Socialite Vivien Gould Marries an English Lord: This Week in History

Lord & Lady Decies, the former Vivien Gould

Socialite Vivien Gould Marries an English Lord: This Week in History

Melina Druga
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Vivien Gould on her wedding day
Vivien Gould on her wedding day

Socialite Vivien Gould, daughter of financier George J. Gould and his wife, was prepared to marry her fiancé, Lord Decies with the “pride of wealth,” the Miami Herald reported Feb. 5, 1911.

Gould and Decies were scheduled to marry two days later in New York City.

“The affair now promises to be more gorgeous and elaborate than was contemplated in the early plans,” the Herald said.  “From present indications, it will be the most notable affair of its kind that has taken place in the metropolis in a long time.”

The Bride and Groom

Vivien was not yet 18 years old and had only recently made her debut into society.  She had met her fiancé in Britain when she traveled overseas the previous summer to attend her brother-in-law’s sister’s wedding.

Lord Decies was 45 years old and had inherited his title after his brother’s death not long before the wedding.  He was a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army, having served in the Boer War.  In addition, he was known as being an expert cricket and polo player.

Decies’ position did not come with a seat in the House of Lords.

Decies was not the first in his family to marry an American.  So had his brother and two members of the extended family.

The Wedding Party

Lord and Lady Decies arrive on the Aquitania in 1919 for her first visit to the United States since 1913.
Lord and Lady Decies arrive on the Aquitania in 1919 for her first visit to the United States since 1913.

The bride’s sister and groom’s cousin, Edith Gould and Lord Allister Graham, were maid of honor and best man.  The wedding party included six bridesmaids and seven ushers.

Vivien’s youngest sister, Gloria, along with a family friend were flower girls.

A reception was planned after the couple’s four o’clock wedding at the Goulds’ Fifth Avenue town house.

“For the past week, mechanics, decorators and chefs have been hard at work preparing the wedding and reception,” the Herald said. “The town house of the Goulds has pass through an internal transformation, and has left the hands of the painters, decorators and upholsters more magnificent than ever.”

How does coverage of the Gould wedding compare to celebrity weddings today?  Leave a comment below.

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Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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