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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 13, 2003

Rumor has it Ben, Jen will wed on Kaua'i

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

If "Gigli" had created this much buzz, there's no way it would have flopped at movie theaters.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, Hollywood's hottest couple, are rumored to be exchanging wedding vows tomorrow at a home in a secluded spot near the Kilauea Lighthouse on Kaua'i's north shore.

If true, it would be one of the greatest surprise weddings between Hollywood juggernauts. Earlier this week, the couple known as "Bennifer" said they were postponing their matrimonial plans because of a media barrage that descended upon Santa Barbara, Calif., the original wedding site.

But timing is everything. Now, it appears the Santa Barbara affair may have been a ruse to keep tomorrow's wedding private and give the Mainland paparazzi no time to change course and crash the party.

Then again, maybe Kaua'i is a big fake-out.

So far, here's what's known, or at least rumored, as of last night.

The Princeville wedding site is said to be in a no-fly zone — preventing paparazzi from hovering in helicopters — because of the nearby Kilauea Lighthouse and Bird Sanctuary.

Lopez reportedly was spotted shopping yesterday morning at Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei, said Jeff Culverhouse, the complex manager.

"My office staff was buzzing about her, and we heard about the Sunday wedding," Culverhouse said. Affleck, however, was not by her side, he added.

Two people close to the entertainment scene said Lopez and Affleck will indeed tie the knot tomorrow.

A well-placed Kaua'i source with links to the film industry said that a charter plane carrying the couple and about 40 guests arrived yesterday.

Another entertainment industry person on O'ahu indicated that the groom's mother was to arrive today on one of four or five more chartered flights carrying more wedding guests.

What's more, a photographer friend of Affleck is believed to be here to document the nuptials, the Kaua'i source said.

The two sources asked not to be named to avoid damaging their relationships within the industry.

Could it be that all of this commotion has gone on under the paparazzi's radar? An illusion? A hoax?

Well, an employee at Kong Lung Co., an upscale boutique along the route to the Kilauea Lighthouse, said the buzz may be confusing the Hollywood wedding with three large weddings scheduled in the area today and tomorrow, including a lavish affair involving members of Kaua'i's kama'aina Wilcox family. But there is a chance that it may be real. And to that end, at least one national television magazine is making plans to be here.

"I guess I may be heading to Kaua'i this weekend," said "Entertainment Tonight" managing editor Bonnie Tiegel, whose crews have been monitoring marriage planning. She was making plans to fly to the Islands with a reporting and film crew, but still was checking out rumors that J-Lo may be elsewhere.

For example, Tiegel said that "ET" had conflicting reports of two J-Lo sightings yesterday — one in Miami and one in Burbank, Calif.

"They could be look-alikes," she said.

Matt Damon, Affleck's buddy, is in Prague, placing some doubt about the weekend wedding. Wouldn't he be best man, or at least a VIP at the ceremony?

Maybe he has a superjet, like the character he played in "The Bourne Identity."

The wedding cake reportedly is being prepared by Suzi's Date Bar, which specializes in exquisite, customized cakes, though its owner-baker Suzi King neither confirmed nor denied the special order.

King is accustomed to filling orders for high-profile customers and was dough-deep in the Matt LeBlanc-Melissa McKnight wedding, which many folks thought would be the Lopez-Affleck wedding, May 6 on Kaua'i.

If the rumors are true and the wedding goes off unadvertised — as planned — it is indeed the stuff of Hollywood.

Reach Wayne Harada at 525-8067 or wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.