Couples are spending an average of $65,000 on their weddings here in Australia. For the wealthy, that amount may cover the grooms suit alone. The most extravagant weddings in the world have budgets of $1 million for the flowers and tiered cakes that require step ladders for the newlyweds to be able to cut through them.
Wendy El Khoury of Wedded Wonderland has been to some of the world’s most extravagant weddings and shares memories from the luxurious affairs where money was no restraint.
Wendy told the Daily Mail Australia ‘From Arabian Royalty, Hollywood starlets, to Asian tycoons, weddings are big business and no expense is spared. Diamond-encrusted favours and florals that have the same price tag as an inner-city apartment, we’ve seen it all.’
The weddings of the rich and famous become a battle of who outdoes what. Wendy has access to the exclusive wedding stylists, florists and designers who work with the brides to produce a show stopping wedding of their dreams.
Requests are far and varied from organizing a monkey ring bearer or delivery of a baby elephant to reception. It’s normal for the bride to have a few wedding dresses at her disposal – one for the ceremony and another for the reception, with some dresses weighing more than 30kg!
One Vietnamese royal wedding had a budget of $1 million for the flowers and hired celebrity florist Karen Tran to style the wedding. But the most memorable weddings include a 1000 guest reception in Beirut and a wedding in Beverly Hills where the bride’s favourite flowers had to be flown in from Holland.
Here are some of Wendy’s memorable extravagant weddings:
ALI AND LANA, BEIRUT
Ali and Lana had their wedding at the bride’s parent’s house in South of Lebanon. Lana wore an Elie Saab Couture gown down the aisle. The wedded couple made a grand entrance at BIEL one of Beirut’s biggest venue halls which was hired for the reception. Inside the reception hall the walls were adorned top to bottom with orchids, LED lights and plasma screens. Louis Vuitton-inspired floral ferris wheels greeted their 1060 guests to the reception.
LARINA AND BEN, NEW YORK
Larina and Ben held their nuptials in a New York space that had high ceilings graced with trompe l’oeil paintings, gilt-edged mouldings and antique chandeliers. 170 guests were invited to the wedding and Larina walked down the aisle in a couture Inbal Dror gown and Jimmy Choo shoes. She was flanked with 10 bridesmaids.
The décor of the table settings was spectacular with gold-gilded crockery, antique lace linens and floral arrangements of white, cream and pale pink roses.
SANDY AND ROD, SYDNEY
Included in the memorable weddings was Sandy and Rod’s nuptials held at Sydney University. Jason James Design was the stylist for the wedding and created a spectacular space for the couple to celebrate. The reception had a custom designed 12 meter truss structure that was held hover the bridal table decorated with cascading ferns, hydrangeas and orange, pink and red roses.
The wedding cake was a work of art, hand-painted and embellished with gold leaf geometric shapes.
NADIA AND SAM, BEVERLY HILLS
Nadi and Sam married in Beverly Hills in what was deemed to be a dream wedding. Nadia wore a fishtail gown by Rita Vineris and jewellery by Cariter. The ceremony was held in the garden of the Greystone Mansion with a reception at The London Hotel held on the rooftop that offered spectacular views of the city.
Nadia requested peonies for her wedding which were out of season in the US but in season in Holland and were flown over especially for the occasion.
BRITTANY AND JUSTIN, LAKE COMO
Brittany and Justin had an intimate ceremony held in a private villa in Lenno, Italy which can only be accessed by boat. It was a three day celebration for their guests and included a pasta tasting session. Brittany wore a Inbal Dror gown and organized for the ceremony to be held overlooking the manicured gardens and Lake Como.
Have you ever been to an extravagant wedding?