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Clooney relaxes ahead of wedding

Hollywood star George Clooney has been spotted relaxing with supermodel Cindy Crawford in Venice ahead of his expected nuptials with British fiancee Amal Alamuddin.

The betrothed couple are expected to host a wedding celebration later today but to marry in a civil ceremony on Monday, although they have not publicly revealed any details.

The 53-year-old Oscar-winning actor enjoyed a drink with Crawford and her husband Randy Gerber on a hotel terrace but his 36-year-old bride was nowhere to be seen as the final wedding preparations appeared to be under way in the romantic Italian city.

Huge bouquets of flowers have been spotted arriving at the luxury Aman Hotel overlooking the Grand Hotel where the festivities are rumoured to be taking place.

Venice city officials have announced the closure of a 50-metre area outside the 16th-century Cavalli Palace, used for civil marriage ceremonies, for two hours on Monday.

The bridal parties arrived at the Tronchetto terminal last night, where they were picked up by Clooney's regular water-taxi driver and taken to the luxury Cipriani hotel.

Alamuddin looked glamorous in a red waterfall gown as the couple enjoyed a lavish dinner with friends.

Bono and his wife were among the late arrivals today, joining Clooney's cousin Miguel Ferrer, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Anna Wintour and Richard Kind, it was reported.

Human rights lawyer Alamuddin was born in Beirut, educated at Oxford, and is based in London.

She has represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and been described as a ''passionate defender of human rights''.

Clooney, who shot to fame playing Dr Doug Ross in medical drama ER, was previously married to actress Talia Balsam and had said he would never marry again, though he has dated a string of women including Lisa Snowdon, Stacy Keibler and Elisabetta Canalis.

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