A wedding dress might be the most expensive item of clothing a woman buys in her entire lifetime – but there’s expensive and then there’s ka-ching! Whether it’s simple, yet custom, or embellished with jewels, those white dresses can get awfully pricey. So it’s a good thing these celebrity brides had limitless wedding budgets or royal connections. From Victoria Beckham to Princess Diana (whose 1981 gown will go on display at Kensington Palace this summer), we’ve rounded up the most expensive gowns (in US dollars) ever worn. And, wowza, you have to see them to believe them!
1 / 20
20. Grace Kelly ($10,000)
For Kelly's 1956 wedding to Monaco's Prince Rainier III, she turned to MGM costume designer Helen Rose to make her dress. It was crafted from 100 yards of silk and 25 yards of taffeta. At the time it was reported to have cost around $10,000, but today, the price tag would be closer to $85,000.
2 / 20
19. Katie Holmes ($67,000)
Holmes didn't jump on a couch, but she did spend $67,000 on a lace Giorgio Armani dress when she married Tom Cruise in 2006. The off-the-shoulder custom ivory gown was embellished with Valenciennes lace and Swarovski crystals.
3 / 20
18. Ivanka Trump ($67,000)
Ivanka opted for a custom Vera Wang gown, with three-quarter sleeves and layers of Chantilly and Lyon lace, when she wed real estate developer Jared Kushner. But it was her plethora of diamond accessories that you couldn't take your eyes off of.
4 / 20
17. Nicky Hilton ($103,000)
The hotel heiress isn't a royal, but that wasn't going to stop her and James Rothschild from having their nuptials at a palace. Kensington Palace, to be specific. So, naturally, her dress had to be fitting for the venue. The magnificent Valentino gown had three different tones of ivory and silver guipure, crystal embellishments and a 10-foot long train. Add in the lace cathedral-length veil and WHOA.
5 / 20
16. Madonna ($106,000)
Madge enlisted pal – and maid of honour – Stella McCartney to design her gown for her 2001 wedding to filmmaker Guy Ritchie. The strapless ivory silk gown was beautiful, boasting a fitted corset bodice and long train. But if these are friend prices, yikes!
6 / 20
15. Victoria Adams ($135,000)
She wasn't called Posh for nothing. When the former Spice Girl married soccer star David Beckham in 1999, she wore a Vera Wang dress looking very much like a princess, from the strapless corset bodice to the huge skirt that tapered into a 20-foot train.
7 / 20
14. Jessica Biel ($135,000)
Just because it was Biel's first wedding didn't mean she had to wear white. Justin Timberlake's bride opted for a custom pink Giambattista Valli haute couture number for the 2012 wedding (that she showed off on the cover of People) and it was more than a choice. It was a revelation.
8 / 20
13. Melania Knauss ($135,000)
For the former FLOTUS' wedding to Donald Trump in 2005, the model opted for a custom sleeveless, hand-beaded Dior creation that was made from 300 feet of white Duchesse satin. It took 550 hours to embroider and weighed 60 pounds, even making the cover of Vogue.
9 / 20
12. Petra Ecclestone ($137,000)
For her 2011 Italian wedding to businessman James Stunt, the heiress wore a strapless couture gown by Vera Wang. Not much else is known about the dress, but her ensemble was made complete by a gorgeous tiara and veil.
10 / 20
11. Meghan Markle ($180,000)
Meghan wore an understated, romantic gown by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy that was traditional and befitting of a royal affair. However, it was the cathedral-length veil, epic train, three-quarter length sleeves and boat neck cut that gave it a modern twist.
11 / 20
10. Catherine Zeta-Jones ($187,000)
Zeta-Jones' custom ivory Christian Lacroix was a stunner, thanks to the hand-beaded touches. Paired with a flowing Chantilly lace train and diamond tiara (that is rumoured to have cost significantly more than the dress), it's safe to say groom Michael Douglas was wowed.
12 / 20
9. Diana Spencer ($154,000)
The royal wedding of 1981 was watched by millions all over the world. Diana wore the now-iconic ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown, which had more than 10,000 pearls and sequins sewn into the fabric using gold thread. It also had that unforgettable 25-foot train and 153-yard tulle veil. The late princess personally selected David and Elizabeth Emanuel to create the dress because she adored a chiffon blouse they previously designed for her.
13 / 20
8. Marie-Chantal Miller ($300,000)
In 1995, Miller wed Prince Pavlos in a traditional ivory, pearl-encrusted Valentino gown. It had long lace sleeves, a tulip-shaped front and a 14-foot Chantilly lace train. If the details sound exhaustive, they were. It reportedly took four months and 25 people to make it.
14 / 20
7. Mariah Carey ($335,000)
Before Mimi and James Packer broke off their engagement, she wrangled up a dress for herself. And not just any dress. A Valentino beauty that cost a small fortune, which she burned to a crisp in her video for breakup anthem "I Don't." Damn, Mariah sure has a flair for the dramatic.
15 / 20
6. Coleen McLoughlin ($392,000)
For her 2008 wedding to footballer Wayne Rooney, the bride chose a cream strapless Marchesa dress. The bodice was satin and the skirt featured intricate tiers of pleated silk organza. Super sweet (and stunningly expensive).
16 / 20
5. Kate Middleton ($427,000)
For her 2011 wedding to Prince William, Kate went with a classic gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, complete with lace sleeves and a full skirt. Then there was the nine-foot train and silk tulle veil.
17 / 20
4. Amal Alamuddin ($512,000)
The British barrister wore a custom off-the-shoulder Oscar de la Renta gown featuring hand embroidery, pearl detailing, intricate beading and 14 yards of Chantilly lace appliques for her wedding to that actor/director/writer/producer guy she settled for. Hers was the last wedding dress the late designer created before he passed away and for a while there, it was featured in an Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.
18 / 20
3. Kim Kardashian ($530,000)
For her Italian wedding to Kanye West in 2014, Kim K. shocked everyone with her surprisingly conservative custom Givenchy haute couture gown designed by Riccardo Tisci. It had full-length sleeves, sheer back panels, fishtail bottom and a long lace train. It could've easily been overshadowed by the walls of flowers and performances by Andrea Bocelli and John Legend but, nope.
19 / 20
2. Victoria Swarovski ($1.2 million)
The jewelry heiress' custom-made dress was adorned with over 500,000 crystals, and not surprisingly, weighed over 100 pounds. Add in the 20-foot train and 26-foot veil and groom Werner Mürz must've had a heck of a time steering her around the dance floor.
20 / 20
1. Angelababy (Unknown)
No one knows how much the Chinese superstar spent on her custom Dior gown at her extravagant 2015 wedding to actor Huang Xiaoming, but considering the details – 115 feet of ivory satin organza, 165 feet of tulle, nearly 100 hand-cut rose bouquets made of Chantilly lace, not to mention the 10-foot train – and the fact that it took five months to create, it's safe to assume that a massive chunk of the $31-million wedding budget was spent on bridalwear.
See also: 20 rules for a happy marriage.