“Going to the chapel and we’re going to get married.” With the traditional wedding averaging an upwards of $26,400 in the United States, most people actually spend anywhere between $20,000 and $33,000 to create their dream weddings. While this may seem like a small fortune (and to most of us it is), it’s only pennies compared to what celebrities are willing to spend to celebrate their big day.
Despite the fact that most wedding dresses average around $1,200, a celebrity who is worth millions might spend that on her shoes alone – and that’s even an inexpensive pair! Instead, celebrities don’t bat their pretty little eyelashes or give a second thought at dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars to look like princesses on the biggest day of their lives.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “She looks like a million bucks!” then you’re in for a real treat as we take a look at 16 of the most expensive wedding dresses in the world that make the average American car price of $33,500 and the average home price of $188,900 look like pocket change! Are you curious to find out which celebrities spent the most on their big days? Let’s take a look as we start with a $45,000 gown and move all the way up the list and past the million-dollar mark!
#16 – Liza Minnelli ($45,000)
One of the biggest names on Broadway and one of Hollywood’s favorite daughters, Liza Minnelli has spent the last 50 years wowing audiences with her award-winning theatrical performances. Obviously no stranger to showmanship, Minnelli took her love of glitz and glamor to the altar during her fourth marriage in 2002 when she tied the knot with producer David Gest in front of 500 high profile guests wearing a $45,000 three-quarter length gown designed by Bob Mackey himself.
A real showstopper dressed in Mackey’s most expensive design, Minnelli was escorted down the aisle by her dearest friend, best man and matron of honor – the late Michael Jackson. Estimated to cost over $3.5 million, the reception was one of the most expensive and star-studded events in Hollywood with 54 different entertainers taking the stage, a 60-piece orchestra and celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Natalie Cole and Tony Bennett celebrating their friend’s latest “I do.”
#15 – Tori Spelling ($50,000)
Yet another one of Hollywood’s favorite daughters, actress Tori Spelling has her dad, film and television producer Aaron Spelling, to thank (in part) for inspiring her career and even her first marriage. Once in Hollywood, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star dated a few of her costars before marrying actor and playwright Charlie Shanian on July 3, 2004 in an extravagant ceremony that cost Aaron over $1 million to walk his only daughter down the aisle.
Obviously sparing no expense, Spelling wore a $50,000 gown designed by Badgley Mischka but not even the expensive dress could buy a lifetime of love for the newlyweds. Married for less than one year, Spelling and Shanian were separated in October 2005 with their divorce finalized in April 2006. Less than one month later, Spelling married actor and television host Dean McDermott in a private ceremony that we expect cost far less than her first trip down the aisle, making her first “I do” an expensive lesson to say the least.
#14 – Katie Holmes ($50,000)
Who doesn’t remember when Tom Cruise lost his mind on Oprah when he excitedly jumped on the couch and proclaimed his love for his then-girlfriend Katie Holmes? With Cruise as one of the biggest names in Hollywood, it was a huge event when he finally married Holmes on November 18, 2006 at the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy with the bride wearing a $50,000 Armani off-the-shoulder gown complete with Swarovski crystals and Valenciennes lace.
Despite being the biggest event in the history of Scientology with even the religion’s leader, David Miscavige, serving as Cruise’s best man, the marriage sadly didn’t last as not even Cruise’s Oprah-like enthusiasm could keep the romance alive. Holmes filed for divorce in June 2012 after five years of marriage with the proceedings finalized just two weeks later giving her full custody of their daughter, Suri. As for the dress, well at least it survived long enough to become one of the most expensive wedding dresses in history!
#13 – Jennifer Aniston ($50,000)
One of the most talked about weddings of 2015 occurred on August 10 when Friends star Jennifer Aniston and director Justin Theroux exchanged vows in a private ceremony at their $22 million Bel-Air estate. Though Aniston wore a simple no-frills gown for her nuptials to Theroux, this definitely wasn’t the case for her lavish Malibu wedding in July 2000 to Brad Pitt when she donned a Lawrence Steele gown made of glass-beaded silk and satin with an astonishing $50,000 price tag.
Making media headlines since their first date in 1998, Aniston and Pitt became one of Hollywood’s favorite and hottest couples with their wedding as the icing on the cake of their love story. The Hollywood fairytale, however, wouldn’t last as Aniston and Pitt called it quits in 2005 after seven years together. Pitt rebounded quickly with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith costar Angelina Jolie but Aniston took her time finding true love when she finally settled in with Theroux in 2011 for what we hope is her much-deserved happily ever after.
#12 – Kim Zolciak ($58,000)
No, there’s no need to readjust your screen because you read that right – reality television personality Kim Zolciak actually spent more on her wedding dress than Hollywood’s favorite Friends star Jennifer Aniston! Launching to stardom in 2008 as one of the original members of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Zolciak left the show in 2012 but not before causing a huge publicity stir with her November 2011 wedding to NFL star Kroy Biermann.
