The most expensive weddings in history
According to CNN, the average American wedding costs about $35,000. It sounds like a lot of money, but when you’re paying for catering, flowers, music, a venue, and of course, a beautiful dress, all that spending can add up really fast.
But what about the above-average wedding costs? These extravagant weddings cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. From dream destination ceremonies and star-studded events to royal weddings and rock-and-roll royalty, these happy couples spared no expense for their big day. Ready to see how some of the wealthiest and most famous people in the world tied the knot?
1. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra
In December 2018, the youngest Jonas brother got hitched to Indian actress Priyanka Chopra in a gorgeous ceremony that set the couple back an estimated $800,000. Their three-day-long nuptial extravaganza included a Christian wedding ceremony and a Hindu ceremony. They kicked off the festivities with a haldi ceremony, an Indian tradition that is meant to bring prosperity to the newlywed couple.
The bride wore a custom gown designed for her by Ralph Lauren for the Christian ceremony, and a brilliant-red sari for the Hindu one. The wedding was held at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, a royal 26-acre estate in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. And naturally, the guest list included all of the Jonas brothers.
NEXT: When these two got together, they were America’s “it couple.”
2. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were Hollywood’s hottest couple when they wed, back in 2000. After dating for a couple of years, the pair decided to make it official with a ceremony that cost an estimated $1 million. To celebrate their marriage, the two hosted a lavish wedding with 200 guests.
The ceremony took place outdoors, on a bluff overlooking the ocean in Malibu. Jennifer Aniston wore a silk and satin hand-beaded gown and custom Manolo Blahnik heels. After the ceremony, the couple partied the night away with a reception featuring four bands, a gospel choir, and a fireworks show. Though the pair split up in 2005, their wedding was certainly a night to remember.
NEXT: We hope this marriage will be solid as a rock.
3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Lauren Hashian
In August 2019, WWF wrestler-turned-action-star and all-around good guy Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made it official with his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. The two were wed in a secret, private ceremony in Hawaii, a state that is very dear to the part-Samoan actor’s heart.
While the cost of the ceremony isn’t known, we can tell you that the bride’s dress came with a hefty price tag. Lauren Hashian’s sleeveless tulle and chantilly lace gown was made by designer Mira Zwillinger and can be found online for $12,050. If that’s any indication of their total wedding bill, we’re guessing it was astronomical.
NEXT: This movie queen had a true royal wedding.
4. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco
Grace Kelly’s wedding dress is often imitated, but the gown this classic film star wore for her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco was truly one of a kind. Oscar-winning costume designer Helen Rose designed the famous frock, which MGM Studios gifted to Kelly for her wedding day. The dress actually consisted of 10 separate pieces, including a slip, skirt support, and underbodice.
There were over 600 guests in attendance for the movie queen’s royal wedding, including big stars like Cary Grant and Gloria Swanson. At the reception, guests ate caviar and lobster, sipped champagne, and dug into a 200-pound wedding cake.
NEXT: This bride can certainly tell you what she wants, what she really, really, wants …
5. David Beckham and Victoria Adams
When Posh Spice married soccer star David Beckham in 1999, it was one of the most talked-about weddings of the year. The glamorous power couple was constantly splashed across the tabloids, and 20 years later they are still crazy about each other. They got married at a castle in Dublin with 500 guests in attendance.
All of the Spice Girls were there, and many of Beckham’s Manchester United teammates came too. The bride wore a Vera Wang gown that cost $100,000. At the reception, Elton John flew in between concerts in Italy to perform for the lovebirds. All told, their wedding cost about $800,000. In today’s money, that would be around $1.2 million.
NEXT: This wedding singer went all out when the time came for a wedding of his own.
6. Sir Elton John and David Furnish
Elton John has performed at his share of lavish weddings, so it’s no surprise that when he finally wed his longtime love David Furnish, he did it in style. The pair met and fell in love in 1993, but they weren’t able to get legally married in the U.K. until 2014. So, that year, they tied the knot in a ceremony that cost somewhere between $1.5 million and $2 million.
