Searching for a little wedding inspiration? We thought so! That's why we've compiled a list of 16 iconic weddings we love. Some are classic. Others modern. OK, and a few are fictional.
We'll take you on a tour through time and around the world to share details about these magical affairs. From a castle in Italy to an intergalactic celebration, you'll see the many forms a wedding ceremony and reception can take. Prepare to be awed … and maybe even get a little teary-eyed.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana
Prince Charles and Lady Diana had the wedding of the century at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981. Everything about the day -- from her dress to the couple's first public kiss -- was storybook perfect and set the standard by which all future royal weddings would be judged.
Diana wore a silk taffeta ball gown with a 25-foot train. She arrived in a glass carriage and carried a cascading bouquet of Earl Mountbatten Roses, lilies of the valley, stephanotis, gardenias and orchids. The prince wore the full dress uniform of a British Naval Commander (he earned the title commanding the HMS Bronington).
Besides the 3,500 invited wedding guests, more than 600,000 people took to the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple, and nearly 750 million people across the world tuned in to watch the event on TV.
Han and Leia
Han and Leia never said "I do" in the "Star Wars" films (they just smooched a few times and acknowledged their feelings), but they had a wedding of intergalactic proportions in the novel "The Courtship of Princess Leia" by Dave Wolverton.
Even though Leia wasn't sporting her famous golden bikini from "Return of the Jedi," Wolverton still gave the space-faring swashbucklers a ceremony both fanboys and romantics could enjoy. The nuptials took place on the city-planet of Coruscant in the White Room of the Alderaanian consulate, a large, softly lit space with a high-vaulted ceiling and small altar over which the scoundrel and princess said their vows.
The 1,000-strong crowd included almost all the characters you'd expect. Luke, R2-D2 and Chewbacca (who was groomed within an inch of his life) attended, of course. C-3PO was in the building, but the unlucky droid spent the ceremony locked in an empty room. He wasn't dismembered, however, so it was a good day for him, too.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco
Anyone who's seen Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" or any of her other films knows she was a beautiful, classy actress. But did you know she was also royalty?
She was already a princess of the silver screen, and when she said "I do" to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956, she became the real thing. We're talking about more than just a title -- Princess Grace retired from acting to see to her royal duties, and a law was passed in Monaco making it illegal to screen any of her films in order to protect her royal image.
When Grace Kelly became royalty, she had a princess-worthy wedding to prove her status. All 3,000 of Monaco's citizens turned up to see her marry their prince, and her wedding was shown in movie theaters in the U.S.
Luke and Laura
Luke and Laura's 1981 ceremony was the biggest fictional wedding in TV history, and it's still remembered as daytime television's most memorable union. After years of declining viewership, "General Hospital" was on the brink of cancellation, and if the show was going to be resuscitated, it needed an influx of new ideas. New, younger cast members, more relevant storylines and a summer of "Love on the Run" increased ratings and culminated with Luke and Laura's union.
The wedding brought in an estimated 30 million viewers (a record for daytime TV), and had all the drama you'd expect from a soap opera. Luke sparred with Laura's ex after the ceremony, and Elizabeth Taylor's character, Helena Cassadine, put a curse on the newly hitched couple. Yet, despite the constant drama for which soaps are known, Luke and Laura stayed married for nearly 20 years -- that's an eternity for daytime TV.
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
JFK wasn't president yet when he wed Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in 1953, but he was well on his way.
More than 3,000 people surrounded St. Mary's Church in Newport, R.I., where the Kennedys wed. The new power couple had a 750-person guest list, which ballooned to more than 1,200 at the reception, many of whom would've been shocked to know that an African-American woman, Ann Lowe, designed Jackie's wedding dress. It was a daring and controversial move in 1953, a year before Brown vs. Board of Education turned the civil rights movement into a mainstream national political issue.
Maria and Captain Von Trapp
When it comes to musical weddings, you can't do better than Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer as Maria and Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music." The duo doesn't actually sing during the ceremony, but the scene is so beautifully shot and the event is so visually breathtaking that the stars' impressive pipes aren't missed.
Maria wears a beautiful white wedding gown with a lengthy train, and Capt. Von Trapp appears in his full dress military regalia. The two are wed in Nonnberg Abbey, the female convent of Maria's former order (though the scene was actually filmed in a church in the small Austrian town of Mondsee).
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Tom Cruise is perhaps the most famous actor of his generation. Katie Holmes starred in the popular teen drama series "Dawson's Creek" and "Batman Begins" (though her character was recast for the sequel).
The media had a field day criticizing their six-week courtship and 16-year age difference, but it was evident to everyone that Tom was couch-hopping crazy for Katie. So, it should come as no surprise that the couple had a wedding of iconic proportions. They became man and wife at the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. The guest list included fellow A-listers Will Smith, Jim Carrey and Jennifer Lopez, and besides the novelty of getting hitched in an actual castle, TomKat's wedding also featured a five-tiered chocolate mousse wedding cake and private fireworks display.
Peter Parker and Mary Jane
Forget Superman and Lois -- Spidey and MJ hold the record for the most memorable superhero wedding. In fact, the union of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson was such a big deal that the couple had not one, not two, but three weddings!
The most complete version of their "I dos" occurred in "The Amazing Spider-Man" Annual No. 21, but the spider bite-enhanced super-geek and the world-famous model also got hitched in the weekly comic strip and in real life at New York's Shea Stadium. The couple was portrayed by actors for the New York nuptials, and comic-book legend and Spider-Man creator Stan Lee officiated the ceremony in front of thousands of fans. Fashion legend Willi Smith designed MJ's dress, which she wore in all three weddings.
Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth
Alice was more than President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter. She was a celebrity in her own right and was adored the world over for her scandalous behavior, which included chewing gum, gambling, driving fast cars, smoking in public and openly flirting with boys. She once brought a snake to a party!
So, when Alice accepted Ohio Congressman Nicholas Longworth's proposal, it became front-page news. It was such a big deal, it took precedence over news of the Panama Canal, one of her father's greatest political achievements. Tickets for the White House wedding were in such high demand that the president asked family and friends to stay home. Foreign dignitaries and heads of state from around the world (including the pope) showered Alice with luxurious and priceless gifts, many of which she never bothered to open. Guests were so numerous that only a select few could actually witness the ceremony -- the rest were seated so that they could see the bride as she walked by on her father's arm.
Monica and Chandler
Ross and Rachel got married once, but they didn't have the kind of fantastic, one-of-a-kind wedding the show's fans always hoped for (though Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt's real life "I dos" were pretty spectacular). However, Monica and Chandler's union made up for it.
Filled with the kind of hilarious hijinks and sweet moments that only the "Friends" cast could deliver, this two-part episode featured a positive pregnancy test, cold feet, a missing groom, a tardy officiator (yes, it's Joey) and unforgettable vows. The guest list was pretty impressive, too, with Gary Oldman, Kathleen Turner and Morgan Fairchild all playing supporting roles.
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger are arguably America's most powerful celebrity couple. She's a member of the nation's foremost political family, and he's the world's only bodybuilder who also happens to be an A-list movie star and former governor.
The two legally joined forces in a Roman-Catholic ceremony in April 1986, in Hyannis, Mass., in front of 400 guests. The bride wore a gown with an 11-foot train. Guests included many notable names from the Kennedy clan, including Shriver's cousin (and JFK's daughter) Caroline Kennedy, who served as maid of honor, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Warhol. Despite being extremely health-conscious, the future Governator and his bride splurged on a 450-pound wedding cake. Now, that's something to get pumped up about!
Romeo and Juliet
What kind of wedding would you expect from the most famous fictional lovers the world has ever known? A glamorous castle ceremony? Mountain-top vows?
William Shakespeare never intended the ill-fated pair to have a grand ceremony, so he gave them secret nuptials overseen by the monk Friar Lawrence. There was no reception, no wedding party, and the lovebirds didn't even get a cake. In fact, the scene traditionally takes place offstage in Lawrence's cell (a small room in his monastery), so the ceremony itself is in large part up to our interpretation.
But the story of "Romeo and Juliet" has never been about the spectacle -- it's about the romance! Though they only get a one-night honeymoon, followed by a dual dose of death, their relationship still inspires love-struck couples more than 400 years after their story was written. What real-life married couple can say that?
Sir Elton John and David Furnish
Sir Elton John and David Furnish got hitched the first day Britain legalized same-sex civil unions: Dec. 21, 2005. The legendary pop star and his filmmaker beau celebrated their commitment with an estimated $1.5 million bash that started with a low-key, private ceremony at Windsor's Guildhall, the very location where Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles several months earlier.
A few hours later, hundreds of cars en route to the reception sat at a near standstill along the small back roads surrounding the singer's country mansion. The BBC dubbed it "a celebrity traffic jam." Guests included Victoria Beckham, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osborne, Claudia Schiffer, Sir Michael Caine, Sting, Elvis Costello and Sarah, Duchess of York. Vintage pink champagne was served in several circus-sized heated tents, and John serenaded his partner with a special performance of "Your Song."
Maria and Luis
OK, so not many people ask for directions to Sesame Street on their way to a glamorous wedding. But when Maria and Luis got hitched in 1988, we all learned a little something.
She wasn't wearing a designer dress, and they were wed on a cramped rooftop, but the union was filled with more love than any multimillion dollar ceremony you can imagine. Emotional musical numbers, a guest list that included a giant yellow bird and all his puppet friends (plus plenty of human characters), and an abundance of laughs for viewers of all ages made for a one-of-a-kind TV wedding. Oscar didn't seem to enjoy himself, but what do you expect from someone who lives in a trash can and has "Grouch" for a last name?
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt
Their marriage didn't last, but Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's wedding was something really special, even by Hollywood standards.
The ceremony was held on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Two hundred guests came to witness the vows, including Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton and almost all of the "Friends" cast members. The couple used a Zen garden theme with tents, lanterns, imported Taiwanese brown-sugar candles and 50,000 flowers. After the ceremony, everyone was treated to fireworks and a performance by Melissa Etheridge.
Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester
Every relationship has secrets. For most of us, it's hiding little things, like the fact that we don't care for certain movies, sports teams or foods as much as we say we do (or our partner would like us to). But Jane Eyre's beau Mr. Rochester had a secret wife. Even worse, the original Mrs. Rochester was revealed just before Jane and Rochester say "I do," which caused Jane to hike up her wedding dress and skedaddle.
Now, this might be the kind of thing you would expect to end a relationship, but Charlotte Brontë penned Jane as an intelligent and forgiving woman, so after a year apart (and the passing of his first wife), Eyre agreed to marry Rochester again. The two had a simple ceremony with no guests, or even a formal announcement. But sometimes low-key is good, and at the end of her story 10 years later, Jane and Rochester are still together and madly in love. That's what every bride hopes for, right?
Why do we judge our friends' weddings? Read about wedding criticism at HowStuffWorks.