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10 Top Extravagant Wedding Venues

Once upon a time even celebrities were satisfied with a simple church wedding or with tying the knot at their family’s home.

But according to the everything-weddings website The Knot,one in four engaged couples now opt for a “destination” wedding: a venue in an exotic, increasingly distant locale that is a tipoff of social status as much as it is a romantic backdrop.

“If you’re in that sort of circle, everyone has an amazing wedding. How you stand out is going to be your location,” said Knot senior editor Kristin Koch.

The cost of “keeping up with the Joneses’ wedding,” naturally, is rising. Fairy tale weddings include custom fireworks, private plane rides, orchestras, medieval knights, safari tours or scuba lessons, with prices more suited to millionaires than your average newlyweds.

Adding to the expense is the growing length of a destination wedding, which now typically last three or more days.

Click ahead to see the most exclusive spots to take the plunge. Note that venue prices vary depending on wedding date and headcount.

By Jennifer Leigh-Parker, Special to CNBC
Posted 3 Oct. 2012

Photo: Philippe Lissac | Photononstop | Getty Images