The average couple spends $30,000 on their wedding but in Hollywood that’s small change. Whenever a high profile celebrity couple gets married, they’re spread all over the tabloids, detailing where every dollar went. Some like to put their money in great entertainment, others in flower arrangements or a destination wedding, some pay for all of the above.
Contrary to what you might imagine though, apparently the more you spend does not mean a happier or longer marriage – the opposite, in fact. Studies show that those who spend the most on their marriages are the most likely to divorce. People who generally spend less on the wedding and less on the ring, similarly will stay together longer. According to the same study, the group who was most likely to stay together were those who spent less than $1,000 on their nuptials! So if you’re planning on getting married soon and your significant other is bugging you about spending more and more, just stealthily send them the facts: If you love me, this will be a small wedding.
Whether or not you plan on getting married, learning where your favorite (and not so favorite) stars spend their wedding money is kind of a trip. Some of the choices are bizarre, while others inescapably glamorous. What would your dream wedding be?
15. Donald Trump And Melania Trump: $1 Million
No one has weddings like Trump; Trump has the best weddings. You’ve never seen weddings like his weddings, his weddings are winners, even when they end in divorce. When Trump married Melania Knauss in 2005, they had a huge party attended by some of the biggest stars in the world, including Simon Cowell, P. Diddy, Shaquille O’Neal, Barbara Walters and yes, even Hillary Clinton. Melania’s wedding dress was from Christian Dior and featured a sixteen-foot veil. The wedding took place at Palm Beach, with the reception held at the Mar-a-Lago Club. This would be Trump’s third wedding and he pulled out all the stops, but still ranks pretty low on the list. You’d think a self-made, self-proclaimed billionaire would dish out a bit more cash – but then again, back in 2005, this was just as The Apprentice was getting off the ground, The Donald had other things to worry about.
14. Brad Pitt And Jennifer Aniston: $1 Million
It won’t be too surprising that a number of entries of this list had some pretty big fall out. For any of you who don’t remember, the ordeal on the Mr. and Mrs. Smith set that killed Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston‘s wedding lead to the all powerful, all knowing Brangelina. Before that, Pitt and Aniston were very much concerned the “IT” couple, so having it fall apart was pretty devastating for people who cared about that kind of thing. Their pre-Angelina Jolie fairytale romance started with a pretty extravagant 1 million dollar wedding. They got married in Malibu and pulled out all the stops, which included a gospel choir, 4 bands, fireworks, 50,000 flowers and over 200 guests. The all-star guest list included David Spade, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton and Cameron Diaz. While they have been broken up for over ten years at this point, Aniston still suffers blowback from the event, and in a 2013 interview, Pitt said their marriage was a low point in his life, saying he felt pathetic and that “I think that my marriage had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t.”
13. Catherine Zeta-Jones And Michael Douglas: $1.5. Million
Surprisingly still going strong (well, mostly), when Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas first started dating, much was made of their huge age difference. The couple married in 2000 at the New York Plaza hotel behind a giant flower arrangement. To avoid undocumented photos, they struck up a $1 million dollar deal with OK Magazine to cover the deal (which eventually lead to two huge lawsuits and payouts since some paparazzi snuck in). Zeta-Jones insisted on sticking to her Welsh roots, inviting mostly family and old friends, also featuring a Welsh choir as she walked down the aisle. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any famous guests, however, and Jack Nicholson, Danny Devito, Meg Ryan, James Woods and Anthony Hopkins were among the celebrities in attendance. Art Garfunkel and Jimmy Buffet also performed at the wedding.
12. Tiger Woods And Elin Nordegren: $1.5 Million
Nearly half of this list has already ended in divorce, and many of them very well documented all over the tabloids. Tiger Woods is one of the most famous golfers of all time, and Elin Nordegren is a beautiful Swedish model, the pair married in 2004 in the Barbados. The wedding took place at sunset in front of a crowd of 120 guests, which included Oprah, Michael Jordan and Bill Gates (aka the billionaire’s club). The ceremony itself was decorated with 10,000 black magic roses: even if you’re not into flowers, black magic roses are especially beautiful and feature a heart-shaped center deepened by its dark red color. After the ceremony, the whole wedding party retreated back to the hotel, which Woods had rented the entire thing to ensure privacy, and drank wine and enjoyed music. The whole evening finished up with an elaborate fireworks display. Too bad the whole thing went up in smoke when Tiger Woods numerous adulterous relationships broke up their marriage.
