Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian are also among those with the priciest nuptials.
This wedding got the royal treatment.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marital bliss began with one of the most expensive weddings of all time on Saturday. The royal wedding was guessed to cost upwards of $45.8 million, according to U.K. wedding planning app Bride Book, with security in the form of snipers, undercover police, security drones and military technology to protect the couple and their royal guests running an estimated $34 million alone.
The royal family covered the “core aspects of the wedding,” Kensington Palace announced, including the St. George’s Chapel wedding ceremony for 800 guests; flowers (seasonal plants including beech, birch and hornbeam branches, white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves from floral designer Philippa Craddock); and the Windsor Castle reception for 600. The cake from Violet Cakes in London was lemon elderflower with buttercream icing and fresh flowers. And 2,640 members of the public were invited to the Windsor Castle grounds to watch the bride and groom arrive.
Even for the non-royal among us, weddings are pricey: According to The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a wedding in the US last year was $35,329, up more than $2,500 from the previous year.
But how did Harry and Meghan’s regal extravaganza stack up against other famed weddings? Here’s a look at five of the most expensive weddings of all time.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana
When adjusted for inflation, Charles and Diana take the cake for the most lavish wedding in history with a $110 million price tag, according to Business Insider. While Diana’s $13,000 David and Elizabeth Emanuel dress cost more than some people’s entire budget, it was the price of security and crowd control (about $70 million in today’s dollars) that put their wedding, which was honored as a bank holiday, over the top.
Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia
The daughter of Indian billionaire steel-magnate Lakshmi Mittal spent roughly $60 million sending her 1,000 wedding guests invitations in silver boxes and covering the cost of private jets, five-star hotels, dinners, parties and more for the weeklong Parisian fête. Multiple landmarks like the Palace of Versailles and the Jardin des Tuileries served as venues for the union, and the couple hired Kylie Minogue and Bollywood stars to provide entertainment.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
The April 2014 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly cost close to $34 million—$32 million of which went towards security. Kate’s one-of-a-kind Alexander McQueen gown was rumored to have cost $434,000 to make, according to Good Housekeeping, and the couple’s elaborate wedding cakes rang in at $80,000—or $134 per slice for 600 guests.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Salama
Roughly 20,000 guests attended the 1981 wedding of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The nuptials cost an estimated $100 million, according to CBS News. That’s thanks to things like a stadium built by the groom’s parents especially for the celebration, and having guests flown in on private jets for the 5-day long event, which included a public flying display by the Police Air Force Wing and camel races.
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Though their marriage only lasted 72 days, the cost of their wedding will always remain impressive. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kim wore a $2.5 million Lorraine Schwartz head piece down the aisle, spent $10,000 on crystal-encrusted wedding invitations and coughed up $150,000 for hair and makeup. In total, the 400-person Montecito, California event cost about $10 million and included a live performance by Robin Thicke. And because of Kim’s impressive social media influence, many vendors were rumored to have gifted goods and services for the televised affair.
This article was originally published in December 2017, and has been updated with new estimates and details regarding the royal wedding.
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