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Celebrity Weddings

Actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
Actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

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Theresa DiMasi
Editor in Chief, Brides.com
Thursday, November 16, 2006; 12:00 PM

On Saturday, one of the most anticipated celebrity weddings of the year will unfold in Italy when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes tie the knot. Already, details are leaking out -- Oprah's not invited, but Brooke Shields is; Katie spent $3,000 on wedding night lingerie; the couple will take part in a traditional Scientology ceremony. What's real, what's hype and just what is a traditional Scientology cermony?

Ask Brides.com editor in chief Theresa DiMasi. She'll be online Thursday, Nov. 16, at Noon ET to answer your questions about TomKat's wedding, celebrity weddings and weddings in general.

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Washington, D.C.: How long till Katie's wedding dress is reproduced by a gazillion knock-off companies?

Theresa DiMasi: We see this all the time. Once a celebrity wears a dress we often see it reproduced quickly. I'm guessing that in as little as a few months we'll see some knock-offs.

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Washington, D.C.: Will Connor and Isabella have any role in the wedding?

Theresa DiMasi: We know that Connor and Isabella have been spotted in Italy but do not know if they are taking part in the wedding. It's common for children to be part of the wedding party, as Isabella was a bridesmaid for Nicole's wedding.

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Arlington, Va.: Could you please explain to me why TomKat is going all out for this wedding? It's not like they're Prince Charles and Lady Diana. He's 45 years old and it's his THIRD marriage. And they have a baby together for goodness sakes. Makes me long for the surprise, small, intimate weddings celebrities usually have.

Theresa DiMasi: This wedding is a true reflection of Tom's personality. He craves the attention and he loves to make a statement. Why not get married in the place where the term "paparazzi" originated. Keep in mind this is his third marriage, but it is Katie's first and she has always wanted to have a fairy tale wedding. A medieval castle is a perfect choice.

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Chicago, Ill.: Why is it that the public seems to care so much about this particular wedding? A question not meant to be presented with hostility, but a genuine curiosity? Is it the fact that most of the people in this world could never afford the extravagence of such an event?

Theresa DiMasi: It's because they are celebrities. Plain and simple. We have been following the TomKat story from day one. It's about the engagement at the top of the Eiffel Tower, Tom jumping on Oprah's sofa, the Suri photos in Vanity Fair. And there's a bit of living vicariously through someone else. That's why people are fascinated with celebrities.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Can you explain a Scientology wedding? How is it different from a typical Western wedding ceremony? Also, isn't Katie Catholic?

Theresa DiMasi: A Scientology wedding does have many similar elements as other religious weddings. They have a best man, a bridal procession, and is overall considered a happy occasion. The main difference is that guests are asked to agree to the union.

Yes, Katie is Catholic. This wedding will have two ceremonies--first a Catholic one, then a Scientology one.

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Arlington, Va.: Why did TomKat chose this particular castle? Didn't Christiane Amanpour get married there? Given all the pre-ceremony hype, are we likely to see pictures the next day or will they sell them for a zillion dollars (like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas did)?

Theresa DiMasi: I'm guessing they chose this castle because they wanted to get married in Italy -- the place they made their first public appearance in Spring 2005--and Katie has been dreaming of a fairy tale wedding. What better place than a Medieval castle. Yes, Christiane Amanpour did get married here. Regarding the wedding photos, if they are consistent with the way they handled the Suri photos, we can expect to wait to see them.

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Annapolis, Md.: Have we heard/read anywhere that this wedding was put off to allow Nicole and Keith to marry first?

Theresa DiMasi: I'm speculating, but it would not be uncharacteristic of Tom to choose a time when there isn't other press-worthy news happening to take away from his spotlight.

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Chantilly, Va.: What is a "traditional Scientoloty ceremony" exactly? Did Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have such a ceremony?

Theresa DiMasi: No Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman did not have a Scientology wedding.

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Somerset, N.J.: Strapless gowns seem to be the established norm in the U.S. for bridal wear. Is it the same in Europe?

Theresa DiMasi: Yes, it's true that strapless is a popular choice in the U.S. but we are seeing a trend toward high collars, long sleeves, jackets, and more color--typically a more European sensibility.

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Washington, D.C.: Just a comment on the photo accompanying this chat -- she's a hollow-eyed zombie and he looks like a cult leader. This whole business is quite sad. Are her parents going to attend, or is it Scientologists-only?

