Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake are spending $6.5 million for a wedding? That sounds like a lot, even for a star's wedding.
—Young Romance, Wyoming, via Twitter
The rumor right now is that this weekend's Biel-on-Timberlake knot-tying extravaganza has topped €5 million, which is, yes, more than $6 million. As for where all that money might be going, put it this way: It ain't the dress.
First let's compare this alleged budget to other celebrity weddings. We have the now-defunct TomKat union, which cost a reported $2 million to kick off.
The wedding of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, who is now engaged Justin Theroux, was a reported $1 million, while Madonna and Guy Ritchie spent about $1.5 million.
Of course none of those were as expensive as the $78 million affair that one rich couple had (can you guess who?), but when you compare all these couples, it sure looks like Biel and Timberlake may be having an pretty pricey wedding, even for Italy, and even for a pair of stars.
If the figure is real, "it's definitely a lot," says Bridal Bar founder Harmony Walton. "Especially if this is an intimate affair, which it is rumored to be. However, with celebrity destination weddings in places like Italy, there are things that come into play that can jump a wedding budget dramatically."
Such as? Hey, glad you asked.
Of course, locations cost money. Completely private locations manned by untold numbers of security guards, that's even more money.
"If they've booked out a whole hotel—and chances are, they have—they're probably footing the bill for all of their guests," Walton explains. "And if those guests are there for 5 to 7 days, that could be a million alone, depending on the hotel."
It's also common for stars to close down any properties adjacent to a wedding venue to shut out paparazzi; that's maybe another million, if the location is chic enough.
It's also common for stars to spend "as much on a rehearsal dinner as they do on a wedding," Walton notes. And we're probably not talking about just one dinner and then a wedding. After all, guests who travel for a destination wedding should be given stuff to do, right?
"Events leading up to a destination wedding tend to be experiential," Walton tells me. "Maybe they're renting vintage cars for 75 of their closest friends so they can do a car rally up the coast of Italy. If they're getting helicopter tours for their guests to take tours of the neighboring islands, that's going to cost."
You get the idea. Suddenly, $6.5 million is looking pretty easy to spend, no?