Documenting the details of her lavish wedding on the spin-off series Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding, Zolciak had no time to have a dress designed especially for her big day and, instead, turned to the internet for help. Priced online at $58,000, the used (not yet vintage) gown was designed by Beverly Hills fashion designer Baracci and was made out of Duchess satin coated in Swarovski crystals and pearls. With the dress weighing in at 32 pounds, we hope this Southern bell had a simpler and lighter gown on hand for the reception!
#11 – Keely Shaye Smith ($60,000)
Though far from being as famous as her A-lister husband, journalist and television correspondent Keely Shaye Smith has earned her own share of fame thanks to her work on shows like Unsolved Mysteries, The Home Show and Entertainment Tonight. Accustomed to sharing headlines with the world, Smith found herself making headlines of a different kind in Hollywood after meeting Pierce Brosnan of James Bond and Remington Steele fame on a Mexico beach in 1994.
Together ever since, Brosnan and Smith tied the knot on August 4, 2001 at Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo, Ireland in front of 120 of their closest family and friends, including their blended family of five children. As a tux-clad Brosnan waited at the altar, Smith walked down the aisle in a $60,000 gown designed by Richard Tyler and made of French lace covered in thousands of pearls that glistened with her every move. The makings of a real Hollywood fairytale, Brosnan and Smith are still madly in love today as they celebrate 15 years of marriage.
#10 – Madonna ($80,000)
Praised as the Queen of Pop, Madonna’s status as a music legend was sealed in 2014 when her wedding dress from her first marriage to actor Sean Penn in 1985 brought in $81,250 at a celebrity memorabilia auction. Living up to her material girl status once again, Madonna’s most expensive wedding dress that she actually purchased was from her nuptials to director Guy Ritchie on December 22, 2000 at Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland.
Having given birth to their son in August, Madonna looked better than ever as she walked down the aisle in an $80,000 gown made by her friend and designer, Stella McCartney. A strapless dress made of silk, the gown was enhanced by gorgeous accessories including a $72,000 bracelet and a $250,000 tiara. The marriage, however, only lasted eight years before the couple announced their divorce. Since then, Ritchie married Jacqui Ainsley while Madonna’s love affair with her music only grows stronger on the 2015-2016 Rebel Heart Tour.
#9 – Victoria Beckham ($100,000)
Though the grandest weddings in England are usually reserved for royals (not to worry as we’ll see plenty more later on the list), the biggest “I do” outside of the Royal Family occurred in 1999 when former Spice Girl Victoria Adams married soccer superstar David Beckham. As two of the best-known celebrities in England, “Posh and Becks” tied the knot in the wedding of the decade on July 4 at Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland with the bride looking as gorgeous as ever in a $100,000 gown designed by Vera Wang.
Compared to many other weddings on our list, the Beckham’s nuptials were relatively cheap with an $824,000 price tag (we said relatively!) that paid for 437 employees to run the event, a pair of golden thrones for the newlyweds, fireworks, food and more for 230 guests to enjoy. Sharing their first dance to “It Had to Be You,” Posh and Becks are still going strong as they prepare to celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary in just a few months.
#8 – Jessica Biel ($100,000)
From playing Seventh Heaven’s favorite girl-next-door to becoming a silver screen star, Jessica Biel had her fair share of famous boyfriends like Adam LaVorgna and Chris Evans but none seemed to be able to win her heart. Everything changed in 2007, however, when Biel met former NSYNC singer and superstar Justin Timberlake and fell in love. Engaged in December 2011, the couple married on October 19, 2012 at the Borgo Egnazia resort in Fasano, Italy making Biel the envy of women around the world.
Much like her husband’s flair for fashion, Biel followed her own sense of style when she opted against a traditional white dress for a stunning pink gown designed by Giambattista Valli with a $100,000 price tag. An expensive decision when it came to ignoring tradition, Biel couldn’t resist and said, “When I put it on, I felt like I had made the right choice. I felt elegant. And it moved like a dream.” And, with a beauty like hers, we can’t deny that she looked pretty in pink!
#7 – Melania Knauss ($125,000)
No one is hotter in the news right now than 2016 Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. If Trump makes his way to the Oval Office in November, jewelry designer and former model Melania Knauss will become the First Lady of the United States. Long before the Presidential campaign, however, life was different for Trump and Knauss who met in 1996 at a Fashion Week party and spent nearly a decade courting before tying the knot on January 22, 2005 at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Definitely a wedding to remember, Trump spared no expense on his third nuptials as Knauss wore a $125,000 Christian Dior wedding dress with a 13-foot long train and a 16-foot long veil. High profile guests like Shaquille O’Neal, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell and even Hillary Clinton (no, we’re not kidding!) enjoyed caviar, Cristal and a 50-pound orange Grand Marnier chocolate truffle cake covered in 3,000 handmade roses. How’s that for a wedding to remember?
