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Soros to Trump: most outrageous weddings

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Most 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_

George Soros, Tamiko Bolton

Billionaire investor Soros and Bolton are kicking off their wedding festivities on Friday with a dinner followed by a reception at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art.

After a small ceremony Saturday, the pair will host a reception at an arts center with more than 500 guests, including World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and some foreign leaders, including Hendrik Toomas Ilves, president of Estonia; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia; and Edi Rama, prime minister of Albania.

Fellow hedge fund titans Paul Tudor Jones and Julian Robertson will also be there for the nuptials— the third for Soros and second for Bolton. Several U.S. political figures will attend, including House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, both Democrats.

Bolton will wear a dress designed by Reem Acra, a U.S.-based designer whose gowns frequent celebrity red carpets.

Prince William, Kate Middleton

George Pimentel | WireImage | Getty Images

In one of the most anticipated royal weddings in decades, Prince William of Great Britain married his college sweetheart Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London's Westminster Abbey with a reported 1,900 guests in attendance.

Estimates from CBS News peg the total cost of the wedding at about $34 million, Middleton's gown at about $434,000 and the price of their two wedding cakes at about $80,000. Her roughly $142,000 sapphire-and-diamond ring engagement ring, which was also Princess Diana's, served as her "something borrowed" and "something blue." Taxpayers shelled out about $33 million for the security costs.

Following the wedding, about 650 guests were invited back to a lunchtime reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. Later, they celebrated during an evening reception with about 300 of their friends and family in Buckingham Palace's Throne Room, reported The Telegraph. British pop star Ellie Goulding performed for the guests while the event is transformed into a "massive nightclub."

Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries

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In front of 440 guests, Kim Kardashian married professional basketball player Kris Humphries in August 2011 at a private estate in Montecito, Calif. The reality TV star wore three Vera Wang gowns that day.

Her storybook wedding was estimated to have a price tag of about $10 million, but the The New York Post later reported the event didn't cost nearly as much. Among the items that the couple received for free were $60,000 in Vera Wang dresses, $400,000 in Perrier Jouet Champagne and $15,000 to $20,000 for a Hansen's Bakery wedding cake at the couple's Old Hollywood wedding reception, the paper reported.

No stranger to the television camera, Kardashian opted to air her wedding on E! as part of a four-hour special entitled, "Kim's Fairy Tale Wedding: A Kardashian Event." She also sold her photos to People magazine.

The couple's relationship soured shortly after the wedding, and Kardashian filed for divorce a mere 72 days later.

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes

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TomKat, as the press referred to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' relationship, made it official in 2006 at the Italian castle Castello Orsini-Odescalchi near Rome, in front of more than 150 guests. It took around 350 hours to cover Holmes' Armani dress with Swarovski crystals and 70 hours to transform 400 feet of crinoline and tulle into a flowing veil, People reported.

Many celebrities and friends of the couple traveled east to attend, including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Brooke Shields, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

Despite the romantic wedding bonanza of roughly $3.5 million estimated by experts interviewed by People, their marriage went south within five years

Petra Ecclestone, James Stunt

James Stunt, Petra Ecclestone and Bernie Ecclestone sighted leaving the Hassler Hotel ahead of the wedding of Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt on August 26, 2011 in Rome, Italy.
Elisabetta A. Villa | Getty Images

Orsini-Odescalchi also served as the setting for the wedding of Petra Ecclestone Castello in 2011.

Then just 22, the daughter of billionaire Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone married businessman James Stunt in a three-day event that reportedly cost $5 million and was attended by royalty and celebrities, reported ABC News.

The bride wore a $130,000 custom-made Vera Wang gown. Attendees drank wine costing $6,500 per bottle and watched fireworks, an acrobatics show and performances by the Black Eyed Peas and Eric Clapton.

Unlike many of the other couples featured here, Ecclestone and Stunt's marriage is still going strong.

Diana Spencer, Prince Charles

Princess Diana Archive | Getty Images

In front of about 3,500 people, Prince Charles of Great Britain married Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral, chosen because it could fit more people than the usual royal wedding venue, Westminster Abbey, Bites Magazine reported.

The bride rode there in a glass carriage with her father, an arrival that only added to the fairy tale comparisons that the press used at the time for the 20-year-old Diana. About 600,000 people filled the London streets hoping to see a bit of the pomp and circumstance of the day, which the country celebrated with a national holiday, the BBC reported. Another one billion watched on TV or listened on the radio.

