I believe in celebrating my daughter’s birthday as awesomely as possible, but even if I had all the money in the world I don’t think I could justify spending $157,000 on her party. That’s the reported cost of a high-end fashion show a mom in China organized for her toddler’s birthday. I spent a small fraction of that on my own wedding at age 29, and it was a pretty rockin’ event, if I do say so myself. My wedding was likely the most expensive party I’ll ever throw, until my own daughter’s wedding, I guess—and if she thinks the budget will even approach six figures she will be sorely disappointed. Meanwhile, her birthday bashes will never exceed more than a few hundred dollars, max. We’re not rich, and even if we were, I would feel ridiculous ponying up that amount of cash for a kid’s party, even a sweet sixteen.
What does $157,000 get you, you might be asking? Well, the mom in China rented out a hotel and a runway and hired a photographer to document the catwalks. Plus, the mom and two-year-old daughter wore matching designer outfits from Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Burberry. I’ve never worn any of those labels, have you? I’m more of a Pucci girl anyway, not that I’ve got any in my closet. My eight-year-old daughter’s wardrobe lands squarely in the Old Navy-Children’s Place-H&M zone. Considering that she grows out of things, or wears them ragged at the park or until the food stains can no longer be ignored, the lower the price point, the better. If I bought her a Burberry anything, I’d be a nervous wreck the entire time she wore it.
I admit the little girl’s birthday party looks amazing, and she and her mom are both super cute in their matching outfits. It was a pretty cool idea, and maybe a less expensive version could make for just as adorable of an event. At only two years old, her daughter likely won’t remember it for long, but I guess she’ll always have the pro photos as mementos. Is this mom going to have to out-do herself on every birthday for the next 16 years, though? She’s setting her daughter up for a lifetime of high expectations and potential entitlement when the toddler would probably have enjoyed a group playdate at the park just as much—and probably more.
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Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who really likes cheap birthday cake with its overly sweet frosting. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.
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