It shouldn't happen to Yvette

IT must be the nightmare every bride dreads. You are looking your best on the most important day of your life, and some big shot turns up and grabs all the attention, writes Paul Routledge.

How much more dismaying when the celebrity is not only your new husband's employer, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer and your own boss too, in a manner of speaking.

Yvette Cooper, the new Labour MP for Pontefract and Castleford, coped as best she could yesterday when Gordon Brown stole the limelight at her wedding in Eastbourne to the Chancellor's economics adviser, Ed Balls. Yvette, a stunning bride in a Vivienne Westwood midnight blue, high-collared velvet suit, carried a bouquet of white roses to mark her link with Yorkshire and promised to love, honour and abide by the party line in a civil ceremony in the ballroom of the seafront Cavendish Hotel. Ed, the man who introduced neo-endogenous classical growth theory to the English political lexicon, wore the obligatory Treasury dark blue suit. But it was by Hugo Boss.

Mr Brown wore somethingsimilar. His girlfriend, Sarah Macaulay, a public affairs consultant, wore a purple suit with matching blouse and scarf, crowned with a broad-brimmed black hat. Rumours from the usual Westminster sources that Yvette's bouquet would be laser-guided into Ms Macaulay's hand proved to be inaccurate, although their friends still expect the Chancellor to marry her this year.