Top 10 Most Expensive Weddings of All Time


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Weddings

Marriage is an ancient tradition, and lavish weddings have existed since the days of Mesopotamia. Still, these ceremonies likely weren’t nearly as expensive or extravagant as many of the weddings of the last several decades.

The most expensive wedding of all time was the one between Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan in 1981. This wedding cost $100 million and has only been matched in expense by the 2018 wedding between Anand Piramal and Isha Ambani.

The average wedding costs about as much as a brand-new car, but some cost millions. This ranking will reveal which weddings racked up the highest costs!

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Weddings of All Time:

  1. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s Wedding (1981) – $100 million
  2. Anand Piramal and Isha Ambani (2018) – $100 million
  3. Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy (2004) – $75 million
  4. Gulraj Behl and Shristi Mittal (2013) – $73.5 million
  5. Rajeev Reddy and Brahmani Janardhana Reddy (2016) – $66.8 million
  6. Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal (2004) – $55 million
  7. Prince Charles and Lady Diana (1981) – $48 million
  8. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (2018) – $45.8 million
  9. Prince William and Kate Middleton (2011) – $34 million
  10. Huang Xiaoming and Angela Yeung Wing (2015) – $31 million

10. Huang Xiaoming and Angela Yeung Wing (2015) – $31 Million

Huang-Xiaoming-and-Angelababy-Wedding
photo source: Xinhua Press

In 2015, Chinese superstar Angela Yeung Wing (aka Angelababy) married fellow superstar Huang Xiaoming at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. The lavish wedding cost $31 million and was attended by about 2,000 guests.

The event was so anticipated that it was live-streamed to the public! And although the towering 10ft (3m) cake isn’t one of the most expensive cakes of all time, it apparently took culinary artisans more than a month to put it together.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This wedding was expensive due to its size (thousands of guests), the marrying couple (both superstars in China), and the venue (one of the largest buildings in Shanghai).

The massive cake, luxurious guest gift bags, and bespoke Dior wedding gown also added to the final cost of the event. It’s also worth mentioning that Xiaoming gave Angelababy a wedding ring valued at $1.5 million.

Unfortunately, the multi-million-dollar wedding didn’t guarantee a long and happy marriage. The couple announced their divorce in early 2022.

9. Prince William and Kate Middleton (2011) – $34 Million

Prince-William-and-Kate-Middleton-Wedding
photo source: Getty Images

Royal weddings almost always set a new precedent in terms of expense. The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 was no exception, reportedly costing about $34 million.

Televised and broadcast to more than 160 million viewers, some of the most powerful and wealthy people on the planet attended this event. As you might expect of a Royal Wedding, only the most exquisite meals, beverages, and decorations were present at the ceremony.

You can check out the official wedding video now, though be warned; it’s more than three hours long!

Why Is It So Expensive?

The primary expense of Prince William and Princess Kate’s wedding was security.

It was no secret that the couple was getting married on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey. And because the wedding guests included members of Parliament, Royal Family members, and celebrities, security was of utmost importance.

8. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (2018) – $45.8 Million

Prince-Harry-and-Meghan-Markle-Wedding-2018
photo source: Ben Birchall

Even though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding in 2018 was only viewed by about 29 million people (a fraction of the number who watched Prince William’s wedding), it cost more than $11 million more.

One of the reasons for the higher cost might be inflation, though security concerns might have also prompted a higher budget.

Notably, Meghan Markle was transported to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via a classic 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. While this technically isn’t one of the most expensive Rolls-Royce cars, it’s similar to the one once owned by Princess Margaret.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Pretty much all royal weddings are expensive affairs. Nothing about these events is subtle or cheap, from the luxury-quality gowns and suits to the gourmet catering services.

But like his brother Prince William’s wedding, the primary reason why Prince Harry’s wedding cost millions is likely due to security costs. After all, with so many famous and important people in attendance, safety was a significant concern.

7. Prince Charles and Lady Diana (1981) – $48 Million

Prince-Charles-and-Lady-Diana-Wedding
photo source: BBC

Although the story of Prince Charles and Lady Diana ended in tragedy, their wedding is still considered one of the most memorable and magical Royal Weddings of the last century.

