According to Business Insider, the average cost of an American wedding in 2018 is $33,391. Yikes.
For some people, that’s an entire year’s salary blown in just one day. It’s enough to make some people want to elope, and put that money towards a down-payment on a house, instead. But for the rich and powerful people in the world, weddings that cost tens of thousands of dollars would never be lavish enough for their taste.
Get ready to clutch your pearls, because the cost of these 30 luxury weddings will knock your socks off. We still start with the “cheap” six-figure weddings- all the way up to ceremonies that cost over $100 million.
30. Heart Evangelista and Chiz Escudero
Heart Evangelista is a socialite from the Phillipines who is one of the many women that inspired the author of Crazy Rich Asians. Her husband, Chiz Escudero, is a senator. Their wedding was a gorgeous ceremony on Balesin Island. The minimum cost for running a wedding on Balesin is 9 million pesos, or $115,000. Add on the designer gown, guest accommodations, custom-made sails to boats on the water, fireworks, and walls upon walls of flowers, their wedding would have easily cost at least one million dollars, if not more.
29. David and Victoria Beckham
David and Victoria Beckham were married on July 4th, 1999. The ceremony was held in the Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland. They already had their first baby, Brooklyn Beckham, before they were married, and he was their tiny ring bearer. The pop singer and footballer would both go on to be one of the richest power couples in existence, as they built their business empires. In 1999, their ceremony cost $800,000. Some people estimate that with inflation, it would have cost $12 million today. David continues to give Victoria Beckham new engagement rings so that she has options on what to wear. Her collection is said to be worth nearly $10 million.
28. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it was still very rare for celebrities to drop big bucks on a wedding of royal proportions. Brad and Jen changed that in the year 2000. Jaws dropped when they heard that the couple spent $1 million to get married by the ocean at sunset in Malibu, California. Security cost them $100,000 alone, to keep out any paparazzi that were trying to take a peek at the event. They spent $75,000 on flowers from Beverly Hills. After the ceremony, they had live music and fireworks.
27. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
It shouldn’t be surprising that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner took advantage of Donald Trump’s many properties to have their wedding ceremony. They opted for the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Ivanka wore a custom-made dress by Vera Wang, and her ring was custom made by her own jewelry company, Ivanka Trump Jewelry. For their honeymoon, they went on an African safari. When all was said and done, their wedding would be worth an estimated $1 million.
26. Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas proposed to Catherine Zeta Jones with a $1 million 10-carat diamond engagement ring. Their wedding ceremony took place at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, and Douglas claimed that he was willing to spend any amount of money to make sure Jones had her perfect wedding. In total, the ceremony cost an estimated $1.5 million.
25. John F Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy
John and Jackie Kennedy both came from old money families in New England, so it only made sense that they would have an elegant wedding. JFK proposed to Jackie with a ring filled with 8 carats of diamonds and emeralds. They were married in Jackie’s home town of Newport, Rhode Island. Kennedy was a Senator at the time, so their guest list was massive. 800 people were allowed to attend the ceremony at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and 1,500 guests came to the reception. The guest list included diplomats and other politicians. The ceremony was so big, one guest compared it to a royal coronation.
After getting married in a church, guests showed up to the oceanfront Bouvier mansion in Newport. Technically, the couple didn’t do anything crazy or over-the-top for the ceremony, especially compared to modern celebrity couples. But the sheer number of people that were invited to the wedding would have pushed the cost to the modern-day equivalent of a million-dollar wedding. For their honeymoon, they spend some time at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City before spending two weeks sailing in Mexico.
24. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
When she was young, Katie Holmes had a crush on actor Tom Cruise. She got to grow up and actually marry him at a gorgeous Odescalchi Castle in Italy. Opera singer Andrea Bocelli sang for the 150 guests during dinner. Going along with the Italian theme, both Katie’s dress and Tom Cruises’ suit were designed by Giorgio Armani, who was invited to be a guest at the wedding. Celebrities were proud to get an invitation to this event, and even years after it happened, people are still talking about the $3 million affair. They had a daughter together named Suri, and she was present at the wedding, since she was born before they said their “I do’s”. They divorced after a few years.