They held the ceremony at their mansion in Windsor and guests partied the night away in heated tents on their grounds. The couple spent over $100,000 on food and drinks alone, and they both wore designer suits. They had a guest list of 600 people, including David and Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace, and Sharon Stone.
NEXT: This edgy comedian spent big bucks on this wedding.
7. Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell
Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell got hitched in 1993, back when the comedian had a reputation for pushing boundaries and being a bit of a playboy. However, when he met actress Nicole Mitchell, Murphy soon changed his tune. The two were wed in a ceremony that cost an estimated $1.5 million.
The couple married at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan with 500 guests present. Celebrities on the star-studded guest list included Prince, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Though they spent extravagantly on beautiful flowers for the ceremony and reception, the couple also paid to have the blooms delivered to a hospital in Harlem following the wedding. The couple went on to have five children together, however they split up in 2006.
NEXT: This Hollywood couple has some serious staying power.
8. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas
Almost 20 years after their wedding, Michael Douglas still gushes to reporters about his wife, saying she gives him butterflies. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were married at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel in 2000 with 1,000 guests looking on. Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, and Sharon Stone were among the many people invited to share in the couple’s $1.5 million special day.
The ceremony itself was held in the hotel’s presidential suite, and guests at the reception enjoyed a seven-course meal. The wedding party took over more than 100 rooms in the hotel. The bride’s ring was purchased from a small jeweler in her native Wales.
NEXT: This short-lived celebrity couple blew the bank on their wedding.
9. Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky
For her eighth and final wedding, Elizabeth Taylor went all out. She married construction worker Larry Fortensky in a lavish $1.5 million celebration at her friend Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in 1991. They had 160 guests in attendance at the private event on Jackson’s 2,700-acre estate.
Elizabeth Taylor wore a pale-yellow Valentino gown that cost $25,000. During the ceremony, helicopters flew overhead containing daring paparazzi, one of whom actually parachuted into the wedding in an attempt to get pictures. Guests at the wedding included Eddie Murphy, Liza Minnelli, and Macaulay Culkin. Marianne Williamson officiated the nondenominational ceremony.
NEXT: This “Lady Marmalade” singer had a luxe wine country wedding.
10. Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman
Singer Christina Aguilera and music producer Jordan Bratman said “I do” in 2005, and spent $2 million to make their dream wedding a reality. Their ceremony was held at sunset at Staglin Family Vineyard in California’s wine country. Christina looked stunning in a wedding gown by Christian Lacroix that she picked out during Paris Fashion Week, and her bridesmaids wore dresses by Kai Milla, Stevie Wonder’s designer wife.
The couple’s wedding bands were designed by the London jeweler Stephen Webster. In lieu of wedding gifts, the happy couple asked their guests to donate to disaster relief funds for Hurricane Katrina victims.
NEXT: This “Material Girl” wasn’t afraid to spend her cash on her wedding.
11. Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Pop star Madonna and director Guy Ritchie met at a dinner party in 1999 and began a whirlwind courtship. By early 2000, the pair were engaged, and they made it official in December of that year with a wedding that reportedly cost $2.1 million. The ceremony was held at Skibo Castle, an exclusive estate in the Scottish highlands.
Madonna wore a Gothic-inspired gown by Stella McCartney for her big day. Her then-bestie Gwyneth Paltrow served as Madonna’s maid of honor. Other celebs at the party included Sting, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt. Though the pair split in 2008, their wedding was still one of the most expensive nuptials of all time.
NEXT: Have you been “keeping up” with this reality star’s marriage?
12. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
When rapper/producer Kanye West and reality star Kim Kardashian took the plunge in 2014, they spent millions on their over-the-top wedding. The two were wed in a ceremony that cost $2.8 million. The wedding took place at Forte di Belvedere, a 16th-century fortress in Florence. But first, the pair had a lavish pre-party in Paris.
