With Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes preparing to plight their troth this weekend, every detail of their Roman holiday continues to be parsed for clues to the "I do's."
At a news conference Thursday, the mayor of the lakeside town of Bracciano said the actors are, as previously reported, most likely planning to tie the knot Saturday in the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle.
And that's as good as it's likely going to get. Stopping just short of confirming the time and place, Mayor Patrizia Riccioni told reporters she had met with the happy couple the previous day, somewhere near her town, which is just northeast of Rome.
"I want to thank Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for choosing this venue for such an important event," Riccioni said, hoisting a congratulatory card she had prepared for the occasion. "When we met, they seemed to me to be far more normal people than what I believed."
After the duo swap vows in a Scientology ceremony—apparently, there isn't going to be a Catholic exchange beforehand like the Il Messaggero newspaper reported last week—the wedding party and guests are expected to head to a banquet in Rome, Riccioni said.
As far as who made the invitation cut, Holmes' parents, Martin and Kathleen, were accounted for, stopping briefly to address reporters at Rome's airport.
"We are very excited for Tom and Katie," Martin Holmes told Sky Italia television.
John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Jim Carrey, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, David and Victoria Beckham and, yes, Brooke Shields are expected to be among the hundreds of well-wishers gathered to celebrate the culmination of the couch-jump heard round the world. (However, Oprah Winfrey, who played host to Cruise's unabashed declaration of love for Holmes, has said she was not among the invitees.)
And it probably wasn't a coincidence that Jennifer Lopez and hubby Marc Anthony, Shields and Mission: Impossible III director J.J. Abrams were spotted Thursday heading into a restaurant called Nino shortly after Cruise and a Suri-toting Holmes arrived to dine.
Bracciano's official Website is already featuring a picture of TomKat accompanied by the heading "The Wedding of the Year in Bracciano, Saturday, 18 November 2006."
But even though the question of what kind of marital rites Cruise and Holmes—who was raised Catholic, but since taking up with the War of the Worlds star, has taken up Scientology—are planning has been answered, it still remains to be seen who's going to perform the ceremony.
The priest who presides over the area surrounding Bracciano had already said last week that no one in his parish would perform a Catholic ceremony, due to Cruise's twice-divorced status.
A spokesman for Rome's Church of Scientology told the Associated Press that their organization's services have not been requested.
"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," Fabrizio D'Agostino said, adding that Italy does not legally recognize wedded couples brought together by Scientology, so Suri's parents will have to make it count beforehand or afterward with a civil union.
The press, suspecting that the couple was obtaining a marriage license, was atwitter Wednesday when Cruise, 44, and Holmes, 27, made a late-night visit to Rome's City Hall, but a spokesperson said afterward they were only making a courtesy visit to the mayor.
To obtain a license in Italy, the pair has to present birth certificates, passports and an affidavit—translated into Italian—confirming there's no lawful impediment standing in the way of their trip down the aisle.
A Bracciano Town Hall spokesperson told the AP the mayor wouldn't need too much time to prepare a civil ceremony if the proper paperwork is filed before Saturday.
Meanwhile, Bracciano officials have enacted a $1,500 "paparazzi tax" for any photographers who want to shoot from the windows and balconies of Town Hall, which overlooks the castle.
The groom, his bride-to-be and baby Suri touched down in Rome on Monday, accompanied by Cruise's mother and his two adopted children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, Connor and Isabella.
Cruise & Co. are reportedly staying in a luxurious hotel near the Spanish Steps. An extra-large suite may have been required to hold the $3,000 worth of lingerie Holmes picked up in Los Angeles before jetting across the pond.