Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions where couples celebrate their love with family and friends. But in recent years, the wedding industry has become a multi-billion dollar business, with couples feeling pressured to have the biggest, most extravagant wedding possible.
From the most expensive ceremony to the most extravagant wedding dresses, the amount of money some people are willing to spend on their big day can be downright ridiculous. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most over-the-top wedding spending. Get ready to be shocked, amused, and maybe even slightly envious as we explore the 12 most ridiculous wedding expenses.
The Most Expensive Wedding Ceremony
As per the Guinness World Records, the world’s most expensive wedding is estimated to be that of Vanisha Mittal, daughter of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal. The Palace of Versailles in France hosted a luxurious six-day celebration for the wedding in 2004 that came with a hefty price tag of $55 million.
The wedding festivities were nothing short of extravagant, featuring a re-enactment of the couple’s courtship and an engagement ceremony at the Palace of Versailles. The reception was an absolute delight, with some of the world’s most renowned performers, such as Shah Rukh Khan and Kylie Minogue, entertaining the guests with their mesmerizing performances.
However, the most expensive wedding, as per Forbes, when adjusted for inflation, was that of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, in 1981.
The wedding cost a staggering $100 million today and featured a 20,000-seat stadium built just for the occasion, with the Sheikh visiting every town in the emirate by horseback and feeding them all. 20 bejeweled camels delivered the gifts for the Sheikh’s wife at the wedding.
A £6 Million Wedding Dress
Queen Letizia of Spain made headlines when she wore the costliest wedding dress ever during her marriage to King Felipe on May 22, 2004. The stunning £6 million ($6m) gown was the creation of Manuel Pertegaz, a renowned Spanish couturier. It had a four-meter-long train with delicate long sleeves and a high-standing collar. The dress also had gold thread embroidery woven into the silk.
The dress had an open stand-up neckline in the form of a Corolla, and the lower half had a full skirt. It was composed of white satin that had been woven with Valencia silk. Queen Letizia accessorized with the Prussian Tiara, which her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia, had given her, to match the dress’ opulence.
A $80,000 Wedding Cake
The most expensive wedding cake ever made was priced at a whopping $80,000. The cake was designed for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. It featured 12 different flowers, including the Scottish Thistle, Irish Shamrock, and English Rose, each holding a special meaning for the couple. The most significant flower was the sugar lily, which symbolizes humility.
But the wedding cake doesn’t always have to be for a royal wedding to be expensive. Another expensive cake was created for the National Gay Wedding Show in Liverpool. The cake, costing $52.7 million, was adorned with more than 4,000 flawless diamonds and was eight tiers tall.
Although it was initially made for display purposes only, it was eventually eaten after the show. While these cakes were undoubtedly luxurious, it is clear that for some people, no amount is too much to make their wedding day truly unforgettable.
A $25,000 Bridal Bouquet
Typically, wedding bouquets cost between $700 to $2,500, and couples spend an average of $1,500 on flowers. However, some couples spend upwards of $4,000 too. Hydrangeas, peonies, gardenias, phalaenopsis orchids, and lilies of the valley are the most expensive flowers used in bouquets.
However, “Thien Hoa Bach Ngoc,” which literally means “Thousands of Flowers and Hundreds of Gems,” is regarded as the most expensive bridal bouquet. The bouquet has white orchids, roses, lilies, moonflowers, gemstones, rubies, diamonds, feathers, etc.
It is valued at a whopping $125,000, making it the priciest bouquet worldwide. This bridal bouquet also found a place in Vietnam’s Guinness World Records book.
The Most Expensive Wedding Ring
While most wedding rings are precious, some are exceptionally expensive. Here are the three most expensive wedding rings in the world.
First on the list is the engagement ring of Elizabeth Taylor, given to her by Richard Burton. The ring features a 33.19-carat IIa-certified diamond with high clarity and chemical purity. It was sold for a whopping $8.8 million to an anonymous Asian collector after her death, making it the most expensive engagement ring ever.
