Celebrity weddings are the ultimate in escapism. In reading about them or looking at pictures of them, we can briefly live vicariously, imagining the sort of wedding we’d create if we had a couple million dollars to spare.
Traditionally, the star studded wedding was an extravagant, showy expression of fame and fortune. Very recently, however, there seems to be a change in celebrity tide, with lowkey, private weddings contrasting to the luxurious, OTT weddings of yesteryear. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s recent wedding was estimated to be incredibly low-cost as far as celebrity weddings go – it was a family oriented, low-key affair. In fact, they may actually have made money from it, thanks to selling their photos to the media.
There are still plenty of illustrious and decadent celebrity weddings to satisfy escapist tendencies in the not-so-distant past. If you’re tired of stories of subtle, sweet and modest celebrity weddings, then take a glimpse into recent A-list history at these ten priciest celebrity weddings to have taken place in recent years.
10. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky — $2 million
The marriage of pleasingly alliterative couple Marc Mezvinsky and Chelsea Clinton, held at the end of July 2010, is rumoured to have cost in and around two million dollars. Hardly a surprise, considering Chelsea is the daughter of a former President and Secretary of State respectively. The marriage took place at the Astor Courts, a sprawling old-world mansion, which will have cost one hundred and twenty-five thousand to two hundred thousand dollars. The masses of flowers cost two hundred and fifty thousand, while the photographers were paid thirty-five thousand dollars for their discretion and sensitivity.
9. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds — $2.5 million +
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds met on the set of Green Lantern and began a whirlwind romance. After just under a year of courting under their belts, the couple decided to marry in a top-secret ceremony in 2012. They married in the super-romantic location of the Boone Hall Plantation, the setting for a large part of the hit romance film The Notebook. Reynolds and Lively allegedly hosted seventy guests at the wedding. Although exact information about the amount they spent isn’t available, we can surmise that it was considerable: the wedding cake alone set them back three thousand dollars, while Lively’s wedding ring, a twelve-carat oval diamond, cost Reynolds up to two million dollars. Added to this, the minimum price one would pay for a wedding at Boone Hall is one and a half thousand dollars, and Lively’s wedding dress, custom-made by Marchesa and the best-kept secret dress of all time, is sure to have cost significantly more than a few cents.
8. Liza Minnelli and David Gest — $3.5 million
The now-divorced couple Liza Minnelli and David Gest spared no expense for their wedding, having spent around three point five million dollars on the whole affair. Being Judy Garland’s daughter, you might expect Liza to go all out in terms of extravagance and style – and she didn’t disappoint. The couple were married in March 2002 in the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, with Michael Jackson as their best man. Tony Bennett, the entertainer for all five hundred guests, was backed by an incredible sixty-piece orchestra. Sadly, a good wedding does not necessarily make for a good marriage, and the couple divorced the following year.
7. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes — $3.5 million
Although they are now divorced, the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes was one of the biggest and most anticipated weddings in the celeb world when it took place in 2006. The ceremony cost them around three and a half million dollars. The couple married at the spectacular Castello Odescalchi, a castle just outside Rome, with around a hundred and fifty guests including Will Smith and Brooke Shields. They had a short Scientology ceremony which lasted just fifteen minutes. Andrea Bocelli performed at the wedding, and the bride’s dress was encrusted with Swarovski crystals and designed by Giorgio Armani.
6. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel — $6.5 million
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel married in an extravagant, six and a half million dollar ceremony in 2012 after five years of dating. They tied the knot in southern Italy, in the Borgo Egnazia resort. The sum seems a lot for an overseas and therefore probably not too populous wedding, but reports suggest that the couple put up all of their wedding guests in a hotel for a week or so — the length of the wedding celebrations in their entirety — which alone would have set them back a million dollars. The bride wore a blush Giambattista Valli gown and the groom a Tom Ford tux, neither of which will have come cheap, but arguably one of the nicest touches in the wedding was the least expensive — the groom wrote an original song for his bride, and sang it for her as she walked down the aisle.
5. Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin — $8.7 million
British footballer Wayne Rooney‘s marriage to high school sweetheart Coleen McLoughlin in 2005 cost them the impressive sum of five million pounds, which equates to around eight point seven million dollars. The couple tied the knot in the pouring rain in Italy, with the yacht they called home for the week having cost them 696,000 euros. The bride’s favourite band Westlife played at the reception, which set the couple back $652,688. As if this wasn’t enough, the bride’s wedding dress cost half of that, coming in at just over $300,000.
4. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto — $10 million
Basketball superstar Michael Jordan‘s marriage to Cuban model Yvette Prieto, in 2013, cost them a cool ten million dollars. The pair had their wedding at Palm Beach, Florida, and it was not a small affair, with over three hundred guests in attendance. The couple had the ceremony in the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, and enjoyed their reception in a huge marquee at Bear’s Club, Jupiter, Florida.
3. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West — $12 million
The Kardashian-West wedding in May of this year was a lavish display the likes of which you might well expect from reality TV queen Kim Kardashian and her world-famous musician husband Kanye West. The couple spent a staggering twelve million dollars on their big day, a large amount of which went on pre-wedding activities: the rehearsal dinner alone cost six hundred and eighty-one thousand, six hundred dollars, while musicians performing over the whole weekend, including Andrea Bocelli and Lana del Ray, cost them one point seven million dollars. The bride’s dress, reportedly designed by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, cost two point one million dollars, while the wedding venue, Forte del Belvedere in Florence, Italy, cost four hundred and ten thousand dollars.
2. Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt — $20 million
Daughter of Formula 1 boss Petra Ecclestone married businessman James Stunt in 2011, for a price that could almost rival that of the royal wedding; some reports suggest that the wedding cost up to twenty million dollars. The couple tied the knot in the Castello Odescalchi, just like Tom and Katie, and had Eric Clapton, the Black Eyed Peas and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst numerous others, provide musical entertainment. The drinks at the wedding included Chateau Petrus wine, which costs in the region of six thousand, five hundred dollars a bottle.
1. Prince William and Kate Middleton — $34 million
In the biggest British royal wedding since that of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince William married the now-Duchess of Cambridge, then Kate Middleton, in an unthinkably lavish ceremony that cost the equivalent of thirty-four million dollars. The couple married in May of 2011, and had the eyes of the world on them as they said their vows in the spectacular Westminster Abbey. The bride’s gown, adored the world over, was made by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, and cost the equivalent of around four hundred and thirty-four thousand dollars. Kate also received a gold wedding band on the day, as well as wearing William’s late mother’s oval diamond-encrusted sapphire ring as her engagement ring.