for better things from a Clooney-Alamuddin bash. But what form will it take?
More tasteful than May's Kim Kardashian/Kanye West extravaganza, undoubtedly - but will there be presidents among the guests, snowmobiles on the wedding list and Nespresso for the toast? We piece together some of the rumours and reflect that, at the very least, a wedding where Clooney is the groom and Brad Pitt is best man sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster.
The bride: Amal Ramzi Alamuddin (36), barrister. Born in Beirut, fluent in French and Arabic, she grew up in Britain and works in London, specialising in human rights, international law and extradition. Famous clients include Julian Assange (the Wikileaks founder) and Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine. She recently turned down membership of a UN commission to look into possible violations of war in the Israel-Gaza conflict - perhaps because she has a wedding to plan.
The groom: George Timothy Clooney (53), Oscar-winning actor. Born in Kentucky, he rose to fame as Dr Doug Ross in the TV series ER, and made the leap to Hollywood.
He is the only person to have been nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories. His humanitarian work includes focusing on the Darfur conflict.
The in-laws: Clooney's mother, Nina Bruce, was a beauty pageant queen and city councilwoman. His father, Nick, is a former TV and game-show host. Amal's mother, Baria, is the foreign editor of Al Hayat, a widely read Arab newspaper, and has made numerous appearances as an analyst on Middle Eastern affairs on the BBC and Sky. Her father, Ramzi, is a former university professor and ex-vice president of the American University of Beirut.
The venue: According to Clooney's Aunt Starla, the couple considered Cincinatti, and even Highclere Castle (the Downton Abbey set) before plumping for Italy. Clooney's Lake Como residence, Villa Oleandra, was initially thought likely but more recently rumour has set upon Venice, where Clooney has reportedly secured "an entire island" for the festivities.
The dress code: All details of Amal's dress have been kept under wraps, but the designer is said to be Oscar de la Renta. According to reports, an entire team from Giorgio Armani's Milan office flew up to Lake Como recently to fit Clooney and his male attendants.
The best man: Rande Gerber (Mr Cindy Crawford) was the first name mentioned, but it's likely to be Brad Pitt, according to Aunt Starla. As for bridesmaids, US actress Ellen Barkin threw Amal a hen party a few weeks ago.
The ceremony: Clooney was raised a strict Catholic, but a religious ceremony is unlikely. According to E! News, the happy couple will say "short but meaningful handwritten vows".
The guests: US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle are said to have been invited, although the White House won't comment. Newlywed Brangelina should be there, while Brad's ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston, is also rumoured to be on the list (good luck with that table plan). Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Bono and Matt Damon are invited, too.
The food: Clooney told Wine Enthusiast magazine that his favourite food and drink pairings are Italian-inspired - pinot grigio with fish, cooked fillet-style, and Tuscan reds for pastas with rich, heavy sauces. As for drinks, Clooney is fond of bellinis - though if he wanted to give the toast a personal twist he could use the tequila brand he launched this year, called Casamigos. For that after-dinner drink, however, will Gorgeous George be able to resist serving Nespresso?
The first dance: Brides magazine reports that Clooney has approached Lana Del Rey's people about getting her to perform at the wedding. "Amal is a massive fan of Lana's, which has made George determined to make this happen," a source says.
The honeymoon: If the day is early September, the Clooneys have an exclusion zone around George's Lake Como villa until the 30th, which might suggest there. Other locations mentioned include the Seychelles. (© Daily Telegraph, London)