With around 50,000 people working for Virgin, I make a point of not going to weddings or other family events because I know if I go to one I will offend lots of people by not going to theirs too. But this week I broke that rule for an incredible lady called Jean Oelwang, who set up Virgin Unite, our not-for-profit foundation.
Jean married a delightful, inspirational Paralympian named Chris Waddell and they had the most wonderful service on the top of a mountain. People travelled from all over the world to be there, and there was beautiful poetry from Sarah Kay, singing from Morley and a speech from our good friend Andrea Barron.
Wonderful entrepreneurs from the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa were also present in spirit on this special day. Summertime created all the printed materials; Keith from Ubuntuism created t-shirts that the flower girls wore and that they gave as gifts; Wandile from shwe shwe poppiscreated the dolls that the flower girls threw to the guests after the ceremony.
Jean has built our foundation into a formidable force. Virgin Unite has incubated The Elders, The Carbon War Room, The B Team and the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship and is doing sterling work with everyone across the Virgin Group and our partnersto make a positive difference to people's lives.
The only problem with Jean is that she is even worse than me for saying yes she always say yes to everything if it will help people. Together we are a dangerous force! Chris, who is the most decorated male mono skier in Paralympic history, has also set up a foundation, One Revolution, to to turn perceptions of disability upside down. I'm sure Jean and Chris will be a force to be reckoned with too.
But anyway, the important thing is it is lovely seeing Jean marry such a special person. We all wish them a lifetime of happiness.
Are you getting married, or have you been to a wonderful wedding this summer? Many congratulations to you if so, and please do share your wedding memories.
Photos by Jill Orschel