11. Madonna And Guy Ritchie: $1.5 Million
Another marriage that ended up in the dumps, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were married in December 2000. The wedding itself took place at Skibo Castle in Scotland, where Ritchie was born. Madonna wore antique jewelry and a dress designed by Stella McCartney. Ritchie opted for something more traditional and wore his family’s tartan. The guest list included Brad Pitt, Robin Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney. The pair had a rocky marriage, exasperated by the age difference between them. Madonna was ten years older than Guy, and when things started to fall apart between them, they both slew personal insults including Ritchie claiming Madonna looked like a “granny.” While now that the dust has settled both seem to have moved on, Ritchie recently remarrying.
10. Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes: $2 Million
Further proof that money doesn’t buy you happiness, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ much publicized 2 million dollar wedding ending in disaster. Speculation still flies as to whether the whole relationship was a Scientology orchestrated scam in order to cover up secrets about Cruise’s personal life, as Holmes seemed to run as far away from that relationship once the cord was cut. Back in happier times, the couple had married at an Italian ceremony at the Odescalchi Castle in 2006. Holmes wore an Armani dress, an off the shoulder number which featured Valenciennes lace and Swarovski crystals. The ceremony featured fireworks and singing by Andrea Bocelli. The wedding itself was described as bizarre, especially Cruise and Holmes’ awkward kiss, that apparently went on for three minutes before the crowd started screaming for them to stop. The guest list included Brooke Shields, Jenna Elfman, Jim Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and David Beckham.
9. Elton John And David Furnish: $2 Million
When Elton John and David Furnish married in 2014, they had already been in a civil partnership for 9 years, having been among the very first couples to tie the knot once they were legalized in the UK. They had decided that on their 9th anniversary, they would have the lavish wedding they had always dreamed of and they really delivered on that promise. Imagine instead of spending your $30,000 at the beginning of your marriage, you wait ten years later to see if you’re still in it – it’s honestly not that bad of a strategy. The wedding itself was shared live via Instagram, and featured extravagant flower arrangements and beautiful dinners. The guest list included a number of celebrities from the UK and abroad, including Jimmy Carr, the Beckham clan, Elizabeth Hurley and Ed Sheeran.
8. Liza Minnelli And David Gest: $3.5 Million
Of all the weddings on this list, Liza and David‘s would make the most interesting and horrifying campy film. The pair already bizarre, and as their wedding fell apart shortly after, insults were thrown and accusations of abuse ran rampant (Gest tried to sue Liza Minnelli for $10 million claiming she hit him, the case was thrown out). The incredibly pricy wedding featured 850 guests, including Michael Jackson (best man), Elizabeth Taylor (maid of honor), Donald Trump, Mia Farrow, Anthony Hopkins and Rosie O’Donnell. Natalie Cole sang ‘Unforgettable’ at the reception on fifth avenue. Their wedding kiss, which you can watch online, was a thing of nightmares – it’s no wonder things didn’t work out. Donald Trump couldn’t help comment on it in the tabloids saying, “I have been to many weddings,” he said. “And I have never seen a kiss like that before.”
7. Salma Hayek And François-Henri Pinault: $3.5 Million
We all know Salma Hayek, but who is François-Henri Pinault? Only a billionaire with holdings in some of the most glamorous fashion brands in the world – it’s not a big stretch that the couple dished out for an extravagant and expensive wedding on Valentine’s Day 2009. They had a small ceremony for friends and family in Paris, but followed it up with a weekend event in Venice, fit for royalty. The ceremony took place over several Venetian locations and featured a cornucopia of famous guests, such as Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton and Bono. While before their marriage Hayek and Pinault had something of an on again, off again relationship, they still seem to be going strong to this day.
6. Justin Timberlake And Jessica Biel: $6.5 Million
Without offering the real cost of their wedding, Justin Timberlake and Jessical Biel officially deny that they dished out 6.5 million dollars on their big day. The number isn’t totally inconceivable, however, considering they rented out the entirety of the Borgo Egnazia resort in Fasano, Italy, for the event. Before the wedding even begun, the pair had organized a fair’s worth of activities for their guests at this destination wedding, including live music, fireworks and beach parties. They both wore expensive designer clothing, and like most weddings on this list, were forced to pay a lot of money for security to keep the event private for themselves and their high profile guests. The guest list included Jimmy Fallon, Andy Samberg and Timbaland.
