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14/04/2015

Flowers for half a million, bridal gowns worth $1mk, and eight-day celebrations: As the Prince of Brunei marries in opulence, we look at the most extravagant weddings ever

Yesterday, the son of the Sultan of Brunei, one of the world's richest men wed bride Dayangku Raabi'atul 'Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah in a spectacular ceremony at the monarch's 1,788-room palace in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

 

Prince Abdul Malik, 31, and his 22-year-old bride both wore outfits embellished with diamonds, while Raabi'atul carried a bouquet made of dazzling gems, rather than flowers.

 

The lavish display of wealth is possibly the most opulent wedding of all time, but the couple aren't the first too say I do at a ceremony costing millions.

 

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Over the last 20 years,wedding expenditure has become an eye-popping affair, with celebrities and royals unafraid to spend millions on their big day.

 

Even stars like Kim Kardashian and Elizabeth Taylor, who have a string of failed marriages behind them, continue to spend a fortune of everything from their wedding booze and location to their dress.

 

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Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton in April 2011

 

photo:uk prom dresses

 

Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton in April 2011 was arguably the biggest wedding of the 21st century and the costs of the big day reflected that.

 

While most of the £24million went towards the security, at an estimated £21million ($32m), the couple also had to put on a lavish reception for their 1,900 guests, which included royal families from around the world.

 

The flowers for the ceremony and the reception cost £550,000 ($800,000) and the cake cost £55,000 ($80,000).

 

Kate's beautiful wedding gown, which was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen was also pricey, costing an estimated £30,000 ($434,000).

 

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, November, 2006

 

Estimated cost : £1.4million ($2m) (Or £1.5million when adjusted for inflation)

 

Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes in 2006 

 

Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes in 2006

 

When Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes, he already had two failed marriages behind him, but that didn't stop the actor going all-out for his nuptials to the Dawson's Creek actress.

 

The couple married at the 15th century Odescalchi Castle outside Rome, which costs £35,000 ($50,000) to rent for an event.

 

They spent £600,000 (($900,000) on flights for their guests including Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez and David Beckham to get to Italy and forked out £120,000 ($180,000) on wine for the reception.

 

Katie's dress was designed by Giorgio Armani, who also provided the suits for the groom and groomsmen and the bridesmaid dresses.

 

The bride's wedding night lingerie alone was said to cost £2000 ($3000).

 

The couple split in 2012.

 

Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, July 2010

 

Estimated cost: £3.5million ($5million)

 

Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky's wedding 

 

With Hilary and Bill Clinton as parents, Chelsea Clinton's wedding was never going to be an understated affair.

 

Her wedding to Marc Mezvinsky in Astor Courts, Rhinebeck, New York, cost an estimated £3.5million, with 400 guests on the guestlist that included Oprah Winfrey and the designer Vera Wang.

 

The couple were reported to have spent £500,000 ($750,000) on catering, £350,000 ($500,000) on flowers and £420,000 (($600,000) on air conditioned tents for the reception.

 

The bride and bridesmaids' dresses were designed by Vera Wang and her jewellery was estimated to cost £170,000 ($250,000).

 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, May 2014

 

Estimated cost: £8.2million ($12million)

 

Kim Kardashian's wedding to Kanye West

 

+14Kim Kardashian's wedding to Kanye West

 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West both have a reputation for ostentatious behaviour and their wedding at Fort Belvedere in Florence last May didn't disappoint.

 

Kim's Givenchy Haute Couture white lace designer gown cost a cool £350,000 $(500,000), while the 16th century picturesque Italian venue set them back another £300,000 ($410,000).

 

The opulent nuptials cost a whopping £8.2million ($12million) according to reports, with hotels, private jets and that 7ft vanilla and berry cake all adding to the cost.

 

In true Kanye style, their ancient wedding venue needed a lavish touch, and the famous pair splashed out extra cash for upgrades, lighting and construction..

 

This included a grandiose 20ft wall of white flowers, with the wall of blooms featuring white roses, peonies and out-of-season bushels of tuberose - known for their beautiful fragrance.

 

People magazine reported that the wedding flowers were prepared at one of the city's oldest florists - Fiori Della Signoria and set the couple back £95,000 ($136,000).

 

Opera star Andrea Bocelli charges anywhere up to £900,000 ($1.3million) per performance, and he was on hand to sing Con te Partiro, and Ave Maria when Kim walked down the aisle.

 

Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah (heir to the Sultan of Brunei) and Sarah Salleh, September, 2004

 

Estimated cost: £2.8million ($4million)

 

+14They hosted a lavish banquet for thousands of guests the day after their ceremony

 

When Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah married Sarah Salleh in 2004, their nuptials were said to cost £2.8million ($4million).

 

Royal families and political leaders from around the world attended the event at the Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

 

After the wedding, the crown prince went on an 8km parade across Brunei's capital in a gold Rolls Royce stretch limo that was followed by 103 limousines and preceded by a marching band.