The second most expensive ring belongs to Beyoncé, given to her by her husband, Jay Z. The ring boasts a flawless 18-carat diamond set in platinum with an octagon cut. The diamond is officially certified as a premium and exceptional stone, and the ring is estimated to be worth around $5 million.
Lastly, Paris Hilton’s engagement ring is worth mentioning. The 24-carat diamond solitaire ring flanked by two more large diamonds was given to her by Paris Latsis. Although their engagement ended, the ring was auctioned, and the proceeds were donated to support people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Most Expensive Wedding Invitation
The Ambani wedding, which took place in December 2018, has been the talk of the town since the invitations were sent out. The wedding invitation itself was a work of art, reportedly worth more than ₹300,000 (approximately $4,000)! It featured an ornate design full of interesting details.
The invitation, which included a chant and the Om sign surrounding a monogram made up of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s initials, had a perfect personal and formal touch to it. The Gayatri Mantra began to play as soon as the invitation was opened, and it also contained a message from the couple asking for the goddess Gayatri’s blessings.
But the handwritten statement from the bride-to-be honoring their greatest role models—their grandparents—was what made the invitation truly unique. The card also had four 3-D flowers that represented the traits and principles that Isha and Anand’s grandparents exemplified.
In addition to four smaller boxes filled with gold-plated presents, the invitation came in a pink box with golden embellishments.
The Most Expensive Wedding Destination in the World
For those with unlimited funds, the sky’s the limit when it comes to wedding expenses. The most expensive wedding on record took place in Versailles, France, in 2004, with a staggering price tag of £42.4 million. But for those of us without a fortune to spend, the cost of tying the knot can vary significantly depending on the location.
A study by Magmatic Research on behalf of Holidu.co.uk revealed the cheapest and most expensive locations to host a wedding. The cost analysis included venue rental, decorations, catering, photography, cake, and travel and accommodation expenses for guests.
The Hamptons, in the US, was the most expensive location, costing £36,777 (around $45,681) for a destination wedding with 100 guests. The cliffside village of Positano in Italy came in second, costing an average of £34,460 (around $42,803).
Fogo Town, in Canada, completed the top three at £31,199 (around $38,752). For those on a budget, Lahore in Pakistan was the cheapest location at £2,823 ($3,506), followed by Goa in India at £3,085 ($3,831), and Nha Trang in Vietnam at £5,051 ($6,273).
Most Expensive Wedding Photographer
Joe Bussink, the most expensive wedding photographer in the world, didn’t choose photography as a profession, but rather it chose him. It all started when he captured an intimate moment of his wife and son with a camera about 15 years ago.
The photo held a certain power and meaning that made Bussink realize he could stop time and preserve moments for years to come. He found his passion in wedding photography, capturing the sincere emotions and love between two people.
Bussink is now known for his work and carries out about 50 orders per year, traveling worldwide. He has received numerous awards and prizes over the years and has worked with many celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Hilary Swank, and Steven Spielberg, to name a few. Bussink still shoots on film, using b/w Kodak T-Max, TMZ, and color Portra 400 and 800.
Bussink’s work is so impressive that a well-known producer paid $100,000 for his wedding in Venice, and Bussink received an additional fee of $70,000 for the fabulous photos he took. Bussink’s talent and unique perspective have made him the most expensive wedding photographer in the world, earning him a place in the hearts and memories of countless couples.
Most Expensive Wedding Bands
For those looking to create a truly extravagant wedding, The Rolling Stones have been named the world’s most expensive wedding band, charging a whopping £5 million ($ 6.21m) for a 90-minute set. The aging rockers, comprised of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood, top the list of pricey performers for nuptial celebrations.
