The sun was shining, church bells were ringing out across the rooftops and the champagne was chilling in Dunblane yesterday as the townsfolk were putting the finishing touches to preparations for the wedding of the year.
Organ music wafted out from the vaulted choir of Dunblane Cathedral, where the biggest match of Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray’s career is set to take place this afternoon.
The bell-ringers were also at work, their efforts peeling out from the 11th-century bell tower on the medieval cathedral overlooking the River Allan, where the Wimbledon and Olympic champion will tie the knot with his sweetheart of nine years, Kim Sears, in what has been dubbed the ‘Scottish royal wedding.’
The streets and shop fronts in the main streets sported floral bunting and cream rosettes and ribbons. Good luck messages were posted in windows and large congratulations signs have been erected at roundabouts leading into the town.
William Lavery, a workman from Dundee spruced up the gold post box in Dunblane High Street, a tribute to the star’s 2012 Olympic victory, with a fresh coat of paint, while a further 150 traditional red boxes in the neighbourhood were cleaned up for the big day.
He said: “That’s it - just another three to go and that will be them all done.”
“I sent the garter up to Andy’s grandma, who lives locally”Lesley Anderson
According to Murray, his bride-to-be has taken charge of most elements of their big day.
Sears, an artist who specialises in animal portraits, has chosen a “natural” theme, with echoes of that chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton for their nuptials.
There are 22 saplings lining the aisle down which she will take her final steps as a single woman. The trees will be hung with simple glass baubles containing candles ahead of the ceremony, which will be witnessed by only close friends and family.
No-one was spilling any details, but it is believed minister Colin Renwick with perform the marriage. Guests will then go on to a private reception at Murray’s own luxury Cromlix Hotel, just three miles up the road.
The 28-seat private chapel at Cromlix, which he bought and upgraded in 2013, was too small to accommodate the couple’s guests. Murray, who was best man for his brother Jamie’s wedding, which took place there last year, has returned the favour by inviting Jamie to be one of his three best men. The other two are close friend and tennis player Ross Hutchins and former training partner Carlos Mier.
A local jeweller was unable to confirm whether he had been commissioned to make any rings for a marriage taking place on Saturday.
However, he said the whole community is “delighted” the tennis champion, who studied at the local Dunblane High School and learned his craft at the local tennis club, had chosen to get married in his home town.
“I think everyone is amazed, but it is absolutely wonderful and there will be a huge turnout,” he said. “When he visited after winning his gold medal at the Olympics thousands turned out to see him. I expect the town will be very busy with well-wishers. He has done a great deal for Dunblane.”
Lesley Anderson runs Point Nouveau Bridal boutique in the town centre. She sent Sears a hand-made crystal-encrusted wedding garter to wear under her dress. She said she couldn’t believe it when she received a personal thank-you note in return. “I never expected a card from Kim. Celebrity weddings are different. They are usually run by big public relations firms. I sent the garter up to Andy’s grandma, who lives locally, and a card came back two days later. It was lovely.”
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