Weddings, in general, are always an exciting event – celebrity wedding or not. Whether you’re in the wedding party or just invited as a guest, getting hitched is probably more fun for friends and family than it is for the actual couple. Both big and small weddings have their pros and cons, but shows like Say Yes To The Dress and Four Weddings show that there are certain perks to extravagance, and dropping huge dollar signs on one day can sometimes seem like a necessity.
Celebrity weddings, even the secret ones, tend to be obscenely priced and usually way more extra than us common folks could even imagine. But that’s exactly why we love to talk about them! Since the majority of us will never have the means to doll out this amount of cash on a single party, we can live vicariously through the stories of these stars’ nuptials.
1. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston ($1 million)
Long before Brangelina (well, not that long), there was Brad and Jen’s Malibu wedding in July 2000. The cast of Friends obviously made the guest list, as did four different wedding bands to set the mood for different portions of the event.
At one point during this A-list event, pizza was served with caviar – making their wedding both mega chill and super posh all at once. Impressive. The evening concluded with a fireworks display and that was the only glimpse of the wedding paparazzi would receive. The most early-2000s detail about this wedding would have to be the matching blonde highlights that both Aniston and Pitt got before tying the knot. Sadly, spending six figures on a wedding doesn’t guarantee lifelong bliss. As most of the world remembers, these two ended up getting divorced in 2005 amid rumors of Brad’s affair with his next wife Angelina Jolie.
2. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner ($1 million)
Married (where else?) at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, October 15th, 2009. Ivanka’s $50,000 wedding dress was custom-made and inspired by Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. The controversial couple had a guest list that included five hundred people and a 13-layer cake standing at almost six feet tall. It’s estimated that the cake alone would cost up to $70K. The million dollar wedding only took three months to plan – it must have helped to have the venue on lock.
3. Madonna and Guy Ritchie ($1 million)
Of all of the weddings on this list, this one sounds like the wedding of our dreams. First of all, Madonna and Guy rented out an entire Scottish castle for the ceremony and reception. The Skibo Castle acted as the venue for their fairytale wedding, but it only gets better. They converted the basement into a dance club. Dungeon dance party? We’re into it. Gwyneth Palrow was the pop princess’s Maid of Honor, and Guy Ritchie wore a kilt. Sadly, the marriage only lasted eight years from 2000 to 2008.
4. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas ($1.5 million)
This Academy Award-winning actress was already pregnant when Douglas asked for her hand in marriage on New Year’s Eve ringing in the year 2000. But at that time, Douglas’s divorce from Diandra Luker wasn’t yet finalized! Scandal. However, ten months later, after Catherine gave birth to their son Dylan Michael Douglas, the couple wed in November at the Plaza Hotel. The wedding started with a 40-person Welsh choir singing, which sounds as extra as the rest of the wedding was. They paid $5,000 per hour for their 50 extra security guards, and Catherine’s Christian Lacroix gown cost $140,000. But that wasn’t the most expensive thing she wore that day! Catherine wore a diamond tiara more than twice the price of her wedding dress! There was a tree at the reception that had the 350 guests’ names and table assignments hanging on silk ribbons. Even though they are twenty-five years apart in age, their bond is still strong as ever.
5. Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman ($2 million)
Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman had a winter wonderland wedding in 2005. The event took place in Napa Valley at a private vineyard. The reception was a showstopper, with birch trees lining the tent walls, white hydrangeas dipped in glitter, and accents of silver and crystal everywhere. White branches with crystals hung from the ceiling to make chandeliers. X-tina, her new hubby, and their 150 guests partied until 5 AM, and the woman of the hour even performed during the night. The menu consisted of “comfort food” like fried chicken and mac and cheese… amazing. The two broke off their eight-year relationship back in 2011.
6. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes ($2 million)
These two got married in 2006 with a “traditional Scientology ceremony,” where there was apparently a “marriage contract” a little different from the ones we’re already familiar with. For Katie Holmes Dawson’s Creek star’s Armani wedding gown was studded with Swarovski crystals, priced at around $50K, and Cruise wore a custom navy suit as well. The wedding reception was in a castle in Italy where they bought 300 bottles of red wine and champagne. The party lasted well into the night, about 3:30 a.m, and there was a stunning fireworks show as well.
7. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills ($3 million)
Although Paul McCartney eventually called his marriage to model Heather Mills the “mistake of the decade,” it looks like that was a three million dollar mistake. Oops! When you’re a former member of The Beatles, though, three mil just doesn’t mean as much! The two had an Indian-themed fantastical wedding in June of 2002 in an Irish castle. All the food was vegetarian, as the couple was both famously meat-free. The wedding was so low-key that guests didn’t even know the true location. They were told to go to an airport hotel at a certain time, where the 300 guests in attendance would be flown out to the actual venue in Northern Ireland, in an attempt to keep it as hush-hush from the public (and the paps) as possible. The eventual divorce settlement was $50 million. Do we count that in the cost of the wedding, though?!
8. Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello ($4 million)
This wedding was wholesome as heck and, considering that they’re still one of our fave Hollywood couples, we’d say their four million dollar wedding was well worth it. Instead of wedding gifts, the couple asked for their guests to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital instead. Like, THAT’S how you make a marriage last, people. This makes their absurdly expensive wedding event seem more dignified and even worth the expensive bill and the end of the night. One million dollars alone was dropped on the cost of flowers! The venue was Breakers Palm Beach in Florida. Also: probably the most attractive couple, like, ever.
9. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin ($4.6 million)
This destination wedding in Venice was a dream come true for not only the lucky couple but their modest 100 guests, too. The guests were all flown out to Italy to party for a three-day weekend. Top shelf alcohol was provided, of course, to wash down the fancy as hell five-course meal at the reception. An estimated $160,000 was spent on booze alone, making it the kind of party we’d all definitely like to attend. Amal looked beautiful in a custom $380,000 Oscar de la Renta gown and Clooney wore a snazzy Armani tux priced at $5K. The wedding took place September 2014 and the couple is still going strong!
10. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky ($4.8 million)
It’s not easy being the daughter of a past president and prominent politician. Chelsea and Marc’s wedding in July of 2010 came with extra security, just in case, which helped to hike up the final bill. The budget was allegedly three million, but when all was said and done, the price was waaayyyy off. If you’re gluten-free, you’re going to love the wedding cake at this event, which was five-feet tall and eleven tiers of GF chocolate cake. The venue was at the beautiful Astor Courts estate in Rhinebeck, New York. Chels wore a Vera Wang gown costing $20,000, but added $250,000 to the price of her outfit with diamond accessories
11. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ($6.5 million)
It’s a well-known fact that destination weddings are simply more fun. This NSYNC guy and the star of 7th Heaven tied the knot during a week-long destination wedding in Puglia, Italy. The couple bought out the entire block surrounding the hotel to ensure that no paparazzi would be able to sneak pics. For their 100 guests, the wedding was actually a week-long Italian extravaganza, complete with a trip to an actual grotto, a beach party that ended with fireworks, and traditional Italian dancing. When one of the most famous boy banders-turned-solo artists does a wedding, he does it WELL.
12. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries ($10 million)
The only person to end up the most expensive wedding list twice, Kim K and Kris Humphries spent a good amount of money on their long-term 72-day marriage. Both Kim and her b-ball playing ex-husband got a lot of flack for their marriage seemingly being a publicity stunt, but honestly, jury’s still out on if that’s true. Kim had three different Vera Wang dresses for the event. Also, the wedding made a nice two-part, four-hour-long reality TV special and YES, we all sat down to watch at least the highlights. We’re assuming E! footed part of the bill for this wedding.
13. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto ($10 million)
The basketball star and his now-wife got married in April 2013 after dating for five years and spent a cool 10 mil on the wedding. Guests in attendance included Usher, Robin Thicke, and K’Jon, who also performed. Yvette wore a stunning wedding dress that matched the 7-layer crystal encrusted rum wedding cake. Obsessed. The wedding venue was in Palm Beach, Florida and it was decorated throughout with candles and flowers. Ah, so romantic.
14. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (around 12 million for the whole event, but 2.8 million for the actual wedding)
Second time’s a charm! Kim K tried her hand at love again and I don’t think anyone in their right mind thought Kimye wouldn’t do something EXTRAvagant. Fans will know that the only thing the rapper/icon loves more than himself is his wife. The wedding started out with a week in Paris, where most of the $12 million was dropped. Keeping up with the Kardashians documented the event extensively, and it looked even more fairytale-esque than Kim’s nuptials with Kris Humphries. However, the actual wedding in Florence, Italy was a private affair, much to the sadness of dedicated KUWTK fans. Say what you want about the power couple, they obviously are committed to each other.
15. Prince William and Kate Middleton ($34 million)
As far as royal weddings are concerned, the bill of $34 million is way under budget. Most of that money, for starters, went to security ($32 million). Also, there was a noticeable boost to the economy because of tourism and merchandise sales around the wedding of now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, so we could see the wedding bill as an investment in their country. The ceremony and reception venues (Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace) were both free for the royal pair. There were two separate receptions, a luncheon, and a dinner, and the white buttercream wedding cake was matched with a chocolate cookie groom’s cake. The cakes alone were $80,000, which is nothing compared to what the royal family spent on flowers and foliage – $800,000! We also have to talk about how beautiful and classic Kate’s $434,000 Alexander McQueen gown was, because… WOW.
16. Prince Charles and Princess Diana ($110 million)
With a wedding deemed “the wedding of the century,” coupled with a grand total of $110 million in final costs, it better be the most expensive wedding on our list! Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married July 29th, 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Just look at that dress on Diana! It screams ‘early ’80s’ with those puffy shoulders and her iconic short hairdo. Everything about this wedding was extravagant and over-the-top, from the five-foot-tall wedding cake to the 25-foot dress train. The tiny details were done and then brought up a notch. There still hasn’t been a wedding to touch this event in terms of glamour or money.