Thursday, March 1, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Sir Richard Branson opens up the family album as he shares some photos of daughter Holly's Caribbean wedding

By Georgina Littlejohn

Moonlit moment: Sir Richard Branson poses with wife Joan and his newly-wed daughter Holly and her new husband Freddie Andrewes after their wedding on Necker Island in December

It was the wedding that could almost never have happened after a fire ravaged through the idyllic Caribbean island that was playing host to their nuptials.

But some smouldering ashes and some burnt-out ruins wasn't going to stop the Branson family celebrating Holly's wedding to ship broker Freddie Andrewes.

And Sir Richard himself decided to open up the family album today and share some intimate snaps of the family and their friends and other loved-ones enjoying themselves as they toasted the new married couple.

Holly and Freddie, both 30, were married on Necker Island just before Christmas and just few months after it was ravaged by a huge fire that destroyed the Great House on the Virgin Island.

But that certainly didn't dampen the newlyweds' spirits or their guests, who made it a wedding to remember, if the pictures are anything to go by.

Sir Richard, 61, the proud dad, took to his blog on the Virgin website to share snaps from the event including ones of the big day itself and the parties that took place either side.

Me and my little girl: Sir Richard gets ready to accompany Holly down the aisle

Proud: Sir Richard, his wife Joan and their son Sam, Holly's brother, watch the ceremony from their front row seats

I now pronounce you husband and wife: Holly and Freddie share a kiss much to the delight of their guests

In one, he is seen looking emotional as he accompanies his stunning daughter down the aisle and then is seen sitting sitting proudly with his hand on wife Joan's knee, who in turn has her hand on their 26-year-old son Sam's knee as they watch the ceremony from the front row.

In another, Holly and Freddie share their first kiss as a married couple in front of the jubilant guests and a stunning black and white image shows them laughing out loud as guests through streamers and glitter onto the happy couple.

Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom: Holly and Freddie laugh out loud as they are showered with glitter and streamers by their guests

Pretty: Holly and Freddie go to cut the wedding cake as Sir Richard stands by their side

There are lovely photos of Holly and Freddie with Sir Richard and Joan as well as two famous guests who flew to the island, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who are good friends with Holly and her brother Sam.

And Holly is also seen posing with her new husband and her parents before she takes to the dance floor with her entrepreneur father for a boogie.

Dance with me, Daddy: Holly takes her father's hand as he leads her to the dance floor

A stolen moment: Holly and Freddie share a kiss on the beach

A huge group shot also features in the collection as well as Sir Richard waving his napkin in the air at his table.

Some were also taken on the morning of the wedding and show Holly and her bridal party getting ready as they open up Tiffany & Co boxes, no doubt containing some bejeweled delight inside.

By Royal Appointment: The newlyweds and Sir Richard pose for a photo with guest Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice

It's party time! Holly and Fred and their friends and family posed for a group shot after the ceremony

Waves your napkins in the air: Sir Richard looked like he was having a great time at the dinner

Sir Richard also wrote a few words to accompany the photos and said: 'We thought it might be nice to share Holly and Freddie’s wedding photos. It really was a wonderful occasion.

'As one of our wedding guests put it: “I can't think of anyone else who would go to the lengths of burning their house down to provide the perfect wedding location for their daughter!”

The bridal party: Holly and her bridesmaids were seen opening boxes from Tiffany & Co as they got ready for the ceremony

'Special thanks to Alexia Hargrave for doing such amazing jobs organising the wedding. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you also to the brilliant Miles Peckham, who has helped us with launches and events around the world - the quirkier the better!

The pictures also suggest that a couple of parties were thrown during the few days of celebrating, with one looking like it had a pirate theme.

On the high seas: Holly and Freddie are hoisted into the air during what looked like a pirate themed party

Arrr, me hearties! Sir Richard got into the spirit of the evening with his fancy dress costume

In one shot, Holly and Freddie, dressed in pirate fancy dress, are hoisted up to on their friends' shoulders - who are also in pirate attire - and in another, Sir Richard himself dons a huge feathered hat and gives a cheeky smile to the camera.

There were also some time in the sun for the wedding party with one photo showing Sir Richard and the groom and his friends posing on a cliff with their arms in the air

Here come the boys: Sir Richard and the groom Freddie pose with his friends on a cliff in the glorious sunshine

I love you sis, Sam Branson gives Holly a big hug during one of the many festivities that took place for the wedding

Shortly after the wedding, Sir Richard said the fire was not going to ruin Holly and Fred's day and said: 'Its ruins couldn't have been a more perfect setting to hold such a beautiful wedding. We definitely turned a negative into a positive.'

And today, he added: 'So proud of my beautiful daughter and delighted to welcome Freddie into the family. Hope you enjoy the photos.'

Lots of love in the air: Holly and Freddie stand in the middle of their friends who had created a sign for the couple that read, 'H loves F' by using themselves sitting down



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