Celebrity doctors Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho’s Parisian wedding was truly a sight to behold, and certainly worth every Euro spent for the showbiz personalities and socialites who trooped to the City of Love over the weekend.
As one goes through Instagram posts from what is now touted as “Philippine celebrity wedding of the year,” one cannot help but wonder about every Euro (and dollar and peso) spent by the couple in turn to mount the grand culmination of their 12-year-old love story.
Weeks before the wedding, Belo had posted several items that churn out many zeroes when converted to peso. Her dreamy Michael Cinco blush pink gown with its three-meter train is only one of four gowns he made for her. In 2014, actress Marian Rivera commissioned Cinco to design her wedding gown, which was reported to be P2 million. Raise that figure given the three years that have passed (say P2.5 to P3 million?) multiply it by four and that’s the bill Dubai-based designer, who made the wedding gown of a Swarovski heiress just months before, probably sent to Belo-Khos. Do the math.
Next, Belo posted her huge diamond engagement ring from London’s Graff Diamonds. To this day, she has never divulged how many carats the almost flawless emerald cut is, but guesses widely range between two to 10. Price-wise, depending on one’s guess, base it on the Graff Diamonds engagement ring, which now US President Donald Trump gave his wife Melania in 2004. A 12-carat emerald cut valued between $1 to $2 million. Do the math.
Now, a few days before the wedding, Belo posted her accommodations at the Ritz Paris for the duration of their stay in the City of Love. On August 29, her IG video toured her followers around the Coco Chanel Suite at the Ritz Paris, named so for it served as the fashion icon’s residence for many years. Based on the hotel’s website for weekend rates, the suite costs Euros 25,000 per night (read P1.5 million++). Based on Belo’s post, she and her family have had the luxurious multi-bedroom suite for six days already as of press time. And they’re still in Paris. Do the math.
On September 1, the couple–who were civilly married in Manila some weeks before leaving for their grand Parisian wedding–held a welcome dinner for celebrity guests aboard a 70-meter cruise ship that sailed along the River Seine.
A humble estimate from the France Tourisme website, which offers cruises on the famed river estimates special private events at Euros 130 per head. Say 100 to 150 of the 250 guests of the Belo-Kho nuptials were aboard that evening? Do the math.
With so many more expenses for destination weddings to be worked in, reception venues, of course, almost always cost the most regardless of country. For Belo and Kho, it was no less than the opulent 142-year-old Palais Garnier (also known as the Paris Opera or Opera Garnier).
Probably the most famous opera house in the world, it is considered “a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica.” The 1,979-seat theater is more familiar in pop culture as the setting for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Inside, Belo and Kho shared their first dinner as husband and wife with family and friends at the Grand Foyer where Paris’ high society in the last hundred years had been known to gather before watching the opera, and in more recent years, the ballet. Bedecked in gold leaf and golden pillars, crystal chandeliers and age-old frescoes by painter Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry representing various moments in music history lorded over the newly married couple and their guests in the huge hall, as Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez and husband OPM’s singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid provided musical numbers.
But of course, before the party went full swing, Belo and Kho made the most of their Opera Garnier moment and held their first dance on the Grand Staircase. Made from white, red and green marble, the breathtaking steps were inspired by 18th-century French Neoclassical architect Victor Louis’ grand staircase for the Théâtre de Bordeaux, built almost a hundred years before this Parisian landmark. It was on its landing that Kho, in his white tuxedo, and Belo, in a powder blue Beauty and the Beast-inspired dress, danced to “Take Me as I Am” (from Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde”), choreographed, according to Belo’s daughter Cristalle Belo-Pitt, by Lala Movement.
With no available information price-wise on the Palais Garnier website’s “Venue Hire” section for private events, The Manila Times will simply quote showbiz veteran and talent manager Lolit Solis’ Instagram post for perspective. One of the 250 guests of the lavish wedding, she wrote, “Talagang hindi ko kinaya yung Grand Opera reception. Kahit ‘yung driver ng limo namin nila Rubby Coyiuto (owner of Flawless beauty clinics) na taga roon na-shock na dun ginawa ang dinner, samantalang iyon daw ang pinaka-expensive place sa Paris.” Try to do the math for that one if you can.