George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin arrived in Venice on Friday with wedding guests trickling in around them as rumors that they would marry on Saturday appeared to be coming true.
But here’s the trick: The weekend wedding will likely be symbolic, with a civil ceremony making it official on Monday.
Clooney and his betrothed boarded a water taxi dubbed “Amore” with friends Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber for a trip down Venice’s Grand Canal to the Hotel Cipriani on Venice’s Giudecca Island.
Alamuddin wore a sharp black-and-white-striped Dolce & Gabbana dress and doffed her shoes at some point during the boat ride, if only to make it easier to disembark upon arrival at their destination.
Clooney’s “Monuments Men” and “Ocean’s” franchise costar Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso hopped a ride on a different vessel, with a friendly Damon waving to those who were watching them on the dock.
Also spotted en route to the festivities were Clooney cousin Miguel Ferrer and his producer wife Lori Weintraub, “Ocean’s Thirteen” actress Ellen Barkin, musician pal Steve Lukather of Toto fame and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, because, of course. John Krasinski and Emily Blunt evaded photographers but were reportedly spotted by New York Daily News spies.
Alamuddin will be heading to the Aman Canal Grande hotel on Friday night to connect with eight of her closest longtime friends -- some from her university days at Oxford -- for a girls-only get-together, a source told E! News.
At the same time, Clooney reportedly will be hanging with his guy friends at the Hotel Cipriani, where the “Amore” had delivered him, Alamuddin and their pals at the end of their Grand Canal journey.
Then there’s the wedding Saturday -- expected to be held at the seven-star Canal Grande -- after which the couple will spend the night together, followed by a Sunday lunch with their guests before yet another party, E! said.
Former Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, a Clooney pal since 2007, will officiate at the symbolic Saturday ceremony, Vogue reported. A five-course banquet by Italian chef Riccardo de Pra, a specialist in European and Asian cuisines, will cap the big night.
On Monday, the city will close pedestrian access to walkways on the Grand Canal accessing the 16th-century Cavalli Palace for at least two hours, with the city order citing “the George Clooney wedding.” Cavalli Palace is next door to Ca’ Farsetti Palace, Venice’s city hall.
The palace is regularly used for civil ceremonies, according to the Associated Press. A city official told the AP that such a closure has been done before and is aimed at preventing crowds from gathering and creating a safety risk.