Lavish weddings the norm for celebrity Romeos

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Lavish weddings the norm for celebrity Romeos
FILE - This Aug. 31, 2011 file photo shows newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries attending a party thrown in their honor at Capitale in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
American actors Nicolette Sheridan, left, Felicity Huffman, center, and her husband William H. Macy walk out Saint Germain l'Auxerrois church after the wedding ceremony of American actress Eva Longoria, star of television series "Desperate Housewives," and French basketball player Tony Parker, in Paris, Saturday, July 7, 2007. Parker and Eva Longoria are in France for their wedding this weekend, with a reception planned at a historic chateau outside Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Unidentifed guests leave the wedding ceremony of NBA player Tony Parker, of France, and U.S. actress Eva Longoria, Saturday July 7 , 2007 in Paris. Parker and Longoria, a star on the U.S. television series "Desperate Housewives," are in France for their wedding this weekend, with a reception planned at a historic chateau outside Paris. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
U.S. actresses Brenda Strong, left, Felicity Huffman, center, and Nicolette Sheridan, leave the wedding ceremony of NBA player Tony Parker, of France, and U.S. actress Eva Longoria, Saturday July 7 , 2007 in Paris. Parker and Longoria, a star on the U.S. television series "Desperate Housewives," are in France for their wedding this weekend, with a reception planned at a historic chateau outside Paris. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
U.S. actresses Brenda Strong, leaves the wedding ceremony of NBA player Tony Parker, of France, and U.S. actress Eva Longoria, Saturday July 7 , 2007 in Paris. Parker and Longoria, a star on the U.S. television series "Desperate Housewives," are in France for their wedding this weekend, with a reception planned at a historic chateau outside Paris. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
U.S. actress Eva Longoria, a star on the U.S. television series "Desperate Housewives," waves as she arrives at a Paris City Hall, Friday, July 6, 2007, for her civil wedding with NBA player Tony Parker. The religious wedding is expected to be celebrated on Saturday July 7, 2007, followed by a reception planned at a historic chateau outside Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
PARIS - JULY 07: Mario Lopez and girlfriend Karina Smirnoff arrive to Tony Parker and Eva Longoria's wedding at Saint Germain L'Auxerrois church, on July 7, 2007, in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Ausset-Lacroix/ WireImage)
** FILE ** Liz Hurley and Arun Najar are seen in Mailand, Italy in this Feb. 26, 2004 file photo. Hurley married Nayar in a private civil ceremony at a 15-century castle, and photographers and spectators descended Saturday, March 3, 2007 on the quiet town of Winchcombe in western England to catch a glimpse of their lavish wedding party. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
FILE - In this July 7, 2010 file photo, British actress Liz Hurley, left, and her husband Arun Nayar, right, leave Valentino's Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2006 file photo released by Rogers and Cowan, actor Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes pose in their wedding attire at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle overlooking Lake Bracciano outside of Rome. Cruise and Homes are calling it quits after five years of marriage. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe said Friday June 29, 2012 that the couple is divorcing, but called it a private matter for the family. (AP Photo/Robert Evans, File)
A man walks past a photo of engaged U.S. actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes kissing, shown in the lakeside town of Bracciano, some 43 kilometers (27 miles) from Rome, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006. Tom Cruise, waving to fans, arrived in a van in this medieval town Saturday ahead of his star-studded wedding in a castle to actress Katie Holmes. A couple of hours earlier, Holmes and her baby, Suri, were driven in a limousine through the castle gate as rain started falling. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
A picture portraying U.S actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise kissing each other is seen in a bar of the lakeside town of Bracciano, some 43 kilometers (27 miles) from Rome, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006, where the couple, who became engaged in June 2005, are expected to marry. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Vanisha Mittal, right, walks with her brother Aditya Mittal at Vaux le Vicomte before her wedding in Paris, France, Tuesday June 22, 2004. Vanisha Mittal, only daughter of Indian billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Usha Mittal, married London-based financier Amit Bhatia, the son of Renu and Arun Bhatia, on Tuesday June 22, 2004. Image made available Wednesday June 23, 2004. (AP photo /ISPAT Communications ) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT **
Vanisha Mittal, photographed with her brother Aditya Mittal, left, as they arrive for her wedding in Versailles outside Paris, France on Sunday, June 20, 2004. Vanisha Mittal, daughter of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, is marrying London-based financier Amit Bhatia, the son of Renu and Arun Bhatia. (AP PHOTO/ISPAT Communications) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT **
Vaux le Vicomte is seen before the wedding of Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia in Paris, France, Tuesday June 22, 2004. Vanisha Mittal, only daughter of Indian billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Usha Mittal, married London-based financier Amit Bhatia, the son of Renu and Arun Bhatia, on Tuesday June 22, 2004. Image made available Wednesday June 23, 2004. (AP photo /ISPAT Communications ) **EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT **
The Battle Gallery at the Chateau de Versailles, outside Paris is seen before dinner is served for guests celebrating the exchange of rings between Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal during their wedding festivities, Sunday, June 20, 2004. Vanisha Mittal, daughter of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Usha Mittal, is marrying London-based financer Amit Bhatia, the son of Renu and Arun Bhatia. Picture taken June 20, 2004. (AP Photo/Xp1.com, Pool) **EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT **
Amit Bhatia and his fiancee Vanisha Mittal, left, pose at their pre-wedding party at Parc St. Cloud in Paris, France, Monday June 21, 2004. Vanisha Mittal, only daughter of Indian billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Usha Mittal, married London-based financier Amit Bhatia, the son of Renu and Arun Bhatia, on Tuesday June 22, 2004. Image made available Wednesday June 23, 2004. (AP photo /ISPAT Communications ) **EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT **
Kim Kardashian and U.S rap singer Kanye West arrive at a luxury shop in Paris, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The gates of the Chateau de Versailles, once the digs of Louis XIV, will be thrown open to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their guests for a private evening this week ahead of their marriage (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Kim Kardashian leaves a luxury shop in Paris, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The gates of the Chateau de Versailles, once the digs of Louis XIV, will be thrown open to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their guests for a private evening this week ahead of their marriage (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
Mary Jo Shannon, grandmother of Kim Kardashian, arrives at Kanye West's Paris apartment, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. The gates of the Chateau de Versailles, once the digs of Louis XIV, will be thrown open to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their guests for a private evening this week ahead of their marriage. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
U.S rap singer Kanye West enters his car as he leaves a luxury shop in Paris, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. The gates of the Chateau de Versailles, once the digs of Louis XIV, will be thrown open to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their guests for a private evening this week ahead of their marriage. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
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By ELAINE GANLEY
Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- As Romeo said: "My bounty is as boundless as the sea ... the more I give to thee, the more I have." His modern-day counterparts - the kind with deep pockets - are going all out to offer extravagant, star-studded weddings to their own Juliets.

