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The average cost for a wedding is more than $31,000, according to The Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings survey.
With that in mind, we recently gave you some pointers on how to plan a thrifty wedding if you’re getting married soon. We promise you can plan a memorable wedding for much less than $31,000!
Our biggest tip? Make and stick to a reasonable budget. And don’t buy expensive stuff you can’t afford. What’s "expensive," you ask? Well, that might be subjective based on your income and how much money you have saved for the wedding and your future.
But one thing is for sure: There’s absolutely no way your wedding budget should include any of the following costs—which are among the most expensive in the world:
The Most Expensive Wedding Venue
If you need somewhere to host your wedding and the little chapel down the street just won’t do, why not build your own 20,000-seat stadium? That’s the approach the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi (who goes by the name Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan) took in 1981 when he married Princess Salama. In today’s dollars, the sheikh’s wedding, which also included 20 bejeweled camels delivering gifts to the bride, would cost a cool $100 million.
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The Most Expensive Wedding Dress
If you had $12 million lying around, how would you use it? Investing? A new home? Retirement? What about a $12 million wedding dress? Let’s hope not. That such a thing exists is shocking. But, in 2006, the dress was showcased at a bridal show at The Ritz Carlton on Rodeo Drive in Marina Del Rey. Its features included 150 carats of diamonds laced throughout the dress.
The Most Expensive Wedding Cake
How about $52 million for a wedding cake? In 2013, a bakery in Chester, England created the world’s most expensive wedding cake, valued at (you guessed it) $52 million. The eight-tiered cake featured more than 4,000 diamonds before it was de-diamonded (we hope) and eaten.
The Most Expensive Engagement Rings
Jay Z spent $5 million on the engagement ring he gave Beyoncé several years ago. The ring totaled 20 carats and included an 18-carat diamond in the center. But that’s not the most expensive ring on the list! Mariah Carey recently knocked Queen B from the top spot with an estimated $10 million, 35-carat engagement ring from James Packer. The ring is reportedly so large that other nearby engagement rings are drawn to its gravitational pull and have been known to orbit around Carey’s finger.
The Most Expensive Wedding Singers
If you’re looking for a nice wedding singer and Adam Sandler just won’t cut it, how about The Rolling Stones? But here’s the catch: A Stones set at your wedding reception will cost you $7.5 million. Other popular singers will perform for a bargain rate compared to the Stones, including Elton John ($3 million), Christina Aguilera ($2.25 million), Paul McCartney ($1.5 million) and George Michael ($2 million). No, that’s not a typo: George Michael will sing at your wedding for $2 million—and you don’t even have to time travel to 1988!
The Most Expensive Honeymoon Suite
If there’s a more expensive honeymoon suite, we couldn’t find it. The Royal Suite at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris will set you back $26,000 per night. Inside, it’s Parisian luxury at its finest, with a view of Avenue Montaigne and the Eiffel Tower. The four-bedroom suite measures more than 4,800 square feet.
If you have a few billion dollars lying around, this stuff might make sense. But, until you have a few billion dollars, you should definitely just stick to your wedding budget. Deal?
For an easy way to budget for anything, weddings included, check out our free online budget software EveryDollar.