The 10 most expensive weddings ever to have graced the planet

expensive wedding
If you thought your wedding costs were steep, imagine what it costs to book Stevie Wonder and Kylie, and to mail your invitations out in silver boxes? Or how about 110 types of dishes for 11,000 guests, a £200,000 dress, or designer gift bag favours filled with jewels?

Dream on (or feel queasy with the extravagance of it all) and soak up all the juicy deets from the world’s ten most expensive weddings (as of August 2014)!

10. Elizabeth Taylor & Larry Fortensky: £2.3million
Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky

Date: 6 October 1991

Location: Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, California

The dress: A pale yellow Valentino number worth £18,000 but donated for free by the designer.

What else went down: Michael Jackson played father of the bride, and 160 guests attended the ceremony, including Macaulay Culkin, Liza Minnelli and Eddie Murphy.

9. Liza Minnelli & David Gest: £2.5million
Liza Minnelli and David Gest

Date: 16 March 2002

Location: Marble Collegiate Church, New York City

The dress: Liza wore an ivory white Bob Mackie three-quarter length gown.

What the budget went on: A 60 piece orchestra and the musical talents of Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole. £500,000 on flowers and a £25,000 wedding cake.

What else went down: There were 850 wedding guests including Queen guitarist Brian May, Liam Neeson, Joan Collins, Gloria Gaynor, Anthony Hopkins, Mia Farrow…the list goes on. Michael Jackson was the best man and Elizabeth Taylor was the maid of honour.

8. Chelsea Clinton & Marc Mezvinsky: £3.5million
Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky

Date: 31 July 2010

Location: Rhinebeck, 100 miles north of New York City, at the grand estate of Astor Courts overlooking the Hudson River,

The dress: A Vera Wang ivory strapless gown featured a silk tulle diagonally draped bodice with a raw edged laser-cut swirling silk organza ball skirt and train.

What the budget went on: £400,000 on air-conditioned tents and a £7,000 cake.

What else went down: There were 500 guests, including Oprah Winfrey, and security was super tight – no mobile phones were allowed, and a no-fly zone was set up over the wedding zone.

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Top 40 First Dance Songs

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Image: Crystall & Ryan’s first dance at their Jewish / Greek Wedding by Brookelyn Photography

With every one of my Real Jewish Weddings I ask the bride or groom, “what was your first dance song?”. I receive so many fabulous song choices that I thought it was high time I collated them into a Top 40 list for your benefit! So here it is – click on the songs to listen to them and let me know if you have any to add. Click on the playlist to see the full first dance catalogue in Spotify. The playlist will be constantly updated with new tracks. Enjoy!

Oh, and we also have a playlist for songs to walk down the aisle to too.

Happy music selecting!

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Natalya & Alex | Wine-themed ‘vintage glam’ Jewish wedding at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, Sonoma, California

wine themed wedding
Oh my! I have a sneaking suspicion that you are going to fall in love with this morning’s California vineyard wedding. To Natalya and Alex (both originally from Russia), their big day was particularly special to them, as their parents didn’t get a chance to get married in a traditional Jewish ceremony, under a chuppah, in the former Soviet Union.

Natalya is BEAUTIFUL with delicious bridal accessories to match – I mean you just can’t help but gawp at her super sparkly Jimmy Choo shoes and that divine necklace on her bare back.

It’s s perhaps one of the most eloquently executed themed wedding I’ve seen on these pages from the grapevine-themed stationery to the wine bottle cork place cards to the olive oil favours. I also love all the vintage-glam touches, particularly the EPIC portrait shots by  in that super sexy 1962 Buick Electra .

Also, I must add that I love that Natalya’s niece wrote her toast on Jenga pieces, as Natalya and Alex met playing Jenga…

OK enough from me, take it away you gorgeous pair!

