Castles created just for the day, weeklong ceremonies spanning two continents, private jets and parties on yachts, five-foot tall cakes and nuptials in a Venetian opera house. And you thought a carriage; a few doves and some fireworks were opulent? We list some of the most eye-wateringly expensive weddings of all time.
Prince William & Kate Middleton
It would be little surprise not to see this royal couple on the list. Kate and William’s wedding cost an estimated £22 mill.
Vanisha Mittal & Amit Bhatia
Then there’s the child of billionaire steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal. His daughter Vanisha Mittal married investment banker Amit Bhatia in 2004, at the Palace of Versailles in Paris. As well as five-days spent in Parisian hotels; guests were also treated to a magical wooden castle built in their honour. Performances were by Kylie Minogue and shah Rukh Khan guests received designer gift bags containing jewels. The wedding came in at today’s money – around £43 mil.
Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas
How can we forget the darling British bud of cinema, Catherine Zeta-Jones and her American actor husband, Michael Douglas? The couple had a star-clad wedding valued at around £1 mill. The Entrapment star wore a diamond tiara valued at £194,000 at their ceremony at New York’s Plaza Hotel.
Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise
The glitzy star-clad wedding of the year in 2005 had to go to Dawson’s Creek star Katie Holmes who married Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise at the 15th century Odescalchi Castle outside Rome. The wedding’s guest list boasted David Beckham, Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez, and came in at an £1.43 mill. Guests were treated to bottles of wine worth £400 a bottle.
Christina Aguilera & Jordan Bartman
Former pop star Christina Aguilera and former music producer Jordan Bartman tied their £1.4 million wedding in 2005 at the Napa Valley’s Staglin Family Vineyard. She wore a £52,000 Christian Lacroix dress.
Liz Hurley & Arun Nayar
Then came another ill-fated wedding: this time supermodel Liz Hurley to rich businessman, Arun Nayar in a wedding costing £1.6 mill in 2007. The eight-day-ceremony commenced in the beautiful Suderly Castle in Gloucestershire and then moved to Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. The couple dished out £125,000 in private jets and more than £5,000 a night on a bridal suite in India. Nice.
Heather Mills & Paul McCartney
In 2002 came another ill-fated wedding of British model Heather Mills and singer and songwriter, Paul McCartney. The bill came in at £1.5 million. During an Indian-themed wedding at St. Salvador's church in Monaghan, Ireland, guests were treated to Indian dancers, a vegetarian feast and £94,000 worth of flowers.
Elizabeth Taylor & Larry Fortensky
In 1991, seasoned hand Elizabeth Taylor had her eighth marriage – this time to construction worker Larry Fortensky. It lasted an impressive five years and the bill came to £1.6 mill. Michael Jackson acted as father-of-the-bride at his Neverland Ranch.
Liza Minnelli & David Gest
Broadway star and daughter of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli married music producer David Gest in a £2.27 mill ceremony in 2002. A star-studded guest list included Michael Jackson and the maid of honor was Elizabeth Taylor. Entertainment alone included a 60-piece orchestra, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, and Natalie Cole. The cake alone cost £25,000.
Salma Hayek & Francois-Henri Pin
Also coming in at the £2.27 mill mark was the wedding of actress Salma Hayek to Francois-Henri Pin, in 2009.
Their nuptials were held in the Venice opera house – Teatro La Fenice.
Chelsea Clinton & Mark Mezvinsky
Coming in at £3.24 mill is the daughter of President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton. She married childhood friend and investment banker Mark Mezvinsky in 2010. The wedding included £39,000 worth of air-conditioned tents.
Wayne Rooney & Coleen McLoughlin
Bringing the list a little more down to earth if that is even possible, was the wedding of working-class girl and boy, Wayne Rooney to Coleen McLoughlin. The childhood sweethearts tied-the-knot in 2008 in a £5 million ceremony. The day included chartered flights for 65 Brits to fly to Genoa for a masked ball on a £77 mill yacht. The wedding took place at a 17th century villa and reception at a medieval abbey high above Portofino - not really down-to-earth at all.
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries was perhaps the most expensive short-lived wedding in history: their 72-day marriage cost a reported £6.4 mill, proving you might be able to have a £13,000, but you wont’ have time to eat it.
Sheikh Mohammaed bin Zayed Al Nahyan & Princess Salama
You didn’t think we would get to a list like this and not feature at least one Sheikh, did you? Well here he is: Sheikh Mohammaed bin Zayed Al Nahyan married Princess Salama in 1981 in perhaps the most, of its time, expensive wedding. The Abu Dhabi prince had a 20,000-seat stadium specially built for his seven-day wedding – something that even then cost an astronomical £63 mill.
Prince Charles & Lady Diana Spencer
And how could a list like this be compiled without the wedding of the century. The ill-fated wedding of Prince Charles to former pre-school teacher, Lady Diana Spencer. Back in 1981 it cost £31 mill, which would today be around £48 mill if adjusted for inflation. She wore a puff ball dress with the 25-foot train of antique lace and taffeta. The wedding also played host to 27 wedding cakes, including a five-foot tall main cake.