23 Oct 2015
Huang Xiaoming & Angelababy
When a ceremony is dubbed the “wedding of the century”, you know the event – and its bill – is going to be nothing to sneeze at.
Such is the case for the most recent – and most talked about – nuptials in the Chinese celebrity world: that of Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy, who turned the sprawling Shanghai Exhibition Centre into a spectacular fairy-tale wonderland when they tied the knot on October 8.
Even after learning that there were over 500 star-studded guests, a towering carousel cake, a 200-strong security guard force and a huge flower wall for photo ops (among many other over-the-top elements), we still weren’t prepared for the estimated total value of it all: a whopping 200 million yuan, or roughly S$43.6 million.
Other things that carried hefty price tags include their picturesque Paris shoot, Angelababy’s bespoke Dior gown and tiara, and wedding favours that reportedly contained mobile phones. Sure, a bulk of all this may have been sponsored, but that doesn’t make the whole shebang any less wow-worthy.
“If I spoil you (enough), nobody else can snatch you away!” declared Xiaoming at the altar. Well, at this rate, “spoil” has become a severe understatement. (Cue cash register sound effect)
These two are far from the only famous lovers to shock and awe the rest of us mere plebeians by joining in holy and outrageously ostentatious matrimony; in fact, their nuptials don’t even carry the highest cost on this list! Click through and be amazed:
23 Oct 2015
Jang Dong Gun & Go So Young
Reported worth: S$1.2 million
When big names like Rain, Song Seung Heon, Hyun Bin, Ha Ji Won and Lee Byung Hun are all found congregating at one site, you know something huge is up. This was the case on May 2, 2010, but it wasn’t some prestigious awards ceremony they were attending – it was the wedding of top thespians Jang Dong Gun and Go So Young, a.k.a. the “Brangelina” (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) of South Korea.
Their vows were exchanged at the Shilla Hotel, one of the city’s most luxurious places to tie the knot. Unsurprisingly, security was extremely tight due to the public interest in the union and the roster of well-known guests (some 70 guards were reportedly activated), and nobody but the 500 invitees were allowed in.
WOW rating: 6/10. It would have seemed like any other ordinary wedding if not for the bride and groom’s star power and slew of high-profile friends present. Extra points for being one of the most expensive, highly-anticipated and most talked-about nuptials in the Korean showbiz scene.
23 Oct 2015
Jay Chou & Hannah Quinlivan
Reported worth: S$1.5 million
Months before Xiaoming and Angelababy’s wedding buzz, news of another Asian power couple’s nuptials was on everyone’s lips and social media sites. On January 17 this year, the eve of his 36th birthday, the Mandopop king broke countless fans’ hearts when he made the doe-eyed model-actress his wife at a grandiose ceremony at England’s Selby Abbey.
This fancy S$1 million European getaway was just the beginning. A month later, a circus-themed bash was held in Taipei, complete with a marquee, carousel and more famous friends. Then in March, wedding no. three took place at the Gold Coast seaside for half-Aussie Hannah’s relatives.
While his wedding was so unabashedly out-there, Jay was – and is still – much more secretive about the birth of his baby daughter. In fact, it was only a hundred days after she was born that the public finally learned of her name, Hathaway, and got a glimpse of half her face. We’re still waiting for that family portrait…
WOW rating: 10/10. The globe-trotting locations alone contribute to a majority of our score (cathedrals and makeshift amusement parks and beaches, oh my!), but with outfits and accessories that made them look like they stepped right out of a storybook and spectacular site adornments, everything about Jay’s parties was fit for music royalty.
We’ll admit that we thought his wedding price tag would be a lot higher than that, due to the sheer extravagance, elegance and multiple locations. While it’s no paltry sum, we have to warn you that the numbers only get much crazier from here…
23 Oct 2015
Christopher Lee & Fann Wong
Reported worth: S$5 million
What do you do when you want to share the joy of your wedding with all your supporters, but can’t actually invite each and every single one of them to the ceremony? Why, broadcast it live on television, of course.
That’s what our very own golden showbiz couple did when they celebrated becoming man and wife with a lavish banquet at Shangri-La Hotel on September 29, 2009 (yes, it’s been over six years already!), a few months after their much simpler ROM at the same location (which was also aired on Channel 8).
Besides the plush setup and guests comprising the who’s who of local entertainment, a major talking point was the Bollywood-inspired gown Fann wore for her second walk-in, which was custom-made and reportedly worth a staggering S$300,000. And there was the transportation: a fabulous fleet comprising a S$1.6 million Rolls-Royce Phantom and eight Porsche Cayennes. Vroom vroom, baby.
WOW rating: 8/10. This whole blowout was a big TV deal on our little red dot, and flaunted elements (cameras! Celebs! A classy and costly wardrobe!) that you’d only find with a couple of their calibre. Wonder when baby Zed will get to watch a recording of his parents’ big day (if he hasn’t already)?
23 Oct 2015
Tony Leung & Carina Lau
Reported worth: S$5.3 million
One of Hong Kong’s most celebrated showbiz couples made a lot of fans sigh with relief when they finally upgraded their relationship status in July 2008 – almost two decades after they first started dating.
As expected, Chinese media went bonkers when they learned that Carina was to become Mrs. Tony Leung in the peaceful, picturesque Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan – publications reportedly doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars just to pursue the party and get their big scoop.
