12 JUNE 2002
Sir Paul McCartney married former model Heather Mills on Tuesday in a romantic ceremony at St Salvator’s church in the grounds of Ireland’s 17th-century Castle Leslie. Rain fell on the roof of the historic chapel as the two exchanged vows, but a double rainbow appeared in the sky as they emerged into the sunlight as husband and wife.
Heather, wearing an ivory lace gown she designed herself and clutching a bouquet of 11 McCartney roses, had kept Paul waiting for eight minutes before the ceremony, in line with tradition. The singer-songwriter stood patiently at the altar as Heather sailed to the church across the castle’s lake on a boat bedecked with white lilies.
The ceremony, which included a reading from Ringo Starr based on The Beatles’ hit, All You Need Is Love, began when the 34-year-old bride entered the church to the sounds of Heather, a song written for her from Paul’s Driving Rain album. The romantic nuptials came to a rousing end, finishing off with cheers from friends and family members as the happy couple shared a kiss, and wedding bells pealed for 20 minutes.
Guests then headed to three-flower-filled marquees for an Indian vegetarian banquet, along with beer and champagne, and tasted a £1,000 four-tier chocolate wedding cake for dessert. Entertainment followed the theme, with a troupe of Indian dancers, and music by ten-piece band Celtic Bangra.
The £3-million wedding, planned down to the last detail, was strictly a family affair – with the 300 invited guests including just a handful of celebs, including musician Jools Holland, The Pretenders front woman Chrissie Hynde, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, American actor Steve Buscemi, Sixties icon Twiggy, and tennis star Monica Seles.
Paul’s designer daughter Stella McCartney was on hand, as was his eldest daughter Mary, who revealed just before the ceremony she is expecting her second child. Other family among the congregation included Paul’s son James, his stepdaughter Heather, and the bride’s sister Claire.
“I’m very excited,” said one of Paul’s relatives, second cousin Sally Murphy. “Paul and Heather love each other to bits but they are just normal people like us – only with more money.” And gifts for the wealthy couple ran the gamut from a bread maker from Paul’s cousin Kate Robbins to donations to Heather’s land mine charity. One unique gift was a framed sketch of the couple. “What do you give a multi-millionaire?” said the artist, cousin Ian Harris, 64. “At least this is different.”
The reception came to an end around 2am, when Paul and Heather sailed back over the lake as fireworks went off overhead. They couple were then whisked away in a helicopter to the £17-million yacht Salperton, to start their honeymoon in a secret destination.