While the average wedding costs about $30,000, one would think an opulent bride, or groom for that matter, may insert a few thousand or even a few hundred thousand atop that budget to perfect their special day. In some cases, however, it may take a few million, or even tens of millions to ensure the happy couple is content with their magical union. While it may not be common, we can attest it does happen! We’re counting down ten weddings adorning a price tag of $10 million plus!
10. Pankaj Malani and Avni Patel
Pankaj Malani is the son of Unique Industrial Products owner and CEO, Jugal Malani. Pankaj has worked for his father’s business for several years and also as a teacher in Houston, Texas to 4th through 8th grade students. His bride, Avni Patel, works as a physician’s assistant in Houston. After meeting through mutual friends the couple became engaged on November 3, 2012. The couple was married at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, on October 19, 2013, in what sources say was ‘the biggest wedding Las Vegas had ever seen.’ With an audience of 8,000 (including 3 planeloads of guests), the groom arrived on a Hollywood elephant costing $100,000 to rent. The flowers and the cake (10-tier temple-shaped) each cost $150,000. The wedding and reception was a traditional Indian family-style affair with lots of colors, fabrics, music and rituals, complete with a Great Gatsby theme. There have been various price tags claimed for the extravagant affair, but most peg it between $8-10 million.
9. Sean Parker and Alexandra Lenas
American businessman Sean Parker is best known for co-founding Napster, as well as being appointed the first President of Facebook (as seen in the Hollywood film, The Social Network). Parker also co-founded Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime. With a net wealth of over $2.1 billion, it’s no surprise that Parker’s wedding to singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas was a fairytale themed $10 million extravaganza! Vanity Fair covered the event, which was cited by many as obnoxious and tacky, some even comparing it to HBO’s Game of Thrones. The 300-person guest list included Sting and his wife Trudie, Allison Williams, Emma Watson, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker. A ruin, waterfall, and long feast style tables were at the center of the lavish event, which was entirely overseen by Parker himself.
8. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto
Asides from being the most revered basketball player of all time, and playing 15 seasons in the NBA, Michael Jordan is also a spokesperson, entrepreneur and actor with a net worth of $650 million. His first marriage to Juanita Vanoy received much attention, however, ironically more for its ending rather than its famous union. Vanoy received a $168 million settlement, the largest celebrity settlement of its kind in 2006. Seven years later, 50 year-old Jordan re-tied the knot, this time with Cuban American model Yvette Prieto in Palm Beach, Florida. The lavish wedding which cost a reported $10 million, was planned and executed by none other than celebrity wedding planner, Sharon Sacks. The 300 guests were lucky enough to witness performances by Usher, Robin Thicke and K’Jon.
7. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Of course no lavish wedding list would be complete without the infamous 72-day marriage that launched a thousand inquisitions. The wedding between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, was planned and executed during the filming of E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It was a $10 million affair planned once again by Sharon Sacks, featuring all white gowns designed by Vera Wang including Kim’s 3 dress changes. The lavish details included $10 million worth of borrowed jewelry worn by the bride, and a $50,000 bachelorette party. Unsurprisingly most expenses were picked up by someone else.
6. Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt
She is one of the world’s wealthiest heiresses, a model, fashion designer and socialite, and daughter of Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone. Petra Ecclestone became Mrs. James Stunt on August 27, 2011 in a lavish $12 million wedding in Rome, Italy. The wife of British billionaire businessman and collector, James Slunt, wore a custom Vera Wang gown valued at over $80,000. Ecclestone famously purchased the largest residence in Los Angeles county, The Manor (the former residence of Aaron and Candy Spelling), for $85 million, $82.4 million of which was apparently borrowed from her mother.
5. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Making a second appearance on our list with a lavish wedding double the cost of her first nuptials is none other than reality vixen, Kim Kardashian. This time round, the E! reality star celebrated her wedding with rapper Kanye West over a weekend long bash of festivities in two countries, France and Italy. The ceremony at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy took place at sunset with 200 guests in attendance. The extravagant list of details includes the bride’s Givenchy custom creation estimated at $500,000, lavish flowers costing well over $75,000, accommodations and a fleet of cars well over a quarter of a million, as well as the reception’s entertainment costing well into the millions. While the exact cost of the highly anticipated event is still under speculation, reports suggest the cost was between $20-30 million. An important thing to remember is that highly publicized events typically receive tons of freebies, just to capitalize on the exposure, so while the retail price of this affair may be prolific, the actual amount paid might just not be!
4. Prince William and Kate Middleton
The British royal wedding that became a global televised event was also accompanied with a $34 million invoice. The attendees were separated into three guest lists; the first list of guests attended the ceremony, and consisted of 1,900 people, the second list consisting of 600 people who attended a luncheon at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen, and the third list consisting of about 300 names who attended an evening dinner hosted by the Prince of Whales. Asides from the royal security costs (equivalent to the price of the entire wedding and covered by the royal treasury), the additional costs included the bride’s $434,000 wedding gown, an $80,000 wedding cake, and $800,000 worth of flowers. In case you’re wondering who dished out for the bill, the wedding costs were covered by The Royal Family and the Middletons, while wedding gifts came in the form of charity donations.
3. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Salama
Only a wedding fit for a Princess would require a stadium built from scratch for the 20,000 attendees, and that’s exactly what happened in 1981 when when Princess Salama married the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. While the opulent wedding cost $45 million at the time, it would yield a price tag of $100 million in today’s economy.
2. Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia
Who else but the daughter of India’s richest person would enjoy a week of engagement celebrations held at the Palace of Versailles. Vanisha Mittal and her groom, banker Amit Bhatia followed up their festivities at Versailles with a dinner (with their own Indian chefs flown in) at Jardin des Tuileries, while the 17th century Chateau Vaux le Vicomte was the site of the actual wedding. The reception included a performance by Kylie Minogue, while the grand total of the affair was a reported $78 million.
1. Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
To date, the world’ most expensive wedding is estimated at $110 million and belongs to that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. With over 600,000 street spectators watching on, the couple was married in front of 3,500 invited guests and a televised audience of about 750 million. Considered the wedding of the century, the highlights included a reception for 120 guests at Buckingham Palace, 27 wedding cakes which took 14 weeks to prepare, and a wedding breakfast with 120 family guests.