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The BBC's Caroline Thomsett
"The showbiz wedding of the year generated an estimated 2.5 million in profit for the local economy"
 real 56k

Thursday, 11 January, 2001, 20:35 GMT
Material girl brings 2.5m to Scotland
Madonna and Guy graphic
Madonna and Guy spent five nights at Skibo Castle
The marriage of Madonna and Guy Ritchie generated an estimated 2.5m for the Sutherland economy, it has emerged.

The pop star and the film director were married in a celebrity-studded ceremony in the Scottish Highlands in December.

The sleepy town of Dornoch was transformed by the media frenzy which surrounded the event.

Now the Scottish Parliament's Minister for the Highlands, Alasdair Morrison, has revealed the extent of the area's economic windfall.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow was at the ceremony
Answering a question on tourism, he told the Scottish Parliament that the event brought in an estimated 2.5m, with 200,000 worth of accommodation booked in the vicinity.

The Scottish Tourist Board said at the time of the wedding that the event had sparked a mini economic boom.

It said more than 1,500 nights of accomodation were booked in Dornoch and Tain alone.

A special website was also launched to capitalise on the interest the wedding generated.

The brainchild of the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board, it gives happy couples details of castles, hotels and beauty spots as well as legal and religious requirements.

Skibo Castle
Skibo Castle played host to celebrity guests
Dornoch's tourist office was deluged with enquiries after news of the wedding first emerged.

Hundreds of journalists, photographers and camera crews also descended on the town attempting to get a glimpse of the celebrity couple - and their star-studded guest list.

The 1.5m wedding was attended by major names including Gwyneth Paltrow, Donatella Versace, Stella McCartney, Sting and Rupert Everett.

The ceremony itself was shrouded in secrecy, and the world had to wait until the following day for confirmation that the marriage had indeed taken place at Skibo Castle.

The only real public glimpse of the stars came the previous day at the baptism of baby Rocco at Dornoch Cathedral.

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23 Dec 00 | Scotland
Madonna weds her Guy
11 Dec 00 | Scotland
Newly webbed site for Madonna fans
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