The bride wore her family tiara along with a 40 foot-long veil embroidered with sequins with a gown made of ivory silk taffeta and hand embroidery with 10,000 pearls. Her 18-carat sapphire ring surrounded by 14 diamonds, which Prince William's wife Kate Middleton now wears, is worth about $142,000 today.

Following the wedding, couple entertained 120 guests at Buckingham Palace at a reception that featured 27 wedding cakes, one of which Charles sliced with a ceremonial sword.

For their honeymoon, the couple cruised around the Mediterranean on the royal yacht Brittania for two weeks.

Donald Trump, Melania Knauss

Reuters

The Donald—Donald Trump, that is—gave marriage a third shot when he wed Slovenian model Melania Knauss in 2005 before about 400 guests at a Episcopal church in Palm Beach, Fla.

Following the wedding, the pair hosted their rehearsal dinner at Trump's newly opened, $42 million Versailles-inspired ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate, which featured 24-karat gold moldings, custom-made crystal chandeliers and marble floors covering 11,000 square feet, AP reported.

Before the wedding, Knauss posed for Vogue magazine with her $1.5 million engagement ring and wedding gown, which cost a reported $200,000. The Christian Dior dress had 300 feet of satin and a 13-foot train that took 550 hours to embroider.

Paul McCartney, Heather Mills

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Sir Paul McCartney wed former model Heather Mills in 2002 in a lavish ceremony with a reported price tag of between $1 million and $3.2 million, USAToday reported. The event was held in Ireland at the 17th century Castle Leslie estate, about 80 miles from Dublin.

Guests included fellow bandmate Ringo Starr, along with Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour and 1960s fashion model Twiggy.

Despite enduring a bitter divorce from Mills, McCartney gave matrimony another try in 2011, marrying millionairess Nancy Shevell, vice president of a transportation conglomerate.

Kid Rock, Pamela Anderson

Eric Estrade | AFP | Getty Images

Just a couple weeks after announcing their engagement, singer Kid Rock and former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson wed on a yacht in Saint-Tropez, France, in 2006.

The nuptials were perhaps most noteworthy for the pair's wedding attire (or lack thereof). Anderson wrote a simple white string bikini. But, according to local officials, the event did not actually result in a legal union, People.com reported at the time. In France, a civil wedding at the mayor's office is required, a spokeswoman said.

"She was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen—like a modern-day Brigitte Bardot," Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon told People.com. "Kid Rock was a total rock star. He gave her a good kiss. Everybody was crying."

Their bliss was short-lived, however, and Anderson filed for divorce a few months later.

Vanisha Mittal, Amit Bhatia

Carl De Souza | AFP | Getty Images

Vanisha Mittal, daughter of ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO Lakshmi N. Mittal, made headlines in 2004 when she wed banker Amit Bhatia in a beyond-the-top event.

The pair hosted an engagement ceremony at the Palace of Versailles and the wedding at the 17th century Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, reported Forbes magazine. The reception featured performances by pop star Kylie Minogue and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower.

One thousand people were invited to the six-day event. While the couple didn't disclose how much the celebration cost, estimates range from $60 million to $78 million, with $1.5 million spent on wine alone, Time magazine reported.

Delphine Arnault, Alessandro Vallarino Gancia

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Delphine Arnault, daughter of LVMH's chairman and chief executive, married Alessandro Vallarino Gancia, heir to an Italian wine fortune, in a lavish wedding that reportedly cost $7 million in 2005 and was the most expensive wedding in French history, reported The Daily.com.

Wearing a John Galliano gown, Arnault rode in a vintage 1930s Rolls-Royce to the Bordeaux cathedral, which was decorated with 5,000 white roses.

A Russian orchestra played at the reception, attended by many notables of the fashion industry, including Chanel's creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, and American designer Marc Jacobs.

But the honeymoon didn't last long. The couple divorced a few years later, parting with considerably less fanfare than they began their union.

Liza Minnelli, David Gest

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Before 850 guests at New York City's Regent Hotel, actress Liza Minnelli and music promoter David Gest wed in 2002 during an event possibly best known for the kiss that sealed the deal.

"I have been to many weddings, and I have never seen a kiss like that before," said Donald Trump, one of the attendees, told People magazine.

Elizabeth Taylor served as matron of honor and Michael Jackson as best man in the 36-member bridal party.

After just 16 months, Minnelli petitioned for divorce a day after Gest filed a $10 million lawsuit against her and accused her of beating him. Their negotiations dragged on for years before they finally parted ways in 2007.