Admit it: Even if you aren’t engaged you’ve thought about your dream wedding at least once or twice — the dress, the food, the venue… oh yeah, and the groom. But no one dreams up weddings quite like George R.R. Martin. Martin’s thrown some serious ragers over the last four seasons of Game of Thrones, from Daenerys’s wedding to Khal Drogo to the PTSD-inducing Red Wedding, to the opulent nuptials of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell. But Martin seems to plan these festivities without taking one very important wedding element into consideration — the budget.
The average cost of a wedding in the United States is approximately $25,000, and according to The Daily Dot, the average cost of a wedding in Game of Thrones is, well, a lot more. (Like, A LOT more.) The Dot partnered with luxury wedding planner Sarah Haywood to put real figures on the fictional weddings that have graced our screens over the last four years, and we’re about to deliver the jaw-dropping breakdown.
Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo ($8.6 million)
In Season 1, Episode 1, Daenerys Targaryen married Khal Drogo and became the Khaleesi and Mother of Dragons we all know and love.
The bulk of their wedding budget undoubtedly went to food. The Khal’s trusted advisors and high warriors were served more refined fare (around $590,000), whereas the remaining 39,000 tribesman devoured copious amounts of horsemeat and root veggies (approximately $1.6 million). Taking into account the kitchen costs (about $80,000), the grand food total for the Dothraki wedding comes to approximately $2.3 million.
Then we have insurance (because the death rate in GoT is actually ridiculous). According to The Dot, Public Liability Insurance typically consumes 1 percent of the non-production budget. But that figure obviously got bumped up for this particular wedding, because, let’s be real, the Dothraki get down with death on the regular. Therefore, The Dot and Haywood allotted a guess-timated $320,000 to covering wedding insurance.
Finally, there were the coordination and production costs. Daenerys and the Khal had 40,000 surly wedding guests, all with debatable manners and no respect for personal space. So, logistics would realistically cost around $1.5 million, and then to house this rowdy bunch for two nights? Tack on another $4 million.
Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr ($500)
Robb and Talisa planned a very modest wedding in Season 2, Episode 10, but it was certainly the most love-filled ceremony we’ve seen thus far. They were married at night in a torch-lit forest. The cost? $500 for the officiant.
Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark ($128,000)
Not many of us saw this one coming, including Tyrion and Sansa. Emotionally, the Lannister-Stark union in Season 3, Episode 10, was bittersweet and, er, kinda super awkward. You know… with the whole Tyrion getting wasted, and Joffrey threatening to impregnate Sansa and Tyrion and Sansa almost not really doing it… Anyway. Back to how much the whole thing cost. For the ceremony, we have to take into account the venue (approximately $17,000 to rent out the Great Sept of Baelor), the wedding dress (about $21,000), and the bride’s hair and accessories (around $7,000). So right there, we’re looking at $45,000.
Next, we have the reception. The food probably cost around $15,000, renting out the reception hall would be about $20,000, tack on an additional $20,000 to pay the servers and then round things out with $7,000 or so for the assorted court musicians, all for a grand total of $62,000.
Last but not least, the insurance and coordination costs. Insurance for this wedding could never compare to the insurance we took out for that Dothraki wedding, falling in at a modest $1,000. But the overall coordination costs would most likely come in at $21,000.
Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey ($7.1 million)
For a wedding based entirely on deception, ill intent and murder, Walder Frey certainly dropped serious dollars on the Red Wedding in Season 3, Episode 9. But we guess you can’t put a price on revenge, right?
Food and booze for the noble and low-born alike cost Frey just over $400,000. Luckily (kind of…), the venue was free, since Walder Frey so graciously offered up his castle to host the event. The three tents and fire pits for the men outside of the castle, however, cost cumulatively $75,000, and security cost just under $37,000.
The wedding gown cost $75,000; linen, tableware and candles come in at $19,000; and the band played throughout the slaughter for the low price of $13,000.
Then of course there’s knocking off 3,500 people. The Dot says Mafioso hitmen charge about $1,600 per person, so for the whole dirty deed, we’re looking at a cost of $5.6 million.
Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell ($10.3 million)
Alright, we’ll give it to them. The Lannisters threw one hell of a wedding in Season 4, Episode 2. Between the pre-wedding breakfast and the wedding feast post ceremony, the Lannisters and their guests ate around $1.9 million worth of decadent food and pastries. But liquor isn’t included in that figure, so go ahead and add on another $755,000.
The entertainment accrued a massive cost as well. There were heralds and choirs, a dancing bear, fire breathers, acrobats, fireworks and a five-dwarf act. And oh yeah! Don’t forget a performance by Sigur Rós! All told, the family that always pays their debts (and hopefully their bills) dropped around $1.8 million.
According to Haywood, logistics, insurance and recycling and disposal would have cost approximately $1.5 million, and the plates, cutlery and luxury glassware would ring up to an astounding $2 million.
And finally, there were the miscellaneous costs, such as the attire for the bride and groom (approximately $89,000), security (around $60,000), gazebos ($571,000), flowers (which clocked in at about $560,000 because obviously the Tyrells love their posies) and the lethal dose of ricin ($20) that ended the marriage shortly after the “I do’s.”
So what’s the moral of the story here? Depending on what you do for a living, throwing a wedding that lives up to GoT standards might be (?) totally do-able (and cost-wise, it still won’t compete with the Royal Wedding). But as we’ve learned from the HBO series, a rockin’ wedding ceremony doesn’t directly translate into a loving, happy, and/or particularly long marriage. Right, Joffrey?
What was your favorite Game of Thrones wedding? Let us know in the comments!
(h/t Daily Dot)