Society wedding season officially kicked off over the weekend as British billionaire Alan Howard tied-the-knot with celebrity chef Caroline Byron at a very lavish event in Italy.
The founder of the highly profitable Brevan Howard Asset Management hedge fund, 59, who according to Forbes boasts a personal net worth of $1.6billion, exchanged vows at the weekend with the American gluten-free chef, 33, who counts Princess Beatrice among her friends, at a black-tie event at Villa Olmo in Como, Italy, over the weekend.
Alan, who officially tied the knot with Caroline amid the early days of the pandemic in 2020, is reported to have paid €1.3 million to close the 18th-century lakeside mansion for almost a month.
The couple were joined at the star studded event by guests including Pixie Lott and her new husband Oliver Cheshire, who only earlier this month celebrated their own nuptials.
Attendees watched the pair make their marriage vows beneath an arch made of flowers, before, later in the evening, they were serenaded to Lady Gaga and watched a huge firework display.
The wedding has not been without controversy, with residents said to be angered at the month-long closure of the villa and its surrounding parks ahead of the couple’s big day.
Society wedding season officially kicked off over the weekend as British billionaire Alan Howard tied-the-knot with celebrity chef Caroline Byron at a very lavish event in Italy
The founder of the highly profitable Brevan Howard Asset Management hedge fund exchanged vows at the weekend with the American gluten-free chef at a black-tie event at Villa Olmo in Como, Italy, over the weekend (left and right)
Guests including Pixie Lott and her new husband Oliver Cheshire attended the event (right), before being serenaded to a private performance by Lady Gaga (left)
Alan, who officially tied the knot with Caroline amid the early days of the pandemic in 2020, is reported to have paid €1.3 million to close the 18th-century lakeside mansion for almost a month
The couples guests, and locals, were treated to an enormous fireworks display at the end of the night on the shores of Lake Como
Alan and Caroline went all out for their big day and decorated the already stunning garden with a massive arch adorned with white flowers and greenery.
Guests were seated in white wrought iron chairs as they watched the couple exchange vows in front of their family and friends.
While Alan appeared to wear a traditional black suit for the occasion, his striking bride Caroline could be seen in a flowing white gown with a cathedral style veil.
The couple were seen mingling with guests at the lavish outdoor ceremony at Villa Olmo, where they were treated to views of Lake Como.
Among those who were attending the event was Pixie Lott, who has known Alan for a number of years. She previously was paid £25,000 to perform for just 20 minutes at his son’s bar mitzvah celebrations in 2010.
Pixie Lott was elegant in a turquoise gown as she arrived for the nuptials alongside her new husband Oliver Cheshire. The couple themselves only tied the knot earlier this month
Meanwhile Swedish model and actress Victoria Silvstedt was also in attendance, arriving on a boat at the venue alongside a number of other guests
Victoria opted for a striking green and red strapless gown for the occasion (left) and could be seen sweeping her hair from her face as she arrived (right)
The Swedish actress and model offered a wave to waiting fans as she arrived at the wedding venue in Lake Como on Saturday for the big day
Victoria was joined by a number of other guests as she walked along the jetty towards the venue earlier this week for the big event
Other guests attending the black tie event donned floor length gowns in vibrant greens and pinks as they stepped onto the jetty
One guest appeared to remove her shoes for the boat ride to the venue on Saturday (left) while another opted for a striking green and blue number (right)
As well as closing the site for a month ahead of their big day on Saturday, the couple also installed a floating lakeside dock to welcome their 250 guests to the villa, meaning the surrounding parkland behind the villa was also closed
The 250-strong guest list were then treated to a private performance by Lady Gaga, who took to the piano to sing a number of her hit songs.
Among her set-list were ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ and ‘Shallow’ from the Academy Award-winning film A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper.
Meanwhile the singer also had a number of dress changes during the performance, switching a black strapless gown for a glittering gold number during her set.
Villa Olmo is a must-see spot in Como, and it’s easy to see why. The intricately designed estate boasts a number of columns and arches and is decorated with sculptures by Francesco Carabelli.
Marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi commissioned Swiss architect Simone Cantoni to build the neoclassical villa along the lake as a summer retreat for the aristocracy in 1797.
Many of those attending the event opted for elegant floor length gowns, including a purple frilly number (left). Another took off her shoes as she arrived in an eye-catching gold dress (right)
Another woman attending the event this weekend opted for a floor length yellow gown, which featured a black floral print
A number of luminaries have visited the villa over the years, including Napolean Bonaparte and Austrian Emperors Franz II and Ferdinand I.
