George Clooney gave Amal a house worth millions of dollars. Tom Cruise gave Katie Holmes a custom Gulfstream jet, no less. Multi-million dollar wedding presents are standard fare for the rich and famous. Sometimes, it is a husband’s gift to a wife and sometimes, it’s a present from a guest. Millions can be spent on jewels, houses, watches and more. The biggest booty trawl comes with royal and big celebrity weddings. Sometimes, it’s hard to pin down exactly what went on.
Although, sometimes it is clearly the stuff of rumors. Reports of Kanye West buying Kim Kardashian ten European Burger King restaurants or a specially commissioned nude portrait of her as wedding gifts come and go. Apparently, Kate Moss’s wedding registry contained $400 crystal ashtrays and $7,000 cocktail sets. Someone spent $16,000 for the four silver soup tureens requested by Liza Minelli when she married David Guest, in 2002. No word on who got custody when they divorced in 2007.
Sometimes celebrities can even surprise us. When Keira Kneightley and James Righton married, he gave her a 100 year old olive tree that was planted at their French home. He even carved their initials into it. And when Jolie-Pitt tied the knot, Angelina considered plonking down $250,000 for Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter, before opting for a $3 million vintage watch. With that being said, here are ten of the most expensive wedding presents in history.
9. Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries – $325,000 Ferrari
Married for all of 72 days before deciding to divorce, the happy couple reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in wedding presents, including a $325,000 Ferrari from a Malaysian businessman. In the rubble of the divorce, Kim (in particular) was criticized for hanging onto the gifts. Accordingly, she announced that she would be donating the value of the gifts to charity. When she reportedly wrote a check for $200,000, you can’t blame Kris for maybe asking, hadn’t she forgotten something? Or was it depreciation?
8. Kate Middleton & Prince William – Clive Christian Perfume Set
It’s official. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Clive Christian boxed perfume, complete with crest, is the most expensive perfume in the world. Not as flashy as a nouveau riche Ferrari, but fit for a future queen. Clive Christian is an A-list British furniture designer, who some years back, bought a Victorian era perfumery business that had been favored by Queen Victoria. Fittingly, it was called Crown Perfumery. He bought the brand after discovering a genuine bottle of the perfume underneath the floorboards of his house. The perfume costs $2,350 an ounce and comes with a box, a 24-carat gold collar and 5-carat diamond inset on the bottle. When Kate and William married, Christian presented them with his and her editions of his perfume.
7. Princess Diana – Boat Worth $1 million
Well, maybe it was only $900,000. The Emir of Bahrain gave the blushing bride a model boat that was encrusted with diamonds. What are the chances that was re-gifted? Other gifts included a room full of Canadian antique furniture, a Canadian diamond and platinum brooch for Diana, and 20 engraved silver platters from the Australians. And the sheep-rich New Zealanders? Much more practical. They sent wool carpeting. A Royal Admiral had the job of vetting all the gifts. Unsuitable gifts or unsuitable givers were refused. A German company that offered a kitchen unit valued at around $20,000 gained favor, until they were common enough to frame the thank you letter for display in their showroom.
6. Raj Kundra & Shilpa Shetty – Apartment in The World’s Tallest Building and Millions
The marriage of the wealthy, sometimes controversial, Raj Kundra and Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty was big news. For a wedding gift, Raj turned to another world record, the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai. Officially the world’s tallest building (at 2,722 feet), it combines offices with residences and even has a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani. Raj bought Shilpa an aprtment in the Burj Khalifa. With 2-bedroom apartments being currently listed at over $2 million, that’s quite a gift. But wait. He also gave her a cricket team – The Rajasthan Royals. For mere mortals, Trip Advisor lists a 1-bedroom in the building at around $1,900 per week. Compared to the nearly $600 a night for Armani’s hotel, it’s a bargain.
5. Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt – $3 Million Watch
She had considered buying him Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter. She wanted Tennessee William’s, but collector and L.A. Police Commissioner, Steve Soboroff didn’t want to sell William’s machine. So, she wrote him a deposit check for some $11,000 and was going to take the Hemingway before changing her mind. Keep the check, she told him. He returned it. Instead, she bought Brad a 1952 Patek Phillippe platinum watch for a cool $3 million. With all the buzz over, her second directorial effort, Unbroken, she can probably afford one for herself.
4. George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin – House In The English Countryside – $5 million
After the media circus of their wedding in Venice, rumors swirled that they were honeymooning on some exclusive island. Then the story emerged that George had bought Mrs. Clooney a house in Sonning, a village on the Thames River in Berkshire, and that they were honeymooning there. Estimates of its value are all over the map, but $5 million sounds about right. Befuddled locals, who can’t imagine why they chose Sonning, have reportedly spotted them in the pub. One source commented that the house had been chosen because it was near the British Rail train station, making it an easy commute into work in London for Mrs. C.
3. Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton – La Peregrina
They were legendary lovers who loved and battled their way through marriage, divorce, then remarriage, and divorce (Burton referred to them as two sticks of dynamite bumping into one another). She was a fiery Hollywood movie star. He was a brooding handsome Welsh actor. For a wedding present, he gave her La Peregrina, a pearl necklace he had paid around $40,000 for ($202,000 today). It was set with one of the most famous pearls in the world at its center. Found in Panama, in the 1500’s, the pearl was given to his wife, Mary Tudor, by Philip II of Spain. Taylor had Cartier redesign the necklace to include diamonds, rubies and more pearls. When the necklace sold at auction after Taylor’s death, it fetched $11 million. Before the redesign, Taylor lost the pearl and discovered it (unscratched) in the mouth of her puppy.
2. Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes – Millions and Millions on Gulfstream Jet
Tom Cruise was so excited to be marrying Katie Holmes. Remember the 2005 sofa jumping incident on Oprah? So, she was a little taller. But, otherwise they seemed like a perfect couple. Reportedly, Cruise bought Katie her very own custom Gulfstream jet. Price estimates vary between $14 million and $20 million. Apparently, he first wooed Holmes in a jet and so he thought it would bring back pleasant memories. No word on what happened to the plane in the divorce, or if it was covered in the well-publicized pre-nup that the couple signed, prior to marrying.
1. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi – $22 million Wedding Stadium
In 1981, when Crown Prince Abu Dhabi married Princes Salama, his father, the Ruler of Dubai, pitched in with a wedding venue. Not just any wedding venue, but rather a 20,000 seat custom built stadium. Reportedly, the wedding ran to around $100,000,000. The wedding earned a spot on Forbes’ list of “Billionaire Weddings”.