Inside Melania and Donald Trump’s Extravagant Wedding (Plus, the Real Reason Melania Had 2 Wedding Dresses)

First couple Melania and Donald Trump may not have celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary, but photos from 2005 reflect a happier time. That marked the year that model Melania Knauss married real estate mogul Donald Trump in an extravagant wedding so elaborate the bride needed two designer dresses (don’t miss pages 6 and 7).

1. They had the ceremony at Bethesda by-the-Sea

Donald Trump with Melania Trump on their wedding day.

They had a Trump-style wedding. | Hot News 24H Today via YouTube

The two tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at the Episcopal Church Bethesda by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. Melania Trump’s spokeswoman confirms that the first lady is Catholic, while Donald was raised Presbyterian.

The Palm Beach community’s historic landmark was modeled after the Cathedral at Leon in Spain. It’s adorned with paintings, sculpture, and dozens of stained glass windows. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto married at the church in 2013.

Next: The elaborate ceremony preceded a pricey reception

2. The reception was held at Mar-a-Lago

A US Coast Guard boat passes through the Mar-a-Lago Resort.

The wedding was nowhere near modest. | Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

They held their wedding reception at Donald’s Palm Beach private estate, Mar-a-Lago, following the 7 pm ceremony. The newlyweds danced and dined in the $35 million grand ballroom they’d recently restored for the occasion.

The ballroom was adorned with multiple crystal chandeliers and Versailles-inspired Louis XIV-style decor, The Mirror reported.

Next: The dinner was to die for

3. They had an incredible meal

Champagne in glasses and in buckets.

The guests ate and drank in style. | iStock/Getty Images

French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten catered for the 350 guests with a 5-star menu that included caviar, steamed shrimp salad in champagne vinaigrette, and lobster rolls. He served beef tenderloin as the main course while guests drank Cristal champagne all night.

The delicious meal didn’t come cheap — the Trumps reportedly paid $275 a plate.

Next: The cake was so pretty, you didn’t even want to eat it … and you couldn’t

4. They had a five-foot cake … but not for the guests

Donald Trump and Melania's wedding cake.

The cake was too pretty to eat … and they literally didn’t. | Cedric Barbaret via Facebook

Melania ordered a five-foot cake with seven tiers, which weighed 200 pounds and stretched 70 inches. The cake was covered in 3,000 white sugar roses and soaked in Grand Marnier buttercream. The cake cost $50,000, but for the guests, it was just for show.

It took so many metal wires to hold it aloft, so the only people allowed the cake were the staff once the reception ended. The couple fed the guests “back up cakes” and sent them home with individual chocolate truffle cakes.

Next: Melania put her style into the wedidng

5. Melania carried family heirlooms instead of a bouquet

A woman carrying a floral bouquet.

Melania didn’t carry a traditional wedding bouquet. | Biggunsband/iStock/Getty Images

Melania carried a family heirloom in lieu of a bouquet. The rosary beads were gifted to her, likely as her “something old.” According to the Palm Beach Daily News, “The bride walked down the aisle carrying only an ancient rosary, not to Lohengrin or Wagner, but to a vocalist singing Ave Maria in an exquisite soprano voice.”

While the bride didn’t carry flowers, there were plenty in the church to make up for it. The ceremonial room was filled with roses, gardenias, and orchids.

Next: Her first gown was high fashion

6. She wore a customized Christian Dior gown

Melania and Donald Trump on their wedding day.

The dress was expensive and very elegant. | Melania Trump via Twitter

Melania graced Vogue magazine with a 14-page spread of her selecting a $100,000 Christian Dior strapless gown. The dress was made with nearly 300 feet of Duchesse satin and beautifully embroidered (which allegedly took 550 hours to complete).

It featured over 1,500 hand-stitched crystal rhinestones and pearls. The extravagance doesn’t end there — the dress had a 13-foot train, a 16-foot veil, and she accessorized with three diamond bracelets and a diamond necklace.

Next: Why she had to bring a back-up dress

7. But changed into a Vera Wang because the first was too heavy

Donald Trump holding Melania's hand.

All eyes were on the newlyweds. | Hot news 24h Today via YouTube

All good things must come to an end. Melania surely knew this, as she prepared a second dress to step into when the Dior gown became too difficult and heavy to walk around in.

Melania changed into a Grecian-style tight Vera Wang gown, complete with a knee-length skirt slit, just for the Mar-a-Lago reception. We can’t blame her for stepping out of the Dior … it weighed a whopping 60 pounds.

Next: The surprising and wealthy attendees

8. Hillary and Bill Clinton attended

Donald Trump and Melania Trump mingling with Hillary and Bill Clinton on their wedding day.

The invitation list was full of celebrities and powerful politicians. | Maring Photography/Getty Images/Contour by Getty Images

When Donald and Melania married in 2005, Bill Clinton was four years out of the White House and Hillary was U.S. senator considering running for president. A picture shows happier times for the two couple, with Melania and Donald laughing alongside Bill and Hillary.

Their daughters Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were good friends at one point as well. In 2014 they praised one another in the media and spent time together at the Glamour Women of the Year awards. In March 2018, Chelsea told Stephen Colbert that they “haven’t spoken … in a long time.”

NextIt was a wedding fit for a star

9. Along with lots of celebrities

Melania Trump posing with Donald Trump and Heidi Klum.

The Trumps were good friends with Heidi Klum. | Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The Clintons weren’t the only big-name famous attendees. Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Rudy Giuliani, Kelly Ripa, P. Diddy … the list goes on.

However, another person attended the wedding who we bet Donald won’t invite if he marries again. Kathy Griffin, who was featured in a photo shoot holding a bloody replica of Donald’s head in 2017, was also at the wedding 12 years prior, The Mirror reported.

Next: They ended the night in style

10. A 46-string full orchestra played love songs all night

A conductor in front of an orchestra.

Melania planned the perfect wedding. | Cyano66/iStock/Getty Images

Melania booked a full orchestra including piano, saxophone, bass, and drums. The Michael Rose Orchestra of Palm Beach played and famous performers serenaded the Trumps.

The highly-acclaimed entertainment included Elton John, Tony Bennett, Billy Joel, and Paul Anka. We don’t know exactly how much the newlyweds had to shell out for the entertainment, but Billy Joel usually charges $1 million for a private event.

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