Occurring on July 29, 1981, this extravagant event was broadcast to 750 million global viewers, making it the most-watched Royal Wedding of all time. It was also one of the most expensive, costing $48 million. Accounting for inflation, that would be about $147 million today!

Why Is It So Expensive?

The marriage of the British heir apparent to a young bride was a media sensation in the early 1980s. After all, it was believed that Lady Diana Spencer would become the next queen consort when Prince Charles was crowned king, so their wedding was a huge deal.

Consequently, no expense was spared. While security ate up a significant portion of the wedding budget, it’s also worth noting that the clothing, food, and pageantry displayed during this event were quite costly. Even the cake was pricey, costing about $40,000!

6. Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal (2004) – $55 Million

Amit-Bhatia-and-Vanisha Mittal-Wedding-2004
photo source: Reuters

What do you get when the daughter of a billionaire marries a successful investment banker? In the case of Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal, you get a wedding that costs about $55 million!

This event lasted almost a week (about five or six days). Those lucky enough to receive an invitation were given a luxurious silver box full of event details. About a thousand of these guests were flown to the ceremony via private jets rented by Vanisha Mittal’s father.

The wedding consisted of an engagement ceremony at the Palace of Versailles in France and a live concert from top-billed acts that included pop singer Kylie Minogue.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Travel was one of the major expenses for this wedding. After all, a significant number of the guests had to fly from India to France to attend! The couple in question, both British citizens, also had to travel for the ceremony and reception.

But the multiple concerts, exquisite venues, and lavish wedding apparel also added to the final bill.

According to Guinness World Records, the 2004 wedding between Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal was the most expensive wedding. However, as you’ve likely guessed, we’ve got the scoop on a few pricier weddings, including the one between Rajeev Reddy and Brahmani Janardhana Reddy in 2016.

5. Rajeev Reddy and Brahmani Janardhana Reddy (2016) – $66.8 Million

Rajeev-Reddy-and-Brahmani-Janardhana-Reddy-Wedding
photo source: India.com

Indian weddings are typically multi-day events featuring an abundance of guests. But the wedding between Rajeev Reddy and Brahmani Janardhana Reddy in 2016 was undoubtedly one of the most expensive, costing about $66.8 million.

Still, it’s crucial to mention that this was no ordinary wedding. The bride is the daughter of Gali Janardhan Reddy, a man with a net worth in the billions. And the groom, Rajeev Reddy (yes, they share the same surname), is the son of powerful mining magnate Panyam Vikram Deva Reddy.

Consequently, their wedding was destined to be a gilded event.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This wedding was held at Palace Grounds in Bangalore, a royal palace built in the late 1800s. As you might imagine, this venue didn’t come cheap.

But the spacious building was necessary, as about 50,000 guests attended the event. With this number of attendees, you can imagine how high the catering costs were!

4. Gulraj Behl and Shristi Mittal (2013) – $73.5 Million

Gulraj-Behl-and-Shristi-Mittal-Wedding-2013
photo source: Getty Images

Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian steel tycoon living in the United Kingdom, has helped finance more expensive weddings than almost anyone else. Not only did he spend millions on his daughter Vanisha’s wedding in 2004, but he also helped pay for his niece Shristi’s wedding in 2013.

This wedding reportedly cost $73.5 million, making it even costlier than the previous Mittal wedding. However, the guest list was much shorter, as only about 500 people attended. That might seem like a lot of people, but compared to the thousand-plus attendees of Vanisha’s wedding, it was somewhat quaint.

And unlike the 2004 Mittal wedding, the 2013 one only lasted three days! So, why did it end up costing more?

Why Is It So Expensive?

The 2013 Behl-Mittal wedding occurred almost a decade after the 2004 Bhatia-Mittal wedding. As such, inflation may have something to do with the higher cost.

Of course, the six-story wedding cake, abundance of butlers, Michelin-start chefs, and luxury Barcelona venue might have also played a role in this celebration’s higher-than-average price tag.

3. Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy (2004) – $75 Million

2004-Roy-Double-Wedding
photo source: Marketing Mind

Double weddings are distinctly unique, as most would rather have their wedding day be all about themselves and their significant other. But the 2004 Roy Double Wedding in Lucknow, India, was unique not only for its multiple ceremonies. This wedding cost about $75 million, equating to about $37.5 million per event.

