The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Dana Wilkey, 38, is known for her over-the-top, celebrity-driven events. She’s the party planner behind Taylor Armstrong’s infamous $60K tea party for her daughter Kennedy‘s 4th birthday party in season one.
The party planning queen opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her recent event with her fellow Housewives. Dana threw the soiree at her Hollywood Hills home, having people arrive via luxury shuttle with catering by renowned chef Phillipe Chow. Dana also talks about the “ridiculous” parties that she’s become famous for, her 2 1/2-year-old son that already reads, and breaking off her engagement with businessman John Flynn.
Dana’s latest event held at her house raised money for 1736 Family Crisis Center. The Housewives star coordinated an auction including high-end furniture with chinchilla and mink fabrics. Celebrities in attendance included costar Kyle Richards and Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Ian Ziering.
Dana also organized performances from a few reality celebrities including Ace Young who was nominated for a Grammy and was a finalists on American Idol. Fellow AI alum Diana DeGarmo and Drew Ryniewicz from X Factor also sang at the event.
Dana says Taylor has been involved with the foundation for several years because her own mother was also abused. “This is not a new situation for Taylor,” Dana says, adding, “This is sadly true and very common for someone who comes from an abusive situation.”
Taylor is doing much better,” Dana adds. “She’ll never be the same, but when I’ve seen Kennedy recently, she’s been a really happy-go-lucky child which was great to see.” Dana continues, “Taylor has been slowly rebuilding her life as best she can; putting one foot in front of the other.”
And what about that $60,000 tea party for Kennedy’s 4th birthday bash?!
In season one, I threw Kennedy’s 4th birthday party for Taylor,” Dana says. “I’m introduced on the show and Taylor and I coordinate on the party together. Yes, it was a ridiculous over-the top party! It was held at the Houdini mansion in the Laurel Canyon area. It was an amazing decor with floating teapots that had flowers coming out of them. We had ridiculous tea cake and cupcakes with amazing china. It was pretty spectacular!”
Isn’t a $60K birthday bash for a 4-year-old a tad excessive and unessecary?
I think at the time for Taylor it was something that she really felt like she wanted to do for her daughter,” Dana says. “I’m not sure if that comes from her wishing someone would’ve done that for her at some point. I think it’s really not fair for people to judge. At the time, she felt that she could afford that kind of a party. If she wants that kind of party, I feel like she has every right to do it,” Dana says.
She adds: “It’s just like the owner of Hewlett-Packard owns one of the biggest yachts in the world. Is that excessive? Yes, but if you hear him talk about it he was raised poor and he wasn’t allowed to have any toys,” Dana says. “So, now he wants to buy the biggest toy. I think you need to see where a person is coming from to determine if a 4-year-old’s $60,000 birthday party is over-the-top. Frankly, given the circumstances that happened a year later I’m so grateful she did it,” Dana says.
She goes on to describe her party planning empire as mainly premiere parties, the Cannes Film Festival, or parties on mega yachts.
And who are some of her favorite celebrity clients?
“I would say that I loved working with Anthony Hopkins and Pierce Brosnan,” Dana tells us.
Although she confirms breaking off engagement with businessman John Flynn, the proud mom went on to talk about their 2 1/2-year-old son John — who is already reading!
I love him so much, I can’t believe how awesome it is to be a mom!,” she gushes. “As they make fun of on the show, I taught him to read at a really young age. I taught him lots of things when he was really little. But as a result of that, he communicates really, really well so he doesn’t have any frustration. He can say exactly what he wants to say. So I haven’t experienced the ‘terrible twos’ because my child isn’t frustrated.”
Has she planned any extravagant birthday parties for John?
“My big thing is when he finally decides what he’s really into, I want to build him a really beautiful custom bedroom set in the theme he chooses. But he hasn’t determined whether he likes sports or cars or whatever,” she says. “So for me it’s more about that than big parties.”