They paid to shuttle all their guests from Paris to Florence and even offered all of them professional hair and makeup on the big day. They also had a wedding cake that was reportedly 7 feet tall, and used a rare tuberose flower renowned for its wonderful scent in their floral arrangements.
NEXT: This former Beatle spent a fortune on his wedding.
13. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
In 2002, Sir Paul McCartney married model Heather Mills in a ceremony that cost an estimated $3 million. The two were married in a 17th-century chapel on the grounds of a remote Irish castle. They had 300 guests with them for the festivities, including Ringo Starr, Chrissie Hynde, and Twiggy.
Heather walked down the aisle to McCartney’s song “Heather,” presumably written just for her. She carried a bouquet of McCartney roses, a type of rose named for her husband. Their reception featured live music and a gourmet vegetarian menu. Though Mills and McCartney eventually split up in 2008, their wedding remains a truly special and magical event.
NEXT: This Hollywood wedding came with a hefty price tag.
14. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
When this movie star couple decided to make it official, they planned a wedding that reportedly cost $3 million. In 2006, the two were wed in an opulent ceremony at Odescalchi Castle, a 15th-century Italian castle. During the wedding, Holmes wore two different gowns, both designed by Giorgio Armani.
Guests at the wedding included lots of famous faces, such as Will Smith, David and Victoria Beckham, and Jim Carrey. During the reception, Andrea Bocelli serenaded the bride and groom. Later in the party, Mark Ronson DJed and Jennifer Lopez also performed. They capped off the party with a spectacular fireworks show.
NEXT: This star of the stage and screen shared the spotlight at her star-studded wedding.
15. Liza Minnelli and David Gest
Equally at home in Hollywood as on Broadway, Liza Minnelli is known for her big, bold personality. When she got married to producer David Gest in 2002, their wedding was anything but understated. The pair spent $3.5 million on an in-your-face lavish ceremony. They hosted 850 guests at New York City’s Marble Collegiate Church to celebrate their union.
Minnelli wore a Bob Mackie gown for her trip down the aisle, and she later covered up with a white fur coat at the reception. During the reception at the Regent Hotel, Natalie Cole serenaded the newlyweds with her father’s classic tune, “Unforgettable.”
NEXT: When this bachelor finally settled down, he wasn’t afraid to fork over some dough to do it.
16. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin
For many years, George Clooney had the image of an untamable bachelor. However, everything changed when he met his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. Finally ready to settle down, Clooney spared no expense on their big day. The two were wed in a ceremony that cost about $4.6 million.
The wedding was held at the Aman Hotel in Venice, Italy. Clooney wore a custom Armani suit and his bride walked down the aisle in a gown by Alexander McQueen worth $380,000. They treated their 100 guests to a fabulous five-course Italian meal and kept the party going with lunch and dinner the next day.
NEXT: This supermodel had a real rock-and-roll wedding.
17. Kate Moss and Jamie Hince
In 2011, heroin-chic supermodel Kate Moss married indie-rock guitarist Jamie Hince in a ceremony that combined rock-and-roll cool with traditional romance. They tied the knot at the Gloucestershire parish church on a sunny summer day, after arriving in a caravan of Rolls-Royces.
Kate wore a dress by designer John Galliano made from gauzy lace and studded with glittering rhinestones. She paired it with Manolo Blahnik heels lined with blue insoles for her “something blue.” Hince’s “best man” was his bandmate Alison Mosshart, who wore a YSL suit. Guests included big names in fashion and music, like Bryan Ferry and Naomi Campbell.
NEXT: This power couple spent through the roof on their extravagant wedding.
18. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
Before getting married in 2006, singer Justin Timberlake and actress Jessica Biel dated for five years. When they finally decided to make it official, the pair went all out. Their beautiful destination wedding in Italy reportedly set these lovebirds back $6.5 million.
