Lopez, Affleck Postpone Weekend Wedding

09/10/2003 AT 01:00 PM EDT

Don't send the congratulations notes just yet -- superstar couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have postponed their much-anticipated weekend wedding.

The Hollywood power couple has informed guests that the ceremony -- initially scheduled for Sunday in Santa Barbara -- is being called off after a media whirlwind sent paparazzi on a frenzied pilgrimage to the resort town.

Sources tell PEOPLE that there was a hurriedly called meeting Wednesday among the couple and close aides where it was decided that the glitzy event should be shelved for a later date.

"Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," Affleck and Lopez confirmed in a statement. "When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate 'decoy brides' at three different locations, we realized that something was awry.

"We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised," the pair added. "We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends."

Despite attempts to keep things quiet, details about the pair's nuptials have been leaking out for weeks. First came whispers that Vera Wang was designing Lopez's dress, followed by word that Casey Affleck would serve as his brother's best man, and that Santa Barbara would play host to the ceremony -- with guests being shuttled to the secret site from Los Angeles.

The latest issue of PEOPLE (on newsstands Friday) reports that guests were to stay at the posh Bacara Resort, and that Lopez planned to stay at Montecito's San Ysidro Ranch prior to the wedding.

And on Wednesday, the mother of another Santa Barbara bride even ratted out Ben and J.Lo, telling ABCNews.com that her daughter is tying the knot at the same location. (She claimed it was the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel.)

"Entertainment Tonight" reports that about 400 guests were initially invited by phone to the Affleck-Lopez wedding, and then advised by phone Wednesday not to show up.

For more on the wedding whirlwind, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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