PARIS – 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 – those with deep pockets – are going all out to offer extravagant, star-studded weddings to their own Juliets.
A look at some of the more glamorous celebrity weddings of late finds:
THE TV MARRIAGE
There were few secrets about Kim Kardashian and Kris 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.
Eva Longoria, who found fame on the TV soap “Desperate Housewives,” and NBA star Tony Parker married in 2007 at a Paris church that once was 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. The couple divorced in 2011.
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, India, for celebrations that ended at the Maharaja of Jodphur’s palace for a traditional Hindu ceremony. Secrecy was so tight that guests’ cellphones were banned, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. The couple divorced in 2011.
THE NEVER-ENDING KISS
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 Romerey and Victoria Beckham. Italian singer Andrea Bocelli serenaded the couple, and fireworks lit the sky. After the ceremony 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
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. Indian steel mogul Lakshmi Mittal paid 55 million euros ($60 million at the time) 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 received silver-encased, 20-page invitations.