Celebrity weddings do not have budgets like the rest of us so superstar nuptials are beyond lavish. However, what sets apart celebrity weddings from the mere fabulously wealthy is the access all areas celebrities enjoy.
Renowned designers vie to design the bridal gown and celebrity chefs pitch to handle the catering. Venues that are off limits to even the very wealthy are fair game for celebrities.
The following list shows the five most expensive celebrity weddings based on an exercise done by Forbes magazine.
1. Liza Minnelli & David Gest – Estimate of the wedding: $3.5 million
Oscar-winning entertainer Liza Minnelli wed producer David Gest in March 2002 in New York City’s Marble Collegiate Church. The over-the-top nuptials featured Best Man Michael Jackson and Maid of Honour Elizabeth Taylor. Among the 500 or so guests at the reception were superstars Diana Ross, Lauren Bacall, and Mia Farrow. Backed by a 60-piece orchestra, Tony Bennett entertained VIPs, who feasted on a 12-tier wedding cake and received personalised favours encased in satin candy boxes embossed “Liza and David 4 Ever.” (The pair divorced the next year.)
2. Paul McCartney & Heather Mills – Estimate of the wedding: $3 million
Former Beatle Paul McCartney wed model-turned-activist Heather Mills in June 2002 at St. Salvador’s Church in Monaghan, Ireland. The bride ascended the altar to “Heather,” a song McCartney penned for her. A covered walkway shielded the 300 or so guests, including Ringo Starr, Elton John, and Eric Clapton, from the rain as they headed to a lakeside tent for the reception. The Indian-themed party featured dancers in authentic Indian dress and a vegetarian feast. Fireworks capped off the night. (Now Divorced)
3. Elizabeth Hurley & Arun Nayar – Estimate of the wedding: $2.5 million
Model-actress Elizabeth Hurley wed Indian businessman Arun Nayar in March 2007 in an extravagant double ceremony with festivities spanning eight days. Some 300 guests, including Elton John and designer Valentino, attended the first ceremony, held in the medieval Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Hurley wore a traditional chiffon gown designed by good friend Donatella Versace. A second, traditional Hindu ceremony was held in the majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India, where the palace-view Maharani suit costs upward of $10,000 a night. (Now Divorced)
4. Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes – Estimate of the wedding: $2 million
Actors Tom Cruise and Katie married in November 2006 in Italy’s 15th-century Odescalchi Castle outside Rome. Superstar guests included Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez and David and Victoria Beckham. Holmes wore an off-the-shoulder ivory silk gown personally designed by Giorgio Armani. Guests were treated to a five-tiered white chocolate wedding cake covered with marzipan roses. Cruise serenaded Holmes, ala Top Gun, with a rendition of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers.
5. Elizabeth Taylor & Larry Fortensky – Estimate of the wedding: $2 million
Elizabeth Taylor married construction worker Larry Fortensky, 20 years her junior, in October 1991. It was Taylor’s eighth wedding (and her seventh husband–she married Richard Burton twice). The wacky event was held at Michael Jackson’s 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch. Jackson gave away the bride, who wore a pale yellow gown by Valentino. Fortensky’s best man was Liz’s hairdresser, Jose Eber. Among the 150 guests were Liza Minnelli, Eddie Murphy, and former first lady Nancy Reagan. All strained to hear the nuptials as a swarm of paparazzi helicopters buzzed overhead. (The pair divorced five years later.)
Even celebrities it seems, cannot pay for guarantees. Most of the couples in the list ultimately split–proof, perhaps, that even in Hollywood, money can’t buy love.
The one thing they had in common was a videographer to capture the nuptials on film. With that sort of outlay you would not want to miss a thing!