Celebrity weddings captivate audiences with their extravagance and glamour, alongside the celebration of love and the joining of two families.
With A-list guest lists, designer dresses, and custom engagement rings, celebrity weddings often seem like a real-life fairytale.
It’s no wonder that Hollywood nuptials keep us entertained and engaged like a game of online bingo. But, just like the popular game of chance, celebrity marriages can fall apart quickly, leaving the elites to fork out much more than they spent on tying the knot. We wanted to find out just how much love and loss can cost celebrities, so we found the average cost of celebrity weddings and divorces.
The Cost of Love and Loss
While the average person spends around £18,400 on their wedding, according to Hitched, that’s nothing but a small change for Hollywood’s elite.¹ From jewel-encrusted wedding dresses to opulent venues and rings, the rich and famous leave no expense spared when it comes to marriage. We found that the average cost of a celebrity wedding is over £7.2 million - that’s including £3.2 million for an engagement ring, £3.9 million for a wedding ceremony and £141,261 for the gown.
Despite the glitz and glamour of celebrity nuptials, the fairytale of a ‘happily ever after’ often crumbles. The average cost of celebrity divorce is over £720 million, taking into account divorce settlements and prenups. It’s clear that the cost of loss is almost 100 times that of the cost of love and is often marked by long, drawn-out legal battles.
The Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings
1. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle | Wedding ceremony cost: £37,207,000
It’s no surprise to see two royal weddings tied in first place as the most expensive celebrity ceremonies of all time. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were the most recent couple to tie the knot, out of our top three couples with the most expensive weddings. The 2018 event came with an estimated price tag of over £37.2 million - perhaps just a drop in the ocean for one of the wealthiest families in the world. The couple left the venue in style, in a silver-blue vintage Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero.
1. Charles III and Princess Diana | Wedding ceremony cost: £37,207,000
Tied in second place is another royal wedding - the first wedding of the current King Charles III cost just as much as the wedding of his son Prince Harry. The royal couple said “I do” in 1981, during a ceremony that reportedly cost over £37.2 million and was watched by 750 million viewers worldwide. The couple arrived at the venue in the Glass Coach and left in the 1902 State Landau horse-drawn carriage, like a scene straight out of a fairy tale.
3. William, Prince of Wales and Kate Middleton | Wedding ceremony cost: £26,355,100
In third place, the wedding ceremony of William, Prince of Wales and Kate Middleton reportedly cost almost £26.4 million. The couple got married in 2011 at a well-decorated Westminster Abbey, adorned with 20-foot trees and a red carpet. The couple left the venue as newlyweds in a convertible Aston Martin Volante decorated with streamers.
The Most Expensive Celebrity Engagement Rings
1. Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Mónaco | Engagement ring cost: £34,347,119
When 1950s American film star, Grace Kelly, announced her engagement to Rainer III, Prince of Monaco, it seemed like a real-life fairytale. The royal suitor proposed to Hitchcock's muse with a Cartier ring with a 10.48 emerald-cut diamond, worth a reported £34.3 million
2. Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Aristotle Onassis | Engagement ring cost: £17,057,260
The former First Lady of the United States and widow of President John F. Kennedy married her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, in 1968. The business magnate proposed to Jackie O with a 40.42-carat, marquise-cut diamond ring, worth an estimated £17.1 million.
3. Mariah Carey and James Packer | Engagement ring cost: £7,753,300
Australian billionaire businessman, James Packer, proposed to singer, Mariah Carey in 2016 with a 35-carat emerald-cut diamond ring, reportedly worth £7.8 million. Although the couple never made it down the aisle, the ring is one of the most expensive engagement rings a celebrity has ever received.
The Most Expensive Celebrity Wedding Dresses
1. Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian | Wedding dress cost: £2,713,655
Tennis superstar, Serena Williams, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian are no strangers no luxury. It’s, therefore, no surprise that this couple tops the list for the most expensive celebrity wedding dress ever worn. The custom Alexander McQueen dress cost almost a reported £2.7 million.
2. Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas | Wedding dress cost: £1,550,660
A modern-day romance, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jona reportedly first connected online and became engaged just 2 months later. The model and film star wore a long-sleeved, sheer Ralph Lauren dress which cost an estimated £1.6 million.
3. Victoria Swarovski and Werner Mürz | Wedding dress cost: £775,330
Heiress to the Swarovski crystal empire, Victoria Swarovski, and real estate investor, Werner Mürz, tied the knot in 2017. For the lavish ceremony, the heiress wore a dress adorned with Swarovski crystals, which is worth a reported £775,330.
The Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces
1. Bill Gales and Melinda Gates | Divorce cost: £58,892,780,000
Microsoft founder and business tycoon, Bill Gates, lost a reported £58.9 billion when his 27-year marriage to Melinda Gates dissolved. The couple met when they both worked in sales in 1987, and their divorce was finalised in 2021.
2. Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Bezos | Divorce cost: £29,678,861,500
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has had the most costly celebrity divorce of all time. He paid a reported £29.7 billion in a divorce settlement when he split from novelist Mackenzie Scott in 2019, following a 26-year marriage.
2. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and Princess Haya bint al-Hussein | Divorce cost: £564,130,840
The royal divorce between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, leader of the UAE, and Princess Haya of Jordan was an expensive affair. The years-long divorce battle ended in 2019, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum was ordered to pay £564.1 million to his former wife.
To reveal the most expensive celebrity wedding ceremonies, we sourced the reported cost of 46 celebrity wedding ceremonies from websites including The Things, Just Jared, She Knows, Marie Claire, Sahara Reporters and People.
All costs are based on estimates and the available information. Where estimates differed, the highest estimate was used.
All figures were converted to GBP using Google Finance on 26th July 2023.
To compare the cost of celebrity love and divorce, we calculated the average cost of a celebrity wedding ceremony, engagement ring and wedding dress using the available information sourced from articles, before totalling these figures to estimate the average cost of a celebrity wedding. We then calculated the average cost of a celebrity divorce using the available information sourced from articles before drawing a comparison between the two figures.
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