Sushanto Roy’s wedding was the first of the two ceremonies, and more than 10,000 people attended the event. On Valentine’s Day, the younger brother Seemanto Roy followed suit, though it’s uncertain if the same number of guests were there to see him marry his beautiful bride.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This double-wedding event lasted six days and was attended by thousands of people. That alone makes it a pricey celebration.

But the lavish features, which included a replica of the White House and a full British orchestra, certainly made things a little more costly.

Of course, considering the fact that the father of these brothers is Subrata Roy, one of the wealthiest men in India, it’s understandable why these ceremonies were so extravagant.

2. Anand Piramal and Isha Ambani (2018) – $100 Million

Anand-Piramal-and-Isha-Ambani-Wedding-Photo
photo source: Pinterest

As this ranking has shown, when children of billionaires decide to tie the knot, their subsequent weddings tend to be extremely expensive and luxurious events. But the 2018 wedding between Ananda Piramal and Isha Ambani took things to a new level, reportedly costing about $100 million.

This wedding lasted a week, which is no surprise considering that it took place across multiple locations, many in India but a few in Italy. Beyoncé even performed for the couple!

Why Is It So Expensive?

Travel and entertainment costs helped this wedding earn its $100 million price tag, but that’s certainly not all.

Colorful decorations, flowers, clothing, and expensive jewelry also contributed to the final cost. Of course, the fact that pretty much every Bollywood star also attended might upped catering and entertainment costs as well.

1. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Wedding (1981) – $100 Million

Sheikh-Mohamed-bin-Zayed-Al-Nahyan's-Wedding
photo source: Pinterest

The most expensive wedding is Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s wedding to Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan. This wedding cost $100 million in 1981, making it the priciest wedding of the last century (at least).

Every aspect of this wedding was extravagant, from the stadium built to house the 20,000+ guests attending the ceremony to the 20 jewel-covered camels that carried and delivered the bride’s wedding gifts. Other aspects, including the 30+ private jets,

Additionally, the wedding celebrations lasted a full week, making the event more of a prolonged holiday than a simple marriage ceremony. Of course, considering the fact that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s family has a net worth in the hundreds of billions, the $100 million spent on this wedding was just a drop in the bucket.

Why Is It So Expensive?

When most people get married, they choose a venue for their ceremony and reception, then pay the rental costs for that location.

But in the case of the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, finding and securing a venue wasn’t a problem. His parents had a venue built for the occasion! And not just your average venue, but a stadium that could hold 20,000 guests!

Still, the venue was just part of the total cost of this wedding. When you’re the leader of one of the richest places in the world (the UAE), throwing an elaborate and expensive wedding ceremony isn’t a bank-breaking affair!

It’s also worth noting that accounting for inflation, this wedding would cost somewhere in the region of $300 million today.

How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost?

In the US, the average wedding costs more than $22,000, and that number is steadily rising. “But,” you may wonder, “why are weddings so expensive?”

Well, there isn’t a short answer to this question. There are lots of reasons why weddings are expensive, including:

  • High-priced wedding clothing (bridal dresses, tuxedos)
  • Expensive catering costs
  • Entertainment expenses (live music, DJ services)

A wedding typically isn’t just a cut-and-dry ceremony. Instead, it’s a celebration with a ceremony, an hours-long reception, and plenty of guests. Paying for a venue to host the wedding, hiring an officiant, and decorating the reception space can quickly leave you with a hefty bill.

While small weddings can help couples cut costs, many people see having a “big wedding” as a right of passage and a statement of status. In short, the bigger and more lavish the wedding, the more impressive you’ll seem to guests and family members.

Of course, the wealthiest people in the world take advantage of this by holding truly jaw-dropping events that cost millions.

What’s the Most Expensive Wedding of All Time?

The most expensive wedding of all time was the one between Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi) and Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan in 1981. This wedding cost $100 million and occurred in a stadium built specifically for the occasion.

It was attended by more than 20,000 guests and lasted more than a week. There was another $100 million wedding in 2018 (between Anand Piramal and Isha Ambani), but due to inflation, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi still holds the record for the costliest wedding.

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Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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