Millions of viewers tuned in to see Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries say their “I dos” on the E! Network. But with divorce rumors circulating less than three months after the big day, fans aren’t quite sure what to think about the public nuptials.
Aside from a guest list including stars like Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez, how does your wedding stack up to the reality queen’s? With a cost more than 300 times that of the average wedding, it goes without saying that Kim K’s big day wasn’t exactly a “low-waste” affair. Let’s break it down by numbers to see how your wedding waste compares to the TV vixen’s.
Between the bouquets, table settings and decor, most couples spend between $800 and $2,000 on flowers for their wedding, according to a study published by The Knot Inc., the creators of TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com. In terms of the number of flowers (and quantity of organic waste), between 1,000 and 2,000 flowers is normal for an average ceremony.
In contrast, more than 50,000 flowers decked the halls at Ms. K’s ceremony and reception in Montecito, Calif., which could amount to dozens of dumpsters full of leftovers.
The average wedding cake cost about $550 in 2009, according to The Knot. While there are bound to be a few pieces tossed in the trash, most confectioners size cakes in proportion to the number of guests to help new couples control wedding costs. At most weddings, the top of the cake is pretty much all that’s left.
About 400 people attended Kris and Kim’s wedding – which more than doubles the average attendance of 150. But there was still more than enough cake to go around. The couple passed out cake at the reception, but it wasn’t from the 6-foot-tall cake that guests gawked at all night, reports US Weekly. The replica of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cake, which is almost a foot taller than the petite starlet, sat uneaten for the duration of the soiree.
The average American couple spends about $12,000 on a reception venue and about $60 per person in catering costs. While most wedding spreads amount to a lot of food waste, liquor bottles and paper trash, the waste generated by your 100 guests is nothing when compared to the Kardashian affair.
All 400 of Kim and Kris’s wedding guests were invited to the reception, where they dined on extravagant entrees prepared by Wolfgang Puck and sipped a reported $400,000 worth of Perrier Jouet champagne. The reception was held in a 30-foot tall tent raised over a pool by hydraulic lifts.
The couple’s wedding bands and Kim’s massive 20.5-carat engagement ring are not included in the $10 million bill. But the ring is one of the biggest contributing factors to the waste of any wedding.
The No Dirty Gold campaign estimates that producing enough gold to make one wedding band creates 20 tons of mining waste on average, and the addition of precious stones like diamonds can rack up tons more. This estimate is for an 18-karat gold ring weighing one-third of an ounce – which is about right for most wedding bands but doesn’t quite size up to what’s in Kim’s jewelry box.
The starlet’s engagement ring is as much as 12 times that weight, with estimates going as high as four ounces for the diamond and emerald showpiece. With a wedding band boasting 15 carats of emerald-cut diamonds, the mining waste associated with Kim’s bridal bling is likely around 250 tons. And that’s not including the estimated $15 million worth of rented diamonds she sported on the big day.
The grand total
The average American wedding generates about 400 pounds of waste, according to the Conde Nast Bridal Group, publishers of Bride and Modern Bride magazines. With extravagance dwarfing that of the average couple, the waste generated from the reality wedding is enough to make your head spin.
By increasing waste totals based on attendance and cost differences – and tacking on all those jewels – Kim’s wedding created about 350 tons of waste. That’s more than what 400 Americans produce in an entire year.