WEDDING BELLS FOR ELLEN AND PORTIA

Published on: October 10, 2006
WEDDING BELLS FOR ELLEN AND PORTIA

By RICK EGUSQUIZA

Ellen is making Portia a June bride!

Talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres is getting ready to marry longtime partner Portia de Rossi in an intimate summer wedding — and The ENQUIRER has all the details.

"Ellen's never been happier — she's got her dream job as a TV talk show host, an ever-growing audience and industry-wide respect," a close friend told The ENQUIRER.

"And she's had one of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood by her side for almost two years now."

Now that her life is moving in a positive direction, Ellen, 48, has decided that the time is right to have a commitment ceremony to formalize her relationship with 33-year-old Portia. Since gay marriage is not legal in California, the wedding will be symbolic and not legally binding.

The festivities will take place in June in a beautiful new home near Oprah Winfrey's palatial spread in Montecito, the wealthy community next to Santa Barbara.

Although Ellen and Portia have been blissfully happy at their current residence — a 140-acre ranch home in the wine country above Santa Barbara — they instantly fell in love with the intimate Spanish-style villa built by famed architect G.W. Smith, and knew right away it would be the perfect backdrop for their ceremony.

"They're going to have a late afternoon outdoor wedding, possibly catered by Portia's favorite hotel, the San Ysidro Ranch," revealed the friend.

Portia, who has taken on the "housewife" role since her TV series "Arrested Development" was canceled, is handling most of the wedding arrangements — but the wine and music will be Ellen's responsibility. Ellen has become a wine connoisseur while living in the vineyard-rich Santa Ynez Valley, and she's picking her favorite local reds and whites for the wedding feast, said the friend.

And Ellen, who has become close friends with Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin recently, is hoping to have Elton perform a few piano numbers at the reception.

She's also enlisting the help of her show's DJ, Jonny Abrahams, to spin tunes for the guests.

The couple has been together since meeting at a VH1 awards show in December 2004. At the time, both were in relationships with other women, but immediately dumped their significant others to be together.

In recent years, Ellen has kept her personal life out of the Hollywood spotlight and plans to keep the guest list small, says the friend — just family, key staffers from Ellen's show, a few of Portia's pals from "Arrested Development" and some close show business friends.

"Ellen and Portia have settled into a comfortable and loving domestic situation — staying in L.A. during the week while Ellen shoots the show and heading up to their home near Santa Barbara on the weekends," added the friend.

"The commitment ceremony is the next logical step."