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  Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 | 11:44 AM ET

Soros to Trump: most outrageous weddings

Posted By: Katie Little

Most Outrageous Weddings

Outrageous Weddings
Erik Isakson | Rubberball | Getty Images

Something lavish, something diamond, something Hollywood—and many things new.

Such is the refrain of today's outrageous weddings, where celebrities and heirs to vast fortunes marry in over-the-top nuptials with price tags in the millions.

"This is definitely something that could be perceived as a publicity stunt," said Anja Winikka, site director at the wedding website TheKnot.com. "There's celebrity spending on nuptials as compared to average couple spending, and then there's these outrageous weddings that spend over the top amounts of money. You have to ask yourself why spend that much?"

Many times couples will rent out an entire property for their venue to ensure privacy and find a creative space.

Others spend big bucks to pull off elaborate multi-day affairs, such as the planned three-day New York celebration for 83-year old billionaire investor George Soros starting Friday that will be attended by more than 500 guests, including hedge fund titans and prominent political leaders.

These pricey celebrations stand in stark contrast to the average U.S. wedding, whose budget was $28,427, according to the latest TheKnot.com survey last year.

Winikka listed several of the top trends at these extravagant weddings, including "lots of expensive flowers covering every surface," gold, diamonds, and brides that "tend to have very pricey dresses and many of them, as well as jewelry dripping in diamonds and the like."

Click ahead to see some of the more outrageous and over-the-top weddings.

Learn more about the #SuperRich during CNBC's new primetime series "Secret Lives of the Super Rich" premiering Wednesday, September 25 at 9 PM/ET. To see a preview of the series and a celebrity party planner's race to complete a mega-wedding, click here.

—By CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @Katie_Little_

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  Friday, 4 Mar 2016 | 1:52 PM ET

Subway to Chipotle: Secret menus decoded

The secret's out...and on your plate!

Mama Fu's Ma La Stir Fry
Source: Mama Fu's

Ever do a double take when you hear the person standing in front of you ask for the Pizza Sub at Subway or a Quesarito at Chipotle?

Many of these "secret" menu items began as items concocted by restaurant employees or customers. Others are discontinued former menu items that are still available for those in the know.

Restaurants sell these off-menu items and use them as marketing tools that make customers who feel like insiders want to share the information with their friends.

But in a contradictory move, many of these companies are showcasing these secret menus on their own websites. Mama Fu's "Black Market Menu" is one example. (The company's Ma La Stir Fry is shown here.)

The trend is being driven by restaurants that want to speed up the process for filling complicated orders and to cater to dietary preferences.

Click ahead to see some of the most interesting secret menu items we could find.

By CNBC's Katie Little and Sarah Whitten
Updated 4 March 2016
Posted 8 April 2013

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  Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 | 2:03 PM ET

Behind Closed Doors: Inside Fashion Week Fall 2013

Posted By: Katie Little

Inside Mara Hoffman's Fall 2013 Show

MBFW 2013 Mara Hoffman
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The average fashion show lasts just 12 minutes, but planning for it begins months early — almost as soon as the previous season's presentation ends.

To give you an idea of the time, energy and coordination that goes into a show, we decided to take you behind the scenes and profile a designer at this season's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. (Read more: Highlights From New York Fashion Week Fall 2013)

Known for pieces with bohemian flair and tribal prints, Mara Hoffman has been designing her own label since 2000 and was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2011.

We sat down with Hoffman to hear more about the steps she takes to create a collection and went backstage at Lincoln Center to see her nearly half-a-year-long project come to fruition.

Click ahead to see what it takes to make it to Fashion Week's runway.

— By CNBC's Katie Little

Published 13 February 2013

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  Monday, 7 Jan 2013 | 12:53 PM ET

Highlights From the 2013 New York Boat Show

Posted By: Katie Little, News Associate

The Spring 2013 Boat Show

Azimut Atlantis 38
Source: Atlantis Yachts

Although new boat sales had a hard landing during the recession, the boating industry has begun to recover. In 2012, sales recorded their first significant increase since the recession, rising an estimated 10 percent, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

As the winter boat show season began in New York City on Jan. 3, manufacturers and dealers have reason to be optimistic because the NMMA forecasts that sales will rise another 5 percent to 10 percent in the current year. Dealers in the Northeast have also reported an increase in traffic in the aftermath of super storm Sandy's destruction as consumers begin their search for replacement boats.