23. Elton John and David Furnish
Gay marriage did not become legal in the United Kingdom until 2014, but that didn’t stop Elton John and David Furnish from having an epic wedding as soon as they could apply for a “civil partnership” in 2005. The actual ceremony was very low-key, with only their parents as witnesses in the court house partnership. Afterwards, they threw a party of Great Gatsby proportions in Elton John’s mansion. The star-studded celebration reportedly cost $2 million.
22. Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar
Arun Nayar is a wealthy businessman, and Elizabeth Hurley is an English model and actress who is best known for her roles in Bedazzled and Austin Powers. They had two weddings- one in a castle in England and one in India. When they arrived at the airport in India, they were met by a mob of paparazzi photographers. Between these two elaborate weddings, Nayar spent $2.5 million, but they still got divorced a few years later.
21. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Paul McCartney is obviously famous for being one of The Beatles, and Heather Mills is a model and activist that he met at a charity event. Many people objected to their wedding, because Paul McCartney was still grieving the death of his first wife, and some people thought the two were an odd coupling. The two were married in a remote 1,000-acre estate called Castle Leslie in Ireland in 2002. It cost a whopping $3 million. Unfortunately, their nay-sayers were right, because they separated in 2006. During the divorce, Mills tried to go after him for $150 million, and McCartney paid out $30 million.
20. Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault
Actress Salma Hayek met the billionaire French CEO of Keurig, Francois-Henri Pinault, in 2006. A month after getting pregnant with his baby, the two were engaged. They had a small and quiet wedding ceremony on Valentines Day in the City Hall of Paris. In 2009, the couple decided it was time to have a large wedding ceremony. So they got married in an Italian opera house called Teatro La Fenice. Their daughter was their flower girl, and 150 celebrity guests were invited to party in a masquerade ball in the center of Venice. This Italian affair cost $3.5 million. They renewed their vows yet again in 2018 in Bora Bora. That makes 3 weddings in total for this couple, who are proving that at least some people are truly committed to sticking together.
19. Liza Minnelli and David Gest
Actress and singer Liza Minnelli is known for being eccentric, and her wedding to David Gest was no exception. He was her fourth husband, and 7 years younger than she was, but he didn’t let that stop her from being excited to get married again. They invited 850 guests to their ceremony at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. Michael Jackson was Gest’s best man, and the star-studded guest list included names like Elton John, Donald Trump, and so many more. When all was said and done, it cost them $3.5 million. Sadly, the couple had a lot of issues, and their marriage only lasted 16 months.
18. Irene Belenova and Daniel Kenvey
An 18-year old Russian heiress named Irene Belenova married Daniel Kenvey, also 18, in an elaborate ceremony paid for by the bride’s billionaire father. The wedding included a live performance with Mariah Carey and Elton John at the Landmark Hotel in London. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the music, Irene jumped up on stage in her wedding dress to dance next to Mariah as if she was a backup dancer. The entire ceremony reportedly cost $4.5 million. Apparently, the bride told the press that this huge wedding was just to “piss off her ex-boyfriend”, and that quote ran in nearly every headline. Hopefully, she was just joking, because the couple is still together.
17. George and Amal Clooney
George Clooney was married once and divorced in the 90’s, and the movie star was in no hurry to get married again. But when he met diplomat and human rights advocate Amal Alamuddin in 2014, they took things slow at first. They were friends for a while before he asked her out on their first date. Their special relationship needed an equally special ceremony. They had an Italian destination wedding in Venice, where they paid for their guests to stay in the luxurious Cipriani Hotel. A team of boats brought them to The Aman Hotel, which is where the main event happened. They had book space in both hotels for three days while they had the bachelor and bachelorette parties before the ceremony. The wedding outfits were custom designed by Giorgio Armani and Alexander McQueen. All in all, the three-day event cost them $4.6 million, which is a small price to pay for true love.
16. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky
In 2010, Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky were married at a luxurious estate in upstate New York. Chelsea wore a strapless gown designed by Vera Wang, and they had both a rabbi and minister there for the ceremony. Since Chelsea is the daughter of former President Bill Clinton, the family needed to pay for a lot of security to keep their guests safe. The cost of the whole event was $5 million.
