Friday, August 15, 2014

Let the Birthday Party Planning Begin!

As a new parent, people tell you all the time to enjoy each moment because the time just flies by and next thing you know your child is heading off to College. I can honestly see how this is true. I have so cherished each day with my little sweetie pea Lily and I can't believe that in just 2 short weeks she'll be turning one! Even though some days can feel really long, in some ways I still feel like I was just holding her as a newborn in my arms just days ago.

Over the past few months I've been thinking about the kind of party I wanted to plan for her birthday because the first one is so special, not so much because she'll remember it or will be aware of everything (let's face it, she probably won't remember a thing), but it means a lot to both Paul and I to celebrate, enjoy and document the day so she can look back at it in years to come and see herself surrounded by our dear friends and family who love her. Not only is it her birthday but it's also the 1st Anniversary of the day we became parents too, responsible for this amazing blessing we get to call our daughter. Although her birthday falls on a Saturday (perfect I thought!), hubby thought he'd be out of town on business but it turned out in the end that the trip is now set for October. By the time we realized this, it would not have left me with the right amount of  time to send out invitations and allow guest to properly RSVP for her actual day, so we've now bumped the date forward two weeks into the middle of September which actually gives me a bit more time to plan.

I've been looking online (mostly pinning things to a private board on Pinterest) for some ideas on decor and games for the kids that will attend the party. I debated between holding the party at a venue or in our home. I don't particularly love the home we're in for entertaining larger crowds (it's a smaller, older home and the kitchen is cut off from the rest of the main living area) but I wanted to do what would be easiest on Lily and that meant being in our home where she has the comfort of her own crib to nap in right before guests arrive as well as afterwards without a drive home in between. It's also way easier for set up and take down of decorations and food transport/prep. This is actually the first large party we're hosting in this home. Since future birthday parties for her will likely be of a child-focused theme or character she is most interested in at the time, I wanted this one to be a bit more elegant as the majority of the guests will be other adults with just a few children attending.

You can take a peek at some of the images I've pinned below, they're serving as inspiration as I plan and begin creating some DIY decor after she goes to bed each evening. I've always loved the look of paper flower pom poms, paper fringe and pretty garland so I'm planning to make all of those on my own and the fact that they don't cost a lot is a huge bonus. I also have a lot of other original ideas that I'm hoping to incorporate and I'll be sure to share actual photos of her special day in an upcoming post in the coming weeks. Here are some photos that have me all excited about planning this party. How stunning is the two-tier cake in the photos at the top of this post?! If I can find someone to make this for me locally without it costing a fortune, I would love for this to be Lily's cake. *All image links are available at the end of this post.

There is just something so simple and yet so beautiful about paper fringe tassels. I'm going to make a garland out of them and I'm hoping to reuse some of the birthday decor in Lily's room when the party is over.

Peonies are my favorite flower but they're out of season. I'll likely include a lot of cream, blush or pale pink roses, some ranunculus and some white lilies since it fits her name. 

I've always loved the simple, shabby chic look of  mason jars filled with paper straws or flowers. I'm about to buy chalk paint for another project so I can use the leftover for the ball jars. They might even double as party favors for the adults if I choose to use them for flower vases-who doesn't love beautiful, fresh flowers?

At my baby shower last July, my mother-in-law gifted me with a lovely vintage high chair that was her son's (my husband's step-brother) and she it was a gift she has given me the okay to paint it and do as I wish with it. I've always known I'd paint it mint and this photo is my favorite inspiration. I love how it combines with white and pink. I'm hoping she'll love how this highchair was incorporated into this milestone party. :)

I still haven't narrowed down the exact menu but I do know that I'd like to have something a bit interactive such as a fro-yo bar or ice cream station where guests can create their own treat. 

Sometimes the simplest touches are the most elegant. In this case, it couldn't be more true. I love the look of a beautiful gold satin ribbon tied to the end of an over-sized pale pink balloon. 

In my mind, progression photos over 12 months are a must for a 1st birthday party. Little ones grow so quickly from newborn to one year old and change so much in that short time. I like the idea of polaroid shots or simple white bordered square photos strung with clothes pegs on twine as a little banner. I'm hoping to also reuse this banner or at least the photos in her bedroom to serve as extra decor afterwards.

I've never thrown a party with a 'sweets' table before, although we did have one at our wedding, it was nowhere near  as pretty as this. I would love to offer a variety of sweet treats for guests. I actually contemplated just doing a sweets-only party such as cake and ice cream. Hubby and I talked about this along with our budget and have decided to balance it out with savory eats so our guests don't end up on sugar overload. Plus, he felt our male adult guests might want something a bit more substantial. ;) I agree!

Another great use for mason jars is for drinking glasses. Since I was planning to serve sweet tea, bottled water and pink lemonade, these would be perfect with a few lemon slices. The custom labels are a sweet touch. Cute striped paper straws are a must!

We have a door in our kitchen that leads to the laundry room that I'd like to use as a backdrop for photos, a little area where guests can take photos-a photo booth of sorts. I haven't decided upon heart garland, streamers, paper flowers or other DIY decor. I'm still working out what I'd like to create but this one is so elegant that it's definitely a front runner. I'd like to incorporate brighter pops of color to fit our theme of white, pink, gold and mint.
Candy/ice cream cups are going to be a must for our party. While planning, I've been trying to find decor in an array of places other than just traditional party supply stores and websites to stay within our budget. I love these pretty designs from Poppytalk for Target, the rose cups are especially sweet. I stumbled upon them on a  Pinterest page for home decor Canada and love that they're just $3 for a package of 10! Since they're lightweight, I may have to have one of my Canadian friends back home ship me those rose and pink cups as I can't find them here in Florida. ;)

What first birthday party is complete without a smash cake for the guest of honor? I want to do something different other than a single candle for the cake topper such as an actual number one or the word 'one' or her name mounted on top. I want the cake to be simple but pretty and it will likely be white. One of the cake designs I really like is a cake fully iced with rosettes. I am toying with the idea of an ombre pink cake too.

Speaking of cake, I've been on the hunt for some pretty cake stands that I can reuse again in the future for other parties and events but keeping with our color theme. I've also still been thinking about cupcakes for guests so I'm looking at some 3-tier stands for those as a possibility. Here are a few pretty ones I've found so far (in case anyone else is looking for a cake stand also):

I'd love to hear from you! Did you do something special for your little one's first birthday? What was your favorite party decor or most memorable moments from the big day? A party with close family + friends, a big blowout bash, a family day a the zoo?

Thanks for Reading!


Image sources: (1), (2)(3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9)(10), (11), (12)(13)


  1. I love these ideas!!! The highchair is simply beautiful!! Do you remember the name of the exact shade you panted it?

    1. Hi @ecoray, thanks for your question. The one in the photo is inspiration I found via Pinterest but I ended up painting Lily's vintage highchair a custom mix of Annie Sloan chalk paint. They have a pale blue-green and also white which I mixed until I got what I wanted. You could do the same with a couple pots of sample size paint in any brand. Of course you might just be able to find your exact color too which is even better! :)


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