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The top 10 most extravagant celebrity weddings from the Beckhams to William and Kate


Have you been bitten by the celebrity wedding bug yet? The symptoms consist of repeatedly (and guiltily) googling the latest photographs of a star's wedding dress and feeling a rush of excitement when the words "exclusive" and "new pictures" flash back at you from the screen.

It's hard not to be pulled into this celebrity wedding mania following the unprecedented news coverage of the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's wedding in Florence and the multiple unconventional bridal dresses modelled by Poppy Delevingne this week.

So, we've decided to embrace this moment and take a walk down nuptials lane to remember the most lavish celebrity weddings of all time, from Prince William and Kate Middleton's British royal affair to Justin Timberlake singing Jessica Biel down the aisle in Italy.

1. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, November 2006, Italy

Seven months after having their daughter Suri, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes whisked off to Italy to marry in a three-day long extravaganza in the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle overlooking Lake Bracciano, just outside of Rome.

It was a Scientology ceremony where the bride and groom were both dressed in custom-made Armani. The star studded guest list of 150 people - which included the likes of the Beckhams, Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez - were treated to a lavish dinner washed down with 300 bottles of fine wine and champagne, a five-tiered white chocolate wedding cake covered with marzipan roses, live singing from Andrea Bocelli and fireworks at the reception.

The couple split five years later.

2. Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, June 2011, Cotswolds

You know it's a big affair when roads start being closed off - as happened when Kate Moss married Kills guitarist Jamie Hince in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Southrop. For the ceremony in a 12th-century church, the supermodel wore a vintage-inspired, custom-made gown by John Galliano, while Hince wore a pale blue YSL suit.

Moss' eight-year-old daughter, Lila, was among the 15 bridesmaids, and guests included Naomi Campbell, Jude Law, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood.

The reception lasted three days, with seafood from the Dorchester, Dom Pérignon champagne, burlesque performers and music from Snoop Dogg, Shirley Bassey, Beth Ditto, Carl Barât and Iggy Pop.

3. David and Victoria Beckham, July 1999, Dublin

David Beckham and Victoria Adams married in a royal-themed wedding in Luttrellstown Castle just outside of Dublin. The Spice Girls singer wore an 18-carat gold crown encrusted with diamonds (valued at £18,000-£25,000, pictured left) and a strapless Vera Wang gown with a 20ft train. As she walked down a 60ft floral aisle, a harp and violin played classical music. After the intimate ceremony with only 29 close family members and friends, the newlyweds released a single white dove.

The Beckhams wore matching purple outfits and sat on gold and red velvet thrones at the reception, which was attended by 230 guests and manned by 437 serving staff.

4. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, April 1956, Monaco

The marriage of Philadelphia-born Hollywood icon Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco was hailed "the wedding of the century". Kelly reportedly arrived with 80 pieces of luggage on an ocean liner from New York and was greeted by 20,000 people who lined the streets. It was also reported that Kelly's father was asked to pay a dowry of $2 million (£1,195,958), which he initially refused and then allegedly paid half while Grace Kelly contributed the rest of it.

The royal ceremony was broadcast across Europe and culminated in Kelly’s 142 new official titles being formally recited. Her famous silk and lace gown (created by costume designer Edith Head) started a trend back towards full frocks, rather than slender styles. Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen bridal dress bore a striking resemblance to Kelly's dress.

Nine months and four days after their wedding, Princess Grace gave birth to the first of their three children, Princess Caroline. The couple was married for 26 years, until the princess’ death in 1982 from injuries sustained in a car accident. The prince, who never remarried and who died in 2005, is buried beside his wife in the Grimaldi family vault, inside the Monaco cathedral where they wed.

5. Liza Minnelli and David Gest, March 2002, New York City

One thousand guests looked on as Liza Minnelli married producer David Gest at New York’s Marble Collegiate Church, with Michael Jackson as the best man and Elizabeth Taylor as the maid of honour. Other guests at the ceremony, which reportedly cost $4.2 million (£2.5 million), included Diana Ross, Joan Collins, Mia Farrow and Donald Trump.

