The Kardashians know how to throw a party. Whether it was Kris Jenner’s Gatsby themed 60th birthday bash in 2015, Chicago West’s Alice In Wonderland themed first birthday, Kylie Jenner’s 21st, or just about any of the family’s Christmas festivities, you’ve probably seen at least one of these extravagant soirees and wondered who could possibly be the mastermind behind each one.
With parties this extra, there is of course a significant amount of prep that goes into making everything look fun, expensive, and exclusive. And just because something looks like it cost a million bucks, doesn’t mean the celebrity throwing the function didn’t have a budget that much. Of course the Kardashians and Jenners (unsurprisingly) tend to have a hand in the creative stages of party planning inside of the palatial halls of their respective Calabasas homes, but event planner extraordinaire Mindy Weiss is the woman they call to bring it all together.
While she’s signed plenty of NDAs (the behind-the-scenes details of the conception of StormiWorld, Stormi Webster’s Astroworld-themed first birthday, was mostly off limits for this conversation), Weiss is open to sharing her behind-the-scenes stories of celebrity parties and weddings she’s planned, how she met Kris Jenner, and what it was like to work on both Kim Kardashian and Stormi Webster’s first birthday parties.
How’d you get into the event planning business?
I first started in the invitation business by doing custom, unusual, fun invitations. That led me to also doing the parties. I had no intention of being a party planner, but my parents threw the most unique parties, so it was in my blood. I grew up in West Los Angeles, and my parents always threw tons of theme parties and my two sisters and I would watch, and they were always really fun and wild. I took one party on and from that one party I got ten parties. That’s kind of how it all started, and I’ve been doing invitations and parties for 32 years.
Do you remember the first party you ever planned?
It was actually a gentleman’s 75th birthday party. The theme was ‘still young at 75.’ I knew the family well and they had trusted me enough, and I had fun doing it, and that’s how the whole disease started.
How long have you worked with the Kardashians and Jenners?
I’ve been working with them for 3 years.
What was the first Kardashian party you ever planned?
Kris Jenner’s 60th birthday. I’ve known Kris for 40 years. I designed her invitations for her first husband. I’ve known the family, and I helped her do Kim’s first birthday party. I really love them all, and it was a very fun, iconic party!
You did Kim’s first birthday? What was that like?
Well, Kris did it. I kind of just helped. I think that’s where all the girls get it. She’s so creative and the ultimate party giver.
How did you meet Kris?
I worked in a stationary shop in Beverly Hills and she used to buy her stationary there and she came in to do her wedding invitations for her and Robert. She’s never changed. I adore the family. Honestly, I’m not bullshitting at all, I have not one negative word to tell you. It’s been a great experience. The best part is that they love each other so much. It’s how I raise my family. It’s pretty cool to watch.
What’s the most over the top party you’ve ever thrown?
I can’t pick just one! I do dinner for two people and sometimes those are so beautiful and extravagant. We do all types of birthday parties and crazy weddings. I don’t know what makes it over the top, the craziness or the money?
What’s the party you’re most pleased to have planned?
My son’s wedding in 2011. That was my most proud moment because I took everything I knew from working with so many brides, and all the mistakes and things I’ve learned. I was the mother of the groom so I didn’t want to overtake the wedding, so I let the kids do it, and I listened like a good mom. I produced the wedding that totally had their name all over it.
How much does a space’s ability to be photographed for social media factor into your planning decisions?
It’s completely up to the client. For Stormi’s birthday, I was allowed to post one picture, which is fun for me. I don’t need more than that. Usually, it doesn’t come up until right before the party, and nine times out of ten they let the guests have cameras. At birthday parties they’re much more loose about it. At weddings, because they’re so in the public, they really want this private moment. Like, ‘Let’s keep it to ourselves, let’s keep our memories together. We invited you to be a part of this validation, let’s keep it to ourselves.’ That’s really important when it comes to an intimate moment.
Is it hard to keep parties hush hush?
No. We don’t let our vendors in on anything until we have to and I only work with people I can trust. I treat them like any other client. My vendors have done a lot of work with me and they’re used to it. I’m representing the client and I don’t want to disappoint.
Do you work for other celebrity clients?
What are some of your other favorite celebrity parties you’ve planned?
I always thought Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams were so clever because everyone thought they were coming to the rehearsal the night before and then they surprised everybody and got married that night. I thought that was a great surprise. I get excited to do celebrity events, but after a while they become just like everybody else. They have the dreams of the wedding, they have things they’ve always hoped for, certain people they want there. You forget that maybe they’re a celebrity because they become brides.
What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever bought a party supply?
That’s such a good question! I have to think for a second because we get some random things. Hmmm. In our world, I don’t think anything is weird. People ask us for things that might be weird for other people. I’ve flown crab and other food in, I don’t know, we’ve done a lot.
What’s your least favorite party request?
The confetti cannon was cool at the beginning but now all the places make you clean it up. Before the place would clean it up, but it’s amazing where the confetti lands. Literally in chandeliers, all over in restaurants. When people say, ‘I want confetti cannons,’ we all look at each other and go, ‘Ugh.’ I dread that. I used to dread drugs but now it’s legal so I don’t mind it now. You know, we’re in California. I love when they ask for animals. I’m pretty mellow and I’m easygoing. Anything that’s dangerous or I think could really cause problems I wouldn’t do. Like, fireworks at a home. I don’t know how to do it and I feel like it’s asking for trouble so I just don’t do it.
If you only have one afternoon to put together a party at the last minute, what is the essential item you need to bring it all together?
My favorite thing! I live off that adrenaline! First thing, location. Gotta figure out where. Once we have the location it’s easy. Then food, alcohol, then design and decor. I literally don’t know how some people would work on a birthday party for a year. I don’t understand that. A lot of people call me for last minute stuff a lot, which probably isn’t good because when you’re doing last minute you have to compromise. You can’t get everything you want. But again, it’s all these vendors I work with who are so used to me and they laugh, and if you can laugh with me and not at me, it’s fun.
What were some of your favorite Kardashian parties?
They’re all very creative. We’re so excited everytime we get called to do one because they have their own ideas. Kanye being the most creative. He’s so visual and steps out of the box and he really inspires me, and he inspires the whole family.
Are there any other members of the family that people would be surprised to learn are hands on in the creative and planning stages?
Kylie. She is an artist in her head. She’s pretty easy to understand what she wants and is always inspired by her ideas. I kind of feel that they’re all that way. They don’t say, ‘I want this thing and can you come up with something?’ They tell me what they want and I work it into a party.
What’s the biggest party fiasco you’ve ever had to handle?
I’ve lost a few wedding cakes. I’ve had a wedding cake fall. I’ve had an officiant not show up, so I became ordained in case that ever happens again, it would be easy for me to do because I’ve spent a year with this couple and you tend to know them well.
What tips would you give to anyone looking to throw an extravagant Kardashian-esque celebration?
Figure out your priorities first. Is it music or food? From there, I ‘cut the pie,’ meaning I look at the first priority and see how can we fit it all in. You would think that all these celebrities do not have a budget, but they all have budgets! In my career no one has ever said, ‘Spend as much money as you would like.’ There’s always limits. People will say, ‘How much did that cost? Millions?’ And I’ll never say how much, but the fact that it looked that way is fantastic, and the truth is it was probably way, way under one million. Being in the business a long time is the first advantage of being a great event planner.
What’s the best part about your job?
Did you know that event planners were ranked number five in the top ten most stressful jobs by Forbes? We’re responsible for life memories. That’s a huge responsibility. It’s a tough job but a great job.