The recent wedding of Madina Shokirova and a groom we only know as Sardor was one glittering, over-the-top affair that must be seen to be believed. It’s one of the reasons it’s probably time to replace “princess wedding” with “Russian oligarch’s daughter’s wedding” as the highest standard of lavish nuptials.
To start, let’s just take a look at the bride’s gown, a custom-made design by British house Ralph & Russo that reportedly cost more than $600,000. That’s $200,000 more than Kim Kardashian‘s wedding dress, in case you’re keeping score. According to Eurasia.net, which translated Russian tabloid reports, it featured intricate silver embroidery and several thousand pearls and Swarovski crystals. Judging by the videos posted on Instagram, Shokirova had to move rather slowly to pull its gigantic train behind her.
Shokirova is the daughter of Ilhom Shokirov, who owns hotels outside of Moscow, one in Uzbekistan, and 65 percent of a mall in Uzbekistan. Differing reports say there were either 900 or 9,000 guests in attendance at the Radisson Royal Congress Park Hotel in Moscow (our guess is 900). Eurasia.net reports there are rumors that the marriage is something of an advantageous match for the bride’s father.
Regardless of the motives behind the wedding, Shokirova took full advantage of her father’s jet to fly her friends to Marbella, Spain, for a bachelorette celebration aboard a private yacht, according to The Sun. The wedding that followed took place over several days and featured other gorgeous gowns for more traditional ceremonies.
But, oh, that main reception takes the cake — as in a 10-foot confection rolled in by three men.
While the gown made it rather difficult for Shokirova to do any fancy moves for the couple’s first dance, they were accompanied by a troupe of professionals … and a lot of dry ice.
They also enjoyed a live performance by a Russian cabaret singer.
Though a price tag for the whole affair has not been revealed, it probably won’t reach the $1 billion spent on the wedding of Said Gutseriev (heir of a Russian oil tycoon) to Khadija Uzhakhova in March. A chunk of that change went to hiring Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, and Sting to perform. In June, the Moscow wedding of Armenian heir Sargis Karapetyan and Salome Kintsurashvili also made headlines for the bargain price of $2 million, which included having Maroon 5 perform. But Russians aren’t the only ones throwing weddings that rival a small country’s economy: The nuptials of Chinese actress Angelababy to Huang Xiaoming cost an estimated $43 million.
Drool away at the photos of all of these affairs, and then remind yourself of everything you were ever taught about money not buying happiness or love.