Wedding Season 2018 and Donald Trump: How Much Does It Cost to Get Married at a Trump Hotel, Golf Course?

It's well documented that President Donald Trump loves a wedding. Almost a year ago, the commander in chief made headlines when he unexpectedly showed up at a reception held at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, in New Jersey (the same location as Ivanka Trump's 2009 wedding to Jared Kushner). He congratulated the bride and groom and posed for photos.

Also well documented: The president likes luxury. When he married then-model, future first lady Melania in 2005, the couple held their reception at his Palm Beach, Florida, resort Mar-a-Lago. The ballroom had been renovated for $42 million and outfitted with 24-karat gold moldings and custom chandeliers, according to CBS. The cake reportedly cost $50,000. All told, some outlets estimated the affair's price tag to have been $1 million.

Every year, couples without million-dollar budgets choose golf courses, hotels and a winery in Virginia that bear the Trump name to host their special days (see #TrumpWeddings on Instagram). Trump's relationship with a few of these properties is a little murky—some are licensing deals, but all are stamped with the Trump moniker. Now that wedding season is fully under way, Newsweek looked at several properties to see what it might cost to get married there.

According to a 2017 Real Weddings Study from The Knot, the average cost of nuptials—dress, food, flowers, everything except the honeymoon—in the United States that year was $33,391. The average amount couples shelled out for their venue, the priciest category, was $15,163. The cost of renting a Trump property obviously depends on its location, but a few were less than that average.

First up: Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia. It's the winery the president talked up after making controversial remarks following the Unite the Right rally in 2017. Although it states in a disclaimer on the website that the property is not "owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump or any of his affiliates," Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC still holds Trump Winery as a registered trade name.

According to the winery's website, a Saturday wedding at Trump Grand Hall, with its choice of three ballrooms, April through November, is $12,500—less if you want to get married on a weekday or off-season. The president doesn't imbibe, but Trump Winery, set on 1,300 acres at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, has won some accolades.

Across the pond in Balmedie, Scotland, at MacLeod House & Lodge—part of Trump International Golf Links and a nod to Trump's mother, Mary Anne MacLeod—a sample wedding package includes a two-night stay, a wedding breakfast and an evening buffet. The lodge accommodates up to 32 guests, and the package is priced at $16,600, according to its website.

Renting out the Ivanka Terrace at Trump International Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii, for a ceremony or reception is only $500, according to its wedding brochure. Guests who pick that spot to exchange vows have to meet the $2,500 food and beverage minimum, however, and the space is on the smaller side, at 840 square feet.

Some cities in the U.S. are more than double the national average wedding price tag of $33,391. One of them: Chicago, where the average cost of a wedding is more than $60,000. And, depending on the size of their celebration, couples at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago can expect to spend a good chunk of that on food alone. Nationwide, the average cost brides- and grooms-to-be spend on catering is $70 per wedding guest. According to the Chicago venue's catering menu, wedding packages start at $295 per person for three courses. For a wedding with 136 guests—an average number in the U.S.—that's more than $40,000.

The most indulgent option? The eponymous Trump package at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago is $800 per person, $108,800 for 136 guests.

The Trump package includes eight passed hors d'oeuvres; a choice of three stations with options such as sushi, antipasto, chilled seafood and something called Woks of Fire; and a five-course dinner with three entrée selections. For an additional $38 per person, guests can eat sliders and buffalo wings. Also not included in the cost: "Trump's old-fashioned," a $16 cocktail made with the drinker's choice of whiskey, brown sugar, orange bitters and Angostura.

For couples not even engaged yet, Trump Chicago sells a proposal package. For $2,500, the venue will guide you in something called a Sky High Proposal: a private helicopter tour featuring a 20-by-16-foot "Will You Marry Me?" banner. It also includes a one-night stay in a Grand Deluxe suite, according to the website.

The million-dollar question, however, remains: How much will it cost you to get married at Mar-a-Lago, where the Trumps celebrated their wedding? According to an employee at the resort, because Mar-a-Lago is a private club, that information is available only to members. If you wanted to wed at the Palm Beach property, you'd have to find someone who already belongs to the club and have that person sponsor your application for membership.

Wedding Season 2018 and Donald Trump: How Much Does It Cost to Get Married at a Trump Hotel, Golf Course? | U.S.
{{label}}
{{title}}
EDITOR'S PICK