Wedding Face-Off

Which of Kim Kardashian’s Weddings Was More Ridiculous?

One involved three gown changes and cost $10 million. The other sprawled over two countries and included dinner at Versailles. Which Kim Kardashian “fairy tale” are we more offended by?

via Instagram

It’s the modern fairy tale. A twice-divorced sex tape ingénue graduates to reality TV maven famous for having a larger-than-usual derriere and bewitches the globe with the anticipation for her third trip down the aisle, this time to a walking, talking ego and persistent blasphemer—he who calls himself “Yeezus”—with whom she has a child out of wedlock.

Kim Kardashian wed Kanye West over the weekend in an opulent fete that sprawled over two countries, a celebration of extravagance that’s been dubbed, as mentioned before, a “fairy tale.” Looking at the smattering of details that have been released about the event—the pre-party at Versailles, the ceremony on the Florence estate, the Givenchy gown, the Bocelli performance—it’d be hard to refute that label, for the wedding really did seem like a fairy tale. It also seemed ridiculous. So damn-blasted ridiculous.

Let’s survey the other details here, namely the one where, just three years ago, Kim Kardashian already had her fairy tale wedding. How do we know it was a fairy tale? For starters, the two-part televised special that aired the wedding in its near-entirety called it that in its title. And then, 72 days later, the fairy tale ended in divorce. We are fawning over the happily ever after for the woman who already shoved her first happily ever after down our throats in offensive, reality TV-captured fashion.

And now that she’s doing it again—oh yeah, those E! channel cameras made the trip to Italy—we’re less inclined to choose which affair was the greater fairy tale, but which wedding was more ridiculous?

Kim Kardashian Marries Kanye West

May 24, 2014

Kim Kardashian’s wedding to Kanye West began the week before her actual wedding day, when the reality star and her daughter, North West, flew northeast to Paris to prepare for the extravaganza. After a series of dinners and planning meetings, Kardashian hit the town for a typically understated bachelorette party—you know, the kind that involves posing for pictures at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower with her girlfriends. A modest pre-wedding brunch followed the next morning at the Valentino mansion, which was covered for Vogue by Andre Leon Talley, as these things are.

The rehearsal dinner? That took place at Versailles. Versailles. Did you read that? I remember going to a rehearsal dinner that had lobster tail on the buffet and thinking that was decadent. Theirs was at a flipping palace. Guests were greeted at the palace gates with glasses of champagne and chauffeured in horse-drawn carriages to be met for their private tours of the palace grounds. Then came the actual dinner party, which included a performance by Lana Del Rey. The grand finale was a fireworks display outside palace. Good lord.

The next morning, guests boarded private jets to Florence for the ceremony at the Forte di Belvedere, rented for a cool $400,000. For the nuptials, Kardashian wore a couture Givenchy gown, which she swapped for a more casual Balmain ivory dress at the reception. In lieu of a wedding DJ, the crooner of the current No. 1 Billboard hit, John Legend, was on hand to sing said No. 1 song, “All of Me.” A little known performer by the name of Andrea Bocelli also sang.

The reception’s four-course dinner was prepared by three-Michelin-star restaurateur Giorgio Pinchiorri. The wedding cake had seven tiers. The total cost for the wedding is estimated at around $2.8 million—and that doesn’t include the week in Paris. Because, you know, how could you even put a price tag on that?

Kim Kardashain Marries Kris Humphries

August 20, 2011

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Kim Kardashian’s second marriage—lest we forget, a pre-sex-tape-fame Kim eloped in Las Vegas when she was 19—was billed, with no irony, as “America’s version of the Royal Wedding.” Weep, laugh, or do with that what you will. The groom was New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries, an attractive galoot of a man most Americans were unfamiliar with and have forgotten completely about since.

In advance of the nuptials, Kardashian released a “wedding fragrance” called “Kim Kardashian Love,” so we all could smell as strong as their bond was. Seventy-two days later, Kim and Kris were divorced. Maybe she should’ve splurged on a stronger scent.

In any case, the ceremony took place in Montecito, California, and reportedly cost a humble $10 million. Between the ceremony and reception, Kardashian wore three different Vera Wang gowns, worth a total of $600,000. The guests sipped $400,000 worth of Perrier-Jouet champagne and feasted on the sight of $2 million worth of floral arrangements. The cake had 10 tiers and cost nearly $20,000.

The guest list of 500—yes, 500—included Ryan Seacrest, Lindsay Lohan, and Eva Longoria. But the guest list was hardly exclusive. We were all, in essence, invited, as Kim’s Fairtyale Wedding: A Kardashian Event aired for over the course of four hours on the E! channel, for all of us to watch. The Kardashian family earned a reported $12 million to $15 million for the TV rights to the wedding. It aired on October 10, 2011. Twenty-one days later, Kim and Kris divorced.

Which is more ridiculous?

When Kardashian’s wedding to Kris Humphries drummed up so much publicity, there was at least a smidgen of self-awareness that we were lavishing a similar amount of importance as we did to the wedding of the Prince of England as we were to that of a reality TV star. There was the teensiest bit of shame in it all—albeit the smallest, teensiest bit.

But, and perhaps because she’s been a part of our universe for so long at this point, that self-awareness and shame seems to be missing in the coverage of this new wedding to Kanye West. Worse, there seems to be a bit of pop-culture amnesia going on, with the unabashed embrace of the “fairy tale” narrative continuing on as if the blind rage that was incited when the last “fairy tale” ended in such a swift divorce never happened.

By that measure, this most recent of the Kim Kardashian weddings is undoubtedly the most ridiculous. And we look forward to hearing all the details of her next one.