Prince once urged all of us to party like it would be the end of the world. And when that time comes, what good would all your money be for, so you might as well spend it because there would be no more tomorrows. So put out all the stops, paint the town red, hire the glitziest and most popular celebrities and models, engage the services of the hottest band and artists, and rent the most expensive party places known to man. For it is time to throw a party that will end all parties!
And this is what the following parties seemed to be about. They made sure that the guests would remember and talk about it for months, and even years, to come. For the following are the top ten most expensive parties ever thrown.
1. Royal Wedding of William and Kate – $70 million
We all have seen or heard about it. It was the first really grand royal wedding beamed around the world since the parents of William, Charles and Diana, got hitched in 1981. That wedding cost around $6.4 million then. But times have changed, and with all the terrorism threats, security was strict and lavish at the royal rite. Estimates reached up to $70 million. It must be quite a tidy sum for the father of Kate, who, by tradition, was the one tasked to pay for the wedding. It is a good thing that her daughter was marrying a man whose father has wealth of around a billion pounds from his Duchy of Cornwall estate alone. Charles was reportedly the one who would foot the bill, thus sparing Kate’s dad and the British taxpayers an enormous burden to carry. And the impact on the economy was also expected to bring in more than half a billion pounds in terms of merchandise and tourism.
2. Wedding of the Daughter of the Steel Tycoon Lakshmi Mittal – $60 million
Lakshmi Mittal is a billionaire many times over. He made his wealth from the steel industry. In 2004, his daughter Vanisha married the businessman Amit Bhatia. The silver invitation alone consisted of 20 pages. There were a thousand guests who were flown in from all over the world, all of whom stayed in five-star hotels in or near Paris. It was a six-day extravaganza that included fireworks being shot from over the Eiffel Tower and Aussie superstar Kylie Minogue performing her hit songs. The wine costs around $1.5 million, and the chef had to prepare more than a hundred dishes served at a reception at the Palace of Versailles.
3. Wedding of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi – $45 million
Take note that this wedding costs $45 million in 1981. If you factor in inflation, it may cost more than a hundred million dollars today. The wedding of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and princess Salama featured a stadium that could accommodate 20,000 people that was specially built for the celebration. Every town in Abu Dhabi hosted the Sheikh during the week of the wedding, and a feast was served each time out. The wedding gifts to the bride were loaded on 20 camels that were bedecked with jewels.
4. Opening of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai – $31 million
The Atlantis Hotel is a top class hotel built on the man-made Palm Island in Dubai. Its opening featured Kylie Minogue performing several of her hit songs, after which fireworks lit up the sky. The fireworks dwarfed by up to seven times the massive display shown during the opening of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Hollywood A-listers were flown in for the event, with witnesses observing up to 2,000 celebrities present. They include such stars as Robert de Niro, Charlize Theron, Natalie Imbruglia and Lindsay Lohan.
5. The Sultan of Brunei’s 50th Birthday – $27.2 million
In 1996, the Sultan of the small, but oil-rich, country of Brunei turned 50 years old. The usual caviar and champagne were served. Michael Jackson also treated guests to a live performance. Civil service employees of the tiny nation were also given substantial increases in their pay, the first time in more than two decades.
6. Bar Mitzvah of Elizabeth Brooks – $10 million
David Brooks made his money by making defense weapons. He also doted on his daughter, Elizabeth, a lot. When the young girl celebrated her 13th birthday, he granted her wish to see her musical idols perform live in the flesh. So Aerosmith, Ciara, 50 Cent and Stevie Nicks were all flown in for the occasion. Aerosmith’s fee took up a tenth of the budget, and they were also flown in on her father’s company’s private jet. The girl sure had a diverse taste in music. But what was more astounding was her father’s eventual fall from grace for embezzling his company’s money.
7. Wedding of Wayne Rooney – $8 million
Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin both came from modest means. Rooney, however, was gifted with abundant football talent. With superstardom in his hands, he splashed out for a wedding in a 17th century villa and reception at a medieval abbey in Portofino.
8. Birthday Celebration of David Bonderman – $7 million
David Bonderman is the founding partner of TPG (Texas Pacific Group) Capital, as well as its affiliate in Asia called Newbridge Capital. He is one of the richest men in the United States, with a net worth of around $2.6 billion. People say that everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes birthday celebrations. He hired The Rolling Stones for an hour’s worth of performance for his party. He certainly can always get what he wants and what he needs.
9. Bill Clinton’s Daughter’s Wedding – $5 million
Air-conditioned tents, an $11,000 cake, 500 guests and Vera Wang gown. Money was no object when Chelsea Clinton got married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky. She is, after all, the daughter of a former President.
10. Liza Minelli’s Wedding – $3.5 million
Judy Garland’s kid married a music producer in David Gest. The reception featured a 60-piece orchestra and performances by Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole. Michael Jackson was also there as the best man, and Elizabeth Taylor was the maid of honor.