While Sir Elton John and Kylie Minogue are also popular choices, with a charge of £2 million ($ 2.48m) for each wedding gig, Elton is known to donate all of his earnings from private concerts to his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Christina Aguilera follows at £1.5 million ($ 1.86m) per show, while George Michael charges £1.3 million ($ 1.6m). Beatles legend Paul McCartney, X-Factor winner Leona Lewis, and American star Jennifer Lopez round out the list of high-priced performers, each commanding a fee of £1 million ($1.24m) for a post-nuptial performance.
The Most Expensive Wedding Gifts
They say it does not matter how much a gift costs; instead, the amount of thought put into it matters. However, if you have tons of money, there’s no harm in embodying your precious thoughts into an extravagant gift. At least, that’s what some of the most expensive wedding gifts in the world imply.
Take, for instance, the 95-carat pear-shaped diamond gifted to Evelyn Walsh Mclean on her wedding, which was mounted below a 34-carat hexagonal emerald and a 32-grains pearl named “The Star of the East.”
Another extravagant wedding gift was the Clive Christian Perfume Set, which cost a whopping $450,000. The perfume bottles were presented to Kate Middleton and Prince William at their wedding and had 24-carat gold collars with a 5-carat diamond inset.
However, the crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, received the most expensive wedding gift ever from his father. The gift was a massive 20,000-seat stadium that cost around $22 million, which was also the wedding venue for the couple. The stadium witnessed a week-long celebration with various performances and events.
The Largest Wedding Reception
Jayalalitha Jayaram, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, India, and a renowned film star, organized a grand reception banquet for more than 150,000 guests on September 7, 1995, at her foster son’s wedding.
The event occurred on a 50-acre ground in Madras (presently Chennai), India, and is remembered as the costliest and most disputed wedding in the state’s history, with expenses exceeding $23,299,162. The dining area alone accounted for approximately $465,983, while the menu was estimated to cost around $621,311.
The entrance to the wedding venue was made of plywood, and the 3-mile path from the temple to the venue was adorned with rose petals and 600 Grecian columns draped with colorful lights, along with paper-mâché models of ancient Indian princes. The wedding venue was spread over an area of more than 70,000 sq ft, with the thatched roof concealed by a false ceiling, and decorated by the art director Thotta Tharani.
The extravagant display drew criticism from the public, who condemned the open misuse of official resources. Jayalalitha, however, remained unaffected by the criticism and dismissed it, stating that her private function was nobody’s concern.
How Can I Save on Wedding Costs?
One way to save on wedding costs is by creating a budget and sticking to it. Couples can prioritize the aspects of the wedding that matter most to them and allocate funds accordingly. For example, if a couple values a beautiful venue, they may choose to spend more on the location and cut costs elsewhere. Similarly, choosing a smaller guest list can help reduce costs on catering and other expenses.
Another way to save is by planning ahead and booking vendors early. This can help secure lower rates and avoid last-minute expenses. Couples can also consider DIY projects or enlisting the help of friends and family to save on costs.
In the end, a sensible wedding is about prioritizing what matters most and making informed decisions about where to spend money. By planning wisely, couples can enjoy a beautiful and meaningful wedding while also setting themselves up for a secure financial future.
Is it necessary to spend absurdly to make your wedding day perfect?
Extravagant wedding is not an issue for someone with millions and billions of dollars. However, if you do not come from a very affluent and wealthy family, a sensible wedding with calculated expenditures would make more sense.
It is needless to mention that sound financial planning is essential for a happy and secure future. A couple who spends wisely on their wedding can save more for their future goals, such as buying a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement. Sensible spending means prioritizing the essentials and making informed decisions about where to allocate funds.
Who is the most expensive wedding planner?
Colin Cowie is one of the best wedding planners in the business. Colin Cowie has been active in the event planning industry for over 30 years, and his company has organized events for some of the most prominent names in the entertainment industry, such as Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian West.
Cowie’s team can manage everything from small intimate gatherings to large-scale productions for more than 5,000 people. Their prices range from $25,000 and can go up to $25 million, depending on the complexity of the event.