15. Folarin Alakija and Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar
Folarin Alakija’s father is a billionaire oil tycoon from Nigeria. He stands to inherit the family business and fortune, so it wasn’t much to spent $6.6 million on his wedding to an Iranian supermodel named Jafarian Ghaissarifar. Their wedding took place in Blenheim Palace in England, which was the former estate of Winston Churchill. Over one million white roses decorated the ballroom, where Robin Thicke performed lived for the wedding guests. At the end of the night, fireworks were set off over the castle.
14. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Before she married Kanye West, reality TV star Kim Kardashian married a man named Kris Humphries at a private estate in California. Remember that? The entire thing was filmed for her reality TV show. Her cake alone cost $20,000, which is enough for some people to throw their entire wedding. They were only married for 72 days, and their wedding cost $10 million. Some people believe that this wedding was one huge publicity stunt, but the couple insists that they really were in love at the time. It just didn’t work out.
13. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
With her second wedding, Kim Kardashian paid slightly more than her first wedding, with the total cost of $12 million. The bachelorette and bachelor parties took place in Paris, and the rehearsal dinner was at the Palace of Versailles. The ceremony took place in Florence, Italy, where they paid for 200 guests to attend. Kim wore a long-sleeved dress designed by Givenchy. Andrea Bocelli surprised Kim by showing up to sing as she walked down the aisle, which made her burst into tears. Their infant daughter, North West, was sitting in the front aisle to watch her parents tie the knot.
12. Feiping Chang and Lincoln Li
Feiping Chang is a model and lifestyle blogger from Hong Kong who became an Instagram star and influencer. She was yet another inspiration for the author of Crazy Rich Asians. She regularly scores huge sponsorship deals with designer fashion brands like Gucci, which pays out tens of thousands of dollars for a single instagram photos. She married a wealthy banker named Lincoln Li on the island of Capri, Italy. The couple paid to fly their guests for the three-day event where they paid for luxury dinners and entertainment. The wedding was so beautiful, photos of it were posted all over Vogue and so many other magazines. While there is nowhere online that gives an exact number, everyone estimates that a wedding like this would cost several million dollars.
11. Beyonce and Jay Z
Beyonce and Jay Z got married in 2008, and kept their ceremony small, private, and out of the media. From the photos that have now emerged online, we see that they had a wedding inside of a hotel, but we can’t really tell how big it was, or how much they spent on the festivities. They also spent their honeymoon at a resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which actually sounds pretty modest compared to some other couples. We do know, however, that Beyonce has a $5 million engagement ring, which pushes them into the multi-million dollar bracket on bling alone.
10. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier
Prince Rainier gave Grace Kelly a 10.47 carat Cartier diamond wedding ring that would cost several million dollars. At the time, her wedding dress cost $8,000. Even by today’s standards, that is a huge amount of money. But considering that they were married in 1956, it is closer to $68,000 after adjusting for inflation. They spent seven weeks sailing on a yacht for their honeymoon. While there is no official number online of how much their wedding cost, it is safe to say that the amount they spent on the celebration is just as much as any of the other royal weddings on this list.
9. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Actress Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding was when she was 18, and she got married another 7 times until age 59. She actually married Richard Burton not just once- but twice. They got divorced, and married again. After her first few weddings, Elizabeth Taylor gave up on the color white, and started wearing some colorful dresses. Richard Burton gave her an engagement ring that is estimated to be valued close to $9 million. When we consider how high maintenance she was, and many times she got married, it would have cost a lot. It’s safe to say that her wedding expenses over the years have cost anywhere from $10 to $20 million.
8. Adel Sajan and Sana Khan
Adel Sajan and Sana Khan are based in Dubai, and they decided to have a wedding on a cruise ship so that their guests could enjoy being taken to multiple locations. This gives a whole new meaning to “destination wedding”! The ceremony started off with the Engagement Ceremony at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dabi, and once guests boarded their cruise ship, they were entertained by Bollywood performers, and enjoyed catered food and drinks during the dance party. Each guest got their own hotel room on board of the ship, where they got a box full of luxury treats from Harrod’s. The guests were taken to Barcelona, Spain, Cannes, France, and Savona, Italy. Since the celebration took place over a few days, the couple also came prepared with new elaborate outfits for each day. When all was said and done, it cost $27 million.