Theresa DiMasi: It has been reported that her parents have arrived in Italy. There will be two ceremonies--a Catholic and a Scientology one.

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Arlington, Va. : Do you think we'll ever see leaked photos from the TomKat wedding? We've never seen them from the Madonna-Guy Ritchie nuptuals..

Theresa DiMasi: Probably not, if the Suri photos were any indication.

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Chicago, Ill.: There seems to be a trend of celebrity brides going back to more conventional ceremonies/garb -- very unlike Sarah Jessica Parker's brown and black dress when she and Matthew Broderick got married in a surprise wedding. Do you think the pendulum will swing back again toward unconventional ceremonies and wardrobe? I mean reall -- after a while, how many strapless white dresses can a person look at?

Theresa DiMasi: That's the beauty of fashion. Trends come and go. In the latest runway shows we did see fashion-forward silhouettes and details. I do think that weddings are becoming more and more personal and less cookie-cutter which is a good thing for all of us.

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Rockville, Md.: The spectacle this wedding is becoming -- more Tom or more Katie? Yes, she wants a fairytale wedding, but if she'd wanted to elope, would Tom have gone for that?

Theresa DiMasi: I'm not sure Tom would have wanted to elope, but do think that at this moment the focus is on Katie. Even if he had wanted to create a media event, it's natural that on the day of the wedding the focus is on the bride.

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Chevy Chase, Md.: Seriously, Armani's designing Katie's dress -- it's not going to be ugly. But she's gotten so thin so quickly -- and not just from hanging out with Posh Spice. Does anyone else appreciate the irony of her shedding the baby weight at warp speed while he's.... well, chunked up?

Theresa DiMasi: It's only natural that a bride would want to get in shape before her big day. In Katie's case, she was also losing her baby weight, so the results might seem drastic. In fact, we know that the #1 concern for brides-to-be is to not only fit in their wedding dress, but look great too. That's why Brides.com created the Vow to Wow body makeover program.

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Charlotte, N.C.: Why wasn't Oprah invited? She said she would go if she had been invited?

Theresa DiMasi: All couples face guest list restrictions. The important thing is that Oprah is not taking this personally. In fact, it's rumored that she's searching for the perfect gift.

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Re: Brooke Shields at the wedding: What's the deal? Publicity stunt? Does Brooke just want to be liked? It strikes kind of a hollow chord, no?

Theresa DiMasi: It has been reported that after Tom's very public statement about post-partum depression, he apologized to Brooke and she accepted his apology. She and Katie have become friends, so it's natural she would be invited.

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Arlington, Va.: Why are special requests like vegetarian menus such a problem? It seems that special requests should be the order of the day for any wedding provider.

Theresa DiMasi: In our experience it hasn't been a problem. Caterers are used to providing special meals to vegetarian guests. It is something that brides do need to request, but most reputable venues are happy to accomodate.

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Pittsburgh, Pa.: I don't understand when you say they will have a Catholic wedding first. Will it be considered valid by the Catholic Church? Tom has been married twice before. If either of those marriages is considered valid by the Roman Catholic Church, then this marriage to Katie will not be considered valid. Please respond. Thank you.

Theresa DiMasi: The Roman Catholic church is known for being strict on several issues, divorce being one of them. And therefore,

I can only assume that Tom and Katie's people have made the proper arrangements. No matter how the ceremony goes, it will no doubt include some Catholic blessings, to honor Katie's religious beliefs.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: Do celebrity weddings have any effects on normal weddings. Do magazines look to celeb weddings to set the trends for the rest of us?

Theresa DiMasi: Yes, just like anything else, magazines, stylists, and the everyday public look to celebrities for inspiration. This is an increasing trend. Case in point. When Carolyn Bessette married John F. Kennedy, Jr., she wore a slip dress designed by Narciso Rodriguez. From that point forward, brides everywhere hopped on the trend.

Theresa DiMasi: Yes, just like anything else, magazines, stylists, and the everyday public look to celebrities for inspiration. This is an increasing trend. Case in point. When Carolyn Bessette married John F. Kennedy, Jr., she wore a slip dress designed by Narciso Rodriguez. From that point forward, brides everywhere hopped on the trend.

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Theresa DiMasi: Thank you, all. Visit Brides.com for more great wedding tips, trends, and photos. Cheers!

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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