The ceremony itself was a lovely and spiritual one that included a Buddhist blessing ceremony and prayer chants. There was also a traditional western-style walk-in on a path of fresh flowers, followed by a sumptuous nine-course Italian feast. Sounds like a nice albeit regular shindig…except for the fact that there were a hundred policemen and bodyguards hired to protect the couple and their famous guests that included Faye Wong, Kenny Bee, Brigitte Lin and Chang Chen.
WOW rating: 7/10. Down-to-earth yet gorgeous, glamorous and meaningful – we’d want a wedding just like that too!
23 Oct 2015
George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin
Reported worth: S$6.3 million
In a feat previously deemed impossible, one tough, intelligent lawyer successfully convinced Hollywood’s once-notorious “eternal bachelor” to revoke that title and settle down with her. And such an achievement deserves a worthy wedding, which they delivered: the ridiculously good-looking pair got hitched in beautiful Venice at a 450-year-old, seven-star palazzo-turned-hotel, with everyone from Vogue editor Anna Wintour to rocker Bono to movie star Matt Damon in attendance.
And oh, how we wish we were invited: in addition to being treated to a whirlwind weekend in one of Europe’s finest cities, guests were reportedly given iPods in goodie bags, put up in hotels that charge thousands a night, and munched on meals that could have cost anywhere from around S$415 to over S$1,000 per person.
Wonder how much red packet money we’d have to prepare for a three-day fete like that!
WOW rating: 8/10. Aside from the fact that George was extremely (but understandably) strict about security by banning mobile phones and tablets from the event, his wedding guests were clearly treated like kings and queens, which all of us would want if we took the time to share in someone’s big day.
23 Oct 2015
Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
Reported worth: S$16.6 million
Opulent, over-the-top and overpriced (at least to us mere mortals that aren’t worth a combined US$155 million) – “Kimye’s” May 2014 wedding was everything we expected from the flashy couple – with the appropriate price tags attached.
For starters, renting out the historical Fort Belvedere in Florence already demanded a fee of close to S$500,000. Add in their pre-festivities in Paris (after which they had their guests flown to Italy in private jets), almost S$200,000 worth of flowers, hiring the legendary Andrea Bocelli as their wedding singer and more, and you’ve got one swanky extravaganza worth enough money to feed a small community.
WOW rating: 9/10. Our eyes were watering just reading what was bought: while the average Singapore wedding sets a couple back anywhere between S$30k-S$80k, you have Kanye splashing out over S$600,000 to commission a marble table for the reception. Well, if you’ve got the dough, might as well…
23 Oct 2015
Coco Lee & Bruce Rockowitz
Reported worth: S$26.8 million
It’s not every day you see superstars from both the east and west gathering in one venue, but when one of Asia’s biggest songstresses and a renowned Canadian billionaire CEO are pledging their love and lives to one another, that is just phone calls and private jet arrangements away.
On October 27, 2011, Coco and Bruce exchanged vows in a Jewish ceremony at the top of the towering Sky 100, against sweeping views of the city skyline. This was followed by a lavish dinner at the six-star Ritz Carlton, during which top singers Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars and Ne-Yo performed for 300 attendees.
The fun didn’t end there: the next day, a big after-party was held at a film studio and set up to resemble an awards ceremony, complete with an eight metre-long purple carpet, rotating LED screen, and never-ending stream of sushi and booze.
WOW rating: 8/10. Star-studded, swanky and striking – these folks really know how to do things in style.
23 Oct 2015
Prince William & Kate Middleton
Reported worth: S$42.7 million
We don’t think even Kate knew what was in store for her when she enrolled at the University of St. Andrews, where she met her real-life Prince Charming. Eight years after they first started dating, she officially became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge on April 29, 2011, when she and William tied the knot in one of the most monumental weddings in modern history.
The scale and spectacle of the whole spree certainly lived up to the media hype and public buzz, from Kate’s simple but sensational Alexander McQueen gown that inspired numerous other brides for years to come, to the majestic Westminster Abbey that housed the celebrations, to the fact that millions upon millions tuned in in one way or another.
And let’s not forget the reported S$15.4 million spent on security measures alone, which included snipers and undercover officers – even the stuff of fairy tales needs safety precautions.
WOW rating: 10/10. Need we say more? The occasion was even declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom!
23 Oct 2015
Martin Lee & Cathy Tsui
Reported worth: S$124.9 million
With the second richest man in Hong Kong as her father-in-law, it’s hardly a surprise that no expense was spared when Cathy, a former TVB actress, wed real estate tycoon Lee Shau Kee’s youngest son in December 2006.
It seems nothing about their Sydney affair (Cathy grew up in Australia) had any semblance of a budget, from hiring event planner extraordinaire Collin Cowie for over S$358,000, to the S$800,000 banquet venue, to shuttling 150 guests from Hong Kong and putting them up in a posh hotel for three nights (bumping the total bill up another S$1 million).
And if you were one of Lee Shau Kee’s employees but not invited to the bash, you were sent a generous red packet from the billionaire (he reportedly distributed almost S$2 million to 1,050 colleagues), a practice he has repeated every time a grandchild was born to him. Now, where do we send our resume for that!?
WOW rating: 9/10 for the sheer cost and magnitude of it all, but with one point deducted because all that moolah couldn’t turn the rainy, cold day into bright, sunny weather.