Tayside and Central Scotland

Andy Murray marries girlfriend Kim Sears in Dunblane

Media captionJulie Peacock reports from Dunblane: ''They look absolutely chuffed to bits''

Tennis star Andy Murray has married his long-term girlfriend Kim Sears in a ceremony in his hometown.

A white wedding car brought Ms Sears to the back of Dunblane Cathedral, out of sight of the media and well-wishers.

The couple, both 27, exchanged vows at the 12th Century cathedral before making their way to a small reception for family members and close friends.

Hundreds of the world's media captured the event which has sparked interest around the globe.

The Wimbledon and US Open-winning player was greeted by a huge cheer from the gathered crowd as he entered the venue with his brother Jamie.

He sported a blue and green kilt while Sussex-born Ms Sears wore an embroidered white gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and a long veil.

Image caption Kim Sears arrives in the bridal car

Murray's divorced parents Judy and William, his grandparents Shirley and Roy Erskine and former British tennis number one Tim Henman and his wife Lucy were among the guests.

Guests lined the path from the cathedral doors and bells rang as the couple left the church and were showered with confetti.

The bride was accompanied by four bridesmaids in long pink gowns.

The couple left the wedding venue for the reception at Cromlix - which Murray bought in 2013 and converted into a luxury hotel - in a grey car decked with ribbons. They were cheered by crowds lining the streets.

At the scene - Julie Peacock, BBC News, Dunblane

Scotland's wedding of the year enjoyed typically Scottish weather. But the hail and rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the thousands who'd gathered outside Dunblane cathedral to wish the couple well.

They were rewarded for their patience when the new Mr and Mrs Murray greeted the crowds in the April sunshine.

This was Kim's day to take centre stage and she dazzled in a crystal-encrusted gown by Jenny Packham.

When Andy was asked how it went, he replied in his usual understated style - 'alright, thanks'.

Media captionAndy Murray was greeted by cheers as he arrived for his wedding in a kilt
Image caption Andy Murray waves to the crowds as he arrives at the cathedral
Image caption Andy's mother Judy Murray arrives at the wedding
Image caption Andy Murray's car arriving at the cathedral
Image caption Andy and Jamie Murray go into the cathedral

At 09:40 Murray sent a tweet, made up of emoticons, which depicted the day ahead for him and his bride.

Starting with sunshine and showers, it then showed nails being painted, hair being done, a church, a ring, a kiss, a camera, food, a cake, drinks, music, dancing, the moon, hearts and zzz icons to represent sleep.

Earlier, hailstones and showers battered the venue but the sun later returned.

Murray's mother Judy had been keeping a close eye on the weather, initially tweeting: "Hailstones. Marvellous" and then later "Snowing. #whitewedding".

Image caption One of Andy Murray's best men Ross Hutchins arrives at the event
Image caption Tim and Lucy Henman are among the guests
Image caption Andy's father William Murray and his partner Sam Watson arrive
Image caption Andy's grandmother Shirley Irskine arriving
Image caption Kim Sears arriving in the wedding car

Fans of the tennis player posted their best wishes on social media and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered her congratulations.

She said: "I send my warm congratulations to Andy and Kim on their big day and wish them all the very best for a long and happy life together.

"Saturday promises to be a great day for Dunblane. Andy is a local hero there but he is also a Scottish sporting superstar, and the whole nation will be delighted for him and his new wife."

Image caption Andy Murray tweeted earlier
Image caption Fans have been sheltering under umbrellas
Media captionThe BBC's Laura Bicker: "This is being billed as Scotland's royal wedding"

Bunting was put up along the town's high street, while local shops dedicated window displays to the big day. Some residents also planned garden parties.

There were huge cheers from the waiting crowd as the minister who will marry the couple, the Rev Colin Renwick, arrived at the cathedral.

Murray fan Brenda Watson, who travelled from Ochiltree, Ayrshire, said: "We forgot our hats but we're hoping the sun will shine for Andy and Kim.

"We're so excited about seeing them and the atmosphere is great, it's been well worth coming."

Image caption Media ladders outside Dunblane Cathedral

British number one Murray moved to Spain as a 15-year-old to pursue his dream of becoming a professional tennis player but has maintained close links with the town he grew up in.

The town boasts a golden post box not far from the cathedral, marking Murray's win at the 2012 Olympics.

Murray announced his engagement to Miss Sears, his girlfriend of nine years, in November last year. The pair met as teenagers in 2005 through her father Nigel, who is a tennis coach.

Murray had three best men - his brother and fellow tennis player Jamie, and friends Ross Hutchins and Carlos Mier.

The world number three earlier said he was not nervous about the occasion.

He said: "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."

Image caption Bunting has been put up in Dunblane High Street to celebrate the wedding

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