Their ceremony was held at the Borgo Egnazia resort on the coast of southern Italy. Guests first arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, with no idea where the ceremony would be. They were then taken to Italy for a pre-party the day before the wedding. At the reception, guests were treated to traditional Neapolitan music and a spectacular 10-minute fireworks show.
NEXT: This athlete didn’t leave his wedding plans up in the air.
19. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto
Basketball legend Michael Jordan married Cuban model Yvette Prieto in 2013 at a ceremony that reportedly cost $10 million. Though this was Jordan’s second wedding, he clearly felt no hesitation about spending the most to make their special day incredible. The pair even hired star wedding planner Sharon Sacks to make sure that every detail would be perfect.
The couple tied the knot at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea and then headed off to a reception at Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida. They had over 300 guests at their wedding, including Tiger Woods, Scottie Pippin, Spike Lee, and Robin Thicke. The bride wore a J’Aton Couture gown studded with Swarovski crystals.
NEXT: At this royal wedding, one of the biggest expenses might surprise you.
20. Prince William and Kate Middleton
The 2011 royal wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to Kate Middleton was without a doubt the biggest wedding of the year. Estimates on how much the ceremony set the royal couple back range from $16 to $64 million, with one cost eating up most of the budget: security.
The wedding included a ceremony and two receptions. The first reception was a brunch at Buckingham Palace hosted by the queen, and the second was a party in the evening hosted by Prince Charles. The cakes alone for the receptions cost $80,000. And the bride wore a beautiful designer wedding gown from Alexander McQueen.
NEXT: Not to be outdone, this royal couple racked up quite the bill on their wedding day.
21. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince William’s younger brother Prince Harry would be the next royal to marry. His 2018 wedding to American actress Meghan Markle reportedly cost the royals $45.8 million. Again, the largest chunk of the royal wedding budget went to security. It’s estimated that $43 million of the total wedding budget went to paying for security costs.
Meghan Markle wore a dress by British couturiers Ralph & Russo, valued at $135,000. The couple tied the knot at Windsor Castle and held their reception there afterward, spending roughly $700,000 on food and $200,000 on champagne. They also hired a respected London production agency to transform the palace grounds into a magically romantic setting.
NEXT: This royal wedding was the most epic one ever.
22. Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married in 1981 at a ceremony that remains the most extravagant royal wedding ever. Their wedding cost them $110 million in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation. The two said their vows at St. Paul’s Cathedral as the whole world watched.
Princess Diana wore a dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, made from taffeta and antique lace and sporting a lavish 25-foot train. At the reception, they had a cake that was 5 feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds. Finally, just like the end of a fairy tale, the couple rode away from their wedding in a gorgeous horse-drawn carriage.
NEXT: This bombshell made quite the splash with her opulent wedding.
23. Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar
Brunette bombshell Elizabeth Hurley made headlines all through the ’90s as Hugh Grant’s girlfriend. However, after their high-profile breakup, she began a new romance with businessman Arun Nayar. In 2007, they set a date and walked to the altar in incredibly luxurious style.
Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar’s wedding cost a reported $2.6 million. They started the festivities with a Christian wedding in an English castle, where the bride wore a Versace gown. Later that week, they flew to Nayar’s hometown in Jodhpur, India, for a Hindu ceremony and a week of celebrations there. Sadly, the two split just four years later in 2011.
NEXT: This socialite and reality star put on a TV-worthy wedding.
24. Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom
As one of the stars of her family’s reality series, Khloé Kardashian certainly doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. So, when she married NBA star athlete Lamar Odom in 2009, it’s no wonder they pulled out all the stops to have a true wedding extravaganza. The couple reportedly spent $1 million to get hitched.
The two were married at a private estate in Beverly Hills in front of three arches made of white roses. Khloé hired celebrity wedding planner Sharon Sacks to oversee the event, and the reception was held in a tent on the property that was decked out in chandeliers and white flowers. Guests enjoyed a four-course meal, a performance by Babyface, and a DJ to dance the night away.
