WHAT can one do with more than a quarter of a million? Many people would buy houses, cars or probably invest but imagine splashing a whopping US$370 000 on a wedding?
"It's amazing what people do for love, and it's even more amazing what love does to people," goes one famous English saying.
A classic example is that of American Vanessa Mendez, who donated a kidney to her husband and said: "I gave him my heart a long time ago, so what's a kidney now?"
However, many people use their financial muscle to express matters of the heart.
A Mt Pleasant family has become the talk of Harare after throwing a dream wedding worth US$370 000.
The lavish wedding of Timothy Matangi and Patience Kadada that took place a week ago in Glen Lorne has got many people shell shocked.
So extravagant was the wedding that the Glen Lorne neighbourhood came to a standstill when the couple arrived at the reception aboard a private helicopter.
The helicopter hired from South Africa for US$40 000 had state-of-the-art equipment including the latest Blue Ray DVD and High Definition sound.
"My parents have been living together for the past 20 years and they decided to make their wedding a special one because they love each other," said Pride, the couple's eldest son.
The lovebirds have been planning for the wedding for a long time and went to great lengths to ensure that everything was tip-top. Another spectacle was the six-deck cake as well as the designer garments for both the bride and the groom while the bridal party wore matching grey suits and blue ties.
The couple invited about 600 guests who were treated to music by superstar Oliver Mtukudzi who performed for five hours and pocketed a cool US$20 000.
"Oliver is known for his romantic songs that are soothing and for that he was hired to perform at the wedding. He put up a spectacular performance that endeared him with many people at the venue," Pride said.
It was a grand spectacle for many people as the bridesmaids were chauffeured in top-of-the-range cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S600 and Bentleys. The bride, Patience, sported a black diamond ring which cost 100 000 rands. Some of the children who live in Australia were flown in a chartered plane to attend the wedding. As if that was not enough the newly weds had their honeymoon in Jamaica.
"They wanted to celebrate a life well lived. I am motivated to do the same," said Pride.
After having established themselves in the mining business, who could blame them for using a "small" fortune to show their affection?
It is common worldwide for people to spend big on weddings. The most expensive wedding ever was that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
The bill was US$48 million in 1981, or US$110 million when adjusted for inflation. The wedding at St Paul's Cathedral in England was attended by dozens of royals; two million spectators; and a global TV audience of 750 million. Diana wore a puff ball meringue wedding dress with a 25-foot train of ivory taffeta and antique lace. The 27 wedding cakes and five-foot-tall main cake supposedly took 14 weeks to prepare, with a duplicate cake made in case of accidents.
Thirty years later their son Prince William and his love interest Kate had his own mammoth wedding.
Kate and William's wedding cost an estimated US$34 million. That makes it perhaps the third most expensive wedding in history.
Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia come in second after paying an inflation-adjusted US$66 million.
The bride was the beautiful daughter of billionaire steel-magnate Lakshmi Mittal. The groom was a London-born i-banker, owner of Swordfish Investments.
The wedding featured invitations mailed in silver boxes, including plane tickets and rooms at a five-star Paris hotel. Five-day festivities at a 16th-century chateau and Versailles and a temporary wooden castle.