Tennis star Andy Murray is to marry Kim Sears in a special ceremony at his home town of Dunblane in Scotland today.
The Wimbledon and US Open champion and his partner will walk down the aisle in Dunblane Cathedral this afternoon, where thousands of fans and wellwishers are expected gather to mark the occasion.
The couple will say their vows at the 12th Century cathedral which will be followed by a low key reception for family members and close friends.
VisitScotland has hailed the annual impact of the £80 million wedding tourism industry on the Scottish economy.
According to a VisitScotland report, the Scottish tourism wedding market can be segmented into four core groups: those with Scottish roots; those who want to get away from it all; those with another connection to Scotland (university/childhood holidays); and finally, those taken with the romance and celebrity of Scotland – attracted by the uniqueness of a Scottish wedding or by high-profile celebrity weddings they have seen taking place in Scotland – such as Mr Murray and Ms Sears.
Tourist weddings in Scotland have a slightly different profile to other weddings in the UK, with a higher total spend and although the average number of guests is generally smaller, a higher proportion of these guests require overnight accommodation, perhaps due to the remoteness of some venues. In addition, couples tend to stay in Scotland for six nights on average around their wedding date and can make up to three weekend visits in advance of the big day to make arrangements.
High-profile weddings that have taken place in Scotland include: Madonna and Guy Ritchie (Skibo Castle), Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany (Gilmerton House, East Lothian), Stella McCartney (Mount Stuart), Mark Owen (Cawdor Parish Church), Philip Schofield (Ackergill Tower, Caithness), Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall (Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh) and Kirsty Hume (Luss Parish Church)
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “Put simply, Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world in which to get married. From the splendour and magnificence of our castles and historic homes, to the wild romantic nature of our lochs, mountains, islands and coastlines, there is a uniqueness and magic to having your big day on Scottish soil. The impact the wedding industry has on tourism itself is significant, but more than that, it gives us an opportunity to showcase Scotland to guests who may never have made the trip before and turn their time here into a holiday.
“We wish Andy and Kim all the very best for their special day in Dunblane and we are confident the happy couple and their guests will have a truly fabulous time while in Scotland.”
There were 27,547 weddings in Scotland in 2013.