#6 – Catherine Zeta-Jones ($140,000)
Easily one of the most surprising couples on our list and in Hollywood history, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas left many people scratching their heads in awe after news broke in 1999 that they were dating. Introduced by Danny DeVito at a film festival in France, the couple happily ignored the criticism of their 25-year-age gap and followed their hearts straight to the “I do” when they married on November 18, 2000.
Exchanging their vows in a $1.5 million ceremony at the Plaza Hotel, Zeta-Jones wore one of the most elegant dresses in the world – a hand-beaded Christian Lacroix gown featuring a six-foot train with a price tag of $140,000. Surrounded by 350 star-studded guests like Goldie Hawn, Jack Nicholson, Meg Ryan and Jimmy Buffett, the couple danced the night away in what was deemed a “royal Hollywood wedding” that guests are still reminiscing today as the couple prepares to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary.
#5 – Princess Diana ($150,000)
Keeping our promise with the first royal wedding on our list, Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales made history on July 29, 1981 in a wedding that captivated the world as 750 million people tuned in to watch the nuptials live. With that big of an audience, Princess Diana didn’t disappoint with a royal fairytale wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral where she walked down the aisle in a $150,000 gown (around $400,000 today) as history was made.
Despite the pressures that come with any royal wedding, the stakes were even higher for David and Elizabeth Emmanuel who Diana selected herself to design her silk taffeta and antique lace gown complete with thousands of pearls and a 25-foot train. With Diana already well-established as a fashion icon, the gown reflected the 1980s style rather than a timeless design, which led to a new trend as brides throughout England asked designers to replicate Diana’s stunning and luxurious look for their own special days.
#4 – Amal Alamuddin ($380,000)
Considered by many as one of the luckiest women in the world, British-Lebanese lawyer, activist and author Amal Alamuddin managed to snag Hollywood’s hottest bachelor, George Clooney. Despite his high profile relationships, Clooney has only been married once – to Talia Balsam (1989-1993) – and made sure his second wedding was exactly what dreams were made of when he tied the knot with Alamuddin on September 27, 2014 at the city hall in Venice, Italy just two days after a lavish ceremony with a star-studded guest list.
Praised as one of the most stylish weddings of the year in one of the most romantic cities in the world, Alamuddin turned to the legendary Oscar de la Renta to help make her dreams of timeless elegance come to life. Featuring over 40 feet of Chantilly lace, pearls and diamante stones, the $380,000 dress took everyone’s breath away as the stunning Alamuddin made her way down the aisle past friends and family to exchange vows with Clooney, her one, true love.
#3 – Kim Kardashian ($400,000)
The world only thought Kim Kardashian’s wedding to NBA star Kris Humphries was extravagant when she wore three dresses during the nuptials that cost a total of $70,000. Not to be outdone, Kardashian upped the ante in her third wedding to rapper Kanye West in May 2014 on a $2.8 million ceremony at Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy where she walked down the aisle in an unforgettable custom Givenchy gown with a $400,000 price tag that left Kanye and their guests speechless.
Considered the wedding of the decade, Kardashian’s signature sense of style came through in every detail of the event including her gown which hugged her curvy frame with silk, lace and strategically placed sheer panels that gave it a sexy and elegant peek-a-boo feel. With Kanye and North dressed in Givenchy as well, not to mention the $400,000 bill to rent the historic venue, it’s no surprise as to why Kanye might be hurting for money these days.
#2 – Kate Middleton ($400,000)
The second royal wedding on our list just so happens to have the second most expensive wedding dress in the world which belongs to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. First meeting in college at the University of St. Andrews, Middleton and William, Prince of Wales, began dating in 2003 and endured one breakup in 2007 before announcing their engagement in 2010. By April 29, 2011, wedding bells were in the air at Westminster Abbey as 300 million people around the world watched as the young couple said “I do.”
Much like the late Princess Diana, Middleton was already recognized as a symbol of modern fashion and knew she wanted Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton to create her gown. With an astonishing $400,000 price tag on the dress, Burton did not disappoint as she and Middleton collaborated to create a modern design of a traditional style featuring intricate details of lace and needlework that left many comparing the Duchess to stunning brides like Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth.
#1 – Jennifer Lopez’s Rumored Peacock Dress ($1.5 Million)
The most expensive wedding dress in the world tops our list with a $1.5 million price tag but was never actually worn for a wedding despite it being designed exactly for that purpose. Making her second appearance on our list, designer Vera Wang is rumored to have designed this luxurious peacock dress for Jennifer Lopez for her 2003 nuptials to Ben Affleck. With the wedding called off only a day before the September ceremony, Lopez was left with a broken heart and Wang was left with a dress.
All was not lost, however, as Wang managed to recover the unique design again in 2009 when she released the elaborate peacock gown as part of her wedding collection marketed to the bride who wants to stand out from the rest. Taking eight people 40 days to assemble the 2,009 male peacock feathers, we can’t wait to see which millionaire (or billionaire) bride is brave enough to wear one of the most unique and expensive dresses in the world!