Planning a wedding can be an exciting time for the bride.  For the newly married Kim Kardashian, it was a crazy flurry of activity that only spanned three months and was chronicled every step of the way by reality tv cameras.   While we haven’t gotten to see Kim’s crazy wedding planning activities yet, there is the upcoming promise of the E! two-part special Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event which will air on the network on October 9th and 10th.

These tv wedding specials are sure-fire hits with brides-to-be and they are big business for everyone involved.   When Kim’s sister Khloe married NBA star Lamar Odom in 2009, their special brought in 3.2 million viewers.  Kendra Wilkinson’s wedding to Hank Baskett was watched by 2.1 million.  Kim’s wedding to NBA star Kris Humphries is expected to eclipse both affairs by bringing in an estimated 5 million viewers.    None of the reality tv weddings has come even close to the record of 17.1 million fans that tuned in to watch The Bachelorette‘s Trista Rehn marry fireman Ryan Sutter in 2003.

While the ceremonies are A-List all the way with the best vendors, the dream locations, and the overindulgence due a celebrity event, the reality is that not even these brides can pull off the ceremonies without a lot of help and a lot of freebies.   Wedding planners, designers, vendors, and locales all sign on board for these television events with the promise of some major exposure for their brands.  A single tweet from Kim garners the opportunity to get their name in front of millions of followers who can turn into future clients.

The Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries wedding is estimated to have  cost more than $500,000.  The families are expected to pay for nearly nothing.  In fact, the Kardashian family is raking in the loot from the event by selling the rights to televise the event to E! and the free matrimonial goods flying in the door.   The wedding photos themselves have already been sold to People magazine for an estimated $1.5 million (and the groom didn’t even make the cover!)

Some highlights of the big event:

The Invitation:  Lehr & Black designed the crystal-embellished black-and-white engraved invitations for the affair.  They are the same company that designed Khloe’s invitations when she married Lamar Odom in 2009.

The Dress: Iconic wedding dress designer Vera Wang created a $20,000-plus custom wedding gown.   The bride was gifted with the dress in exchange for all the press she gave to the brand from being featured on the cover of People magazine to her ongoing tweets.

The Ring: Kim is wearing a 20.5-carat ring that has been estimated to have a $2 million price tag.  Kris Humphries reportedly was given the ring at a fraction of the cost.

The Cake: Hansen’s Cakes received some major press in July when the happy couple visited their store to taste test cakes.  After the visit was covered in just about every celebrity magazine on the racks, the bakery decided to gift hem one of their luxury wedding cakes which average about $6,000.

The Bachelorette Party: Kim Kardashian doesn’t even party for free!  Kim received $50,000 to host her bachelorette party at Tao nightclub in Las Vegas.

Photo: People