Most Expensive Wedding Dresses and More

According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, which surveyed nearly 12,000 couples who got married last year, the average wedding dress cost in 2022 was $1,900.

If you were getting married and had an endless supply of money, how much would you spend on the wedding dress? Elizabeth Taylor is the bridal queen of all time. Even though she got married eight times, she still believed in the marital bond and went all out with her wedding dresses. Conrad Hilton and Taylor were married at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills on May 6, 1950. Elizabeth wore the $187,931 designed by Helen Rose[1]. (that is around $2,379,229 today)

They had a tempestuous 8-month marriage due to his gambling, drinking, heroin addiction, and abusive behavior.” During one of his violent outbursts, Hilton kicked Taylor in the stomach and caused her to have a miscarriage.

Princess Diana’s famous wedding gown featured 10,000 pearls. The gown, which she wore when she married Prince Charles in 1981, was made of ivory taffeta and included a lace insert that once belonged to Queen Mary. Diana accessorized the gown with the Spencer tiara, which counted as her “something borrowed.”

Princess Diana’s famous gown was valued at a whopping £151,000 in 2019, making it one of the most expensive royal wedding dresses. (that is around $283,000 in today’s US dollars)

Gloria Estefan wore a custom gown designed by Emanuel Ungaro[2] for her 1978 wedding to Emilio Estefan. The dress was reported to have cost around $20,000 (that would be $93,591.72 today). Mariah Carey would marry music executive Tommy Mottola in 1993. In a lavish New York Wedding ceremony, Carey wore a $25,000 Vera Wang[3] ruffled dress that was inspired by Princess Diana’s wedding dress. (that would be $52,887.72 today)

George and Amal Clooney went all out for their wedding in 2014. Amal Clooney’s wedding dress was drop-dead gorgeous. The off-shoulder lace Oscar De La Renta[4] gown was the last gown created by the legendary designer before he passed away. The designer bridal wear was elegant and classic, and its minute fabric detailing made it absolutely stunning. The dress cost 4.6 million dollars (that is 5.9 million dollars today).

Angelababy, a Chinese actress and model whose real name is Angela Yeung Wing, is known for her extravagant wedding ceremony that took place in 2015. Her wedding dress cost $31 million dollars (that is 40 million dollars today). Angelababy’s wedding to actor Huang Xiaoming was a lavish affair held at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. Her wedding gown, which was a custom Christian Dior[5] creation, reportedly featured intricate lace details and a voluminous ball gown skirt.

The gown was adorned with hundreds of Swarovski crystals, and the craftsmanship was undoubtedly exquisite. Angelababy’s wedding and her Dior gown garnered significant attention and added to her reputation as a fashion and celebrity icon. The event itself was an opulent and glamorous affair, reflecting the couple’s high-profile status in the entertainment industry.

Expensive Weddings
  • The wedding of Vanisha Mittal, daughter of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, to investment banker Amit Bhatia was the most expensive wedding in the world. The six-day event, held in Versailles in 2004, included a re-enactment of the happy couple’s courtship and an engagement ceremony at the Palace of Versailles — the only private function ever to have been held in the palace. Guests at the wedding reception were entertained by a number of world-famous performers, including Shah Rukh Khan and Kylie Minogue. And the bill picked up by the bride’s father? A mere $55 million.
  • Though a billionaire Indian steel baron threw a $60 million wedding for his daughter in 2004, factor in inflation and the most expensive wedding was a seven-day affair for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and his bride, Princess Salama. The 1981 wedding, which would cost $100 million today, included a stadium big enough for 20,000 wedding guests built especially for the celebration.
  • Spread over 10 days and three cities with 600 guests flown in privately from 26 countries  — globe-trotting hotelier Vikram Chatwal, and former investment banker-turned-model Priya Sachdev’s wedding in 2003 was far from a simple affair. Apart from the influential attendees, American heavyweights like Bill Clinton, model Patricia Velasquez, and Naomi Campbell, a coterie of Indian dignitaries like India’s then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, the HRH Prince Nikolaos of Greece, and industrialist Lakshmi Mittal, were just some of the few starry names on the guest list. This multi-city extravaganza was estimated to cost a whopping USD 20 million and saw a traditional Sikh ceremony, a Mughal-court-inspired white party, a pool party set against the landscape of a 1760 fort as well as Chatwal leading the customary half-mile procession atop a white horse.
  • Charles, Prince of Wales, to Diana Spencer in 1981 cost $70 million (today’s dollars). There are special expenses when royalty weds, including mob control. Part of the millions spent on the fairy-tale wedding of the decade was allotted to ensure tight crowd surveillance. The joy of the occasion would later turn to ashes, proving that the amount spent on the wedding does not necessarily equate to the likelihood it will succeed.

