LONDON – Madonna and Guy Ritchie will be married by a very modern vicar, a woman who roller-skates down the aisle, gives couples toilet paper rolls for wedding presents and has extinguished a flaming bride in church.
Susan Brown — dubbed "Holy Spice" by parishioners for her trendy habits — will christen four-month baby Rocco tonight in Dornoch Cathedral in the Scottish Highlands before marrying his parents tomorrow, probably at the nearby Skibo Castle.
The minister rollerskates down the aisle to entertain the children but has never bought a Madonna song or seen a Guy gangster film. Her worst nightmare would be a repeat of a candlelit service in which the bride's veil caught fire and she had to stamp it out. She gives all the couples she marries toilet paper rolls.
Twenty-five elders of the Church of Scotland will watch the baptism to close a religious loophole forbidding private ceremonies. Mamma Madonna is expected to sing Ave Maria in the soaring cathedral — a song she was heard practicing there on a previous visit — and Sting, whose wife introduced the couple, is also expected to perform.
Madonna apparently threw a tantrum and threatened to cancel the christening when three photographers were caught creeping into luxury hotel Skibo Castle, where the family are staying for up to a month. But with searchlights and heat-seeking equipment dotted around the estate security guards caught them within minutes.
Divorcee Madonna has not sold the rights to her wedding pictures to a gossip magazine like Catherine Zeta Jones, but instead is expected to issue a free handout snap as her friends Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston did for their wedding.
Elton John is expected to warble Song For Guy at the wedding reception as a tribute to the groom. Madonna is thought to be compiling a CD of the musical wedding presents.
Madonna's gown, designed by Stella McCartney, is said to be "fantastically romantic" and Madonna will wear it with a sash of Guy's Hunting Mackintosh family tartan and a diamond tiara once worn by Grace Kelly. Guy, whose family are Scottish, will wear a kilt and sporran.
Gwyneth Paltrow is expected to be matron of honor, with Madonna's three-year-old daughter Lourdes a bridesmaid. Vinnie Jones is rumored to be best man, with Bryan Adams and Robbie Williams also expected. Guy and Madonna are thought to have hired Skibo Castle for three weeks or so and the Pitts may join them there after Gwyneth, Brad's ex, has left town. Madonna may also go to the Edinburgh Hogmanay (New Year's) celebration to watch Moby perform.