DUNBLANE was battered by hail, sleet and driving winds yesterday but the sun finally burst through as Andy Murray arrived at the town’s cathedral to marry his girlfriend Kim Sears.
The event, dubbed “Scotland’s wedding of the year”, electrified Murray’s home town, with people lining the streets for the best vantage points from early morning.
Shortly after 4.30pm the couple, both 27, pledged their vows in front of around 300 family and friends during a ceremony at the 11th century cathedral led by the Rev Colin Renwick.
Afterwards, cheering guests lined the path from the cathedral doors and bells rang out as the couple left the church amid a shower of confetti.
The beaming bride was accompanied by four bridesmaids in full-length dusky pink gowns.
The British tennis number one sported a blue and green kilt for the occasion while Sussex-born Sears wore an embroidered white gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and a long veil.
It is believed to have been created by the designer Jenny Packham, with shoes by Jimmy Choo. Her long hair was held in place by a jewelled headpiece.
Among the guests were Murray’s brother Jamie, his parents Judy and William, grandparents Shirley and Roy Erskine and former British tennis number one Tim Henman and his wife Lucy.
Outside the cathedral Judy Murray, wearing a cream dress and jacket by Scottish designer Joyce Young and assisted by two young helpers, believed to be Murray’s cousins, dished out keepsakes to the gathered crowds until they were whisked away to the reception.
The newly crowned Mr and Mrs Murray left the wedding venue for the reception at Cromlix House, the five-star hotel owned by Murray, in a grey car decked with ribbons. They were cheered by the crowds lining the streets.
Among those who gathered in the Perthshire town was Brenda Watson, who travelled from Ochiltree in Ayrshire with a friend to join in the celebrations.
She said: “We’re so excited about seeing them and the atmosphere is great, it’s been well worth coming.”
Sheila Penman, 59, travelled from Rosyth in Fife with her husband John, 58, and six-year-old grandson Alfie. She has tickets for Wimbledon for the first time this year, a treat for her coming 60th birthday.
She said: “It’s lovely to be here on such a happy occasion for Andy.
“Hopefully I’ll get to see him in the final this year and he’ll win.”
Sandra Donald, a local bank worker, wasn’t letting the icy wind put her off watching the whole event. “I’m frozen,” she said. “But Andy looked wonderful, so good-looking and very happy. And he stopped and acknowledged the crowds. I thought his mum Judy looked lovely too, very chic in her cream dress and hat,” she added.
House Of Cards star Kevin Spacey, who has described himself as an Andy Murray “groupie”, ordered a large bouquet of flowers from a local florist to be delivered to the couple ahead of their nuptials.
Fans posted their best wishes on social media and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also offered her congratulations.
The couple met in 2005 through tennis circles – Sears’ father Nigel is a coach and former head of women’s tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association.
They moved in together in 2008 and briefly split the following year before rekindling their relationship.
Murray told the BBC last month: “I am actually not nervous about getting married because we’ve been together like nine-and-a-half years and we’ve lived together for six or seven years as well.
“So, I don’t think a whole lot’s going to change. I kind of feel like we have been married already in terms of the way we spend our lives together and live together.
“I think I will be more nervous about starting a family because that would be more life-changing, in a good way.”
Sears arrived for the wedding in a white car that drove up to the back of the cathedral, out of sight of the crowd of media and well wishers gathered outside.
Murray received a huge cheer as he entered the cathedral earlier, accompanied by his brother Jamie.
Murray had three best men – his brother Jamie and friends Ross Hutchins and Carlos Mier – while Sears had four bridesmaids.
The town of Dunblane was spruced up too for the occasion. On Friday Murray’s gold post box, dedicated to him in honour of his 2012 Olympic gold medal, was given a lick of fresh paint and shopkeepers draped their premises in bunting and sported large congratulations signs.
Although some streets were cordoned off to traffic by security officials, townsfolk were allowed to take up positions to watch the arrivals.
Many brought provisions to join in the celebrations.
Allison Patterson from Lenzie, who claims to be Murray’s number one fan, set off first thing yesterday morning to guarantee her place in the throngs outside the cathedral.
“I would just like to say a huge congratulations to Andy and Kim, and hope they have a long and happy life together,” she said.
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