7. Sanjay Hinduja and Anu Mahtani
Sanjay Hinduhja’s father and uncle are two of the wealthiest men in all of Great Britain, so it only made sense that he would inherit a lot of their business and banking know-how and make his own fortune. For years, he was considered one of “the most eligible bachelors”. All together, the family business is estimated to be worth $12 billion. When he married Anu Mahtani, it only made sense that they would have a multi-million dollar ceremony in Udaipur, India.
They invited 800 guests, many of whom were Bollywood celebrities. Anyone who flew in for the ceremony was picked up at the airport by black BMW’s driven by chauffeurs, and they were taken by boat to a private island, where the hotel for they wedding took place. Jennifer Lopez gave a life performance, along with dancers and other entertainment. All in all, the ceremony cost $20 million.
6. Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia
Vanisha Mittal’s father is the richest man in India, so it was no big issue to fly the wedding party and guests to Paris, France. Since Indian weddings are arranged, the engagement ceremony was held at the Palace of Versailles. The guests ate dinner at the famous Jardin des Tuileries, and after dark, and the wedding guests enjoyed watching fireworks in front of The Eiffel Tower. When all was said and done, the event cost $33 million.
5. Sonam Vaswani and Navin Fabiani
Sonam Vaswani and Navin Faiani are another young couple who are the children of wealthy businessmen. Sonam Vaswani is the daughter of billionaire Sunil Vaswani, who is one of the wealthiest businessmen in the United Arab Emirates. They had a wedding at the Palais Ferstel mansion in Vienna, Austria. Bruno Mars sang at their wedding, and gorgeous flowers decorated the ceremony. Photos of their wedding were all over Instagram, and they ended up being posted on Vogue and bridal websites around the world. The exact cost of their wedding is not public online, but considering all of the other weddings of similar expense, it would not be surprising to learn that it cost over $30 million.
4. Megan Markle and Prince Harry
When compared to Princess Diana’s wedding, Megan Markle and Prince Harry’s ceremony at St. George’s Castle was considered “modest” at $43 million. The vast majority of that money went to paying for a massive security team. Megan’s dress cost over $400,000, which is roughly the same budget they spent on catering. There was live music too, of course, but when all was said and done, the actual cost of their ceremony was only $3 million, and $40 million paid for police, guards, and high-tech devices to make sure the royal guests were safe.
3. Brahmani Reddy and Rajeev Reddy
India’s mining mogul Janardhana Reddy wanted to give his daughter Brahmani one of the biggest weddings in the world, and he was willing to pay any amount of money to make the celebration unforgettable. Instead of paper wedding invitations, information about the wedding was sent out on gold-plated LCD screens. The bride was dripping in jewels, and massive amounts of security had to cover the event. They ceremony went on for 5 days of partying and watching live performances. When all was said and done, the wedding cost $74 million. According to the BBC, the wedding was so expensive, it actually made people angry. Thousands of people are starving to death in the poorest parts of India, and many believed that the money could have been better served donating some of the cost to charity.
2. Sheikha Aysha & Sheikh Rashid
In Saudi Arabia, weddings are segregated. There is a room full of female guests, and a room full of male guests. For the rich and famous, they usually have entertainers like singers, dancers, and fashion shows. It’s like paying for two weddings in one day. For the Sheikha Aysha and Sheikh Rashid, it only made sense that their wedding would be the biggest version of a Saudi wedding anyone has ever seen. It held in a stadium that normally seats 20,000 people. Cost: $100 Million
1. Prince Charles and Lady Diana
All around the world, 750 million people turned on their television sets to watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana get married in 1981. They were married at the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Over 600,000 people stood in the streets of London as they tried to catch a glimpse of the ceremony. Diana’s dress had 10,000 pearls sewn into it, and a 25-foot train followed behind her. Her wedding ring was massive, as well. The guest list was a whopping 3,500 people, and none of them wanted to miss the occasion. Since there were so many guests, they had to buy 27 massive multi-layered cakes to feed everyone. The couple was divorced in 1992, but people still talk about their wedding as one of the biggest events of the century. Considering modern-day inflation, the cost of the same wedding today would cost $110 million.