Click ahead for highlights from this year's New York boat show.

By CNBC's Katie Little
Posted 7 January 2013

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  Thursday, 8 Nov 2012 | 3:57 PM ET

The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner, 2012

The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner, 2012

The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner, 2012
Photo: Grace Clemente | Stone | Getty Images

Shoppers often fret about what they perceive is the ever-rising costs for the goods they need to buy each day. This year, however, they have at least one holiday blessing to be thankful for: the cost of a turkey dinner and all the trimmings has risen only slightly from last year.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation's survey, turkey dinner and all the fixings will cost about $49.48, or just 28 cents more than it did last year.

Last year, consumers were hit with one of the biggest price increases for traditional Thanksgiving trimmings in years, after poor weather shrank the size of U.S. crops.

This year, the star of the Thanksgiving feast—the turkey—is the main reason for the marginally higher cost. Had it not been for increases in the price of the turkey, the cost of the dinner may actually have been lower.

"Most Americans will pay about the same as last year at the grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings," said John Anderson, the deputy chief economist at the AFBF. "A slight increase in demand for turkey is responsible for the moderate price increase our shoppers reported for the bird."

Please click ahead to see how the costs break down per item. All costs are based on prices collected by 155 volunteer shoppers in 35 states, who are asked to hunt for the least expensive prices, but not take advantage of any promotional coupons or other purchase deals.

By Christina Cheddar-Berk,
Posted 08 November 2012

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  Friday, 9 Nov 2012 | 3:52 PM ET

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Posted By: Katie Little

Scenes from Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Photo: Adam Jeffery | CNBC.com

Sporting diamonds, Swarovski crystals and barely there outfits, Victoria's Secret angels strutted down the runway in the company's annual runway event. Each year, the women's lingerie chain kicks off its holiday selling season with a star-studded show to generate excitement about its products.

This year's show started with a circus theme, complete with acrobats and sword-swallowers. Other themes were: Dangerous Liaisons, Calendar Girls, PINK Is Us, Silver Screen Angels, and Angels in Bloom.

Singers Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars performed at the New York City event, which was held at the National Guard's 69th Infantry Regiment's headquarters. Just one week before the show, Hurricane Sandy wiped out the venue's electricity, and Victoria's Secret came to the rescue by lending generators to the National Guard.

The show will air on CBS on Dec. 4 at 10 p.m. EST. Click ahead to see scenes from this year's event.

By Katie Little
Updated 9 Nov. 2012

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  Wednesday, 7 Nov 2012 | 12:55 PM ET

10 Gifts Gadget Lovers Will Love

Posted By: Chris Morris

Top Gadgets For The Holidays

10 Gifts Gadget Lovers Will Love 2012
Photo: Beyond Foto | Getty Images

When it comes to the holidays, gadgets perennially top people's wish lists — and retailers are happy to oblige.

Shoppers will spend an average of $252 on consumer electronics this year, according to a Consumer Electronics Association forecast, with 76 percent of gift-giving adults planning to give a gadget as a present. Sorting out the hot items from the ones destined to end up in the clearance bin — or at a garage sale — isn't easy, though.

If you're looking for a perfect tech gift for a friend or loved one, click ahead for suggestions that can't miss.

By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 7 Nov. 2012

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  Friday, 28 Sep 2012 | 10:42 AM ET

Trendiest Halloween Costumes for Kids, 2012

Trick or Treat

Gone are the days when you could throw a sheet over your head and call it a Halloween costume. Halloween is serious business. Retailers expect Americans to spend about according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight.Of course, part of the fun of the holiday is coming up with a creative Halloween costume. About $1.1 billion will be spent on children’s costumes this year. For kids, there will be plenty of the traditional costumes: princesses, super heroes, witches and pira
Photo: R. Nelson | Flickr | Getty Images
Gone are the days when you could throw a sheet over your head and call it a Halloween costume. Halloween is serious business. Retailers expect Americans to spend about according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight.Of course, part of the fun of the holiday is coming up with a creative Halloween costume. About $1.1 billion will be spent on children’s costumes this year. For kids, there will be plenty of the traditional costumes: princesses, super heroes, witches and pira

Gone are the days when you could throw a sheet over your head and call it a Halloween costume. Halloween is serious business. Retailers expect Americans to spend about $8 billion on the day,according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight.

