The bride is, arguably, the hottest box-office attraction on the planet. The groom is a Grammy award-winner. The guest list is a Who's Who of film and TV. But there will be no gold-embossed wedding invitations. Family and friends will be summoned to the latest showbusiness wedding of the year by humble text message.
The biggest Hollywood party in Australian history will today celebrate Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman's marriage to singer Keith Urban in Sydney.
Guests have been told to expect details to arrive via their handsets, presumably to throw the paparazzi off the scent. However, virtually the whole world knows Kidman, 39, will wed the country musician and fellow Australian at dusk in the suburb of Manly Bay in a ceremony costing an estimated £700,000.
Kidman, star of Moulin Rouge and ex-wife of Tom Cruise, has for many months remained silent about the relationship.
However, the wedding was confirmed on Monday when the couple arrived in Sydney saying they were to marry. Kidman has gracefully provided a photo-opportunity each day since then. As she had her latest encounter with reporters yesterday, Kidman said that she and her husband-to-be were "very happy" and she was planning "to get some sleep" during her final hours of freedom.
Urban - a huge star in his adopted US but virtually unknown here - has also been happy to be seen around Sydney, mingling with World Cup fans on Friday morning to watch Australia's showdown with Croatia. Last night he was believed to have been trawling the bars of Sydney with musician friends from Nashville.
"Nicole and Keith just want a normal wedding and to celebrate with their friends and family," Urban's manager, Rob Potts, said.
Although they have tried to be discreet, virtually every move has been followed by a fleet of paparazzi, reporters and helicopters. And, despite their efforts at keeping the details a secret, the huge marquee that has been erected near the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in Manly has seemed a dead give-away. While the forecast temperature of 17C would keep most Australians indoors, the appearance of so many A-list names means there will be crowds gathered outside the ceremony.
Film director Baz Luhrmann, who cast Kidman in Moulin Rouge, is rumoured to be providing "creative direction" for the wedding.
One of the few certainties is that the service for the "Kurbans", as they are already known, will be conducted by Kidman family friend Fr Paul Coleman. He had been happy to talk about the ceremony until he was silenced by organisers, but said that Urban's non-Catholic background posed no problems. "I'll use the words he is an 'anonymous Christian'. He's got the spirit of God in him and that's that," he said.
Kidman's adopted children Isabella, 13, and Connor, 11 arrived in Sydney on Thursday aboard a private jet from Tokyo where Cruise, who shares custody, is promoting his latest film. Urban's family flew in from their Queensland home on a cut-price airline.
A pre-nuptial agreement reportedly allows Urban a payout of £350,000 for each year they remain married, but nothing if the former cocaine addict - who has an estimated £5m fortune - relapses. It is the first marriage for Urban and the second for Kidman.
THE GUEST LIST
Among guests expected are:
Oscar-winning Gladiator actor Russell Crowe, an old flame of Kidman's, as well as fellow Antipodean Hugh Jackman, who is best known for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men films. Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born media mogul, is said to have been invited, as has his son Lachlan, a former senior executive of News Corporation and close friend of Kidman for many years. Kidman's co-star in The Hours Julianne Moore, best friend Naomi Watts, who appeared in King Kong, and the Bridget Jones actress Renee Zellweger will also be there. Zellweger's former husband Kenny Chesney, a country music associate of Urban, is expected to turn up as well.Reuse content