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McCartney ties knot at rock 'n' roll wedding

McCartney and Mills
McCartney raises a cheer from fans as he kisses Mills on the eve of the wedding  

GLASLOUGH, Republic of Ireland -- Flowers petals fluttered and bells pealed as ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his bride Heather Mills left a tiny church in the Republic of Ireland after their wedding ceremony.

The bride wore a lace dress designed with the help of two London designers, who did not include McCartney's designer daughter, Stella. The groom wore a three-piece brown suit.

It was the second marriage for both.

A local priest presided over the Church of Ireland service at St. Salvator's Church, near Glaslough in County Monaghan, which was closed to the press.

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is believed to have given a reading during the ceremony based on the group's song, "All You Need is Love."

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Sir Paul's children, Stella, James, Mary and stepdaughter Heather, are believed to have attended, despite reports of a rift between them and the bride.

A single official wedding photo was made available to media organisations for 1,000 ($1,471 US) with the proceeds being donated to an anti-landmine charity, Adopt A Minefield UK.

The couple turned down a 1.5 million ($2.2 million) offer from a celebrity magazine for exclusive coverage of the wedding. "An occasion like this is for everyone," Sir Paul's spokesman Geoff Baker said.

The bride, who was by tradition slightly late for the ceremony, faltered as she spoke in front of family, friends and celebrities, McCartney's spokesman said. She carried a bouquet of 11 McCartney roses -- named in honour of her new husband -- and two peonies, he said.

Mills entered the church to the strains of the song "Heather," which McCartney wrote for his recent album. As the two walked back down the aisle after exchanging vows, the organ played the "Wedding March" McCartney wrote for the 1966 movie "The Family Way."

With reporters and camera kept out of the church, commentators took the sound of ringing bells at the 300-year-old church as a sign that the 34-year-old ex-model and the 59-year-old former Beatle were wed.

CNN's Richard Quest said the marriage was delayed by about 30 minutes on Tuesday after a helicopter was heard hovering low over the church as Mills was supposed to have approached.

"Organisers -- and we can only assume that is McCartney and Mills -- became very annoyed," he said. "It is said to have left a bad taste in the mouth." (Full story)

Stars from the music and fashion world began flying into Belfast from Heathrow, London, and Liverpool just hours before the ceremony.

Musicians Chrissie Hynde and Jools Holland and former model Twiggy and her husband Leigh Lawson flew over on a chartered Airbus A-330. Other guests thought to have attended are guitarist Eric Clapton, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and John Eastman, brother of Sir Paul's late wife, Linda.

Ringo Starr heads to Ireland for McCartney's wedding  

After the ceremony, the 300 guests moved from the church into three marquees by the side of the lake to tuck into a vegetarian Indian banquet and champagne on the banks of the lake on the enclosed 1,000-acre estate at Castle Leslie.

A covered walkway had been custom built between the chapel and the marquees to prevent the possibility of the heavy rainfall of previous days dampening the celebrations.

The guests were treated to a band playing Indian and Celtic music under the strict instructions that mobile phones should be switched off or left behind.

McCartney had said earlier that no dress code would be required and that while the menu was vegetarian it would also be "very liquid and alcoholic."

"It's a rock 'n' roll wedding," Sir Paul said. "We are going to have family and friends and a lot of fun."

Thousands of flowers, including lilies and roses, had been delivered to the site. Lighting effects were put in trees and floating pontoons laid along the banks of the lake, possibly for a spectacular fireworks display expected to round off the wedding, estimated to have cost $3 million.

At some point McCartney and Mills were expected to take to a 40-foot yacht on the lake.

McCartney and Mills arrived at the 17th-century estate on Sunday night by helicopter. Castle Leslie has no phones, clocks or televisions in its 14 rooms.

McCartney and Mills, a model who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident nine years ago, met at a charity function where she was raising money to oppose the use of land mines.

The couple announced their engagement last July.


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