Two gatecrash McCartney wedding

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The Independent Online

The wedding of Stella McCartney, held amid tight security on the Isle of Bute, was apparently gatecrashed by two local men yesterday who boasted of wandering around the reception venue and taking photographs of guests.

Stuart Reynolds, a 35-year-old electrician from Rothesay, said that he and his friend Robert Charker, 28, had not been challenged as they strolled through the sculpted gardens of Mount Stuart, within 100 yards of guests.

Mr Reynolds said: "We had heard that there was all this tight security and I suppose we just dared ourselves to go in. We could see a marquee and men dressed in kilts and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

"We also heard what sounded like a pipe band playing in the background."

Madonna, Pierce Brosnan and Lord of the Rings star Liv Tyler were among 100 celebrities who descended on the picturesque island on Scotland's west coast yesterday.

As Ms McCartney and her publisher fiancé, Alasdhair Willis, prepared to make their vows, the Scottish Tourist Board was drumming up more trade, pointing out that one in three couples who get married in Scotland live outside the country.

The worst kept secret in show business was finally confirmed on Friday, when stars began to arrive on the island, chosen for its closeness to the Kintyre peninsula ­ made famous by "Mull of Kintyre", the single that took Ms McCartney's father, Sir Paul, to number one in 1977.

Among the first stars to be spotted were Brosnan and Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of Scottish pop group Texas, who were seen sharing a coffee at St Blane's Hotel in Kilchattan Bay. Also seen were Madonna and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie (whose own wedding took place at Skibo Castle in Caithness and Sutherland nearly three years ago), the Pretenders singer, Chrissie Hynde, and Gucci boss, Tom Ford.

Yesterday morning saw the arrival in the island's main town, Rothesay, of Coldplay singer Chris Martin, fresh from his band's triple triumph at the MTV Video Awards, and Sir Paul's wife, Heather Mills-McCartney. Three coaches and four blacked-out Range Rovers drove into Mount Stuart shortly after 3pm, as helicopters hovered overhead.

After weeks of feverish tabloid speculation about her choice of dress, Ms McCartney let it be known through friends that it would be closely modelled on the fawn-coloured shift worn by her mother, the late Linda McCartney, at her wedding.

While the public strained to peer through the security cordon surrounding the ceremony, and Scottish tourism chiefs were promoting the virtues of marriage north of the border, Mr Reynolds and his friend were busy showing their wedding photographs to the waiting press.