Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: November 18, 2006
The $2 million price tag—including $900,000 for guest airfare to the 15th century Odescalchi Castle outside of Rome and $180,000 for 300 bottles of wine—may not be a staggering number by celeb-nuptial standards, but the guest list (which included John Travolta, Steven Spielberg, and Victoria Beckham) had a particularly unusual addition: Scientology leader David Miscavige, who served as Cruise’s best man during the 20-minute “Double Ring” Scientology ceremony, which was reportedly capped off by a three-minute kiss. Afterward, Andrea Bocelli serenaded the couple, Mark Ronson deejayed, and the guests enjoyed a 15-minute firework display.
Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar: March 3, and March 9, 2007
Not one, not even two ceremonies would do for this couple—who had a civil ceremony in Gloucestershire with just two witnesses, followed by a large blessing party at Sunderly Castle (Elton John arrived via helicopter), and finally an Indian wedding at the Umaid Bahawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. Hurley wore Versace with a Chopard tiara for the first ceremony and a couture sari from the designer for the Indian festivities. The epic eight-day wedding reportedly cost 2.5 million, including $300,000 in private jets and $100,000 in accommodations for 300 guests—namely Valentino, Donatella Versace, and Prince Pavlos of Greece. The couple split in 2011.
Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky: October 6, 1991
Any wedding at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch certainly qualifies as over-the-top, (not to mention the $1.5 million dollar price tag) but the wild and weird doesn’t stop there. Fortensky, Taylor’s seventh husband, was a twice-divorced construction worker whom she met while they were both battling drug dependencies at the Betty Ford Center (they toasted mineral water at the reception). And as a 100-man security force stood guard, the 160 guests including Nancy Reagan, Liza Minnelli, George Hamilton, and Macaulay Culkin, had run of the amusement park.
Liza Minelli and David Gest: March 16, 2002
As one of the world’s ultimate entertainers—it’s no wonder that Minelli’s guest list hit 1,000 and the bill came in at $3.5 million dollars (including $700,000 on flowers and $40,000 on a 12-tied wedding cake). She wore a Bob Mackie for her fourth walk down the aisle as guests including Michael Jackson, Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, David Hasselhoff, Robert Goulet, Lauren Bacall, Tito Jackson, and Mickey Rooney looked on. Bridesmaid Cindy Adams called it, the “night of 1,000 facelifts.” The couple divorced one year later.
Donald Trump and Melania Knauss: January 22, 2005
In true Trump fashion, the $1 million wedding at the Trump Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach resort made quite a splash—particularly thanks to Melania’s $100,000 Dior by John Galliano gown featuring a 13-foot train, 1,500 crystals and pearls, and weighing in at 60 pounds. Guests, including Rudy Giuliana, Barbara Walters, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, were treated to Billy Joel singing “Just the Way You Are,” a 200-pound cake, 36-piece orchestra and food from Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Pam Anderson and Kid Rock: July 29, 2006
Who would expect anything less from this duo? After breaking off an engagement once in 2003, they were “married” on a yacht in Saint-Tropez (though it wasn’t made legal until August 3 at a Beverly Hills courthouse)—she wore a low-cut lace Heatherette dress, he sported a white tee and Detroit Tigers baseball cap—that is, until she changed into a white string bikini and sailor cap and he went shirtless. Not notable for extravagant costs, but perhaps for what wasn’t spent on the wedding garb. They divorced four months later.
Céline Dion and René Angélil: December 17, 1994, and January 5, 2000
Dion first met her manager, Angélil, in 1980 when she was 12 and he was 38 and they married 14 years later in her native Canada. She wore an enormous seven-pound tiara made of 2,000 Austrian crystals (it had to be sewn into her hair for support) and a gown with a 10-foot train that took more than 1,000 hours to create. And if one wedding (and giant headpiece) wasn’t enough, the couple renewed their vows in 2000 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in an Arabian-themed event. She wore an Alexander McQueen for Givenchy-designed metal dress and gold crown, and the reception featured belly dancers, snake charmers, and even camels—enough for Oprah to feature it on her Fantasy Weddings episode the same year.
Vikram Chatwal and Priya Sachdev: February 18, 2006
In a 10-day celebration that spread across Mumbai, Udaipur, and Delhi, six hundred guests—among them Bill Clinton, Naomi Campbell, and P. Diddy—from 26 countries were ferried about on private jets and wined-and-dined in Chatwal fashion. Chatwal and model/actress Sachdev’s affair cost a staggering $20 million dollars or $4 million for each year they were married—the couple split five years later.
Britney Spears and Jason Alexander: January 3, 2004
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline: September 18, 2004
It was a year of weddings for Spears. First, she married Alexander, a friend from her hometown, at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. After a night of partying at Ghostbar at the Palms, they rode to the chapel and were escorted down the aisle (she wore torn jeans and a baseball cap) by the hotel’s limo driver. Her record label, Jive, quickly issued a statement that the couple, “took a joke too far by getting married.” The partnership was annulled 12 hours later.
Spears turned around in September of the same year and married Kevin Federline in a surprise ceremony. Guests were treated to a cash bar, chicken wings, ribs, and mini cheeseburgers, and given sweat suits embroidered with “pimps” for the guys and “maids” for the girls. Spears filed for divorce in 2006.
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries: August 20, 2011
NBA-star Humphries (who shares a first name with Kardashian’s mom and manager Kris Jenner) proposed to the reality starlet with a 20.5-carat ring after six months of dating. At their black tie Montecito, California nuptials, Kardashian will be wearing a custom-made Vera Wang gown while mom Kris will be sporting her new mini-face-lift, which was documented on Keeping Up With the Kardashians (much like the rest of the wedding preparations).