A bat mitzvah's not the sort of event that normally warrants a press release. But Amber Ridinger's coming-of-age was no cheap banquet-hall bash.
On Saturday Amber, a Miami Country Day School eighth-grader and aspiring fashion designer, became an adult — and it only cost her parents $500,000. Ridinger's bat mitzvah ceremony was followed by a chichi party that doubled as an out-of-this-world 13th-birthday celebration. It unfolded inside Miami Beach club the Forge, and the party's guests arrived in limos to a pink carpet cluttered with television cameras and local news crews.
Oh, and the entire evening was capped off with musical performances by Ja Rule, Ashanti, Marques Houston and Omarion. The guest list also included embattled Inc. president Irv Gotti, Playboy Playmate-turned-actress Brande Roderick and Nicole Richie's husband-to-be, DJ AM.
The high-priced party even had a theme: "Butterflies and Bling" ("Well, diamonds are a girl's best friend," she told The Miami Herald. "And I love butterflies, too, so I thought they would make a great combination.") And it was certainly a blingin' celebration. Ridinger donned a $27,000 Dolce & Gabbana gown and, before the evening was through, debuted her line of rhinestone-studded club clothes, Gossip, via a runway show. The club's wine cellar was even transformed into a real-life interactive Candy Land — the drapes, according to the Herald, were chocolate-covered ... and delicious.
"I hope our daughter one day doesn't expect something this big," said nervous Mets slugger and catcher Mike Piazza, who arrived with his model wife, Alicia Rickter. Amber's parents are dot-com millionaires James and Loren Ridinger.
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Needless to say Amber's shindig put most sweet 16s to shame, thanks to Ja Rule and Ashanti, who Torah the roof off the Forge with renditions of Ja's "Always on Time" and "Livin' It Up."
For Ja, it was his first bat mitzvah. "I'm Uncle Ja," he said, with his arm wrapped around a beaming Amber. "I'm really here just to scare all the little boys, the little 13-year-old bad boys that try to hit on little Amber. That's why I'm here."