Page last updated at 23:26 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 00:26 UK

Wayne and Coleen marry in Italy

Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLouglin
The couple grew up in the same area of Liverpool

Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney has married his childhood sweetheart, Coleen McLoughlin, on the Italian Riviera.

The couple braved heavy rain to exchange vows at the Villa Durazzo, a 17th Century palace in the resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.

The deputy mayor of Santa Margherita, who officiated at the ceremony, said only a few family members were present. Details of the wedding were kept under wraps as part of a 2.5m magazine deal.

The couple were rumoured to have spent 5m on their nuptials, with OK! magazine reported to be footing half the cost.

The deputy mayor, Gianni Costa, said the couple, both 22, did not exchange rings.


Guests arrive in blacked-out limos

He said the bride wore a white dress and pearls, while the groom wore a hazel coloured suit with an open-necked shirt.

The white Marchesa wedding gown is believed to have cost 200,000.

"The ceremony was very simple yet very beautiful," Mr Costa added.

After the ceremony the couple were given a police escort in two cars with blacked-out windows for the short journey to the abbey of La Cervara.

The abbey, which has hosted three Popes and imprisoned a French king during its 650-year history, was the setting for the Rooneys' wedding reception.

Followed by Italian paparazzi keen to get a glimpse of the bride and groom, the reception climaxed in a huge fireworks display.

La Cervara abbey
The reception was held in the historic La Cervara abbey
Reporters, cameramen and paparazzi gathered at the entrance to La Cervara, hoping for a glimpse of guests arriving for the reception.

Security for the day was tight, with guards patrolling the venues for days in advance.

The couple were photographed at the local town hall on Tuesday, where they were believed to have formally declared their intention to wed, as required by Italian law.

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