Princess Diana’s nuptials to Prince Charles didn’t have a happy ending, but it’s still considered the gold standard for spectacular weddings. From her gorgeous 25-foot train to the balcony kiss, many celebrity brides and grooms have tried to emulate those same picture-perfect moments which can be bought for a very steep price.
A big-budget wedding doesn’t guarantee a happily-ever-after story, though. Just ask Kim Kardashian, who makes this elite list twice. She had second thoughts the night before her $10 million wedding to Kris Humphries in 2011, but she didn’t want to disappoint anyone. “I felt pressure, I thought I was going to let everyone down,” she said, according to Us Weekly. “The show paid us, obviously, a fee to film the show. I took my entire fee and probably Kris’ [fee] because I wanted a bigger wedding than what they were going to pay for. So I used all of our production money on the wedding.”
An extravagant wedding doesn’t spell doomsday for everyone because we know that no one can penetrate George and Amal Clooney’s love bubble, and so far, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have endured more dramatic twists and turns than any soap opera writer could ever dream of — and yet, their relationship has only grown stronger. So take a look at the list of some of the most expensive celebrity weddings over the decades, we have a feeling a few couples will surprise you!
1993: Mariah Carey & Tommy Mattola
Mariah Carey’s wedding to Tommy Mottola was her day to be a princess. She was inspired by Princess Diana’s royal affair and chose to wear a $25,000 Vera Wang gown with a very long train and a tiara. The $500,000 wedding took place at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City with Robert De Niro serving as an usher. Later on, 300 guests headed to the fancy Metropolitan Club, including Barbra Streisand and Ozzy Osbourne.
1994: Céline Dion René Angélil
In the 1990s, trains were definitely a very trendy must-have for brides. Céline Dion made sure to have a 20-foot-long one, along with a statement crystal headpiece that weighed a whopping seven pounds. The couple’s $500,000 wedding was such a big deal in Montréal that they broadcast the ceremony on TV.
1999: Victoria & David Beckham
Victoria and David Beckham took over a Dublin castle with 250 of their closest friends to say “I do.” They spent a reported $800,000 on the festivities which included a performance by Elton John, her stunning Vera Wang gown with a 20-foot train, and a wardrobe change for the reception.
2018: Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas
Nobody had more wedding celebrations than Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, who enjoyed three Indian ceremonies, and one Christian wedding in 2018. From E! News’ estimations, it cost over $800,000 for the week-long festivities and Chopra summed it up best to Vogue, joking, “People will need vacations after this wedding.”
2000: Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s wedding was a hot ticket back in 2000 when this fairy-tale romance seemed like a dream come true. Much of the $1 million price tag came from the security needed to keep the dynamic duo safe from the prying eyes of the paparazzi while exchanging their vows in Malibu, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
2009: Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump married Jared Kushner in a whirlwind 2009 wedding — we are talking only three months of planning. We don’t know why there were in such a rush, but it certainly didn’t hurt that they already had a venue locked in: the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. With 500 guests and a 13-layer wedding cake, it’s no surprise that the entire event cost $1 million.
2014: Eric Johnson & Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson spared no expense when they plopped down approximately $1.4 million for a four-day extravaganza at the San Ysidro Ranch in California. With Simpson’s Carolina Herrera gown reportedly estimated at $30,000 and another $750,000 in jewelry, that wedding tab adds up quickly!
2000: Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas
When two A-list stars marry each other, that walk down the aisle is going to cost a lot! Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas went big for their 2000 nuptials with entertainment from Jimmy Buffett and Art Garfunkel along with a 40-member Welsh choir at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Over 350 Hollywood friends showed up to their $1.5 million wedding, including Jack Nicholson, Meg Ryan, and Goldie Hawn.
2014: David Furnish & Elton John
Elton John and David Furnish had a civil ceremony in 2005, but once marriage equality was legal in the U.K. in 2014, they did it all over again. This time around, the duo married at Windsor’s Guildhall, where King Charles III tied the knot to Queen Camilla. With 600 guests, including David and Victoria Beckham, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, and Hugh Grant, John and Furnish plunked down $2 million with over $100,000 spent on champagne and caviar.