 

They hosted a lavish banquet for thousands of guests on the following day.

 

Liza Minnelli and David Guest , March 2002

 

Estimated cost £2.4million ($3.5million) (£2.9m when adjusted for inflation)

 

+14The wedding of Liza Minnelli and David Guest

 

Liza Minnelli is Hollywood royalty and her wedding to David Guest was A-List heavy in March 2002.

 

David's best man was Michael Jackson and Liza's maid of honour was Elizabeth Taylor.

 

The couple were reported to have spent £500,000 ($700,000) on flowers and £30,000 ($40,000) on a twelve-tier wedding cake for their guests.

 

Evening entertainment included performances from Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and a 60-piece orchestra.

 

They split up just sixteen months later.

 

Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia, June 2004

 

Estimated cost £40million ($60million) (£45m when adjusted for inflation)

 

+14The wedding of Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia

 

Inside the banquet at the Palace of Versailles

 

Billionaire steel-magnate Lakshmi Mittal daughter married banker Amit Bhatia in one of the most lavish ceremonies of all time in 2004.

 

Guests were sent invitations in silver boxes, which also included plane tickets to Paris and rooms booked at some of the French capital's top hotels.

 

Their five-day celebrations kick-started with an engagement ceremony at the Palace Of Versaillles, which was followed by a meal at the Jardin des Tuileries, catered for by chefs who had been flown in from India.

 

Pop star Kylie Minogure performed at the event and guests were treated to a no-expense spared fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.

 

They were also reportedly given goody bags filled with expensive wine and jewellery.

 

Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky, October, 1991

 

Cost (1.7million) $2.5million (£2.7m when adjusted for inflation)

 

+14Elizabeth Taylor's final wedding to construction worker Larry Fortensky

 

Elizabeth Taylor's final wedding to construction worker Larry Fortensky was a lavish affair held at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch in california.

 

160 guests who attended included Liza Minnelli, Eddie Murphy, Nancy Reagan, Quincy Jones, Macaulay Culkin, Brooke Shields, Diane von Furstenberg, Arsenio Hall, George Hamilton.

 

The couple reportedly hired 100 security men to keep paparazzi from getting into the venue.

 

Their 160-guest wedding took place at Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Ranch Santa Ynez Valley, California, where about a dozen persistent helicopters took the only non-authorized photos from above.

 

Elizabeth wore a yellow Valentino gown that cost £17,000 ($25,000).

 

Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, May, 2004

 

Estimated cost £20million ($29million)

 

+14The wedding between Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano

 

The wedding between Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano took place at the Senora de la Almudena in Madrid and was estimated to cost £20million.

 

Flowers was planted across the city in advance of the celebrations that cost £700,000 ($1million).

 

Much like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the secutiry details formed the largest part of the wedding costs, with 18,000 policemen and soldiers deployed during the event.

 

Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar, March 2007

 

Estimated cost £1.7million ($2.5million)

 

+14Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar married in 2007

 

+14Workers level the cricket pitch built for the wedding celebrations of British actress Elizabeth Hurley and her new husband Arun Nayar at the Umaid Bhawan Palace

 

Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar married in 2007 in celebrations that last eight days and spanned two continents.

 

They started with a ceremony at Suderly Castle in Gloucestershire and then travelled to Jodhpur, India, where they held another ceremony at Umaid Bhawan Palace and and a reception at Mehrangarh Fort.

 

The couple were reported to have paid £205,000 ($300,000) for flights for their guests and a further £70,000 on accommodation for people attending.

 

The guest list was A-List heavy and included Elton John, who gave Elizabeth away.

 

Crown Prince Pavlos Of Greece And Marie Chantal Miller, July, 1995

 

Estimated cost £5.5million ($8million)

 

The wedding of Crown Prince Pavlos Of Greece to Marie Chantal Miller in 1995

 

The wedding of Crown Prince Pavlos Of Greece to Marie Chantal Miller in 1995 reportedly cost £5.5million and was held in London.

 

The couple married at St Sophia's Greek Cathedral and the guestlist had more royals than the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

 

Marie-Chantal's parents hosted 1,200 guests at a pre-wedding champagne reception, dinner, and ball two nights before the wedding at Wrotham Park in Sevenoaks, with 100,000 flowers flown in from Ecuador to decorate the venue.

 

Two days later, the couple were married at St Sophia's Greek Cathedral in London in front of 400 guests, and the ceremony was also broadcast via satellite to a further 800 guests who were watching on screens at Hampton Court Palace.

 

Marie-Chantal's dress for the event was pearl-encrusted and made of ivory silk by Valentino Garavani.

 

It was reported to cost £155,000 ($225,000) and took four months to make.

 

The ceremony was followed by a reception at Hampton Court Palace.

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