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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 September, 2003, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Hollywood's wedding battles

By Keily Oakes
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have postponed their wedding fearing an invasion of the world's paparazzi - something few modern day celebrities welcome into their life.

There is cynicism about whether the cancellation is just another smokescreen designed to throw the press pack off the scent.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Affleck and Lopez have admitted giving out false wedding information
The couple have already admitted putting out false information to journalists.

But there is no question that a Hollywood wedding attracts snappers out to make a mint.

Whether the couple cancel or go ahead with the wedding, they will find it very hard to escape the paparazzi, who stand to make a fortune from snatched wedding pictures that can be sold around the world.

Some A-list celebrities go to extraordinary lengths to keep their weddings a private affair, while others seek out the publicity and make as much money as possible by selling the rights to the pictures.

But this can just up the stakes for the paparazzi, who can attempt to scupper exclusive magazine deals.

The most spectacular case of this was the nuptials of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, who wed in a plush hotel in the heart of New York.

Daniel Moder and Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts and husband Daniel Moder married at her Texas home
After signing a 1m deal with OK! magazine, and believing security to be as tight as possible, the couple let their guard down to enjoy their big day.

But a paparazzi photographer did manage to breach security and the wedding became the subject of an undignified court battle as rival magazine Hello! published grainy and unflattering pictures.

No-fly zone

The cat-and-mouse game between the press and the stars usually begins way before a wedding is even announced, as speculation mounts that a couple will marry no matter how long they have been in a relationship.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin have reportedly got engaged on several occasions, all denied by the pair.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's wedding in 2000 in Malibu was staged with military precision as they attempted to keep out the uninvited.

This included a no-fly zone imposed around the service, keeping outhelicopters chartered by the press with long-lens cameras.

They apparently learned from the disasters of Madonna's 1985 wedding to actor Sean Penn, where the couple struggled to hear their vows being read through the din of the news choppers overhead.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's wedding
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt ensured prying eyes were kept out
Barbara Streisand tried a different method to try and get rid of the media who turned up to her wedding to James Brolin.

Home wedding

After ferrying in guests in blacked-out vans, she then blasted heavy metal music at the assembled press pack and trained powerful searchlights on photographers to ruin their attempts to take pictures of arriving guests.

Others have taken the option of marrying at home to avoid the glare of publicity, albeit in huge sprawling ranches that can accommodate hundreds of guests.

Julia Roberts' marriage to cameraman Daniel Moder in July 2000 took place on her Texas estate, the size of which meant it was easy to keep out the media.

They released just one intimate wedding photograph to please their fans as well as the baying press.

Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer
Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer wed in April 2003
In a similar vein, Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer's week-long wedding festivities at the Gladiator star's ranch between Sydney and Brisbane also remained a dignified affair, despite the massed ranks of press descending on the scene.

Secret

The couple had failed to get a no-fly zone imposed over his property, but quietly released several pictures of their happy day.

Actress Kate Winslet and director Sam Mendes outfoxed everyone by marrying in a small, private ceremony in the West Indies.

Such was the secrecy surrounding it, with only a handful of friends present, that it came as a complete surprise when it was announced after the event.

Others go out of their way to court publicity.

Actress Melissa Joan Hart - who stars in US TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch - commissioned her own six-part series about the run-up to her wedding.

But whatever happens with Affleck and Lopez, it is certain the all-important wedding planner will have their work cut out when the big day finally does arrive.



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SEE ALSO:
J-Lo and Affleck postpone wedding
11 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Jennifer and Brad tie the knot
30 Jul 00  |  Entertainment
J-Lo and Affleck dodge wedding queries
31 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
Sunset wedding for Crowe
07 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Timeline: Hollywood couple v Hello!
11 Apr 03  |  Entertainment


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