Plus, how it compares to Kim and Kanye's 2018 soiree for an estimated $1.3 million

By Mackenzie Schmidt
January 03, 2020 04:21 PM
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It’s not cheap to throw a holiday party for the Kardashian-Jenner clan!

The famous family’s annual Christmas party has traditionally been hosted by matriarch Kris Jenner. Last year, however, her daughter Kim Kardashian West took over, holding a star-studded — and snow-filled — fete at her $60 million Hidden Hills mansion.

It seems Kris enjoyed her year off so much that she delegated hosting duties again: this time to eldest daughter Kourtney Kardashian, who invited the whole family and guests including Travis Scott, Quavo, Elon Musk and Grimes into her home, which was transformed into a magical holiday wonderland for the occasion.

In 2018, an event expert estimated that Kim’s celebration — which included an art installation of Whovillian trees, a light tunnel, a party tent that looked like a snow-capped mountain, and a ski slope (in Southern California) created just for the occasion, likely cost the SKIMS founder and her husband, Kanye West around $1.3 million for one night of merry making.

Kourtney’s party then, was comparatively low-key. Though there doesn’t seem to have been any rivalry between the siblings. Kim gushed over Kourtney’s party-throwing prowess, calling it “so homey and beautiful” as she showed off the decor on her Instagram Stories the night of the event.

PEOPLE spoke to Ashley Greer, a florist and owner of the D.C.-based Atelier Ashley Flowers, who worked on the Obama White House Christmas trees, to try to tally up the costs of all Kourtney’s party essentials — including a veritable valley of poinsettias and a mini hot chocolate bar inside a chalet.

The grand total for throwing such a soiree? An estimated $436,000.

Of course, Kourtney didn’t orchestrate the over-the-top event alone. “If you watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you are already familiar with event planner Mindy Weiss and floral designer Jeff Leatham,” says Greer. (Weiss was responsible for Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s wedding and Leatham oversees flowers for the Four Seasons.) “So it is no surprise that Kourtney enlisted their expertise to help with this year’s party.”

So how exactly does one spend nearly half a million dollars on a party? Here’s how the budget shakes out, according to an expert.

Where Kim had an Instagram-ready trellis of lights leading into her home, Kourtney went with an elegant display of red poinsettias in terra cotta pots and candles displayed on dramatic risers. “It looks like about 80 red poinsettias at $85 each ($6,800) and 250 white pillar candles in glass ($10 each) ($2,500) not to mention the risers that were likely built to create the poinsettia pyramid,” says Greer. The damage for this room alone? “Most likely the entrance had a price tag of $12,000.”

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram

Moving inside, an inverted Christmas tree takes center stage. The super-size conifer was suspended upside down from the ceiling, roots still intact, in the double-height foyer.

Greer points out, “It’s hard to tell if Kourtney repurposed one of her Balsam Hill faux trees from last year’s decor, if she used a fresh tree,” or if this is a completely custom creation. Balsam Hill’s high-end creations start around $500 for a pre-lit, full-size tree and head upwards of $8,000 for an 18-foot evergreen. “If the tree was fresh, it would probably cost about $500 for the tree and lights and another $800 to have it suspended for a total of $1,300,” says Greer.

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram

Of course even Kourtney’s impressive interiors couldn’t hold all the holiday cheer. Outside, guests entered a custom tent. “According to Fred Tracy of Fred’s Tents, the reality star’s backyard tent could cost anywhere upwards of $50,000,” says Greer, adding, “the clear siding, wood floors and lighting are all unique and would need to be transported in on a tractor trailer or strait truck.

Another high-end vendor, Sugar Plum Tents, told Greer, “these type of tents usually take about 10 to 14 hours to install and 8 to 10 hours to break them down.” She notes, “That is a lot of people hours and logistics!”

Inside the soaring temporary space, guests were greeted by approximately fifteen crystal chandeliers. “According to Janice Carnevale of Bellwether Events, they cost at least $300 each to rent,” says Greer. “This is just $4,500 out of a total lighting budget that is most likely closer to $25,000, designed by Images by Lighting.”

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram

The forest’s worth of Christmas trees can be found throughout the property inside and out. Greer puts the estimated total around 50 firs. If each tree is decorated with about 500 lights (the typical number), “that’s $10,000 in trees and another $5,000 in small twinkle lights,” she says.

Of course chandeliers and glowing trees are just the framing for the space, which had to be outfitted with tons of rental furniture, decor — and even live characters (Hello, real-life Elf on the Shelf!)

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram

“Kourtney’s decor was sourced by several coveted companies: Found Vintage, Theoni Collection , Town and Country Event Rentals, and Entertainment Plus Productions,” says Greer. “We know according to Instagram, that Found Vintage supplied the adorable kids market complete with a vintage kitchen set.” So what do all those velvet sofas, retro wooden chairs, and faux mantel pieces cost for one night? “Most likely around $75,000.”

Characters such as a classic Santa, Mrs. Klause, Elf on the Shelf and roaming carolers entertained guests and provided ample photo ops, while the serving staff were dressed as toy soldiers. That’s an additional $10,000, according to Greer.

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram

Jeff Leatham’s fantastical tablescapes (and his fee for creating them) are another huge element in this elegant winter wonderland. “To create that whimsical yet chic vibe, clear crystal candelabras were paired with potted paperwhite flowers and small vases of tulips, amaryllis, white hyacinth, gardenias, succulents and moss,” says Greer, who describes the settings as “minimalist in the most opulent way possible — a signature of Leatham’s design style.” Adding in the price of renting about 16 tables, and the bountiful branches and holly hovering overhead, puts Greer’s estimated total for the full dining setup at around $68,000.

Greer points out, there has been no mention of who the overall caterer was, but “we can estimate that Christmas dinner for 200 with a top caterer is coming in at a minimum of $40,000.” Though they can subtract the price of one lemon cake — Kris brought a homemade one!

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram

The family also has a tradition of inviting a major pop star to come serenade their guests with some holiday standards. Last year, Kim had family friend John Legend perform. This year, Kourtney’s gathering had a private performance by Sia. Greer notes the show was “probably the Sia’s Christmas gift to the family,” her fee for anyone else would most likely have been about $45,000.

Kim Kardashian/Instagram

As a memento for their guests, the Keeping Up star hired The Collective You to do the “photo booth.”  Far from your standard wedding reception setup, the company claims to capture “the beauty and personality of each guest in classic black and white portraiture” and “make each guest feel celebrated.” Photographer’s of a similar caliber to founder Dennis Gocer normally charge upwards of $20,000 per event, according to Greer.

Kylie Jenner/Instagram

Probably the biggest ticket item for the soiree was the mastermind who put the whole thing together. “With a party of this size, event planner Mindy Weiss and her associate planner, Andrew Haupt are charging at least $100,000,” says Greer.

That brings the party total for just one evening to around $436,300.