NEXT: If this footballer’s “goal” was a costly wedding, he more than hit the mark.
25. Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin
Wayne Rooney may not be well known stateside, but in the U.K. he’s a celebrated footballer. Rooney holds the record for the most goals scored for Manchester United and for England’s national team. And, in 2008, Rooney settled down with influencer Coleen McLoughlin, with a ceremony costing $7.7 million.
The two were married at a resort on the Riviera with only eight friends and family members as witnesses. Later on, at their reception, they hosted 65 guests in a medieval abbey. Celebrations went on for days and included a masked ball onboard a yacht and a pizza party the night before the ceremony.
NEXT: This enterprising star may have gotten this extravagant wedding for free.
26. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Before she met and fell for Kanye West, Kim Kardashian was married to a basketball player. In 2011, the reality star married NBA player Kris Humphries in a ceremony reportedly worth $10 million. However, thanks to Kardashian’s savvy dealmaking abilities, it was reported that the couple may not have had to pay for any of it themselves.
Apparently, they were paid to host their bachelor and bachelorette parties at a Las Vegas club prior to the wedding. Then, there was a $1.5 million deal negotiated with a magazine for their wedding photos. Plus, many of the vendors involved in the wedding offered services at a free or reduced rate in exchange for the publicity of working at a Kardashian wedding. Though the marriage lasted less than 100 days, you have to respect Kim’s hustle.
NEXT: This pair raced to the altar for their elaborate wedding.
27. Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt
Formula One racing heiress Petra Ecclestone and businessman James Stunt were married in 2011 in a stunning ceremony that reportedly cost $5 million. The two settled on a destination wedding in Italy and spent $500,000 to take over a small medieval town for the festivities.
The bride wore a Vera Wang gown valued at $1.3 million, and the celebrations took place over the course of three days. The rehearsal dinner featured a performance by Alicia Keys, and at the reception, Andrea Bocelli, the Black Eyed Peas, and Eric Clapton performed. Guests were also entertained by acrobats and drank $6,000 champagne.
NEXT: This star had a wedding worthy of James Bond himself.
28. Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith
Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan and his reporter wife Keely Shaye Smith have a rare, long-lasting celebrity romance. The two met in 1994 while vacationing in Mexico and were married in 2001. The pair opted for a smaller, more intimate wedding, though they certainly weren’t worried about keeping the costs down. They spent a reported $1.5 million on their big day.
They were married at Ballintubber Abbey in Ireland with 100 guests there to witness their vows. At the reception, they had a seven-tiered cake, ice sculptures, and a fireworks show. Today, the couple is still going strong.
NEXT: This Indian heiress’ wedding puts all the other lavish ceremonies to shame.
29. Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal
Vanisha Mittal is the daughter of the Indian-born British steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. Her father’s net worth is estimated at about $10.6 billion, so it’s no surprise that when her wedding rolled around, money was apparently no object. Vanisha Mittal’s wedding to British-Indian investor Amit Bhatia cost about $66 million all told.
The biggest stars in Bollywood and India’s elite were in attendance at the opulent destination wedding in France. There were celebrations in front of the Louvre, at Versailles, and Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. The couple had Munna Maharaj, one of the best caterers in India, flown to Paris to prepare a vegetarian feast for their wedding.
NEXT: Last, but definitely not least, you won’t believe how much this wedding cost.
30. Said Gutseriev and Khadija Uzhakhovs
As the son of a Russian billionaire, Said Gutseriev probably has a much different idea of what a budget should look like than you or me. To prove it, his 2016 wedding to student Khadija Uzhakhovs reportedly cost $1 billion and has been called the most insane wedding ever.
The wedding took place in Moscow, and the whole venue was covered floor-to-ceiling with flowers. The bride wore an Elie Saab gown worth over $25,000 that was so heavily beaded, she could barely move under its weight. Sting and Jennifer Lopez each performed at the reception, and of course, there were fireworks to celebrate.