For better or worse, kids’ birthday parties have evolved from casual get-togethers with cheap sheet cake and balloon animals to full-blown affairs — as in, I’ve had friends throw birthday parties for toddlers nicer than my wedding reception. It’s hard to pinpoint precisely when this shift occurred, but one thing is certain: Celebrities have taken the over-the-top trend to the next level. And, naturally, no one in Hollywood is doing over-the-top better than the Kardashian-Jenner clan these days.
Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Rob Kardashian and Kylie Jenner all now have kids of their own, which means we’ve seen some extravagant baby bashes in recent years. Suffice it to say, few people are keeping up with the Kardashians on this front. I mean, just look at the extravagant Candy Land-themed party Kim and Kourtney threw for North and Penelope this weekend.
But how much exactly is the reality TV family really spending on birthday parties for their kids?
We decided to do a little sleuthing to satisfy our curiosity, so we tapped renowned party planner Richard O’Malley to weigh in on how big the bill for one of these get-togethers likely is. But before we reveal his estimate, let’s take a look at how much common aspects of a Kardashian kid’s party could potentially cost.
The Kardashian-Jenner clan uses party planner to the stars Mindy Weiss for their special occasions. For context, at the time of a Washington Post article about one of her weddings in 2017, Weiss’ consulting fee alone was $50,000 for a wedding. Some of Weiss’ other expenses outlined by WaPo include $45,000 for her staff to work the event, $38,000 for lighting, $10,000 for a videographer and nearly $10,000 for party favors.
It goes without saying that these costs are likely scaled down considerably for a child’s birthday party, as weddings tend to be more involved than even the most lavish kids’ fete.
North West & Penelope Disick’s joint unicorn-themed birthday (last year)
Since the birthday of Kim and Kanye West’s daughter North West falls so close to the birthday of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick’s daughter Penelope Disick, the cousins have joint birthday parties. Last year’s theme? Unicorns! So, here’s what we know about the shared shindig. According to Kim, “We had ponies with unicorn horns, a cotton candy and s’mores station, a ‘unicorn snot’ glitter slime craft station and music by DJ Livia — she’s only 10 years old and she was so good!” The party also boasted a unicorn balloon head, a decadent dessert bar, plenty of rainbow pool floats, floral garlands and a Maypole.
While we don’t know what petting zoo rental company the Kardashians used (and theirs was likely sourced by Weiss), we do know that two hours with two ponies and a petting zoo costs $1,050 from Los Angeles-based Farm Friendz.
Another expense we can guesstimate is the cost of hiring DJ Livia — on her Facebook page, she emphasizes she is “not your average $500 or $1k #DJ,” adding “#HighestPaidKidDJ” for emphasis. So, logically, you’re looking at more than $1,000 to book her.
Stormi Webster’s “Stormiworld” first birthday
It would seem that Kylie Jenner spared no expense when it came time to celebrate the first birthday of her daughter Stormi. Themed “StormiWorld,” a nod to dad Travis Scott’s Astroworld album, the party was a whole mood with everything from a giant Stormi head framing the party entrance to carnival rides inside.
Per Zebra Entertainment and Events, a 5-hour rate for renting kiddie amusement rides runs around $1,000 per ride. Larger rides run more (upwards of $2000), though, and typically anyone wanting to rent out multiple rides would work with the ride-rental company to create a custom package.
Guests were treated to a five-tiered, carousel birthday cake made by cake “artist” Julie Simon — whose larger cakes like this typically cost roughly $10,000. Jenner also hired Los Angeles-based wedding photography company John & Joseph Photography to capture the event.
View this post on Instagram
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the… tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus. . I have dreamed of making a sugar carousel, where the horses went round and round and up and down. Yesterday, I got to make that dream a reality! . Everything you see is made of sugar – from the carousel to the flowers. . With love and magic, Julie. . 📸 / creative direction, @deborahjaffe
Other extravagant elements of the event included a giant faux hot air balloon for photos, a magical “butterfly forest” room, a “Baby Shark” performance and even a Stormi-themed merch room called “Stormi’s Shop.”
True Thompson’s whimsical first birthday
To celebrate her only child turning one, Khloe Kardashian went all out with a sweet, girly and lavish extravaganza. Butterfly decorations, “unicorn” rides, giant topiaries, tons of balloons and custom ensembles made this outdoor party extra special. We already know from North and Penelope’s party that renting ponies for rides can run in excess of at least $1000. But the big ticket item for True’s birthday (besides Weiss and her presumably five-figure fee) might just have been the balloons — the estimated cost for True’s abundance of balloons was $8500.
The pro’s opinion
To try to get a handle on how much these birthdays might actually run the Kardashian-Jenner clan, we tapped “Event Buddha” Richard O’Malley, aka “The How Behind the WOW!” In his more than two decades as a party-planning pro, O’Malley has helped produce parties for a Beatle, a few presidents and plenty of movie starts — not to mention 10,000 high-end Bar Mitzvahs. The man knows a thing or two about what goes into (or, if we’re talking about bank accounts, what comes out of) throwing an upscale event.
So, how much does O’Malley think a Kardashian-Jenner kid’s birthday party might cost? “There are so many variables involved in these events. Much of the costs involved here seem to be in staffing and customization,” O’Malley shared, explaining that even a family as famous as the Kardashians probably thinks at least a little thrifty. “My guess is since they have so many ‘events’ in their lives and so many children in the same age group, they probably have some deals with various production companies to drastically reduce their costs for these lavish events.”
But, still… they are the Kardashians. “That said, all of the parties would run you six figures in a retail setting. Kylie’s birthday party for Stormi would probably dwarf the other two in costs because of the customization. The amazing thing is that all of these vendors have put their best foot forward here and the designers have outdone themselves,” said O’Malley, adding, “Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they know how to show everyone a good time.”