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Lavish weddings the norm for celebrity Romeos


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.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
joevanvactor May 22 2014 at 8:25 AM

Kinda funny how we constantly criticize the one percenters who provide jobs for our country, but we glorify these wealthy idiots.

Flag Reply +25 rate up
5 replies
NicktheMan May 22 2014 at 7:31 AM

Somebody once said that some people have their heaven on earth. When they pass to the afterlife is when all reality sets in. Why can't people marry for love, instead of love for "stuff"? It is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the Kingdom of Heaven... Jesus.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
3 replies
BoniLu May 22 2014 at 9:52 AM

A huge waste of money when they could be helping those who need food & shelter! Such a sin!

Flag Reply +13 rate up
arcoregar May 22 2014 at 9:37 AM

The nuptials should read, "I do............until next year"

Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
prosymom arcoregar May 22 2014 at 1:42 PM

...or, "I do...until I don't."

Flag Reply +7 rate up
edgarlongenecker arcoregar May 22 2014 at 1:50 PM

"I do," when read, "I did," should be seen for what the bucks buy; a rental; contingent, upon, the duration...not, a prostitution, with accounts, receivable.... That's taxable income... Edgrrr...

Flag Reply +2 rate up
bigred8690 May 22 2014 at 9:48 AM

Better to get a guy who gives you an ordinary ring but has enough money left over so you don't have to sell s** tapes to make ends meet.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
1 reply
ChingOW Mango bigred8690 May 22 2014 at 9:56 AM

Sell ''s** tapes" - oh yeah - SEX TAPES - gotcha!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
sallyhendrick May 22 2014 at 9:04 AM

Marriage has become nothing but a circus. (More's the pity.) Same sex "marriage" a mockery on a very sacred event. So many of these spectacles end in divorce- but the people involved do not care. They need the publicity! We need to honor traditions which have sustained for centuries- not carnivals ( there is already a child in the latest mockery). To get married like they plan to is an insult to everything we hold dear. But, not to worry, there will be flocks of folks attending and gaping as the two wed. Ugg!

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
kal3sky sallyhendrick May 22 2014 at 11:23 AM

Why is same sex marriage a mockery? All love is sacred, and people are who they are. What's wrong is the ridiculously lavish and extreme ceremonies using money that could be better spent, but in the end, it's their money to spend. But please don't bring same sex marriage into it, all people have the right to live and let live.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
bobsadmassistco kal3sky May 22 2014 at 2:37 PM

Just because people claim they're 'in love' doesn't make their getting married 'sacred', nor does it mean they are actually in love - in most cases it's they're in 'lust' - not that there is anything wrong with that..

Flag +3 rate up
m4christ2 kal3sky May 22 2014 at 3:33 PM

i just dont think it should be called a "marriage" for same sex. marriage is for a man and woman. residing together does not make a marriage. call it something different and a lot of peole would no longer fight to ban it.

Flag +3 rate up
kal3sky sallyhendrick May 22 2014 at 11:25 AM

Why say same sex marriage is a mockery? All love is sacred, and people are who they are and have a right to be. Live and let live. Yes, it's ridiculous the wasted money on these lavish and ugly rings and extreme ceremonies, but at the end of the day, it's their money to burn. Would be nice to use it for a wonderful place for the homeless to get some training and shelter...just sayin...but same sex marriage is not a mockery. All people have the right to love whomever they choose to love.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
turqea.blue May 22 2014 at 8:41 AM

Didn't most of these couples break up!

Flag Reply +10 rate up
Susan May 22 2014 at 10:09 AM

The excess is really alarming, when you think of what this money goes for. It's all very trivial, small and low-class, if you ask me. Nuveau riche. Of course, the royal family in England does things in a big way but that's expected of them. These people featured are far, far from royal. Kimye is a seriously gross couple. Actually, all of the above were strange pairings, doomed from the start. When it comes to celebrities, one must remember that they require massive egos to survive and that is never a good thing in a marriage.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
Rose May 22 2014 at 9:04 AM

Just more of the same.... Obscenely wealthy scions of the rich looking down on the rest of us from their penthouses - waving their privilege and entitlement in our faces, saying "Let them eat cake."

Flag Reply +5 rate up
kmcewan007 May 22 2014 at 8:29 AM

Why can't people marry for love, instead of love for "stuff"?

its like a corporate deal these celbs marriages they get expensive rings so they have money when the divorce is over . as far as the guy hes just the sucker for the moment
right Kanya

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
edgarlongenecker kmcewan007 May 22 2014 at 1:54 PM

Yoiuse guys are dislexic... Kan ye... what the hell is a kanye; a mispelled, Kenya...??? Edgrrr...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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