Move over Paris, 2024 is the year of the Wedding Olympics – and it’s only just getting started – Tatler

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What is it about weddings in 2024? ‘People are going so much bigger,’ Lucy Vail, society’s go-to florist, emphasises. Vail, herself, is an example of this: more than just a florist she’s a flower-architect forward-slash set designer who magics up theatre through her botanicals for these Olympic-size events (which take place every weekend from April).

Floral sculptures at the wedding of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant. ‘People are going so much bigger,’ says Lucy Vail, society’s go-to florist, who this year is creating a maze in a church

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‘We are completely going against the normal; there used to be a straight aisle; now we’re creating mazes going down to these huge pergolas,’ she says. Vail was behind a recent mega-wedding at Villa D’Este in Lake Como, the theme of which was ‘La Dolce Vita’, and her job was to turn a marquee into a centuries old greenhouse. ‘We’re using AI to help visualise spaces,’ she adds. These wedding olympians require floristry on an industrial, ostensibly ‘permanent’ scale.

Which leads us to Team GB’s entry into 2024’s Wedding Olympics. Undoubtedly, dear reader, it will be the Duke of Westminster’s wedding to society newcomer Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral on 7 June. Already fêted as the society event of the year given Hugh Grosvenor’s royal connections (as the godfather of Prince George, as well as the godson of the King) and his status as a Rich List stalwart. The event, while unlikely to star Beyoncé (although, Michael McIntyre and the Rizzle Kicks did perform at his 21st), will be a who’s who of the upper echelons of British society. It will start at Chester Cathedral and the reception will follow at Eaton Hall, the Duke’s family home. The wedding is guaranteed to be Olympic-like in its pomp, pageantry and grandeur. Expect many of the trappings of royal weddings: tail coats, floral installations and very likely Fait Accompli, the event-planning wizards, whirring away, swan-like behind the scenes. While GB’s entry won’t be a patch on India’s marathon-like athleticism, they’ll more than be able to match the rival country in their impeccable, flawless execution (or ‘technique’).

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Fireworks and a drone show gargantuan enough to make even Diwali look demure: the pre-wedding of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant

Stories by Joseph Radhik

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