Meet the Famous Friend Who Will Officiate George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin's Wedding

Meet the Famous Friend Who Will Officiate George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin's Wedding
Walter Veltroni and George Clooney in 2009
Claudio Lattanzio/EPA/Landov

09/22/2014 AT 04:10 PM EDT

Subscribe now to access PEOPLE's EXCLUSIVE George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Wedding Album plus 26 intimate bonus photos from inside the ceremony, reception and more at people.com/magazine, starting Wednesday, the same day the issue hits newsstands.

They've chosen their locale and coordinated the planning with their parents, and now, George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin have settled on an officiant for their upcoming wedding.

Walter Veltroni, an Italian writer, journalist and politician who served as mayor of Rome from 2001 to 2008, will conduct the ceremony, a representative for the Venice Municipality confirms to PEOPLE.

Veltroni is a close friend of Clooney's, and the Oscar winner has likened him in the past to President Barack Obama, saying that the former mayor appealed "to the young, he speaks of hope and a clean environment, [which is] rare in Italian politics."



Veltroni, 59, also wrote the preface to the Italian edition of then-Senator Obama's 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope.

Clooney and Veltroni previously shared the spotlight when the actor, 53, was honored in Rome in 2007 with a human rights award for his activism on behalf of refugees in Darfur.

This won't be his first celebrity wedding: He was also one of a few Italians invited to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's 2006 nuptials at the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano.

Surely Veltroni has officiated plenty of weddings in the past, but should he need any last-minute pointers, he can always ask the bride!



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