Hip-hop star Kanye West may uphold glam-set tradition this week with a wedding to TV reality star Kim Kardashian. The office of the mayor of Florence and the Chateau of Versailles say the couple will celebrate in palatial, centuries-old venues in Italy and France. The potential bride and groom, however, are staying mum. It would be the first marriage for him, the third for her.

Despite the hype preceding celebrity wedding vows, the special moment and the after-parties are often locked in secrecy, with photographs going exclusively to the highest bidder.

And love itself is often less immortal than Shakespeare had in mind. Kardashian's second marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries lasted 72 days.

A look at some of the more glamorous celebrity weddings of late:

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THE TV MARRIAGE: Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries

There were few secrets about the Kardashian-Humphries marriage in August 2011: It was televised. Fans had to wait until October to see the two-part special on E!, but the Kardashians posted a stream of updates on their blogs and websites.

Humphries proposed on bended knee with a 20.5-carat ring by spelling out "Will you marry me?" in rose petals. Among the 440 guests at the California wedding were boxing champ Sugar Ray Leonard, Lindsay Lohan and Eva Longoria.

THE FANTASY: Eva Longoria-Tony Parker

Longoria, who found fame on the TV soap "Desperate Housewives," and NBA star Tony Parker married in 2007 at a Paris church that once frequented by royalty. It was stage two of a weekend extravaganza - all hidden from view, even by black umbrellas at the church. Stage one was a civil ceremony conducted by then-Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. The Baroque 17th-century Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau near Paris opened its gates for the grand finale where guests swept across its marble-floored ballroom. The couple divorced in 2011.

THE FAIRYTALE: Liz Hurley-Arun Nayar

The wedding of actress-model Liz Hurley and businessman Arun Nayar began in Britain and moved through several cities in India over six days. The blessing and party in 2007 at Sudeley Castle west of London drew the likes of Elton John, arriving by helicopter, Kate Moss and actor Hugh Grant, Hurley's ex. From there the wedding moved to Mumbai for celebrations that ended at the Maharaja of Jodphur's palace for a traditional Hindu ceremony, some 60 guests in tow. Secrecy was so tight that guests' cellphones were banned, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. The couple divorced in 2011.

