Weddings are events that tend to come with a hefty price tag. Many skimp and save for their big day for months or even years. But when you’re an A-list celeb with millions of dollars in the bank, it’s easier to throw the budgeting sheet out the window, in favor of a more “spare no expense” approach to wedding planning. The guest list can be formidable, the location can be exotic, and the dress should probably be custom made by one of the industry’s top designers.
Can you even imagine what the price tag for such an event would be? We had a hard time wrapping our heads around it too! We’re taking a look at some of the most extravagant celebrity weddings and what features made for such giant price tags. (Custom made Lord of the Rings costumes for all? Naturally.)
Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton: Building A Chapel On A Ranch
The July 2021 nuptials of the musical duo took place on Shelton’s ranch in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Gwen wanted the ceremony to take place in a chapel, but the ranch didn’t have one. So, did they settle for a garden wedding? Absolutely not! An entire chapel was specifically constructed on the ranch so that it could match the couple’s dream.
Since Gwen is known for being a fashion icon and trendsetter, a Gwen Stefani wedding was guaranteed to cause a major buzz in the fashion scene as everyone was curious to see what her wedding dress would look like. And let it be known that she did not disappoint! Gwen had not one but two custom Vera Wang dresses for the day! The first one was a romantic high-low gown made of white silk and delicate hand-tumbled tulle, while her second dress, which she wore for the reception, was a sexy strapless mini dress made of silk crepe and also some hand-tumbled tulle. She finished the look with stiletto cowboy boots in readiness to dance the night away! It is reported that the couple spent approximately $2 million on their big day.
Paris Hilton & Carter Reum: Paris in Love
Paris Hilton has lived most of her adult life in the limelight. Her aura, prestige and personality have, in many ways, formed the blueprint that countless socialites have tried to replicate in an effort to rise to the top. Her wedding to Carter Reum, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, took place at Barron’s $66.9 million estate in Bel Air. It’s a property that holds a lot of sentimental value for the Hilton family, as it belonged to Paris’ late grandfather.
The wedding took place on November 11th, 2021, and it marked the beginning of a weekend-long wedding celebration for the couple and their exclusive guest list of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Bebe Rhexa, Paula Abdul, Rachel Zoe and other big names.
A Paris Hilton wedding is definitely not complete without a show-stopping dress. She wore a stunning Oscar de la Renta dress that is reported to have cost more than $25,000. While most people rely on wedding photography and videography to preserve memories of their big day, the story behind the planning and execution of her wedding was transformed into a reality TV series called Paris In Love.
Tarek El Moussa & Heather Rae Young: A Flipping Good Time
Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa married Selling Sunset cast member Heather Rae Young in an elaborate outdoor ceremony in Santa Barbara. The long-awaited Heather Rae Young wedding dress was a fitted French lace gown with a keyhole back design that was custom-made by the iconic Israeli designer Galia Lahav.
Their reception featured an Old-Hollywood theme, with the guests being required to adhere to a black-tie dress code. A fun and creative decor choice involved the champagne flutes being served on a creative display that read, “He finally flipped her last name.” Even with celebrity couples who end up splurging on their big day, it’s worth noting that not all lovebirds are always on the same page when it comes to the budget. During their wedding planning, El Moussa mentioned in an interview that they were already “over-budget” for their big day, and he admitted that Heather had much more expensive taste than any female he had ever met.
The high-fashion, high-budget nature of the event already made it an “over-the-top wedding,” but the event also earned that title when it became a literal production. The couple’s experience of wedding planning and the big day itself were filmed and shared with the world on Discovery+ as Tarek & Heather: The Big I Do.
Jennifer Gates & Nayel Nassar: Riding Off Into the Sunset
Jennifer Gates is the eldest daughter of Bill Gates, who previously held the title of the world’s richest man. Jennifer’s deep love of horses led her to become an elite equestrian. She found love with Nayel Nassar, who was born in Illinois and is also a stellar equestrian, having represented his home country of Egypt in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the category of “Individual Equestrian Jumping.”
