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How Much Do Celeb Really Pay for Their Blow-Out Weddings (We’re Looking at You, Halle)?

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Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez (Getty Images)

Burning Question: I cannot imagine that someone like Halle Berry would spend anything less than a million dollars on her wedding this weekend. Is that what celebrities pay? I imagine that money is no object. — C. Pomeroy

Well, Berry and her equally sex-a-licious fiancé, Olivier Martinez, have touched down in France, a country not exactly known for Sam's Club pricing. Wedding experts tell me they wouldn't be shocked if the pregnant Oscar winner plunked down a cool mil — or two — for her third wedding over there in the land of escargot.

Then again, there's a chance that she'll actually make some money, too.

First, the basics, courtesy of Harmony Walton, owner of the Bridal Bar, which oversees many a celebrity wedding. Technically, it's not impossible for a star to pay as little as $10,000 for a nuptial "if it's just her and her family."

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"But if it's 250 of her closest friends, she could spend $2 million," Walton says. "I would say a typical celebrity wedding these days is upwards of $500,000. But that can get a lot higher very quickly."

Especially if the star chooses to, say, have a destination wedding. In, say, France.

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Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger recently wed in the South of France after several days of events. ( …

"Destination weddings for celebrities typically mean multiple days of events," Walton explains. "So it's essentially several weddings, if you're paying for a welcome dinner, rehearsal dinner. And for a destination wedding, everyone is supposed to be invited for everything. So that way, a wedding budget can double or even triple fairly quickly."

If Berry also values her privacy, she could spend an estimated 10 percent more on top of her wedding budget just for security teams and extra lawyers to craft the necessary gagging documents. Buying out a fancy hotel — to ensure still more privacy — could set Berry back another $1 million.

But I did mention that Berry could actually make some of her money back, and not just by selling a wedding photo or two to a weekly rag?

"Chances are she did not pay for her wedding dress," Walton notes. "Sometimes there are even bidding wars where designers pay for a star to wear one of their dresses for a wedding."

Yes. Really. As for the potential payday?

"If it's a gift, you're already looking at $10-, $20-, $30,000 in free couture," Walton points out. "But I have seen designers actually pay upwards of $15,000 to $20,000."

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