5. Kim Kardashian And Kris Humphries: $10 Million
The cost of Kim Kardashian‘s three weddings reportedly amount to around $30 million. While her first marriage was while she was very young and was done at a discount, her two more recent ones were very pricy. Running a price tag of $10 million, Kim and Kris Humphries‘ wedding was barely over when they divorced just 72 days later. Documented for a special on E!, this is likely the most documented wedding on the list, and in spite of the high price tag, it ended up paying off big time for Kim K. Some of the contributing factors to such an expensive wedding, even by celebrity standards, include a $2 million wedding ring. With over 400 guests, some of the bigger celebrities to come to celebrate the couple’s love included Ryan Seacrest, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan and Serena Williams. Think $10 million is way too much to spend on a wedding? Think of it as an investment, as Kim and Kris apparently earned 17.9 million due to various deals, offers and coverage opportunities related to the event.
4. Michael Jordan And Yvette Prieto: $10 Million
As one of the most famous and successful athletes of all time, it should be no surprise that Jordan was really able to pay big when it came to wedding model Yvette Prieto. With over 300 guests in attendance, including Spike Lee, Tiger Woods and Patrick Ewing. The ceremony took place at a luxurious private golf course near Jordan’s home. The wedding tent they set up accounted for 40,000 square feet and featured a dining hall, stage and full ballroom. Prieto wore an incredible gown adorned with Swarovski crystals. The entertainment of the evening included Usher, Robin Thicke and an 18 piece band. Behind the scenes, Sharon Sacks organized the event. While the whole wedding was an extravagant affair, the couple made sure to balance their own lavishness by encouraging guests to not bring gifts, instead to donate money to the James R. Jordan Foundation.
3. Kim Kardashian And Kanye West: $12 million – $20 Million
No one can quite settle on how much the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding actually cost, with low-ball estimates still putting it near the very top of our list. This well-documented wedding featuring extravagant flower arrangements, a huge guest list and innumerable and mounting expensive details ranks this wedding in a unique category of such extravagance that it’s up there with literal royalty. Spanning two different countries with two hundred guests, the festivities included literal walls of flowers and Kim Kardashian wore two different designer dresses. Entertainment for the evening included John Legend, Andrea Bocelli and Lana Del Rey. Kanye even got up and dropped some tunes. The guest list included Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, and now member of the Kardashian Klan, Blac Chyna.
2. Prince William And Kate Middleton: $34 Million
It really should be no surprise that the two toppers of this list are royalty. The fact is, just the logistics of organizing a royal wedding by virtue of it often being very public, requires heavy costs in security and shutting down parts of the city. The cost of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s wedding was covered directly by the Royal family and the Middletons, while transportation and security by Her Majesty’s British treasury (aka taxpayer money). In lieu of wedding guests, the couple encouraged guests and citizens to donate to a number of charities – because they clearly didn’t need the money. Aside from the huge list of royalty and government officials from across the world invited to the event, the celebrity guest list was nearly as impressive featuring the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Sir Elton John, Ian Thorpe and Guy Ritchie. Along with the very public private ceremony, London organized a number of public events to celebrate the royal wedding, ranking this as one of the biggest, as well as the most expensive, wedding ceremonies of all time.
1. Prince Charles And Lady Diana: $48 Million
The wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana cost $48 million in 1981, adjusted to inflation, their wedding would cost nearly $70 million in 2016. While things never quite worked out for this royal couple, it might be the biggest wedding ceremony of the 20th century. Watched by nearly 750 million people live on television, their wedding redefined public relationships forever, ushering in a new age for royalty and celebrity. Crowds of over 600,000 people gathered in the streets to celebrate and maybe catch a glimpse of Lady Diana, while 3,500 attended the actual ceremony. While dubbed a fairytale wedding, their marriage was anything but. Prince Charles was unfaithful since the beginning, the pressure of the royal family took a serious toll on Diana’s mental health and the pair would divorce a year before Diana, then just 36 years old, would die in a fatal car crash.