Nothing says “I do” quite like a six-figure white wedding – we take a look at three of some of the biggest no-holds-barred nuptials in history.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Estimated Cost: $2 million (about R13,5 million)
Actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes tied the knot back in 2006 at the 15th century Odescalchi castle in Bracciano, Italy. Flag bearers dressed in medieval garb welcomed guests such as Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Surrounded by candles, Holmes walked down the aisle dressed in an off-the-shoulder ivory silk gown adorned with Valenciennes lace and Swarovski crystals, designed by Giorgio Armani. Dressed in a two-button Armani tuxedo, Cruise exchanged Cartier wedding bands with his beautiful bride. The reception was held at the castle’s Hall of the Caesars, which was decked out in white and red roses. The couple and their guests indulged in the five-tier white chocolate mousse cake, decorated with marzipan roses, before moving to the courtyard for a fireworks display. The night ended with a boogie in a hall turned nightclub, with tunes by DJ Mark Ronson.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Estimated cost: £20 million (about R221 million)
In terms of cost, Kate Middleton and Prince William’s royal wedding certainly took the cake. The wedding of the year was held at the majestic Westminster Abbey and was watched by over two billion people worldwide, with some 1 900 invited guests. Middleton’s ivory Alexander McQueen gown which, according to News of the World, cost £250 000 (about R2,76 million), was designed by Sarah Burton and featured a lace confection with a deep V-neckline and corseted bodice. The reception, flowers, multilayered fruit cake and staff aside, the largest expensive was the security, which accounted for half of the royal tab. Kate and William can thank the British taxpayer for footing that bill.
Duduzile Zuma and Lonwabo Sambudla
Estimated cost: R3 million
President Jacob Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma, married businessman Lonwabo Sambudla at a lavish affair held at the Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve near East London in April this year. The 650 guests included Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, comedian David Kau, pseudo-celebrity Khanyi Mbau, “Sushi King” Kenny Kunene and various cabinet ministers, like Naledi Pandor, Blade Nzimande and Jeff Radebe. Duduzile Zuma wore a white strapless gown encrusted with Swarovski crystals (which she reportedly sourced at Paris Fashion Week), paired with silver Christian Louboutin shoes. The dress was finished off with a custom-made diamond necklace compliments of Browns Jewellers, worth R1,5 million. Duduzile was escorted to the giant white marquee in a white rickshaw accompanied by women singing traditional Xhosa wedding songs to say her vows.
The reception had a French theme, with tables named after various landmarks in France and French designers and decked with glass replica Eiffel Tower centerpieces. Guests enjoyed a gourmet menu of South African and French inspired dishes and a decadent three-tiered wedding cake – topped with a tiny Eiffel Tower, of course. Something tells us that Duduzile really loves Paris. C’est la vie!
Sources: www.dailymail.co.uk, www.newsoftheworld.co.uk, www.forbes.com, www.timeslive.co.za