We made it! A whole year and we didn’t break him. It’s so unbelievable how fast it went by. To celebrate, we wanted something simple with just family and a couple of friends – mainly because 1) our house is tiny, 2) it’s freezing outside and 3) he’s only one after all – and has no clue what’s going on.
We kept it simple and instead of getting theme-y, I just went with a color scheme and added a few easy touches. The invitations I found were the perfect colors:
I bought these locally at You’re Invited and printed them myself to save time (after Christmas I got in a bit of a time crunch!). Once the invitations were out, I just went with matching colors in balloons, plates, napkins, etc and added a few special touches like the O-N-E letters on the table. I fell in love with a sprinkle cake I saw on Pinterest so enlisted Antoinette Baking Company to do a big cake and a mini smash cake for the little guy to enjoy all to himself! I have to say – the sprinkles were a big hit with the handful of kids at the party. I thought we might have a marathon cake eating session on our hands when the guest of honor started picking the sprinkles off to eat instead of digging into the whole cake, though (don’t worry - he figured it out).
For a more personal decorations, I made a simple photo garland, with snapshots starting from newborn to current. Sure, I could have jazzed this up by mounting every photo to pretty matching scrapbook paper…but I liked the look (and time factor) of these two pom-pom garlands with simple clothespins to attach the photos. I have it hung up in his room now as a fun decoration as well!
I found my kiddo’s adorable t-shirt on Etsy that you can customize with colors, pictures, etc. It gave him something special to wear for all the photo opps (and wore it again for his 1 Year Old pictures the next week). I’ve seen some great hats, tees, and more on Etsy, all styles – if you aren’t crafty enough to DIY it.
Two great ideas I saw after the fact were a first birthday time capsule (find a cute container and add items like the invitation, candle, decorations, hat, notes from party attendees, etc.) and these great hand lettered posters that tell all your baby’s favorite things at age one. I still may try to round up the time capsule – if I can collect the notes from all our family members!
We had a small but fun group, and a good time was had by all. I do have a few tips for other rookie planners like me:
Remember, your little one is still easily overwhelmed, and though the first birthday is mostly for the parents – you still have to plan around your baby.
- Pick a time between naps and meals when your babyis most likely to be happy, rested and fed. We did ours from 12-2, right in between naptimes, giving guests time to clear out before our 3:00 afternoon siesta.
- Keep the guest list small. Unless you have a social butterfly for a 1 year old, they aren’t likely to have many friends yet. Keep the list to family and close friends and save the big kid bash for next year!
- Take photos of the decorations, cake, and your baby before the guests arrive. Once everyone gets there, it’s chaos!
- Appoint a family member to be the “paparazzi” for the day. You won’t have time to take pictures, taking care of your little one, hostessing and making sure things flow smoothly. (Thank you Aunt Liz and Cousin Elizabeth!)
Check out my segment on Great Day Green Country for more ideas!