Sir Ian McKellen Turned Down $1.5 Million to Officiate a Wedding Dressed as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings

Sir Ian McKellen weddingSir Ian McKellen says he was offered $1.5 million to officiate a wedding for a "very famous" couple in California.

We’ve seen our fair share of both lavish celebrity weddings and celebrity officiants, but this celeb wedding and officiant combo would have totally taken the cake—if it had actually happened, that is.

Okay, let’s back up. Three years ago, Napster founder and first Facebook president Sean Parker married singer Alexandra Lenas. But it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill ceremony and reception. The couple threw an over-the-top Lord of the Rings–themed wedding under a canopy of Redwoods in Big Sur, California, complete with fur-covered reception furniture, 364 star-studded guests wearing custom-made Middle Earth–inspired garb—designed by Lord of the Rings costume designer Ngila Dickson—and a six-tier, nine-foot-tall wedding cake. (We know, it was crazy—and we have the wedding photos here to prove it.)

But one detail we didn’t hear about until recently was that Parker offered actor Sir Ian McKellen, who portrayed Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings series, $1.5 million to officiate the wedding—as Gandalf. Unfortunately for the Tolkien-loving couple, McKellen turned down the very generous offer.

“I was offered $1.5 million to marry a very famous couple in California, which I would perhaps have considered doing, but I had to go dressed as Gandalf,” the actor said, according to Daily Mail. “‘So I said, ‘I am sorry, Gandalf doesn’t do weddings.’”

Oh, well, now we know: However certified a celebrant he or she may be, a wizard might not be an option as your wedding officiant, so definitely have a non-magical backup plan.

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.