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A BEAUTIFUL VINEYARD VENUE
Natalya, the Bride: Our wedding was in Sonoma, CA at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. We knew we wanted to get married in the wine country. It is a place we love coming to any time of year. We also wanted our guests to have a relaxing weekend with us away from the busy city life. As our wedding was in April, we chose a venue with options for both indoor and outdoor events. The building at Jacuzzi Winery is beautiful from an architectural standpoint, and the property has what seems like a never-ending vineyard in the back.

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Smashing The Glass features in this week’s Jewish Chronicle

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I’m in the diary section
of the Jewish Chronicle today – such a sweet piece! Thank you to the lovely folk at The JC for writing about me.

If you’ve found Smashing The Glass via this article well hello there! You can read all about why I started the blog here, and see my own Jewish wedding (at London’s Wallace Collection) here. In fact, the heart and soul of SmashingTheGlass.com are the real Jewish weddings so I think that’s a great place to start.

Click here and you’ll find all the UK Jewish weddings that I’ve blogged about with everything from this outrageously cool London Jewish wedding, to this breathtaking ‘HinJew’ wedding at the Mandarin Oriental where the bride and groom intertwined their Indian and Jewish heritages incredibly beautifully, to this New Years Eve fancy dress wedding held in an Arthouse cinema, to this South London Jewish wedding that was held in a chapel(!),and this Wedstock-themed wedding featuring a bride who made her entire dress out of paper. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve blogged about every Jewish wedding in between too.

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Chelm & Jake’s super cool London Jewish wedding by Blake Ezra Photography

I also regularly post wedding planning articles and have blogged about everything from what are the best chuppah entrance songs, to tips for getting great wedding photography to how to incorporate ‘Jewish’ into a non-Jewish or interfaith wedding, inspiration for chuppah ideas, and lots more.

And if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect photographer, DJ, chazan, or venue, my Smashing Suppliers section is a great place to start. It’s my handpicked selection of the most stylish brands and services the wedding industry has to offer, and you’ll not only be able to click through to the suppliers own websites to see what they say about themselves, you’ll be able to see a lot of their work first hand in the real Jewish weddings section and read the opinion of couples that have actually used them.

I love helping my readers plan their weddings but the best part is when couples email me their own photographs after their wedding and tell me that Smashing The Glass helped them have the wedding they truly wanted!

By the way if you’re reading this and you’re already married, be sure to send me a submission. It’s my readers who ultimately make my blog a must-read and I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Hannah & Raf | Laidback, colourful ‘English Garden’ Jewish wedding at The Priory Barn, Little Wymondley, UK

An english country garden jewish wedding
Hannah and Raf’s big day is bursting at the seams with colour, fun and some very original ideas, and if I had to describe their wedding in one (ok two) words, it would be utterly joyous. From Raf’s beaming smile to Hannah’s multi-coloured nails, through to the wild summer flowers dotted about everywhere, and the most original first dance I’ve heard about in a long while (I’ll let Hannah surprise you with that one).

I want to be a guest at this wedding. I want to receive a homemade invitation designed by the bride. I want to stand amongst the moorhens and weeping willows. I want to hear a klezmer version of The Final Countdown. I want to have a slice of hundreds and thousands cake. And I want to have every moment captured by Marianne Chau whose images are appearing for the first time on STG which I’m so very thrilled about!

Get ready because you gorgeous lot are going to be pinning until your fingers are raw.

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colourful English garden Jewish wedding
colourful English garden Jewish wedding_0030
A MIDWEEK WEDDING AT A WONDERFUL GARDEN VENUE
Hannah, the Bride: We chose to get married at The Priory Barn in Little Wymondley. We researched various venues, but had difficulties in that a lot of the London venues wouldn’t allow religious ceremonies and we didn’t want a hotel. We also wanted outside space and The Priory has an amazing garden complete with a stream, weeping willows and baby moorhens! We had budget concerns and The Priory had a great midweek deal. Our wedding was on a Thursday but this really didn’t seem to affect turnout.

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