In 1924, the villa became the property of the city, and it’s now used for cultural events and art exhibitions in Como.
As well as closing the site for a month ahead of their big day on Saturday, the couple also installed a floating lakeside dock to welcome their 250 guests to the villa, meaning the surrounding parkland behind the villa was also closed.
Livia Cioffi, the culture chief of Como council, told the Times: ‘Shutting down the property for 27 days was possibly too much,’ adding that preparations for a previous large wedding ‘only took it over for two weeks.’
She continued that ‘this money will be much needed for paying day-to-day expenses like the wages of police and rubbish collectors.’
Meanwhile Davide Cantoni, of local news outlet ComoZero stated: ‘The parkland is the most beautiful stretch of greenery in Como… so sealing it off for a month in June has upset people.’
Local councillor Maurizio Traglio told La Provincia Di Como newspaper: ‘Our town is not in default or in difficulty and does not need to make sacrifices or accept extreme measures to pay off debts.’
Mr Howard, a stalwart Conservative supporter, became well known after astute reading of imminent danger helped him become a billionaire, as his Brevan Howard hedge fund liquidated 80 per cent of its investments into cash at an early point in the global financial crisis.
Snaps shared on social media by guests show how the couple walked down an aisle of stunning white flowers and greenery before tying the knot beneath a stunning archway of flowers (left and right)
While Alan appeared to wear a traditional black suit for the occasion, his striking bride Caroline could be seen in a flowing white gown with a cathedral style veil
The couple, who first tied the knot during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2010 and welcomed a daughter together in May, stood side-by-side as they exchanged their vows
Caroline wore a stunning floor length white gown for the event in Italy on Saturday, sweeping her hair into a low bun to reveal the back of her dress
The former Salomon Brothers bond trader founded Brevan Howard in 2003 and the firm, based in Marks & Spencer’s former headquarters on Baker Street, has grown to become the world’s fourth-largest hedge fund with £20bn run by 300 staff.
Following a global macro strategy of betting on international financial trends, Brevan Howard’s key fund produced a 21per cent return in 2008 while most of its rivals suffered.
He now boasts a large art collection and a £22million penthouse in Trump Tower.
In 2010, he made headlines after paying £25,000 for the singer Pixie Lott and boy band JLS to perform at his 13-year-old son Daniel’s bar mitzvah celebrations in 2010.
And in 2015, he forked out $14million for a swanky apartment in Miami, Florida.
The 250-strong guest list were treated to a private performance by Lady Gaga, who took to the piano to sing a number of her hit songs
Among her set-list were ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ and ‘Shallow’ from the Academy Award-winning film A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper
Later, attendees watched an incredible fireworks display over the lake as the wedding reception came to an end
The fireworks display, which lit up the night sky on Saturday, was watched on by locals who gathered at the banks of the lake
He has been lauded for setting up the Alan Howard Charitable Foundation which aims to promote Holocaust education and other Jewish and Israeli causes.
He has four children with his ex-wife Sabine, whom he divorced in 2015.
Forbes magazine put Mr Howard’s personal fortune at $1.8bn (£1.2m) , ranking him 556th among the world’s richest people.
In a rare interview with Bloomberg News in 2009, Mr Howard, who is a diminutive 5ft 5in, admitted he prefers to refrain from the spotlight, saying: ‘We’re a company that prefers to have a low profile. That’s just the way we are.’
Mr Howard is acquainted with top figures including George Osborne and has served on the board of Conservative Friends of Israel.
Mr Howard, a stalwart Conservative supporter, became well known after astute reading of imminent danger helped him become a billionaire, as his Brevan Howard hedge fund liquidated 80 per cent of its investments into cash at an early point in the global financial crisis
But his spokesman has denied persistent reports that he is a donor to the Conservative party.
He owns a number of properties in London and in March 2008, bought a sprawling apartment in Central Park for for $11,330,000 (£7.51million).
His new wife, a former model, runs her gluten-free food business Simply Caro, which counts celebrity fans including Princess Beatrice.
Caroline, who is from New York, became interested in food and cooking when she got Lyme disease at the age of 10.
Meanwhile gluten-free chef and New Yorker Caroline Byron counts stars and royalty, including Princess Beatrice, among her friends (pictured)
She dropped out of college in Boston to pursue her love of cooking, and she enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York.
The couple have been incredibly private about their romance – with Caroline hinting she often ‘cooked for her boyfriend’ in a 2016 interview but refusing to name him.
Meanwhile they welcomed a daughter in May, although they have not shared any photographs of her and haven’t shared her name.