Being a couple with dual heritage, Jennifer and Nassar opted for two ceremonies. The first one was an Islamic Katb el Kitab ceremony, while the main civil ceremony was held at the Gates’ family North Salem equestrian farm. Jennifer Gates wore a Vera Wang dress that was complemented perfectly by the groom’s black Armani tuxedo. Their intimate and lavish ceremony reportedly cost approximately $5 million.
Nick Jonas & Priyanka Chopra: Double Whammy
Sometimes, celebrities aren’t content with just one wedding. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra decided to double up on their wedding ceremonies when they threw both an American and an Indian wedding in 2018. They held both ceremonies over one long, party-filled weekend in Jodhpur, India.
Their attire was impressive too. Chopra’s dress had a 75-foot train and 2 million sequins! Jonas wore a Ralph Lauren double-breasted tuxedo, and all this was just for the American wedding! The couple spared no expense when it came to creating the perfect wedding experience.
George & Amal Clooney: $4 Million Budget
When you’re rich and famous, what else are you going to spend your money on if not your wedding? George and Amal Clooney apparently saw it that way, as they reportedly spent close to $4.6 million on their four-day wedding celebration.
How can a wedding be so expensive? Well, start by putting up guests in a five-star hotel in Italy and then providing five-course meals to every one of them. Considering just how many guests this famous couple invited, it’s no wonder the price tag was so high.
Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel: Surprise Location
It’s not always easy for celebrities to get some privacy. On as big a day as a wedding, the paparazzi are practically chomping at the bit to get some choice snapshots, and sometimes celebrities go to great lengths to keep them from succeeding.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were so dedicated to privacy that they kept the location a secret from everyone, including their guests, until just before the event began. Oh, and they also spent a whopping $6.5 million on the event, complete with fireworks over the Italian coast.
David & Victoria Beckham: Celebrity or Royalty?
Maybe the lines get blurred sometimes between celebrity and royalty. David and Victoria Beckham flirted with this concept at their 1999 wedding in Ireland, when they chose an honest-to-goodness castle as their location. Victoria also had an 18-karat gold tiara perched atop her head.
They did keep the ceremony itself humbly small, however, with a mere 29 people in attendance. After saying “I do,” a pure-white dove was released into the skies, and a flag with their initials was raised. They also went big and sliced the cake with a sword.
Serena Williams & Alexis Ohanian: Million-Dollar Accessories
Not all celebrities save the big bucks for the reception. Sometimes, the most expensive thing in a wedding is what’s hanging from the bride’s ears. At Serena Williams’ marriage to Alexis Ohanian, she wore what amounted to $3.5 million in jewelry.
Williams didn’t skimp on the dress, either. Her second gown of the evening took designer Donatella Versace an incredible 1,500 hours to complete. That’s a lot of effort for a night that lasts a few hours, but, hey, anything for one of the best athletes in the world!
Christina Aguilera & Jordan Bratman: Chilly Themes
Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman decided to go for a winter wonderland theme when they got married in 2005. Their elaborate ceremony took place in Napa Valley, California, and cost them a cool $2 million — actually a modest budget compared to some other couples on our list.
Sadly, the two didn’t last as a married couple and split less than six years later. Apparently, celebs aren’t any more immune to marital problems than the rest of us, no matter how much money they spent on the wedding. When it comes down to it, all that matters is the substance of the relationship.
Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries: Millions Spent for 72 Days
Kim Kardashian’s famous 2011 wedding to Kris Humphries made headlines for more than just the pretty dress. The engagement ring alone cost $2 million, and the wedding clocked in at $6 million. Maybe this wedding was a wise investment, considering it was made into a popular E! special — or not.
In the end, all that money was spent on a marriage that lasted a miniscule 72 days. That’s less than three months of married life. Their short time together led many to believe the whole thing was simply a publicity stunt.
Celine Dion & René Angélil: Giving the People What They Want
While certain celebrities seek privacy and exclusivity on their big day, others have no qualms about giving the people exactly what they want. Celine Dion and René Angélil decided to broadcast their wedding live so all their loving fans could be a part of the excitement.
Dion also showed off her famous crystal headpiece made with 2,000 separate stones. Her gown had a 20-foot train flowing behind it, and the couple held a $500,000 press conference after the ceremony. This was one couple that welcomed the press with open arms rather than stress out about dodging them.
