Published On: Jul 08 2013 12:51:54 AM EDTUpdated On: Jul 31 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
Nothing captures the public's imagination quite like a celebrity wedding -- and the bigger the celebrity, the bigger the spotlight.
Thanks to several massive tents set up to thwart the paparazzi, the July 2000 wedding of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston took place in relative secrecy. The celebrity couple's $1 million nuptials in Malibu, California, was witnessed by guests such as Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Cameron Diaz, David Spade and most of Aniston's "Friends" castmates. The two divorced five years later.
But one fairy tale wedding the world did get to see was the marriage of actress Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Here Princess Grace and Prince Rainier arrive at the White House for a luncheon in May 1961.
Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in an April 29, 2011, ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London that was watched live by nearly 25 million people in the United Kingdom and an estimated 300 million to two billion worldwide audience.
Of course, no one can forget the marriage of Prince William's parents, Charles and Diana on July 29, 1981. Two million spectators lined the route of Diana's procession to St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England. It was also watched by an estimated global TV audience of 750 million.
More recently, actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married at a $2 million, star-studded event with more than 150 guests at Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, a 15th-century castle along Lake Bracciano in Italy, on Nov. 18, 2006. The couple split in 2012.
An August 20, 2011, fairy-tale wedding that cost millions didn't have a happy ending when NBA star Kris Humphries and reality TV star Kim Kardashian split after just 72 days. Some speculated that the extravagant nuptials -- chronicled in a two-part TV special -- were just a media ploy.
On July 31, 2010, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton wed longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky at a locked-down ceremony in upstate New York. Rumors swirled that the wedding cost anywhere from $3 million to $5 million.
Another famous wedding with White House connections was the union of then-U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy on Sept. 12, 1953, at St. Mary's Church in Newport, R.I. The wedding was considered the social event of the season with an estimated 700 guests at the ceremony and 1,200 at the reception that followed at Hammersmith Farm, the childhood home of the bride.
In 2008, comedian Ellen Degeneres and actress Portia de Rossi broke boundaries and exchanged vows in front of close friends and family at their Los Angeles home.
The reception after the wedding of soccer star David Beckham and Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, in 1999 featured a staff of more than 400 people and a wedding cake topped with a nude (except for some ivy leaves) sculpture of the newlyweds. The two are pictured arriving at the MTV Movie Awards in 2003.
But not all celebrity weddings are fairy tales, and not all are as big. Baseball great Joe DiMaggio eloped with actress Marilyn Monroe in 1954, but she filed for a divorce less than a year later.
Another powerhouse celebrity wedding was the union between actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett in 1997. Only about 100 people attended their wedding near her hometown of Baltimore. The couple is seen here arriving at the Academy Awards in March 2002.
Another famous celebrity wedding in 1969 turned the world of rock and roll on its ear. Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. They spent a good part of their honeymoon in a "Bed-In," talking to the media about peace in their room at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.
Another more recent celebrity pairing was the one between rockers Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and Gavin Rossdale of Bush. The couple exchanged traditional Anglican vows in London in 2002. Rossdale's Hungarian sheepdog, Winston, donned a garland of red flowers and escorted his master down the aisle. The two are pictured here at a party celebrating the release of Stefani's first solo album in 2004.
Everything Donald Trump does is big, including getting married. Never mind that his Jan. 22, 2005, marriage to Melania Knauss, a Slovenian model 24 years his junior, was his third marriage. The two got hitched at Bethesda by the Sea Episcopalian Church in Palm Beach, Florida, in a ceremony that Forbes estimated to have cost around $1 million. Following the nuptials, 100 limos transported guests from the church to the grand ballroom of Trump's $42 million Mar-a-Lago estate. There 500 guests, from Katie Couric to Shaquille O'Neal, enjoyed $650 bottles of champagne, $18,000 worth of caviar and a 200-pound cake sporting 3,000 icing roses.
