The sun was shining, church bells were ringing out across the rooftops and the champagne was chilling in Dunblane as townsfolk put the finishing touches to preparations for the wedding of the year.
Organ music wafted out from the vaulted choir of Dunblane Cathedral, where the biggest match of Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray’s career was set to take place this afternoon.
The bellringers could also be heard, their rich tones peeling out from the 11th-century bell tower on the medieval cathedral overlooking the River Allan where the Wimbledon and Olympic champion was to wed his sweetheart of nine years, painter Kim Sears.
The streets and shopfronts in the main streets were strung with floral bunting and cream rosettes and ribbons.
Good luck messages were posted in every second window and large “Congratulations” signs have been erected at roundabouts leading into the picturesque town.
William Lavery, a workman from Dundee, spruced up the gold postbox in Dunblane High Street, a tribute to the star’s 2012 Olympic victory, with a fresh coat of paint, while a further 150 traditional red boxes in the neighbourhood were cleaned up for the big day.
He said: “That’s it – just another three to go and that will be them all done.”
According to Murray, his bride-to-be has taken charge of most elements of their big day.
Miss Sears, who specialises in animal portraits, has gone for a “natural” theme, with echoes of that chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton for their nuptials.
There are 22 elegant saplings lining the aisle down which she will take her final steps as a single woman.
The trees will be hung with simple glass baubles containing candles ahead of the ceremony, which will be witnessed by just close friends and family.
No-one was spilling any details, but it is believed minister Colin Renwick would perform the marriage. Guests would go on to a private reception at Murray’s own luxury Cromlix Hotel, just three miles up the road.
Murray, who was best man for his brother Jamie’s wedding, which took place there last year, has returned the favour by inviting Jamie to be one of his three best men. The other two are close friend and tennis player Ross Hutchins and former training partner Carlos Mier.
A local jeweller was unable to confirm whether he had been commissioned to make any rings for a marriage taking place on Saturday. However, he said the whole community was “delighted” the tennis champion, who studied at Dunblane High School and learned his craft at the local tennis club, had chosen to get married in his home town.