Angélil passed away from throat cancer in 2016 after 21 years of marriage.
Mariah Carey & James Packer: The Canceled Wedding
When you go through the trouble of designing a custom-made dress, reserving a location, organizing a guest list, and deciding on color schemes and flower choices, having your husband-to-be call it off can be extra devastating. That’s exactly what happened to Mariah Carey.
When her betrothed, James Packer, sabotaged the relationship before they could say “I do,” Carey literally set fire to her $250,000 wedding dress. She also sold the $10 million engagement ring Packer had given her. She apparently intended to make a statement before moving on, no matter how much it cost.
Madonna & Guy Ritchie: Non-Disclosures for Everyone!
It’s not uncommon for celebrities to give their guests non-disclosure agreements they have to sign to make it through the front door. It’s understandable (is it really?) that they need to protect themselves from guests snapping photos to sell or spilling the beans to media outlets.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie chose this option for their 2000 wedding but for staff instead of guests. The staff made sure everything went smoothly in the location they chose — a real-life Scottish castle — and made sure they kept the details of the affair to themselves.
The couple split in 2008, with Madonna paying a whopping $92 million to settle the divorce.
Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas: Wedding of the Year
Some celebrities see weddings as a way to showcase their wealth. When you have more money than you can spend, throwing the best parties can be a way to stay busy and establish status. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas won themselves “wedding of the year” with their New York bash in 2000.
How did they do it? They booked performances by Art Garfunkel, Jimmy Buffett and a Welsh choir and spent $300,000 on a tiara and $140,000 on a wedding gown. There was a star-studded guest list, of course, and the event took place at the New York City Plaza Hotel.
Liza Minnelli & David Gest: All-Star Line-Up
Can you imagine having Michael Jackson as your best man? Well, that’s exactly what Liza Minnelli’s groom David Gest had at their wedding. And that’s not all! Elizabeth Taylor stepped in as Liza Minnelli’s maid of honor. With these people in her wedding party, she could have made guests pay to attend.
Minnelli would have made a fortune had she done so, considering she invited an unbelievable 850 people to the big event. Those numbers only add up when you have two of the most famous people in American history standing next to you. We’re guessing everyone said yes to this RSVP.
The couple split just over a year after the expensive nuptials.
Alexandra Lenas & Sean Parker: Costumes for All
When you get invited to a lavish celebrity wedding, you can’t exactly say “no” to their requirements. If you were lucky enough to get an invite to Alexandra Lenas and Sean Parker’s wedding, you had to be willing to step into a Lord of the Rings costume.
That’s right, they had outfits made for every one of their guests. To finish the Tolkien theme, they got married in a redwood forest with a stone castle shipped in — yes, shipped — a 100-foot throne crafted for the bride and a Celtic soundtrack playing in the background.
Elton John & David Furnish: Hundreds on the Guest List
When you’re as famous as Elton John, whittling down the guest list can be torturous. After all, you don’t get to Elton’s level of fame without making a good deal of friends along the way. That’s why Elton and David Furnish settled on a mere 600 guests for their wedding.
It sounds like an expensive event, right? Surprisingly, the couple only spent $1.5 million on the whole thing. Sure, that’s a lot of money, but considering how much other celebrities typically spend, that was some pretty good belt tightening. Despite the thriftiness, they threw one heck of a memorable party.
Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban: Gifts for the Guests
When the couple in question is shelling out millions on their wedding, guests can expect to get some pretty cool party favors. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban might hold the record for the best gift bag ever, considering they gave each guest an engraved Tiffany clock.
In case you were wondering, those things don’t sell for cheap. The couple spent $80,500 in total on the favors without even blinking. Their friends and family certainly must have appreciated them after that. Let’s just hope they got some great wedding gifts in return!
Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz: Going Goth
Not all famous couples shower their wedding guests in white and pink. In 2000, Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz decided to go goth for their ceremony. Black bridesmaid’s dresses and 10,000 black roses adorned the happy occasion. Compared to other celebrities, however, they kept things low-key with just 150 guests at the event held in their L.A. home.
