Photo by Chris Singer & Johannes Kernmayer
Whether a bride-to-be wants to add loads of embellishments or even custom design her gown, it's pretty easy to quickly rack up wedding dress costs. But, when it comes to wedding expenses, some brides like to go big or go home in the dress department, even going so far as to land spots on the list of the most expensive wedding dresses of all time.
With unheard of, limitless wedding budgets, affluent brides have been known to drop a lot of moolah on their gowns for the big day. Starting from price tags in the thousands and working our way up to the millions (yes, one bride really spent this much), we rounded up the most expensive wedding dresses of all time. These costly, one-of-a-kind frocks are the stuff of wedding dreams and will go down in gown history.
15. Grace Kelly
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Grace Kelly and iconic style go hand in hand, and her classic 1956 wedding dress was no exception. While she tied the knot with Monaco's Prince Rainier III in the OG royal wedding, Kelly made history in a high-neck long-sleeve gown with a full skirt. Designed by Helen Rose, the timeless dress featured thousands of hand-sewn pearls, 125-year-old lace from Brussels, and an estimated $60,000 price tag.
14. Nicky Hilton
The hotel heiress wed James Rothschild in 2015, at Kensington Palace, no less. With a venue that exquisite, you definitely need a dress of equal caliber. Hilton's long-sleeve Valentino gown did just the trick, weighing in at $77,000. We expect another five-figure gown for her sister Paris's upcoming wedding.
This Material Girl definitely lived in a material world while wearing quite the pricey wedding dress to her 1985 wedding. The Queen of Pop tied the knot with actor Sean Penn in a quintessential '80s tulle and mesh number, which sold at an auction for $81,250 in 2014. She's no stranger to high-end bridal garb—Madonna's second wedding dress for her marriage to Guy Ritchie is believed to have cost around $80,000.
12. Melania Trump
Naturally, the Trumps did it big for their 2005 wedding, including Melania's $100,000 dress. The now-FLOTUS wed in style, sporting a custom Dior frock with 1,500 embellishments. The grandiose gown required lots of heavy lifting—it took 500 hours to make and weighed a whopping 60 pounds. She even landed a cover shot on Voguewearing her wedding dress!
11. Victoria Beckham
Posh Spice's wedding dress certainly lived up to her former fashion-forward Spice Girls persona, which of course means it probably cost a pretty penny. The bride wore a Vera Wang gown with a 20-foot train, and is estimated to be worth $100,000. To top their wedding off in true '90s fashion, the pair traded their costly tux and gown for matching purple outfits at their reception.
10. Jessica Biel
Think pink—Biel took a unique approach to her wedding day look with a blush Giambattista Valli Haute Couture number when she married Justin Timberlake in 2012. But the spunky-colored gown still managed to build up quite the price tag—$100,000 to be exact.
9. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine's marriage to Michael Douglas has stood the test of Hollywood time. The pair tied the knot 16 years ago, with the ever-gorgeous Catherine rocking a $140,000 Christian Lacroix wedding dress.
8. Elizabeth Taylor
Despite marrying eight times, Taylor showed that the first time was the charm in terms of wedding dresses. Her now-famous gown from her 1950 wedding to Conrad "Nicky" Hilton (Paris and Nicky Hilton's great-uncle) was designed by Helen Rose and sold for $187,931 at a London auction in 2013.
7. Marie-Chantal Miller
Miller wed her husband, Prince Pavlos, in 1995 in true royal fashion—while sporting a stunning long-sleeve traditional dress (inspo for Kate Middleton on her wedding day, perhaps?), and an expensive one at that. The Crown Princess of Greece's pearl-encrusted Valentino number cost $225,000, 14-foot length Chantilly lace train and all.
6. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey and James Packer broke off their engagement, so her wedding dress never got its time to shine on the big day, but the would-have-been gown by Valentino cost $250,000. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, considering Carey's lavish taste and her $10 million engagement ring (that she reportedly still wore post-breakup). In overtly dramatic fashion, the "Obsessed" singer actually set her gown on fire in one of her music videos after splitting from Packer. Love (and a wedding dress) burns.
5. Amal Clooney
George Clooney and his bride spared no expense when it came to her wedding dress—or their entire $4.6 million nuptials, for that matter. Amal said "I do" while wearing an off-the-shoulder lace Oscar de la Renta number that cost $380,000. Her gown, the last wedding dress the late designer created before he passed away, gained so much notoriety that it was temporarily featured in an Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Despite its astronomical price tag, the gown's value is pretty priceless.
4. Kate Middleton
Duchess Kate's dress from her 2011 wedding to Prince William was truly fit for a royal, with a price tag of $434,000. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen designed the classic gown, complete with long lace sleeves and a full skirt. We're envious of the royal wedding budget.
3. Kim Kardashian
It's no surprise that Kim K. would land on the list for most expensive wedding dresses of all time, considering she's never been one to take the simple route (can we talk about the seven-tiered wedding cake!?). When Kimye tied the knot in 2014, the bougie bride walked down the aisle in a $500,000 custom-made couture Givenchy gown with long sleeves and a trumpet silhouette. And, one dress wouldn't suffice—Kim later changed into a minidress designed by Olivier Rousteing, creative director for Balmain.
2. Victoria Swarovski
Photo by Chris Singer & Johannes Kernmayer
Ranking as runner-up for the most expensive wedding dress of all time, the Swarovski jewelry heiress's custom-made gown has an estimated price tag of…over ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS. Naturally, the dress was decked out with over 500,000 crystals—because just a few thousand wouldn't cut it.
Although the exact price of this Chinese star's custom Dior wedding dress has been kept under wraps, her entire wedding racked up a $31 million bill. Angelababy's notorious gown reportedly took five months to complete, and totes seven petticoats, a 10-foot train, and 100 hand-cut Chantilly lace roses. So, it's probably a fair assumption that a large chunk of her wedding budget most likely went to her over-the-top dress, landing her at the number one spot for most expensive wedding dress of all time. Good luck to anyone trying to top these nuptials.