By Jennifer Leigh-Parker, CNBC.com
Top Extravagant Wedding Venues
Once upon a time even celebrities were satisfied with a simple church wedding or with tying the knot at their family's home.
But according to the everything-weddings website The Knot, one in four engaged couples now opt for a "destination" wedding: a venue in an exotic, increasingly distant locale that is a tipoff of social status as much as it is a romantic backdrop.
"If you're in that sort of circle, everyone has an amazing wedding. How you stand out is going to be your location," said Knot senior editor Kristin Koch.
See the full slideshow: Top Extravagant Wedding Venues
The cost of "keeping up with the Joneses' wedding," naturally, is rising. Fairy tale weddings include custom fireworks, private plane rides, orchestras, medieval knights, safari tours or scuba lessons, with prices more suited to millionaires than your average newlyweds.
Adding to the expense is the growing length of a destination wedding, which now typically last three or more days.
Read ahead to see the most exclusive spots to take the plunge. Note that venue prices vary depending on wedding date and headcount.
Little Palm Island 1. Keys, Little Palm Island
The 3-Day "Exclusively Yours" wedding package, with run of the entire island.
Price: Starts at $500,000
Little Palm, a small private island in the Florida Keys, is only accessible by seaplane or boat-including your own: There is dock space for up to 10 yachts.
Little Palm is best for intimate weddings - there are only 30 suites on site for a wedding party of up to 60 guests - but for a little more bang for your buck, you can order your very own fireworks show.
Vaux-le-Vicomte, France 2. Vaux-le-Vicomte, France
Exclusive, five-hour rental of this lavish 17th century French château 35 miles from Paris.
Price: About $64,000, depending on exchange rate.
The chateau's brochure cautions that this is an "à partir de" sum - French for "starting from."
Vaux-le-Vicomte is fit for a king, which led to trouble for the French nobleman who owned it. Louis XIV promptly seized the estate after attending its coming-out party and had his palace Versailles modeled after it.
More recently, American royalty, like actress Eva Longoria and basketball star Tony Parker, who celebrated their fête de mariage here in 2007, have had the run of the place.
Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy 3. Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy
The "ultimate takeover" package allowing exclusive use of the hotel's 50 rooms and suites.
Price: Estimated at $430,000
Hotel Caruso stands atop the cliffs along the Amalfi Coast south of Naples, one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.
A favorite among Italian politicians and others seeking privacy, it is a familiar venue to the best local florists, musicians, decorators, lighting designers, and caterers in the country.
Laura Frappa, wedding director for Exclusiveitalyweddings.com, says their services, with food and drink for 100 people would run a couple 300,000 to 350,000 euro.
Musha Cay, Bahamas 4. Musha Cay, Bahamas
A standard wedding package, with a five-night minimum for up to 24 guests.
One of the most secluded spots on Earth, Masha Cay nonetheless can provide a five-piece jazz band and fireworks for the reception, as well as perks like massages and scuba diving trips for your guests, who can choose to arrive by helicopter for an added $20,000 - one way.
Molenvliet Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa 5. Molenvliet Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Three nights, with accommodation for 14 guests, wine not included.
Nestled in the Western Cape wine lands, Stellenbosch is a perfect venue for wine connoisseurs. Two hours by car from the Aquila Safari Park game reserve, Stellenbosch can also serve as a jumping off point for honeymooners and guests for "Out of Africa" style adventures.
See more: One Percent Wedding Venues
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By Jennifer Leigh-Parker, CNBC.com