Simpson says she was going for Alice in Wonderland, and fans got behind her. Would you expect anything less from a punk-rock relationship? Despite the gorgeous — and inventive — wedding, the two called it quits just three years later.
Nicole Richie & Joel Madden: Exotic Animals
Most people can agree that not all celebrities are alike. Reality TV stars, for example, tend to be more over-the-top than others. That’s exactly what family expected from Nicole Richie on her big day, and that’s what they got. Despite doing the deed in Beverly Hills, the couple somehow managed to have elephants at the wedding — a long time dream of Richie’s.
They invited hundreds of their friends and family, and Richie showcased three different gowns throughout the night. The entire event was one dream come true for her. Would she have accepted anything less?
Salma Hayek & François-Henri Pinault: Masquerading on the Town
Who wants the party to end after just one night? Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault wanted their festivities to last all weekend, so that’s exactly what they did. They brought guests out to Venice, Italy, for a weekend of masquerading.
The groom’s side of the family put in their fair share for the wedding too. Pinault’s father spent $70 million on restorations of the historic Italian house that was to be the wedding’s location. Talk about a hefty investment! It looks like it paid off, at least, since the couple remains together today.
Katy Perry & Russell Brand: A Downright Safari
Katy Perry’s relationship with Russell Brand was known for being a bit eccentric, and they lived up to this reputation at their 2010 wedding in India. Not only were guests invited to tour the parks in the area, but their reception featured many native exotic animals.
The bridal party included elephants, horses and 21 camels that followed Brand down the aisle. There’s no telling how much this spectacle cost, but apparently it wasn’t enough to save the marriage. The pair ended up abruptly splitting in 2012. At least the wedding was one to remember.
Star Jones & Al Reynolds: Definition of Glamour
Lawyer and TV personality Star Jones knew how to pull out all the stops when it came to her wedding with Al Reynolds. Her veil had a 27-foot train, and she wore a tiara on her head as she walked down the aisle. Her 450 guests were also treated to “crystal-dusted” tables.
Sadly, their relationship didn’t last, but that didn’t keep Jones from finding love. She married Ricardo Lugo on a classy cruise in 2018. It may not have been as dramatic as the first wedding, but it was still full of love.
Pamela Anderson & Kid Rock: Breaking Tradition
Not all celebrities throw million-dollar weddings. Some go over-the-top in other ways. Take Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock. These rock and roll stars didn’t want to do the whole white dress and black-tie affair. Instead, they did a white bikini and black sailor hat ceremony.
This all happened on a yacht, of course, with friends like Cindy Crawford and Tamara Mellon present. It was supposed to be the “pre-wedding” before the real deal in Malibu, but the couple didn’t last long enough to realize those dreams. They divorced after only four months.
Elizabeth Hurley & Arun Nayar: The Six-Day Celebration
Some cultures celebrate weddings as if they were marathons—with several days of outrageous festivities. Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar had their first wedding in the traditional Christian manner, but then they let loose for six days of traditional Indian celebrations.
That means dancing horses, sacred fires and aisles lined with chili peppers. This businessman and actress knew how to tie the knot in style, but they also knew how to untie it too. Despite all the elaborate celebrating, the two ended up getting a divorce in 2011.
Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes: As Big as Their Love
Everyone remembers Tom Cruise’s famous interview with Oprah when he jumped on the couch because he couldn’t contain his love for Katie Holmes. All of his excitement was eventually funneled into their wedding via extravagant fireworks and performances from Andrea Bocelli and Mark Ronson.
The location for this shindig? Odescalchi Castle in Italy, of course! It seems that many celebrities like Italian weddings and castle weddings, so what better idea than to merge the two together? The bill totaled $3.5 million, and, no, the relationship did not last.
Prince William & Kate Middleton: Royalty Is Celebrity
These days, members of the royal family double as celebrities for the general public. One of the major differences, however, is that a royal wedding gets a lot more publicity than any old celebrity wedding. After all, it’s literally a national event.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding was televised for all to see, and it cost no less than $34 million. That money wasn’t all for gowns and catering, either. Most of it was actually put toward security measures. It’s not easy keeping royalty safe when millions of eyes are on them.