Of course, part of the fun of the holiday is coming up with a creative Halloween costume. About $1.1 billion will be spent on children’s costumes this year.

For kids, there will be plenty of the traditional costumes: princesses, super heroes, witches and pirates. But even these popular themes are subject to interpretation.

We’ve taken a look at what the trendiest costumes are for kids this year. Click ahead to find out what they are, some may surprise you.

By Christina Cheddar Berk
Posted 28 Sept 2012

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  Thursday, 27 Sep 2012 | 3:45 PM ET

Trendiest Halloween Costumes for Adults

Trick or Treat

With nearly seven in 10 Americans planning to celebrate Halloween, Oct. 31 is one of the fastest growing holidays of the year. And for good reason, it is a chance to break away from day-to-day routines to let loose and have some fun.A National Retail Federation survey said Americans will spend $8 billion on Halloween this year, and a good chunk of that will be spent on costumes. Don’t be fooled: Halloween isn’t just for kids. In fact, more money is expected to be spent on adult costumes this yea
Photo: Howard Grey | Digital Vision | Getty Images
With nearly seven in 10 Americans planning to celebrate Halloween, Oct. 31 is one of the fastest growing holidays of the year. And for good reason, it is a chance to break away from day-to-day routines to let loose and have some fun.A National Retail Federation survey said Americans will spend $8 billion on Halloween this year, and a good chunk of that will be spent on costumes. Don’t be fooled: Halloween isn’t just for kids. In fact, more money is expected to be spent on adult costumes this yea

With nearly seven in 10 Americans planning to celebrate Halloween, Oct. 31 is one of the fastest growing holidays of the year. And for good reason, it is a chance to break away from day-to-day routines to let loose and have some fun.

A National Retail Federation survey said Americans will spend $8 billion on Halloween this year, and a good chunk of that will be spent on costumes.

Don’t be fooled: Halloween isn’t just for kids. In fact, more money is expected to be spent on adult costumes this year than on costumes for children.

The trade group estimates there will 6 million adults dressing as a witch, and 3.2 million dressing as a vampire. Trailing those costume choices are the traditional fare: pirates, super heroes, and zombies. Yet costume retailers also see some other trends creeping into Halloween fare this year.

Among them is a growing preference for humorous costumes. Some of these are based on popular television shows or newsworthy public figures.

“Choosing a costume is one of the most entertaining parts of Halloween,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. So choose wisely.

Click ahead to see some of the trendiest Halloween costumes this year.

By Christina Cheddar Berk
Posted 27 Sept 2012

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  Monday, 24 Sep 2012 | 2:49 PM ET

Hot Holiday Toys for 2012

All I Want for Christmas

hot-toys-2012-cover.jpg
Steve Debenport | the Agency Collection | Getty Images

It may be too soon to tell whether this holiday season will be a blockbuster for certain toys, but it’s never too soon for retailers to place their bets. Several major toy retailers —Toys ‘R Us, Wal-Mart Stores, Sears Holdings’ Kmart, and Kohl’s— have weighed in with their picks for this year’s hottest toys.

There are already some strong contenders. Several toys have earned a place on more than one list, but others turned up in fewer places.

The lists also offer clues regarding popular trends in the toy industry. Most notably, it looks as though retailers are expecting parents to spend a little more this year. Some of the items on this year’s hot toy lists are quite a bit pricier than those that were on last year’s lists.

There’s also a sense of deja vu. Furby is back, and so are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Classic toy brands such as Lego, Barbie, and Twister have snagged some spots. There’s a new version of three toys that were popular last year. There is a sequel to the Skylanders videogame, and the LeapPad and VTech tablets have returned with faster processing speeds and new features.

So what will be the must-have this holiday season? Click ahead and decide for yourself.

By Christina Cheddar BerkPosted 24 September 2012

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