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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

Our hot take on the the biggest society wedding of the year - The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson

Society watchers assemble! Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. This past weekend saw the not quite royal wedding of the year take place between The Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, and Olivia Henson. The couple tied the knot in Chester Cathedral in a ceremony that was both traditional and contemporary.

As purveyors of fine English wedding marquees, we couldn't let these noble nuptials pass by without weighing in with our thoughts on every detail, including the question on everyone lips, did they have a marquee?

A floral spectacle

In a thoroughly modern move, the couple built their sustainable credentials into their big day by opting for seasonal flowers sourced from local growers, and lots of them! They used the Flowers from the Farm network, which champions artisan growers and helps reduce carbon footprint. The beautiful blooms added a touch of nature to central Chester and will continue to spread joy as they are transformed into bouquets and delivered to local charities, churches, and organisations.

A grand arrival

Hugh made a memorable entrance alongside his three best men in a green Land Rover Defender, after all, what self respecting farmer or estate owners would dare to be seen in anything else? This choice of vehicle was meaningful as well as stylish and set the tone for a day that celebrated heritage and tradition through a contemporary lens.

A green land rover defender as used by the Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor at his wedding to Olivia Henson

The bride's stunning entrance

All eyes were on Olivia as she arrived in a vintage Bentley and not just any old run of the mill vintage Bentley. This particular 1930 vehicle was produced especially for Walter Owen Bentley, the founder of Bentley Motors himself.

Olivia’s wedding dress and veil, created by London-based designer Emma Victoria Payne, featured incredible embroidery with floral motifs and edgings from her great-great-grandmother's billowing veil, which dates back to around 1880.

Her bouquet was made of flowers picked from the gardens of the Duke's family home, Eaton Hall, expanding on the personal and sentimental theme to her garms. Olivia completed her royal-not-royal bridal look with the Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara, a family heirloom designed to resemble a wreath of laurel or myrtle leaves, a traditional wedding flower.

A touch of modernity

It's hard being an aristocrat marrying the country's most eligible bachelor, how's a modern girl supposed to be on trend when she's got to conform with all the traditional wedding elements her high society peers and elders expect to see? Well, our Olivia managed to bring a modern twist to her bridal look with her choice of footwear. She wore a super cool pair of blue Silvia Lago shoes adorned with oversized bows and an almost rebellious chunky block heel. Effortlessly blending tradition with contemporary style.

A pair of Silvia Lago Valentina 8 riviera shoes as worn by Olivia Henson on her wedding day.

The ceremony and reception

Hughie and Liv added a modern touch to their ceremony by opting not to use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, thee and thou pronouns were not approved and sadly there was no mention of 'men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding'. Guests reported that this more contemporary ceremony was fitting for the couple and their vision for the day.

After the cathedral ceremony, the wedding party boarded coaches to return to the groom's home, Eaton Hall, for the celebrations. Details of the reception are sparse but we do know that the afternoon gathering and evening party involved a lemon wedding cake, which we absolutely approve of. Apart from the cake scoop the celebration was kept under wraps, with guests being asked not to post on social media.

Eaton Hall in Cheshire, home of The Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor.
Eaton Hall, Cheshire. Plenty of space for a couple of our 42 metre marquees, which can easily accommodate The Duke and Olivia's 400 guests! Photo credit - David Goddard/Getty Images

Speculations on the private reception

While details of the private reception remain closely guarded, there is much speculation here at Peacock and Bow about the possibility of a luxury pole and canvas marquee being used for the occasion. Given the grandeur and exclusivity of Eaton Hall, it wouldn't be a surprising choice. A stunning marquee provides the perfect setting for an evening of celebration under the stars. The luxurious Wills Marquees that we provide are often the venue of choice for high-profile events, offering a blend of opulence and intimacy that perfectly suits such a significant occasion.

A day to remember

The wedding of the Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson was a perfect mingling of tradition and modernity, celebrating their heritage while embracing contemporary touches. The same can be said of our spectacular pole and canvas marquees, which are handcrafted in Yorkshire using age old techniques and the finest materials. Our marquees offer a timeless elegance that can't be topped. So, if you're planning the next big society wedding, or even if your guest list is 40 rather than 400, get in contact today and let us help you celebrate like a billionaire.


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