2005: Melania & Donald Trump
Even though it was Donald Trump’s third wedding, he spared no expense when he married Melania. It cost the couple a reported $2.5 million to say, “I do” in front of 350 A-list guests and celebrate the night away in the newly refurbished Mar-a-Lago ballroom in 2005. Melania’s spectacular, custom-designed Christian Dior gown landed her on the cover of Vogue and is considered one of the most expensive wedding dresses of all time.
2014: Kim Kardashian & Kanye West
Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kanye West cost much less than her marriage to Kris Humphries, but it was still expensive. Clocking in around $2.8 million, the Italian affair had Andrea Bocelli singing at the history Forte di Belvedere location for 200 guests.
2006: Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise
While this may be a wedding day Katie Holmes would rather forget, she did have a beautiful ceremony with Tom Cruise at an Italian castle. A large portion of the $3 million budget went to outfitting the wedding party in Giorgio Armani and having Andrea Bocelli (again!) serenade them at dinner. Their A-list guests included Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, David Beckham and Victoria Beckham, and Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.
2009: François-Henri Pinault & Salma Hayek
In 2009, Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault walked down the aisle in one of the most dramatic locations possible, the world-famous Venice opera house Teatro La Fenice. With friends like Woody Harrelson, Penelope Cruz, and Bono in attendance, they easily spent $3.5 million on their wedding day.
2022: Brooklyn Beckham & Nicola Peltz
This much-gossiped-about 2022 wedding is dealing with several lawsuits right now, but Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz are happily married. The rumored $4 million budget is much bigger than his mom and dad’s big day, but that’s what happens when you marry a billionaire’s daughter. She wore a Valentino Haute Couture dress in front of well-known guests like Eva Longoria, Spice Girl Mel C, and Serena Williams at the Peltz’s family estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
2015: Joe Manganiello & Sofia Vergara
It should come as no surprise that Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello had an extravagant wedding — they like big homes and fancy weddings. Their $4 million day included her custom designed Zuhair Murad wedding gown that took 1,600 hours to create, the 400 guests, and the very sophisticated location at The Breakers Palm Beach Hotel.
2014: Amal & George Clooney
George and Amal Clooney’s Italian wedding was just as lavish and elegant as you would expect from this stunning couple. From her $380,000 custom-made Alexander McQueen dress to his $5,000 Giorgio Armani tux, these two walked down the aisle looking very stylish. By the end of the extravagant three-day wedding weekend, the couple racked up a hefty $4.6 million bill, per E! News.
2012: Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake
Jessica Biel was pretty in pink when she married Justin Timberlake in 2012 in a custom Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown that reportedly cost $100,000. It was an Italian destination wedding with close celebrity friends like Jimmy Fallon, Andy Samberg, and Questlove in attendance, and no expense was spared because their sky-high budget landed at $6.5 million.
2011: Kris Humphries & Kim Kardashian
The marriage between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries only lasted 72 days, but the wedding sure cost a pretty penny. The budget was $10 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, so that works out to about $139,000 per day. The couple married in Montecito, which also became a two-part special for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but the union was doomed from the start. At least A-list guests like Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, and Serena Williams have a good story to tell about one of Hollywood’s shortest marriages.
2011: Kate Middleton & Prince William
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s was surprisingly a modest affair by royal standards with the actual reception costing only $1 million. However, $33 million was spent on security which upped the total to $34 million. The Prince and Princess of Wales’ biggest splurge was on the two wedding cakes — a delicious white buttercream cake and a chocolate cookie groom’s cake for $80,000.
2018: Meghan Markle & Prince Harry
Seven years after his older brother got married, Prince Harry walked down the aisle with Meghan Markle and they stuck to a budget of around $2.7 million, but 94% of the money for the wedding ($40.1 million, according to CNBC) was set aside for security. The grand total was $42.8 million by the time they were done, and yes, that security tab was picked up by the taxpayers, who didn’t even get an invite to the affair.
1981: Princess Diana & Prince Charles
Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles was a global affair that cost $48 million in 1981 (around $156 million today when adjusted for inflation, per People). All eyes with were on Diana and her 25-foot train created by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for Alexander McQueen. She knew how to make a fashion statement and a grand entrance all at once in front of 3,000 in-person guests and the record-breaking 750 million people watching around the world.
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