At some point in the wedding planning process, you were sure to think about a budget. You have probably even initiated candid discussions about that budget with your fiancé, your parents, and his parents. While it would be nice to ignore money and focus on the romantic aspects of weddings, someone at some point will have to field the bill.
For many brides, the word budget carries the connotations of frugality. A budget means DIY projects, fewer guests, and a backyard reception. But for other brides, budgets are not a big deal. Brides from wealthy families are sometimes given an unlimited budget, meaning they can plan the wedding of their dreams without looking at price tags. As the latter occurs less commonly, people who spend a jaw-dropping amount of money on their weddings become a spectacle, a source of shocking entertainment. Be shocked by the amount of money spent on these 10 weddings, some of the most expensive weddings of all time.
10. Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky
Cost: 2.5 million
Cost with inflation: 4 million
Location: Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch
Other: $25,000 dress (gift from Valentino)
The bride was a movie star. The groom was a construction worker. Their union marked Taylor’s eighth and final marriage.
9. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Cost: 3 million
Location: Castle Leslie in Glaslough, Ireland
Other: strictly vegetarian menu
The groom is a singer-songwriter from the famous band The Beatles. The bride was a model from England. The couple turned down millions of dollars in offers from media companies who wanted access to the wedding.
8. Liza Minnelli and David Gest
Cost: 3.5 million
Cost with inflation: 4.2 million
Location: New York’s Marble Collegiate Church
Other: 60-piece orchestra, $700,000 flowers, $40,000 cake
The bride is an actress, singer, and daughter of singer Judy Garland. The groom was a music producer for various famous acts. Many of those famous musicians attended the wedding including Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, and Natalie Cole.
7. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky
Cost: 5 million
Location: historic estate in Rhinebeck, NY
Other: $600,000 air-conditioned tents
Vera Wang wedding gown
The bride is the daughter of former president Bill Clinton. The groom is an investment banker. The interfaith ceremony incorporated Mezvinsky’s Jewish background and Clinton’s Methodist one.
6. Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin
Cost: 8 million
Location: 17th century villa and medieval abbey above Portofino
Other: masked ball on a $120-million yacht, four-day celebration
The groom was perhaps highest paid ‘footballer’, or soccer player, of all time. The bride is a television presenter and product endorser. These childhood sweethearts married on a fittingly rainy day.
5. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Cost: 20 – 30 million
Location: Italy and France
Other: custom Givenchy gown, $75,000 worth of wedding flowers, weekend celebration
The bride is a reality and social media queen. The groom is a hip-hop artist and fashion designer. Approximately 20 luxury hotels were used to house guests.
4. Prince William and Kate Middleton
Cost: 34 million
Location: Westminster Abbey
Guests: 1,900 at ceremony, 600 at Queen’s luncheon, 300 at Prince of Wales’ dinner
Other: $400,000 wedding gown, $80,000 wedding cake, $800,000 worth of wedding flowers
The groom is second in line to the English throne. The bride comes from a wealthy, but common, family. The media attention this royal wedding received rivaled that of William’s parents.
3. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Salama
Cost: 45 million
Cost with inflation: 100 million today
Other: wedding gifts delivered by 20 bejeweled camels
The groom is the vice president of the United Arab Emirates. The bride is a princess, enough said. A stadium was built for the wedding in order to seat the guests.
2. Prince Charles and Diana
Cost: 48 million
Cost with inflation: 110 million today
Location: St. Paul’s Cathedral
Guests: 3500 at ceremony, 120 at reception, 120 at family breakfast
Other: 27 wedding cakes
The groom is the Prince of Wales. The bride was royalty even before her marriage, bearing the title Lady Diana. The ‘wedding of the century’ took place not only in front of the guests, but also millions of television viewers.
1. Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia
Cost: 78 million
Other: chefs flown in from India, designer gift bags filled with jewels, 5 days of festivities
The bride is the daughter of India’s richest man. The groom is a banker. The highlight of the festivities was said to be a performance from Kylie Minogue while fireworks went off at the Eiffel Tower.
Is your jaw on the floor yet? While you may not be able to make your wedding as lavish as these, remember that you can’t buy love with money. Your wedding can be even more meaningful than these for a fraction of the cost!