Mom defends spending $9,000 on son's 1st birthday party

Rebekah Scanlan
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

An Australian mother has defended spending 12,650 Australian dollars (about $9,100) on a lavish first birthday party for her son, saying it was “money well-spent.”

Jackie Lam’s celebration for her baby boy, Lachlan, was so extravagant that friends and family even compared the day to a wedding.

And despite admitting the bash was “over the top,” the 31-year-old mom from Melbourne stands by her decision to go all out.

Jackie Lam has admitted she went “over the top” with her son’s first birthday. (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Lam)

“Everyone’s perception of what ‘lavish’ is differs,” she told Be, Yahoo’s Australian outlet. “Perhaps my son’s birthday was ‘too much’ for some, yet maybe not to others.”

Explaining that one of her “pet hates” is children’s parties that are more suitable for adults, Lam got to work planning the major milestone when Lachlan was just 2 months old.

“I’ve always loved parties, or to find a reason to celebrate and go over the top,” she said, adding that she and husband Ian love to “live in the moment.”

“We may not have the deepest pockets, but we believe where money is well-spent and for the right reasons, we’ll make it work,” she explained.

Aside from being a “huge party lover,” there was also a heartwarming reason why the new parents wanted to go all out.

Lachlan is a “rainbow baby,” born after the tragic loss of their first baby by miscarriage.

Lam booked a waterfront Melbourne restaurant and decked it out with balloons and handcrafted decorations. (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Lam)
The party included a play area and a lively ball pit for the kids. (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Lam)

“With so much to celebrate, who wouldn’t want to try and mark it with a kick-ass party?” Lam said.

The doting mom booked a stunning waterside venue for her guest list of 125 adults and 50 children. While the adults enjoyed a buffet of the restaurant’s usual offerings, Lam worked with the chef to create a special menu for the kids that included sliders, mini pizzas, fish and chips, and salads.

There was also a fully loaded dessert station, which featured mini éclairs, tarts, and chocolate logs.

In addition to a dessert table loaded with treats, the party featured a stunning birthday cake, complete with an adorable cake topper of their son. (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Lam)
There was a professional photographer on hand to capture precious moments. (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Lam)

“Everyone was waiting for the desserts to just eat and let loose,” Lam said.

Each place setting was adorned with a cute crown, with the proud mom confessing to spending hours in the lead-up to the party painstakingly handcrafting those all-important finishing touches.

Lam also hired entertainment for everyone to enjoy, from a face painter and balloonist for the kids to a photo booth for the adults. There was even a ball pit.

Of course, the whole event was captured by a professional photographer.

Lam said the $9,100 was “well-spent.” (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Lam)
Even the gift table for the birthday boy was lavishly decorated. (Photo: Supplied by Jackie Lam)

“Well, if you’re going to do a birthday party, you’ve got to do it properly,” she said.

Since hosting the party, Lam has launched her own events planning service, A Peachy Affair, because she loved it so much.

And while mom shamers have criticize her for spending more than $9,000 on the party, Lam says she disagrees and is not letting it faze her.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for us it was something we felt was worth it, but we acknowledge that it’s a lot of money,” she finished. “But there’s no right or wrongs in this.”

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