When it comes to nuptials, some brides are sweet and demure, and others are “bridezillas.” Whatever the attitude, a wedding dress is a considerable portion of what makes the day for the bride. Arguably the only thing more important is the groom they choose. For most women, it is the singular most expensive piece of clothing they will ever shop for. Having the perfect dress is a pursuit that can go on for months or even years. As you’ll see here, nothing is too extravagant where wedding dresses are concerned (Photos of the top 15 dresses are in the video below).
20. Catherine Zeta-Jones – $140,000
Among the most iconic wedding fashions in the western world, Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Christian Lacroix dress is elegant and often copied, though never truly duplicated. The classic bodice and sweeping train created a truly breathtaking appearance, though Catherine could have done that on her own in a potato sack. She wore understated earrings and relatively understated makeup to compliment the gown.
19. Princess Di: Diana Spencer – $154,000
For those too young to understand how obsessed the world was with Princess Diana, we don’t quite know what to say. The story of a young, beautiful (chubby until the crown got her a personal trainer) school teacher who married the prince of England is a living fairytale. Her dress was a fantastic creation, as all royal wedding dresses should be. The iconic bow and sleeves make her dress one of the best known in history. It’s recently come to light that there was a secret second dress the princess never even tried on, in case her first gown’s details were leaked to the public. Sadly, no images of the secret dress have yet been released.
18. Bach Ngoc Xiem Y’ Wedding Dress – $117,000
Bedazzled with two hundred and twenty-two diamonds and a hundred rubies, this dress looks beautiful, but we imagine an heiress going to her prom in it for some reason. Perhaps it’s the corsage sported by the model. Whatever it inspires in us, this dress is unquestionably attractive with its pops of blood red gemstones amid the dazzle of diamonds.
17. The 9,999 Carat Gems Wedding Dress – $158,874
We don’t like to be rude, so we’ll say this dress looks like something a sweet little girl might create with the right set of purple and turquoise gemstones. It looks like a child’s fantasy dress rather than something an adult would wear, but who are we to question the world of fashion? Certainly, the gemstones are unique and beautiful on their own.
16. Helen Rose/Elizabeth Tailor Wedding Gown – $187,931
Elizabeth Tailor is timeless. We don’t know what she paid originally, but her peerless Helen Rose wedding gown sold for $187,931 at a London auction in 2013. Liz was married eight times to seven men, so she has a dress or two to spare, but the first Helen Rose Dress is especially elegant. Incidentally, it was also from her first wedding to Conrad “Nicky” Hilton. Helen Rose also designed another of her dresses, a more mature a suit like gown, but the original was a classic white bloom of fabric suited to the starlet.
15. Marie-Chantal Miller – $225,000
If you are seeking royal inspiration for your own special day then perhaps the princess of Greece can help. Her pear studded, long-sleeved gown is one of the most beautiful white dresses on this list. Even more beautiful is the love story behind it. Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller met on a blind date that both were hesitant to accept. Friends worked for two years to get the future couple to agree even to meet one another. Obviously, it worked out well for them. The 1995 ceremony was a Greek Orthodox extravaganza.
14. The Platinum Wedding Dress – $250,000
This outstanding red wedding gown couldn’t be more uniquely beautiful. Many dresses have gold details, but only this one is sewn with actual platinum. This astonishing oriental style embroidered gown with its adorable three quarter sleeved over jacket will run you a quarter of a million dollars, and we can only imagine what it must weigh.
13. R.I.P. Mariah Carey’s Dress – $250,000
We understand that there’s nothing like a woman scorned. We’ve seen her burn the dress. It’s still a little hard to wrap our heads around lighting a work of art like that gown on fire. The shimmering Valentino stunner was worth a quarter million to the designer, but to Mariah the press she got, and probably the relief too, was priceless. Never the less, we wish she’d considered auctioning it for charity or something other than toasting it like the worlds most glamourous marshmallow.
12. Mauro Adami Platinum Wedding Dress – $380,000
This stunningly silvery traditional looking wedding gown is one of only two we know about to sport platinum threads in its intricate embroidery. Though the dress hasn’t been purchased and was only worn by the model, it’s beauty would give the perfect priceless shine to any bride. The classic floral panels at the bottom and around the neck are lovely, and the demure short sleeve is a little uncommon in a modern wedding dress.
11. Coleen Rooney – $392,000
This gorgeous bride looks completely thrilled with her dress and her footballer groom. Though the couple has been married over a decade now and has four children together, they look just as happy as the day they wed back in 2008. Between that dress and having the band Westlife play the ceremony it was one of the more costly ceremonies in history, but they clearly felt it was worth it, and still do. We like a story with a happy ending.
