Sure enough, a few more tears, albeit of a different nature, were shed today inside Ireland's Castle Leslie, as the legendary ex-Beatle, widowed four years ago, started life anew by marrying model/activist Heather Mills.
Reporters took the ringing of bells at the remote 17th century castle at 5:20 p.m. local time as a sign that the McMartney-Mills union was sealed. Two-plus hours later, McCartney's publicist, Geoff Baker, emerged to say the nuptials were indeed a done deal and to clue us in to some of the specifics.
Mills, swathed in an ecru lace dress of her own design, entered the church to "Heather," a tune McCartney wrote for her on his recent album, Driving Rain.
"Overcome by the emotion of the occasion, she briefly faltered and wept while making her vows," Baker said.
Mills, who had arrived about 10 minutes late to the affair, carried of two peonies and 11 red-pink "McCartney" roses, named after you know who. In keeping with the flower theme, poet Adrian Mitchell read "Roses in the Summertime," written specificially for the twosome.
After vows were swapped, the newlyweds walked down the aisle as another McCartney composition, "Wedding March" from the 1967 film Family Way, played on the organ.
The ceremony will be capped by an extravagant fireworks display, after which the couple will be whisked away to parts undisclosed for their honeymoon.
News of the wedding location--and date--leaked over the weekend, with Sir Paul and his new Lady confirming the worst-kept secret to the media on Monday.
Trying to keep some secrets to himself, McCartney declined to divulge the 300-strong guest list, telling reporters they wouldn't recognize most of the names anyway.
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> Ah, but we do recognize these names: popster Elton John, guitar god Eric Clapton, original supermodel Twiggy, rocker Chrissie Hynde, former President Clinton, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour--and a couple of Beatles stalwarts, producer George Martin and fellow mop-top Ringo Starr. McCartney's brother Mike served as the best man.
Starr, Martin and Gilmour were the only invites confirmed by McCartney's camp today. The others were either rumored to be on their way, spotted flying into London or arriving at the castle. Reuters, for instance, assured us that Starr was spied wearing a "frilly white shirt and jeans" as he made his way to Castle Leslie.
Starr's ensemble appears to have been a nod to McCartney's dress-casual request. (McCartney himself was clad in a three-piece brown suit.)
The reception--featuring another McCartney request, an all-veggie Indian feast--was to take place on the castle grounds. While an eight-piece world music band was hired for the occasion, what media types really wanted to know was whether all those assembled Rock and Roll Hall of Famers were going to summon their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame powers for an all-star jam.
"There are no plans," McCartney rep Baker said Monday, "but at parties like this it's possible they will have an impromptu performance."
McCartney and Mills' journey to the altar began in early 2000, when they met at a charity function for landmine victims, the chief cause of Mills, herself a leg amputee (albeit due to a motorcycle accident, not a landmine). They announced their engagement last July.
This is the second marriage for both. McCartney, who turns 60 next week, previously wed the former Linda Eastman on March 12, 1969, in the waning days of the Beatles. The two remained wedded, and virtually inseparable, until her death from breast cancer in April 1998.
Mills, 34, was married briefly in 1989. She also narrowly missed being married in 1999, when she called off her wedding to a documentary filmmaker just weeks before the big event.