Love can be very pricey, apparently.
Weddings in films and books aim to be aspirational, featuring princess-like gowns, floral “fences,” and opulent venues outside of most couple’s budgets. A peek at bridal magazines or quick scroll through wedding-planning websites reveals just that. It’s luxe, luxe, luxe all the time. As the adage goes, if you have to ask how much it costs, then—oops—you can’t afford it.
From a fine-arts museum in Boston to a private island in the Bahamas owned by a celeb, here’s where to book The Big Day if money is of no concern.
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Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
WHERE: Hong Kong
Because the Legendary Wedding Package is all-inclusive, this means making few decisions. Among the package’s inclusions are a pre-honeymoon weekend at any Four Seasons resort plus access to a Four Seasons private jet to Europe to take wedding photos, followed by—on the wedding week—a bridal-shower sleepover with a Nail Bar visit, four days of spa treatments leading up to the wedding day, a pre-wedding family dinner, flowers/table décor/food/wine/entertainment/cocktails for up to 200 guests, poolside Champagne brunch for 60 people, and four nights in the resort’s Presidential Suite. But wait, that’s not all! A five-night honeymoon at any Four Seasons Resort is also folded into the cost.
Cost: $2 million
Langham Hotel Chicago
Downtown Chicago, along the Chicago River, is home to one of only four Langham Hotels properties in the U.S. Literally everything is included for nuptials at The Langham, Chicago if you spring for the Ultimate Luxury Wedding Package. This can accommodate a wedding for up to 200 guests. From the wedding dress, invitations, event decor, and photography services to a bridal afternoon tea, salon day for the bridal party, and post-wedding brunch—plus limo transportation, the Presidential Suite and Langham Club all weekend long—the package is “designed to take the stress out of planning.” Turndown gifts for guests are even covered.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
WHERE: Little Torch Key, Florida
The cost to swap I-dos on this private island soars with the “Exclusively Yours” package, which requires a three-night stay at each of the 30 one-bedroom suites, but you’ll need that time to properly celebrate anyway. Details of what’s included (from motor-yacht transfers to evening turndown service, plus essentials like meals three times a day for guests and a wedding planner’s services) are outlined in this brochure and include—most importantly—exclusive access to the island and resort for up to 60 guests. Further customize with options like a casino night, beach barbecue, tarot-card readings, banner-plane fly-bys, yoga for the ladies, or deep-sea fishing or cigar-rolling lessons for the guys.
Belmond Hotel Caruso
WHERE: Amalfi Coast, Italy
Is there any place more romantic than the Amalfi Coast with its craggy cliffs and water vistas? By marrying at this gorgeous 50-room property, you’ll greet guests at a 900-year-old Duomo of Ravello. According to this local photographer—who swoons over the photos taken there—a wedding runs well into six-figures. Pick from seven venues (earmarked for anywhere from 32 to 170 guests) that include Wagner Gardens (like this couple did for their 18-guest wedding in 2018, hosting dinner under the olive trees) and Poolside Restaurant & Bar, as well as more traditional spaces.
Cost: Up to $430,000
WHERE: Exuma Cay Islands, Bahamas
Desperately want to whittle down the guest list? Booking this 700-acre private island (owned by illusionist David Copperfield; can he make your chatty uncle disappear?) means you commit to—magically, pardon the pun—having only 24 people at the wedding. That’s the maximum amount of resort guests, period. There may be only five guest houses but, boy, are they posh: each has a private beach, four-poster bed, his and her baths, and a mahogany wrap-around deck. A private chef is at your guests’ service, serving meals at a variety of venues (such as the new 2,200-square-foot Balinese Beach Pavilion) so no one gets bored; and everyone has access to entertainment like a fireworks show, “drive-in movie,” Olympic-level games, Karaoke Night and a picnic on the sandbar.
Monarch Beach Resort
WHERE: Dana Point, California
Are your guests either foodies with picky palates or total imbibers who must have top-shelf liquor? One reason this posh Orange County resort’s weddings run so high, according to this Money article, is due to a minimum $20,000 food-and-beverage requirement in most cases. But packages also include a complimentary guest suite for the couple as well as a menu tasting. Venues range from an intimate Wine Cave (up to 50 guests) to the 12,000-square-foot Pacific Ballroom (up to 700, with a corridor mimicking Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors). Bachelor in Paradise’s Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert chose to get married here in 2016.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
WHERE: Boston, Massachusetts
If you or your sweetie are art aficionados, and don’t get jazzed up about flowers like some people do, get married at this Boston museum where the art is the focal point. This is especially true at the I.M. Pei-designed, two-level Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, one of the venues and home to seven new galleries. But first, before you can pick out the tablecloth colors, a $30,000 donation to the museum’s Director’s Circle Patron level is required. Weddings, on average, begin at $110,000 for 50 guests, per Wedding Spot. More details are in the museum’s events brochure; venues comfortably hold between 30 and 3,500 guests.
Bear Flag Farm
WHERE: Winters, California
Wedding venues at Napa vineyards are hard to come by (many opt for Sonoma or Mendocino counties instead), which is what makes this farm with a vineyard so coveted. Winters is 50 minutes away, a half-hour west of Sacramento, so you could still build that wine-country destination-wedding weekend. Also, is there anything more charming than getting married on a picture-perfect farm that harvests fruits, tomatoes, olive oil and more? But it’ll still set you back six figures, according to this Money article.