In May 2017, Austrian singer Victoria Swarovski wed German financier Werner Mürz in a lavishly indulgent three-day celebration in Italy. From the welcome at a luxury spa resort, through to the cathedral wedding and fireworks display, and then the wedding brunch at an exclusive beach club, no expense was spared that weekend. Understandably, given the bride’s last name. If it sounds familiar, that’s because Victoria is the heiress to the fortune amassed by the world-famous Austrian crystal company Swarovski. And this fact shone out on and around the big day. In fact, the dress that the 23-year-old wore to tie the knot with her 40-something investor suitor cost a fortune just by itself. The garment, which reputedly cost worth more than $1 million, was so dazzlingly beautiful that people wanted to know more.
Indeed, the bride was being given away by her father, Paul Swarovski, which makes her very much part of the crystal-producing Swarovski dynasty. The family firm has been amazingly successful, bringing in billions every year, and has made its owners wildly rich. There are 2,200 Swarovski retail outlets across the globe, and the company’s fortune is partly maintained by partnerships with high-profile fashion brands, such as Armani, Prada and Victoria’s Secret.
And while Victoria Swarovski may be relatively unknown in the States, in Europe she is widely recognized as a popular singer. Domiciled in Germany, at 15 she became the youngest person in that country to ever receive a record deal with Sony. In 2010 she hit big with a German-language version of “There’s a Place For Us”, the theme song to the Disney movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Indeed, Victoria attended the U.K. premiere of the fantasy film in December that same year. She braved the red carpet in a stunning backless top created from her family’s beloved gems. It was freezing cold and snowing in London that winter day, but nevertheless Victoria kept smiling. It would be hard not to when you get to wear such a rich wardrobe on a regular basis.
In 2014 Victoria sang at the Winter Olympics in Russia, and two years later she triumphed in the Austrian version of Dancing With the Stars. Named Let’s Dance, the reality TV show profiled the young Swarovski on its official website. It declared, “[Victoria] knew early on that she wanted to convince with her talent and not rest on the success of the family business.”
But her talents had already convinced one person. Victoria had met her future husband, real-estate money man Werner Mürz, in 2010, after she had moved back to Germany following a sojourn in L.A. “I met him through his father, our parents are very good friends,” she told The Independent newspaper website in October 2017. “His father passed away last year in a car accident, but he’s the person who brought us together.”
The German press took a great interest in the couple and where they might choose to have their wedding. “It is quite possible that the celebrations will take place in Marbella,” current affairs website News.de speculated in February 2017. “After all, one year ago [Victoria] spoke in an interview… about the fact that she had envisaged the Spanish metropolis on the Costa del Sol for her wedding.”
Nevertheless, that prediction turned out to be adrift by about 2,000 miles. Instead, Victoria chose Trieste, in Italy, to host her nuptials. The luxurious May 2017 celebration lasted a whole three days, taking in events both in Trieste and its neighboring town Portopiccolo. Some 250 guests were invited for the weekend, including music producer Adrian Louis and fashion writer and blog star Viktoria Rader.
On arrival, guests were whisked off to a “pasta and love” red-themed party at the five-star Falisia Luxury Collection Resort and Spa in Portopiccolo. Once at the exclusive beachfront property, Victoria debuted the first of the dresses for the three-day party. Suitably, it was a stunningly rich red number designed by celebrity favorite Michael Cinco. But, as dazzling as it was, that gorgeous garment was not remotely the show-stopper of the wedding weekend.
That came the following day, at the Cathedral of San Giusto in Trieste, with the wedding dress. Once again the work of the 46-year-old Filipino fashion sensation Cinco, this outfit was a truly beautiful creation. The gown was embellished with 500,000 crystals from – where else? – Swarovski. These helped the costume tip the scales at almost 102 pounds, which meant that it weighed more than the bride. And the price tag on the dress was similarly hefty – a reported $1 million at least.
However, this expense will have come as no shock to Victoria. The Dubai-based designer makes it very clear on his website what sort of clientele he seeks. “A Michael Cinco woman is moneyed,” he outlines. “She may not be born into royalty but she better be married into one. My clothes appear seamless. They look heavy and yet they float. They look expensive simply because they are.” No kidding from the man on that score.
But Cinco’s sensational design certainly did some seamless publicity work. The bridal gown quickly became one of the most talked-about garments of the year. “Victoria Swarovski’s wedding dress was never going to be a paired-down affair, but the crystal-drenched gown she wore to marry property investor Werner Mürz, has surpassed even our wildest expectations,” said the Huffington Post soon after the event.
In fact, surpassing celebrity expectations is all part of the job for Cinco, with Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyoncé all in his order book. But it emerged that the couturier had created Victoria’s gown by adding sleeves and crystals to an earlier design. “The dress featured a sheer bodice and tulle skirt adorned with paillettes and laser-cut flowers,” Harper’s Bazaar magazine reported on June 21, 2017. “According to Cinco, the fairytale-inspired look was complete with a [almost 20 foot]-long train.”
“Fairytale” was just about the right description. The Swarovski crystals on the dress were especially spectacular. The month before the wedding, Cinco showed off a video on his Instagram of Victoria posing in the gown during her final fitting. It looked amazing – and up close the dress must have been even more awesome. The clip quickly racked up more than 100,000 views, and plenty of impressed comments.
Believe it or not, but the wedding reception was just as ostentatious as the ceremony itself. There was a five-tier cake, a display of fireworks, and of course Swarovski crystals adorning everything. As the old adage says – when you’ve got it, flaunt it! Following a luxury brunch the next day, it was time for the bride and groom to wave goodbye. Victoria later put a photo on Instagram of her enjoying her honeymoon on a boat off Saint Tropez in France. She captioned the upload, “Happiest girl ever.”
After the honeymoon, Victoria did a couple of interviews where she mentioned the viral sensation her sparkling wedding gown had stoked up. “It was such a great dress, I was very happy,” she said in The Independent article. “My dad was like, ‘The dress is not important.’ But I was like, ‘Yes, it is important.’”
And, in January 2018, Victoria talked with the BBC’s online news service about the wedding outfit and her plans for the future. “The whole room was filled with the dress,” she remembered. “My mother said, ‘Victoria, you can’t go in a normal car.’ And my father hears that from the side and is like, ‘Are you nuts? Sure she can go in a normal car.’ And she says, ‘You haven’t seen the dress yet.’”
After the wedding creation proved to be such a success, Victoria has continued to work with Cinco. In November 2017 she and her sister Paulina wore his Swarovski-embellished designs to the Bambi Awards in Berlin. Victoria proudly displayed the dress that she wore to the German creative industries prize gala to the BBC. “This is just a small percentage of stones [on the dress],” she explained. “I had so many stones on my wedding dress.”
Victoria told the BBC reporter that she was glad her wedding dress had made international news, because it increased her profile in other countries. The Swarovski heiress singer-songwriter revealed that she was currently enjoying working in London’s famous Abbey Road recording studios. And, as the Berlin-based Victoria also loved to shop in the U.K. capital, she said she was keen to spend more time there.
Nonetheless, she is sure to be spending at least some of her time back in Germany. Victoria is all set to co-host the forthcoming series of Let’s Dance. And it will be certainly be exciting to see more of her – and more of her outrageous outfits. While it is unlikely she will ever be able to top her incredible wedding dress, her collaboration with Michael Cinco means that it is always a possibility!