Athletes are known to throw some of the craziest parties around (a certain $400,000 champagne night does come to mind). But as LeBron James and Savannah Brinson’s recent nuptial bash reminds us, no expense is spared when it comes to what should be the greatest party of a man’s life: his wedding. Herein, we take a look at how the other half weds with some of the most unforgettable NBA unions in recent memory.
Just married: LeBron James and Savannah Brinson
The wedding that proves you can have it all: King James finally married his longtime high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson, earlier this week, just three months after James led the Heat in winning their second straight championship title. It was a long time coming—James proposed to Brinson on New Year’s 2011. The secret gathering in San Diego only had 200 guests in attendance, including reportedly many members of the Heat organization. However, it proved to be more of a marathon than you might be used to: the celebration lasted three days in all, concluding with an epic brunch. No costs have yet been leaked, but in an earlier interview with the Associated Press, James hinted that he’s not cutting any corners: “Savannah gets whatever she wants on her day, the wedding day she always dreamed of.” Now that’s a gentleman.
Celebrity sighting: Carmelo Anthony and La La Vazquez
The New York City wedding of the Anthony’s—still our favourite married couple in the NBA, despite rumours that they’re on the rocks—may have been in summer 2010, but it’s star power lives on. The two concluded a five-year engagement surrounded by an all-star cast: director Spike Lee, Kim Kardashian, LeBron James (with plus-one Savannah Brinson—it’s funny how these things work out), Ludakris and even Serena Williams. Proving that they’re better than the rest of us, rather than hiring a videographer to capture the moment, the Anthony’s kicked home videos up a notch by spinning their night into a reality TV special for VH1 called La La’s Full Court Wedding. To further up the ante, their 300 guests enjoyed a cake with an edible, 22-karat monogram.
Fit for royalty: Amare Stoudemire and Alexis Welch
It began just when Stoudemire got signed to the NBA—he met the woman of his life in a night club. After over 10 years, he and Alexis Welch tied the knot in a small ceremony that could be summed up in one word: royalty. Talking to Essence magazine, Stoudemire said “I wanted my family and all my friends to experience royalty.” Boy did they ever: harps, trumpets and family crests were all over the place, with a gold wedding cake topping it all off (do we sense a trend here?).
The comeback kid: Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto
After one of the most expensive divorce settlements in history—think $178 million—Michael Jordan married his new girlfriend Yvetter Prieto earlier this year in April. The price tag? A whopping $10 million to put up approximately 2,000 guests, including stars such as Usher, Spike Lee, Robin Thicke and even Tiger Woods (beats us how he got on any wedding guest list, let alone this one). MJ and Prieto married in Palm Beach, Fla., under a tent the size of a football field. Let’s hope this is the last time, for the sake of his pocket book (and making the rest of us look bad).
The wedding that should never have happened (and might as well not have): Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian
Sporting a similar price tag, the wedding of Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian was one hell of a way to kick off a lifetime—scratch that—72 days of matrimony. Its $10 million cost was quickly offset as the couple commercialized the wedding, netting them $18 million in royalties from the media blitz that surrounded it: they were paid $15 million by the E! network, not to mention several smaller millions for exclusive photo opportunities. The upside was that no one on earth missed it, spawning a cultural moment. The downside? Well, let’s just say they set the new low for celebrity marriages. We’re still rooting for you, Kanye!