THE NEVER-ENDING KISS: Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise arrived for his 2006 wedding at a 15th-century Italian castle accompanied by flag bearers in medieval costumes as he walked down a stone ramp, drums rolling. Bride Katie Holmes wore Armani and the designer was among the guests in Bracciano outside Rome, along with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey and Victoria Beckham. Italian singer Andrea Bocelli serenaded the couple, and fireworks lit the sky. Despite the lavish accoutrements, the couple exchanged vows in a former stable decorated with white flowers in a Scientology ceremony. Then came their "never-ending kiss" - so long that guests shouted for them to stop, Giorgio Armani recounted later. The couple divorced in 2012.

THE $60 MILLION BASH: Vanisha Mittal-Amit Bhatia

Bollywood stars were flown in from India along with chefs for the most opulent, secretive wedding blowout that France has seen in a long time. The Indian steel mogul Lakshmi Mittal paid 55 million euros ($60 million at the time) - then about the price of an Airbus A320 - to fete the 2004 marriage of his daughter Vanisha to investment banker Amit Bhatia, according to Paris-Match magazine. The six-day event began at the Tuileries Gardens, proceeded to the Chateau de Versailles then continued at the Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau. Some 1,500 guests from around the world received silver-encased, 20-page invitations, Indian newspapers reported.

THREE'S A CHARM: Kim Kardashian-Kanye West

After two divorces, that may be the logic for 33-year-old Kardashian, who has a daughter, named North, with the 36-year-old West. The couple, Kardashian family in tow, is in Paris this week, shopping at Givenchy.

Their expected wedding pre-party could be lavish enough for a Sun King. The Chateau de Versailles - former digs of King Louis XIV - says the couple are hosting guests there Friday evening on a private visit. Kardashian's spokeswoman Ina Treciokas called the Versailles statement "a fabrication" and wouldn't comment further on possible wedding plans.

But the Florence mayor's office says they'll marry Saturday at the imposing 16th-century Belvedere Fort, next to the city's famed Boboli Gardens. A spokeswoman says they rented the fort for 300,000 euros ($410,000), and a Protestant minister will preside.

The couple's silence has raised questions. Is this a calculated strategy to raise the all-important celebrity wedding buzz? Or are they just having so much fun in Paris that they've forgotten the worldwide publicity machine?

Time to wait and see.

Lavish weddings the norm for celebrity Romeos
Here's a closer look at Avril Lavigne's 17-carat stunner.
Avril's engagement ring was nothing to sneeze at. Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger gave her a 14-carat stunner that is so big, we're not sure how she moves her hand.
La Toya Jackson's engagement ring is a whopping 17.5 carats. That bling nearly takes up her whole hand!

Evelyn Lozada, 37, got engaged to baseball player Carl Crawford on Christmas Day. The pregnant reality star posted a photo of her mammoth rock on Instagram along with a single word: YES! PEOPLE reports that the custom-made ring is a 14.5-carat diamond.

Sources close to TMZ say the rock cost Crawford around $1.4 million.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade announced their engagement on Dec. 20th. 'Sooooo this happened...#Yessss,' Union posted on Instagram.

Her stunning 8.5 carat cushion cut diamond ring also came with diamond earrings and diamond studs. The rock reportedly set Wade back $1 million.

Kim Kardashian shared her joy (and this stunning rock) with the world when she posted this photo to Instagram. The two got engaged on Oct. 21st. Kanye West picked a 15-carat diamond for Kim, and it reportedly cost between $4  to $5 million.

Ciara's fiance, rapper Future, surprised her with a 15-carat, $500K engagement ring on her 28th birthday in October.

The 'Big Bang Theory' actress and her tennis player love Ryan Sweeting got engaged in September after three months of dating.

Her gorgeous ring is an impressive 2.5-carat sparkler. It reportedly cost around $65,000.

On Sept. 4th,  a rep for Scarlett Johansson confirmed that she and Romain Dauriac were indeed engaged. He reportedly popped the question about a month earlier.

There's no word on the price of her Art Deco stunner.

The 'High School Musical' star Ashley Tisdale and fiance Christopher French got engaged on Aug. 8th. French reportedly popped the question on the 103rd floor of the Empire State Building in NYC.

It's hard to miss the enormous square-cut gem that some have described as a 'planet.'

On Oct. 3, 'Glee' star Naya Rivera and 25-year-old rapper Big Sean confirmed their engagement.

Celebrity jewelry expert Michael O'Connor told E! that he estimates the ring is '3.5 carats to four, but closer to four carats with a platinum setting. The diamond looks to be in very good quality, of course, so her ring probably retailed at around $70,000."

On Oct. 13, the ecstatic celeb posted this photo of her gorgeous engagement ring.

In a post on her website entitled 'We're Engaged,' she wrote: 'William and I are overwhelmed by all of your warm wishes. Thank you so much for sharing in this special moment.' 

Her fiance, William Tell, is a USC law student who Something Corporate fans may recognize as the band's former guitarist and backing vocalist.

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