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Exclusive: Inside Holly Branson's spectacular dream island wedding

02 JANUARY 2012

Sir Richard Branson's stunning daughter Holly has spoken for the first time of marrying on the exact spot devastated by fire on Necker Island.

In a beautiful sunset ceremony, Holly, 30, poignantly wed Freddie Andrews, also 30, on the blackened, charred remains of where the Branson's family home stood before a freak lightening bolt burnt it down on August 22 2011 forcing the family to flee for their lives.

 

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Sharing her exclusive wedding album and speaking only to HELLO! magazine, Holly said: "Because it is such a dramatic environment, you don't get a sad feeling on the ruins, it's more of an uplifting, wow, a feeling of celebration and a time to reflect.

"Before, we were wondering where to fit that many people to have a proper service, but it was the most obvious big flat open space, it was perfect.

"It's definitely our special place and it looked absolutely beautiful, even thought it was still very rustic – there are still piles of rubble – it was dramatic.

"And it's stunning because you're at the top of a hill so there are incredible panoramic views."

Talking of being walked up the aisle by her father, Holly added: "I saw everyone's smiling faces and Freddie standing there at the altar, I just felt so happy. It was a real moment for us to share."

Sir Richard told HELLO! of the December 20th ceremony, which was the same date that he and Lady Joan Branson married 22 years before: "Its ruins couldn't have been a more perfect setting to hold such a beautiful wedding. We definitely turned a negative into a positive."

The wedding came after the couple held a four day long celebration with 100 friends, who included Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, with an action packed programme including sailing races, beach olympics, a white night and a volleyball tournament – which Holly won.

In another uncovential twist rather than hymns the guest at the service sang songs like I'm a Believer by the Monkees and It Must Be Love by Madness.

 


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Holly, wearing a beskpoke ivory wedding gown and veil by Australian bridal designer Jane Hill, with sparkling Jimmy Choo sandals and carrying a posy of cream roses, revealed to HELLO! that her dad is already pestering her to give him a grandchild.

She tells the magazine which carries 35 pages of exclusive photos of the emotional ceremony and fun-packed celebrations: "He was really keen for me to be pregnant walking down the aisle. He didn't think we should worry about being married first.

My parents weren't married before they had Sam and I, but both had been married before and it didn't work, so I think for us, it's nice to do everything in the right order."

And they may not have long to wait, with Freddie telling HELLO! "Both of us would love to start a family and we think that marriage is the first step to getting that underway."

He says of Holly: "She has always been the one I wanted to marry," as he revealed that he proposed by setting off fireworks which sent out the message: "Holly Bee, will you marry me?"

HELLO! has made a donation to charity in return for the exclusive wedding album.

For the full interview see HELLO! magazine on sale now, issue 1207.

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