10. Royal Wedding, Duchess Kate – $434,000
Royal weddings are bound to be opulent and excessive. It’s one of the privileges of being royalty to expect to be treated as such. While the rest of the job may involve learning as many languages as you can as fast as you can and following any rule the Queen may wish to impose, at least you can rest assured that you will always look good doing it. Kate wore a tiara with a thousand diamonds in it, a gift from the queen, to top off her stunning look.
9. Amal Alamuddin – $512,000
When George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in September of 2014, they managed to keep the press from getting their hands, and cameras on images of the event. Like all Hollywood love stories, the images were eventually leaked or given out, and they are beautiful. The couple looks genuinely happy, and Amal is wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown that cost over a half million dollars. If the pictures are to be believed, they enjoyed every penny of it.
8. Kim Kardashian – $530,000
No modern list of extravagant purchases in the fashion world would be complete without a Kardashian on it. When Kim and Kanye West were married back in 2014, the bride wore this ironically snow-white gown. All that lace mermaid couture cost Kim (or someone) just over a half a million dollars.
7. Pietra Eccleston – $1.3 Million
The gown that cost almost half of the entire wedding expense was a simple and almost undocumented Vera Wang dress of flowing and seemingly unbroken white. It seems a lot to spend on a dress you don’t want anyone but the guests to see you in. Pietra had all the best at her wedding, from her incomparable mermaid gown to performances from the Black Eyed Peas. Naturally, the guest list was top tier, with Hiltons and other famous names on the list.
6. Danasha Luxury Gown – $1.5 million
Jad Ghandour and Danasha Luxury created this gorgeous silver dress for Miami Fashion week back in 2010. The early sketches they released made it seem a bit more revealing than the final product turned out to be, but the changes were lovely. Sporting 250 grams of 18k gold and 75 carats of hand chose Antwerp diamonds as a stunning jeweled neck and shoulder embellishment. Any bride would swoon over such a radiant display.
5. Peacock Wedding Dress – $1.5 million
It may surprise you to learn that two of the top five most expensive wedding dresses in history are not the white and frilly affair you might imagine they’d be. The Peacock Wedding Dress made from thousands of actual peacock feathers. While PETA and other animal rights activists lost their minds over this in one way, brides also lost it, but in a much more positive manner. This unique dress comes at a high price, but not for the birds who shed their incredible plumage naturally and grow more.
4. Yumi Katsura White Gold Diamond Dress – $ 8.5 million
In addition to the incredibly rare 5-carat white gold diamond this gown is named for, it also features a thousand pearls and an even larger 8.8-carat green diamond. Because there are only two of the white gold diamonds known to exist in the world, this dress is probably well worth the price, though no one has yet purchased the gown.
3. Martin Katz Jewellers and Renee Strauss Diamond Wedding Gown $9.75 million
This gown’s story is so incredible we have to place it in the top ten twice. The gown in question is the creation of renowned designer turned reality tv star, Renee Strauss. The price is designed to be purchase prohibitive so the designer could use it to help display her prowess at creating these one of a kind pieces. With 150 carats in diamonds, any bride or model lucky enough to wear the dress would surely outshine others. The new lower price tag may be a result of the sad fate of the dress, a miscalculation, or a difference of currency conversion rates. Details of the dress’ fate to follow.
2. The Diamond Wedding Gown – $12 million
Though still arguably the second most expensive diamond dress and second most expensive wedding dress on earth, the Strauss/Katz diamond wedding gown no longer belongs to the designer by all reports. It was ceased after she refused to pay a judgment against her for $500,000 for failing to pay overtime wages. According to the LA times, Strauss claimed that her ultra posh upscale bridal shop, which employed 17-22 people and only paid the one who sued her $6.50/hr (that’s 25 cents more than the minimum at the time) “Couldn’t afford,” to pay overtime. We didn’t find any evidence that the dress was ever returned.
1. Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur – $30 million
While the Nightengale of Kuala Lumpur might not be considered a wedding gown by everyone, red is a fairly traditional wedding color in many Asian countries and cultures. A dress so expensive it is rumored to have caused an economic crisis doesn’t come along every eon. This extraordinary gown, with its 70-carat diamond at the top of the neckline on the left side along with 750 smaller diamond embellishments, is both art and artifact and is certainly fit for any bride. Though realistically most probably couldn’t even afford to see it in person.
*Bonus – 2015 Angelababy Dress, Value Unknown
The price of this extravagant gown remains unknown, but as part of a $31 million wedding, the dress certainly cost a fortune. Her ring was $1.6 million, and the flowers were each cut and stitched by hand if that helps put it in perspective.
If only for a day, a bride gets to live in a lavish world where she quite literally wears the most exquisite gown and has her every need catered to. While some may argue that it’s just too much for a dress you’ll never use again the price is not the issue. Sometimes if you want to feel like a million dollars, you have to spend a million dollars or more. Many brides find additional uses for their gowns, like framing them or keeping them for a family heirloom. Mariah Carey burnt hers for a breakup video. Mostly, however, the dress is meant to be unique like the experience.