In addition to a 12-tiered cake, guests received a personalised cake embossed with "Liza and David 4 Ever" and the entertainment included performances from a a 60-piece orchestra, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, and Natalie Cole.

The couple split a year later and officially divorced in 2007.

6. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, October 2012, Italy

Pop boy Justin Timberlake and actress Jessica Biel took to the Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia, Italy to tie the knot in an intimate ceremony after a week of festivities.

Timberlake famously sang as Biel walked down the aisle in a custom petal pink Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown. "Grown men were weeping. Hopefully it’s because I didn't sound bad," said Timberlake in an interview with Hello! magazine.

Their wedding guests included close friends comedian Jimmy Fallon, SNL star Andy Samberg, musician Timbaland and Biel's 7th Heaven co-star Beverley Mitchell. The couple closed down adjacent buildings to their hotel to keep paparazzi at bay.

7. Wayne and Coleen Rooney, June 2008, Italy

Footballer Wayne Rooney married his childhood sweetheart in a wedding and reception that cost a staggering £5 million. The couple flew their family and friends out to Italy for four days of celebrations, which included a civil ceremony in the Riviera resort of Santa Margherita Ligure at the 17th century Villa Durazzo, with just eight close family and friends as witnesses, and a party on a $120 million yacht with performances from Coleen’s favourite band, Westlife.

Unfortunately, after weeks of blue skies and sunshine, the couple were famously greeted by unseasonal rain on the day of their nuptials.

8. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, 2002, Ireland

Beatles icon Sir Paul McCartney spent £2.5 million on his second wedding to Heather Mills, held at a 17th-century church in Monaghan, Ireland. The bride wore a fitted ecru lace dress she designed herself and carried a bouquet of 11 pink McCartney roses - named after her new husband - while the groom wore a brown, wool three-piece suit designed by Richard James of Britain.

A host of celebrities were on the 300-strong guest list including Elton John, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr. They feasted on vegetarian Indian food and danced to live music in large tents built on the grounds of the church.

The couple, who faced a 25-year age gap, split six years later and faced a heavily publicised divorce battle with Mills eventually winning £24.3 million, though she asked for £125 million. McCartney married New York millionaire Nancy Shevell in London last year in front of a close group of 30 people.

9. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto, April 2013, Florida

Basketball legend Michael Jordan and his model girlfriend Yvette Prieto reportedly had the most expensive celebrity (non-royal) wedding, costing $10 Million (£6 million). Following the nuptials at Prieto the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, the couple hosted their reception in a 40,000 square foot tent - the largest tent in history - on the Bear’s Club golf course. Guests included Tiger Woods and director Spike Lee, while Usher and Robin Thicke performed. The cake had seven-layers, was rum flavoured and was encrusted with crystals.

(Image credit: jeffrealty.com)

10. Prince William and Kate Middleton, April 2011, London

The royal wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on Friday 29 April 2011 was a global event watched on television by 24.5 million people in the UK (where it was an official national holiday) and in 180 countries around the world.

The ceremony at Westminster Abbey was attended by 1,900 guests which included royals, the prime ministers of Commonwealth countries, the couple's close friends, representatives of the charities William is associated with and the butcher and the postman from Kate's home village of Bucklebury.

Kate Middleton wore an Alexander McQueen lace and silk gown with a 2.7m train and intricate lace motifs. So fine was the lace detailing on her dress, that the needles were renewed every three hours to keep the, sharp and workers had to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the fabric pristine. Kate accessorised her dress with a 1936 Cartier tiara borrowed from the Queen.

Food included a buffet-style wedding breakfast of poached asparagus, Cornish crab salad on blinis and rhubarb creme brulee tartlets, and two wedding cakes at the reception - one a chocolate fridge cake, William's childhood favourite.

Meanwhile, on the street an estimated one million people turned out to try to catch a glimpse of the wedding parade, while others hosted street parties with 5,500 official applications for road closures made ahead of the day. Tesco said it had sold 120 miles of bunting, enough to wrap round Westminster Abbey 100 times.

"We're supposed to have just a small family affair,'' Prince William is said to have joked to Kate's father at the altar.

(Images: Rex Features)



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