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Madonna to write own wedding vows

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Pop icon Madonna and her film director boyfriend Guy Ritchie are to write their own wedding vows for Britain's showbusiness marriage of the year.

Church of Scotland vicar Susan Brown, dubbed "Holy Spice" for her modern attitude, revealed that she has given the couple a free hand on their vows.

Brown, who is to conduct the marriage just three days before Christmas in the Scottish Highlands town of Dornoch, said: "Madonna and Guy are clearly very much in love."

"They have chosen to make their own vows and I'm quite happy with that as long as what they want is in reason," she told Britain's Times newspaper.

Brown, who rollerskates down the aisle in children's services at Dornoch Cathedral to keep their attention, said of the happy couple: "They are now taking time to consider what they want to say and how they want to say it."

Together with Ritchie, 32 -- director of the UK hit gangster film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels -- Madonna, 42, has a four-month old son Rocco as well as a daughter Lourdes by a previous relationship with her fitness trainer.

The pop star is marrying for the second time -- her first husband was actor Sean Penn -- in the full glare of media publicity, with television crews from around the world descending on Dornoch.

Another pair of more retiring lovers planning a secret Scottish wedding had their cover blown when they ended up on the same "intended marriage" list as Madonna.

Jane Tooze and Andrew Davies had planned a quiet Christmas Eve wedding at romantic Skibo Castle, breaking the news later to friends and families.

But the banns announcing their impending marriage were broadcast around the world when they shared the same noticeboard with Madonna at the Dornoch registrar's office.

Jane Tooze told the Sun tabloid newspaper: "It now looks like we may have to make a few phone calls to family and friends beforehand if they see our names on the banns. We certainly didn't -- and don't -- want publicity."

Local tourist chiefs are hoping the attention focused on the star-studded wedding will give Scotland a higher profile.

Sutherland Economic Development Officer Gordon Todd said: "The Madonna factor will hopefully emulate what Rob Roy (starring Liam Neeson) and Mel Gibson did for Stirling and the Braveheart country.

"Over the next two or three weeks the spin-off benefits will hopefully be enormous."

Not everyone in Dornoch is so overjoyed.

But as the media fanned out across Dornoch High Street, one bemused local man commented: "I'm still waiting for someone to tell me who Madonna is. I thought it was a painting by Leonardo da Vinci."

Reuters contributed to this report.

Madonna to marry in Scottish Highlands
December 7, 2000
Madonna's home burgled while she slept
December 2, 2000
Madonna in my front room
November 30, 2000


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