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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Australia set for Kidman wedding
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

It's Australia's wedding of the year.

Nicole Kidman will marry country and western star Keith Urban this weekend.

"It's a huge deal for us because it's like Hollywood coming to Australia," says gossip columnist Ros Reines.

About 200 guests are expected to attend the service, including actors Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman.

There is talk that Kidman's ex-husband Tom Cruise will also attend, along with their two adopted children, Isabella and Connor.

Hush-hush

"I think Tom will come," says Ms Reines; "Nicole's kids would have to come as well so I think it's natural for Tom to be there."

"I think they make a fantastic couple. I'm so thrilled she didn't marry Lenny Kravitz because that wouldn't quite have the same glow about it because he's not Australian," she adds.

Neither - strictly speaking - is Keith Urban. The country crooner was born in New Zealand but grew up across the Tasman.

Kidman and her two adopted children photographed by the press
Actress Kidman's every move has been tracked by the press

Like many talented Kiwi exports, Urban is claimed as one of its own by Australia (as were Russell Crowe, along with former Crowded House stars Neil and Tim Finn).

Details of his wedding to Kidman are a closely guarded secret. It is reported that guests will be told the specifics at the last-minute to keep the ceremony as hush-hush as possible.

Workers at a gothic-style Catholic church overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the Sydney suburb of Manly are busy preparing for a big event.

"We're building a pavilion," a worker told an Australian newspaper.

When asked what it was for he replied "dunno" and smiled.

Besieged

There is also speculation that the ceremony could take place in Fiji. That appears to be a remote possibility but the guessing game continues.

A celebrity get-together just would not be the same without the stars trying to give the media the run-around.

A posse of photographers and news crews have besieged Nicole Kidman's harbourside home in Sydney since she arrived home on Monday.

Tom Cruise
There is speculation that Kidman's ex-husband Tom Cruise will attend

"This is one of the largest events we've seen here for a long, long time," says veteran snapper Peter Carrette.

The Kidman-Urban wedding could be worth a fortune to the paparazzi.

"If you had a picture of the two of them doing the 'now you may kiss the bride' bit, I think you could get a 1.5m for it around the world," says Mr Carrette.

The press has tried its best to stay on the right side of Kidman - the two sides have clashed in the past.

Last year the Oscar-winning actress won a restraining order against two paparazzi photographers after a bugging device was found outside her Sydney home.

But relations appear to have improved.

Exclusive hideaway

Earlier this week the media sent the Australian film star flowers on her 39th birthday and sang Happy Birthday to her via an intercom at her mansion.

"We don't know what Kidman - herself an accomplished singer - and her award-winning fiance made of this motley serenade, but later in the day they sent a case of beer to the waiting press with a note that read: "Enjoy! Nicole and Keith," says Mr Carette.

As the wedding approaches photographers like Peter Carrette believe that the couple should give their fans a glimpse of their happy day.

"This is a fairytale wedding. It's a wonderful thing for Australia," he says. "But it's un-Australian of them not to come out and pose and say 'g'day'!'"

When the wedding is over the paparazzi will embark on its next mission - the pursuit of the honeymooners, perhaps to an exclusive hideaway in tropical Fiji.

"If you had the two of them strolling at sunrise or sunset hand-in-hand down the beach, I think you'd probably make 2 or 3m," says Mr Carrette.


SEE ALSO
Happy ever after for Kidman?
20 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Kidman and Urban set for wedding
19 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Kidman engaged to country singer
17 May 06 |  Entertainment
I still love Tom, reveals Kidman
09 May 06 |  Entertainment
Cruise and Holmes' whirlwind romance
17 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Kidman wins libel damages
14 Oct 03 |  Entertainment
All over for Cruise and Kidman
06 Feb 01 |  Entertainment



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