The Wealthy Spare No Expense With Extravagant Birthday Parties
When the rich and famous throw a birthday bash, it often ends up being outrageously lavish. With glamorous birthday party favors and world class entertainment, extravagant birthday parties can be quite pricey. And those who can afford the price tag throw the most over-the-top celebrations of all.
Lindsay Lohan marked her 20th birthday in 2006 with a $100K celebration at the Polaroid Beach House in Malibu where celebrity guests Nicole Richie, Courtney Love, Kate Bosworth and Owen Wilson enjoyed a catered dinner by celebrity chef Kerry Simon.
Despite the Hollywood-style turnout, Lohan's event was relatively low-key compared to Naomi Campbell's three-day, $1.8 million birthday celebration in 2006, which was held in the famed 18-floor, seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
With her ultra-wealthy boyfriend Badr Jafar, the 36-year-old Campbell welcomed high profile celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham and models Linda Evangelista and Eva Herzigova.
Naomi's three-day bash included themes. On day one, guests partied to an "All White" theme. On day two they experienced "Hip Hop" and day three, the "Brazilian Samba" spiced up the dance floor.
Having a themed party can do wonders even if you do not have millions to spend. A simple theme like "white" or red or black for that matter gives the party a mystique and turns a casual gathering into an event.
Heads of State Celebrations
Celebrities are not the only ones who know how to party it up! The Sultan of Brunei's 1996 bash for his 50th birthday is easily the most expensive and extravagant of all birthday parties.
At the $27.2 million gala, guests were treated to a $16 million Michael Jackson concert, the world's most exquisite caviar and the finest champagne.
Although the Sultan's 60th birthday ten years later was much less decadent, it still featured a military parade, a canon salute, foreign dignitaries, a fireworksdisplay and huge posters bearing the monarch's likeness decorating citybuildings.
Perhaps only one other person can inspire such a national celebration. England's Queen Elizabeth II reportedly wanted to avoid an excessive celebration for her 80th birthday in 2006, but almost two weeks worth of events dictated otherwise.
On one morning the Band of Irish Guards played Happy Birthday for the Queen as she left Windsor Castle. The same evening, she celebrated over dinner at Kew Palace with 25 Royals. Later in the week, she was honored with the annual Trooping the Colour parade as well as a national service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral. The celebration ended on June 25th with a Children's Tea Party where Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson performed with supermodel Sophie Dahl.
Tycoons' Royal Parties
Aside from Hollywood royalty and actual royalty the only folks eligible for extremely lavish birthday celebrations are the ones who can foot the bill. The billionaire owner of 84 Lumber, Joe Hardy celebrated his 84th birthday with a 12-hour bash. Musical performances from Christina Aguilera and Bette Midler and a stand-up routine from Robin Williams entertained a crowd of nearly 500 guests at his posh Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
In 2007, retail tycoon and billionaire Sir Philip Green pulled out all of the stops for his 55th birthday. The fun began when 150 guests each received a glamorous birthday party favor, a travel wallet with instructions to meet at the Stansted airport on March 13. They received no other details but were asked to clear their calendars for five days. The mystery location turned out to be Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives, where cell phones and modern transportation are banned around the entire complex of beachfront villas.
Fellow tycoon Steve Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group, an investment firm, celebrated his 60th birthday in February 2007 at the luxurious Park Avenue Armory in New York City, where famed event planner Philip Baloun designed a 50-foot silkscreen re-creation of Schwarzman's Park Avenue Apartment.
Five to six hundred of Schwarzman's closest friends, including Colin Powell and Donald Trump, enjoyed entertainment put on by marching bands and military cadets, Yale singers as well as the Abyssinian Baptist choir. Pattie LaBelle, Rod Stewart, Marvin Hamlisch and Martin Short attended the bash,which was estimated to have cost between $3 and $15 million.
Oprah's Weekend Event
America's favorite talk show host also throws some of the best parties. Oprah Winfrey's extravagant 50th birthday celebration in early 2004 was every bit as star-studded and all the more impressive because she was able to share it with millions of loyal viewers who tune in every day. After a special live taping of her show to which her staff invited surprise guests such as Tina Turner who sang "Simply the Best", the party continued for three days in Montecito, Calif., near her beachfront estate.
On day one, Oprah hosted such notable ladies as Kelly Preston and Maria Shriver at her 50 Influential Women's Lunch at the Bel Air Hotel. The next day, 200 guests celebrated at a backyard black-tie event at the home of one of the television queen's Montecito neighbors. Stars including John Travolta, Tom Hanks, Dr. Phill, Carol Burnett and Jennifer Aniston were treated to the awesome stylings of the one and only Stevie Wonder. Violinists lined the estate's staircases while 200 waiters attended to the needs of each partygoer. The birthday weekend ended with brunch at the San Ysidro Ranch and a Super Bowl party with guests.