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The Girl Next Door


Wedding of the Year: Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes

by Robert Philpot

Can it really be a year and a half since Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah Winfrey's sofa, declaring his love for Katie Holmes? Time flies, and so do celebrities, who traveled to Odescalchi Castle on Lake Bracciano near Rome for the big Nov. 18 Cruise-Holmes wedding. If you were watching cable news, it wasn't just as if time stopped. It was as if everything stopped. No war in Iraq. No post-election talk. Just the TomKat nuptials.

Cruise and Holmes first became an item in spring 2005, raising eyebrows slightly because of their age difference (he's 16 years older), because of their recent break-ups (Penelope Cruz for him, former Texas Christian University student Chris Klein for her), and because ... well, he's Tom Cruise, and he just leads to eyebrow-raising. After all, this is a guy who proposed atop the Eiffel Tower mere months after meeting the love of his life -- and then held a news conference to tell the world.

In October 2005, People reported that Holmes was pregnant. Then came reports that Cruise bought a sonogram machine so he could keep an eye on the unborn baby. Cruise also famously feuded with former co-star Brooke Shields over her promotion of using drugs to treat postpartum depression, a practice that went against Cruise's Scientology beliefs.

Finally, Suri Cruise, 7 pounds, 7 ounces, was born April 18 (Suri means "princess" in Hebrew and "red rose" in Persian). In a humorous twist, Shields gave birth to 7-pound daughter Grier Hammond the same day at the same hospital.

But if Suri was born with fanfare, the wedding came with cacophony. The 150 guests included Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy. Curiously, Winfrey didn't get an invite -- but Shields, who had patched things up with Cruise, did. Giorgio Armani, who designed clothes for the entire wedding party, told The Associated Press that Cruise, then Holmes, walked down a stone ramp lined with flag bearers in medieval costumes and to the roll of drums during the Scientology ceremony at the 15th-century castle. He added that the 20-minute ceremony concluded with a "never-ending kiss" that prompted some spectators to say, "Stop, stop."

But wait -- that wasn't all. After honeymooning in the Maldives, the company returned to the States, where they had a big reception for guests ranging from Holmes' former Dawson's Creek co-star James Van Der Beek to Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw. Even Cruise's previous paramour Penelope Cruz showed up. But Winfrey once again didn't get an invite.