Records for Marriage and Divorce
  • The world’s record for the longest marriage goes to Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, who were married 86 years, 9 months, and 16 days as of February 27, 2011.  Sadly, that is when Herbert passed away; he was 106 years old.  The couple had five children.
  • Linda Wolfe holds the record for being the most married woman in the world. She was married 23 times.  Her first marriage at 16 was for love. Her last, in 1996 was for publicity. That year she married preacher Glynn “Scotty” Wolfe. He was the world’s most married man.  Linda married a convict, a homeless man, a musician, a plumber. One husband lasted just three days. She married another man three times.
  • Bertie and Jessie Wood hold the Guinness Book of World Records title for oldest couple to divorce. The couple ended their 36-year marriage when they were 98 years old, and just a few years away from their 100th birthdays.  The reason for the split is not known.

Wedding Facts
  • The largest wedding attendance was a Jewish wedding in Jerusalem in 1993 where 30,000 people attended.
  • The longest wedding dress train was found in Germany, it measured over 515 feet.
  • Tuck a sugar cube into your glove — according to Greek culture, the sugar will sweeten your union.
  • Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.
  • In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles -long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world.
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
  • The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake.
  • The current record-holder for the world’s largest wedding cake is a 15,032 pounds made by chefs at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino in Connecticut and displayed at their New England bridal showcase in 2004, according to the Guinness World Records’ website.

  1. Helen Rose was a renowned American costume designer known for her work in film, television, and fashion. She gained widespread recognition for her intricate designs and attention to detail, often collaborating with some of the biggest Hollywood stars. Notably, she created Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress for her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. Rose’s contributions extended to her designs for films such as “An American in Paris” and “The Bad Seed,” which earned her Academy Award nominations. Her skillful craftsmanship and elegant creations left an indelible mark on the world of fashion and entertainment. [Back]
  2. Emanuel Ungaro was a pioneering French fashion designer of Italian descent, known for his vibrant and daring creations that blended elegance with boldness. He established his own fashion house, House of Ungaro, in 1965 and gained prominence for his use of color, innovative draping techniques, and intricate patterns. Ungaro’s designs often showcased his masterful craftsmanship and unique aesthetic, appealing to a diverse clientele. His contributions to haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion left an indelible mark on the industry, influencing subsequent generations of designers. [Back]
  3. Vera Wang is an acclaimed American fashion designer renowned for her exquisite bridal and evening wear creations. With a background in figure skating and fashion journalism, she launched her own bridal boutique in 1990 and quickly gained recognition for her innovative designs that transformed the bridal industry. Wang’s aesthetic combines modern elegance with traditional elements, and her bridal gowns are characterized by intricate detailing, luxurious fabrics, and unique silhouettes. Her work has been worn by numerous celebrities and brides around the world. Beyond bridal wear, Wang has expanded her brand to encompass ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, fragrances, and more, solidifying her status as a prominent figure in the fashion world. [Back]
  4. Oscar de la Renta was a prominent Dominican-American fashion designer known for his timeless and elegant designs. With a career spanning several decades, he dressed some of the most influential women in the world, including celebrities, first ladies, and socialites. De la Renta’s signature style encompassed refined silhouettes, intricate embroidery, and luxurious fabrics, often drawing inspiration from his Dominican heritage and global travels. His contributions to the fashion industry earned him numerous accolades and awards. De la Renta’s legacy continues to influence contemporary fashion, and his eponymous fashion house remains a symbol of sophistication and luxury. [Back]
  5. Christian Dior was a visionary French fashion designer and the founder of the iconic luxury fashion house Dior. His groundbreaking “New Look” collection in 1947 revolutionized post-World War II fashion, introducing feminine silhouettes with nipped-in waists and full skirts. Dior’s designs epitomized elegance, luxury, and innovation, redefining Parisian couture. His legacy has influenced generations of designers and continues to shape the fashion industry. Dior’s brand remains synonymous with timeless sophistication and his impact on haute couture endures as a cornerstone of fashion history. [Back]
Further Reading


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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