British actress Elizabeth Hurley and Indian businessman Arun Nayar were joined together in two ceremonies that spanned eight days and two continents. The couple first had a March 2, 2007, ceremony in a medieval English castle witnessed by 300 guests, including Elton John, Kate Moss and Hugh Grant. They were wed again on March 9 in a traditional Hindu ceremony held in Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The $2.5 million total cost for the two ceremonies included $200,000 for wedding bands, $300,000 for private jets and $100,000 for hotels.
Paul McCartney married model-turned-activist Heather Mills at Castle Leslie in Monaghan, Ireland, in a June 11, 2002, ceremony that Forbes estimated to have cost upward of $3 million. Unfortunately, all that money didn't ensure lasting happiness, as the couple went through a nasty divorce a little less than six years after the lavish ceremony.
When the third marriage wasn't the charm for Liza Minnelli, she apparently decided to go over the top when she got a chance for wedding No. 4. The Oscar-winner wed concert promoter David Gest in a March 16, 2002, ceremony at Manhattan's Collegiate Church in which the $3.5 million price tag wasn't the strangest thing. The wedding party of 36 included best man Michael Jackson, who introduced the couple and escorted Minnelli down the aisle, and maid of honor Elizabeth Taylor.
Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu were married in a private ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967. Seen here is a detail view of a copy of their marriage license on display at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.
Actress Nicole Kidman and country star Keith Urban, seen here together in 2007, married in June 2006 in Sydney, Australia, at the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, a Gothic cathedral atop a cliff. Among the 200 guests attending the reception were Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and billionaire Rupert Murdoch.
Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green hit a Hawaiian beach for their June 24, 2010, wedding.
Madonna and director Guy Ritchie married during a $1.5 million ceremony at the heavily guarded Skibo Castle in Scotland on Dec. 22, 2000. Madonna wore a designer dress and a diamond tiara that was owned by Princess Grace herself. The fairytale marriage eventually ended in divorce. The photo here is from the 61st Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2008.
Tiger Woods married Elin Nordegren in a simple yet expensive ceremony on Oct. 5, 2004, that reportedly cost up to $2 million. The couple rented out the whole Sandy Golf Resort complex in Barbados for a week for the nuptials, including 100 rooms and three golf courses, and had more than 500 roses imported from Europe. Among the 150 guests were Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Charles Barkley and Bill Gates. The two divorced in August 2010 after a series of infidelities on Woods' part came to light.
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones required all guests at their $1.5 million wedding in New York City on Nov. 18, 2000, to arrive with their invites, which had been embossed with holograms to thwart crashers who might have forged invitations to sneak a peek at the ceremony.
Mariah Carey married Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola in a lavish ceremony on June 5, 1993, that featured Carey in Vera Wang dress with a 27-foot train capped with a diamond-encrusted tiara. Helping her down the aisle of New York's St. Thomas Church were a team of 50 flower girls and a boys' choir. Guests at the ceremony included Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Robert De Niro, Billy Joel, Ozzy Osbourne and Michael Bolton. (The couple divorced in 1998.)
Elton John married filmmaker David Furnish in a December 2005 wedding that Forbes estimated at costing $1.5 million. The ceremony, which took place the first week that Britain legalized civil unions, took place at Windsor Guildhall in England. Hundreds of onlookers and paparazzi crowded outside during the ceremony while more than 600 guests arrived at John’s Windsor country mansion for the reception, which featured two massive heated tents.
Elizabeth Taylor (seen here in 1986) didn't let the fact that she was getting married for an eighth time (to her seventh husband, since she married Richard Burton twice) stop her from spending on her wedding to construction worker Larry Fortensky on Oct. 6, 1991. The $2 million wedding took place at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, with the King of Pop himself giving away the bride. Among the 150 guests were Liza Minnelli, Eddie Murphy and former first lady Nancy Reagan. Taylor and Fortensky divorced five years later.