Inside the Most Decadent Celebrity Weddings of 2018

In a year that saw, not one, but two royal weddings and a days-long affair that just seemed fit for royalty, there were countless enviable details to cherish in 2018

By Natalie Finn Dec 28, 2018 11:00 AMTags

Over all, 2018 was really the year of the no-frills wedding. Or in some cases, a few frills—such as a Vivienne Westwood gown or Jennifer Lawrence flirting with Larry David ("but it was very one-sided," she says), but also a list of guests sworn to secrecy.

From Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber's courthouse nuptials to Amy Schumer's top-secret ceremony to Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's we-have-no-wedding-plans-wedding at home in Tennessee, this was a year of just getting it done without too much fuss.


Luckily, there were not one, but two royal weddings in jolly old England to savor this year, as well as Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's days-long celebration fit for royalty just a few weeks ago. And a few other celebrities, while they didn't entirely broadcast their plans from the rooftops, also decided they wanted their big days to be at least a little fancy.

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And we're happy to fuss over all of them for you.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

The most talked about wedding of the year was everything the world was hoping for and more, from the inspiring sermon by the American bishop Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry and the embedded tributes to Princess Diana to the bride's Givenchy gown (and the Stella McCartney dress she changed into), the groom's heart-melting asides and the reemergence of Fergie. May 19, 2018, had it all—or at least just enough to tide everyone over until their royal baby arrives in 2019.  

Gwyneth Paltrow & Brad Falchuk

Is it any surprise as to who had the most Pinteresting wedding of the year? The bride insisted that she was being pretty hands-off with the planning, leaving the details to her trusty team, and the groom told E! News that when you have someone so "brilliant and tasteful" for a fiancée you leave the work to her. But the rustic yet elegant setting at an estate in the Hamptons this October was obviously cribbed from the vision board in Paltrow's brain. Guests including Steven SpielbergRobert Downey Jr., Rob Lowe and Jerry Seinfeld and their wives enjoyed pre-ceremony cocktails to the strains of a string quartet and at the reception they dined and danced inside a lantern-lit tent.

Paltrow was, however, very involved with the search for the right dress—which, in her case, turned out to be custom Valentino.

Barbara Bush & Craig Coyne

The activist  married her longtime beau in October at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, surrounded by members of her formidable family dynasty. The bride wore Vera Wang and was walked down the aisle by her dad, former President George W. Bush. Twin sister of the bride Jenna Bush Hager gave a speech that included a piece of their grandparents' epic love story. "I ended with a letter that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother, because I searched all the romantics and Shakespeare just wasn't doing," Jenna said on Today. "He was sitting right next to me as I read it." 

The wedding marked one of the last times they were all together before the death of family patriarch George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, on Nov. 30.

Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank

It couldn't have been easy having to follow her cousin Harry down the aisle—and at the same chapel, no less—just five months later, but Eugenie made her royal wedding day her own. The youngest daughter of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew wore a Peter Pilotto dress and one of the more dramatic tiaras from her grandmother's collection, featuring a 93.7-carat emerald.

Nazanin Mandi & Miguel

The model and the War & Leisure artist also managed to pull off a secret affair, refraining from posting any sort of big-day countdown on social media—but that didn't mean there wasn't some intense planning going on behind the scenes leading up to their Nov. 24 wedding in the great outdoors at Hummingbird Nest Ranch. Mandi wore custom Monique Lhuillier for the ceremony (her longtime dream wedding designer) and changed into a Carly Cushnie dress for the reception. Guests dined on a Mexican feast, toasted with tequila and an In-N-Out truck pulled up late that night to feed the heartiest revelers.

"I was involved every step of the way," Mandi told E! News afterward. "Nothing, nothing was approved without me—and actually nothing was approved without Miguel, either."

And at the end of the day, her expectations were "exceeded."

"A thousand percent!" the satisfied newlywed shared. "My vision, I wanted something very classic and timeless, something that embodied our love and the time of year, fall. So our colors were deep burgundies and black, which was very us. But I say it exceeded it because of a feeling. I can't describe to you how it felt, that day, but the love was so strong and the positivity, and everybody was there for one reason: that was just to celebrate love and you felt it throughout the entire day or night."

Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas

Multiple traditional prenuptial rituals, two ceremonies and three receptions later, the stars were officially husband and wife following a three-day celebration in the bride's native India. And while the parties, the clothes, the food, the family coming from all over the world and the gleeful international coverage were fit for royalty, the festivities rang up as a relative bargain—only around $800,000 (not including Chopra's Ralph Lauren gown and 75-foot veil or the $200,000 Tiffany engagement ring Jonas gave her).

Not bad for a bride who insists she never had grand designs for her wedding day.

"Every girl dreams of being a princess on her wedding day," Chopra told People afterward. "But I never had a plan about what I wanted it to be." That being said, "It melted my heart. Being able to have two big weddings, in India, with our closest family and friends was unbelievably special."

Isha Ambani & Ananda Piramal

The couple may not be as well known outside of India, but they both come from billionaire families and they had Beyoncé perform at the traditional sangeet, held the night before they swapped vows on Dec. 12 at the bride's family home in Mumbai—a 27-story custom home, that is. Newlyweds Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra (Isha was one of her bridesmaids) were in attendance, as were Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, John Kerry, Arianna Huffington, model Natalia Vodianova and Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai Shah Rukh Khan. John Legend performed for 600 guests at Ambani and Paramal's engagement party at the Villa d'Este in Lake Como in September, and the wedding invitations arrived in gold-plated Dolce & Gabbana boxes. All told, some have estimated that the festivities cost as much as $100 million wedding.

There was a strict "no phones" policy, but even guests who were invited via gilded box snuck a few snaps.

Christina El Moussa & Ant Anstead

The Flip or Flop star told us she could see herself marrying her boyfriend of less than a year...and then she did! The couple had a "winter wonderland" themed party at home in Newport Beach, Calif.—and their 70 guests thought they were just showing up to catch a charter bus to watch the local Christmas parade. The bride wore a lacy gown by Ines di Santo—and she has already changed her name to Christina Anstead on Instagram.

Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth

Well, any wedding that has all three Hemsworth brothers in attendance qualifies as a decadent experience.

Whether home is a sprawling farm in Franklin, Tenn., or an ultra-modern tower in Mumbai, getting married on one's own private property seems to be quite the trend. All the better to keep the celebration under wraps until the newlyweds are ready to share their excitement with the world.