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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 11:01 GMT
Fans clamour to see Tom and Katie
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in Rome
The celebrity couple announced their wedding plans in October
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes drew crowds of fans and curious onlookers as they dined out in Rome ahead of their wedding this weekend.

The couple were surrounded by paparazzi as they arrived at Nino's Restaurant with their 7-month-old daughter, Suri.

Cruise, 44, and Holmes, 27, were joined by their families and celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Jim Carrey.

The marriage is expected to take place on Saturday at the 15th Century Castello Odescalchi in Bracciano.

The town's mayor, Patricia Riccioni, said she expected the couple to arrive at the castle, which overlooks Lake Bracciano, on Saturday morning.

'Private and intimate'

She told reporters she believed there would be a Scientology wedding ceremony, followed by a banquet in Rome later in the day.

"When we met, they seemed to me to be far more normal people than what I believed," she said.

Map of Italy
The wedding is due to take place in Bracciano, Italy
"I think all this secrecy depends on them wanting to keep their marriage private and intimate."

The celebrity couple became engaged in June 2005, just two months after they were first photographed together in Rome.

Cruise, who has starred in Mission Impossible and War of The Worlds, said he proposed to Holmes on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

They announced their wedding plans last month. A spokesman also revealed Holmes would wear a dress designed by Giorgio Armani.

It will be Cruise's third wedding. He was previously married to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman.

He adopted children with Kidman before they divorced in 2001.

Scientology ceremony

Cruise and Holmes are both members of the Church of Scientology, which was set up in the United States in 1954 and claims eight million members worldwide.

The church's teachings are based on the writings of the late science-fiction author L Ron Hubbard, who spelled out principles that he called Scientology and Dianetics.

But critics claim it is a fake religion based on making money from its followers.

Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano
Media have surrounded Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano
A Scientology wedding contains many elements familiar to traditional marriage ceremonies, including rings and wedding vows.

But it also includes certain elements fundamental to Scientology, such as vowing never to go to bed without talking about any differences.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology said its wedding ceremonies are not legally recognised in Italy, so Cruise and Holmes would also have to have a civil union.

Several Hollywood celebrities have been arriving in Rome ahead of this weekend's wedding, including Brooke Shields, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Mission Impossible director JJ Abrams.

John Travolta is also expected to fly into Italy on Friday along with several other star guests.


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