Planning parties goes down as one of my top 5 favorite things to do.
I was SO excited to start planning my baby’s first birthday party. (Notice I use the term BABY here…because until they are ONE, that is exactly what they are….a baby!)
Planning baby’s first birthday also brought up a lot of emotions. How could ONE year already come and gone?? Look at how much baby has grown in the past year! How is it that ONE year ago you were just in my belly… Do these feelings sound familiar??
When baby is about 10 months old, you should start seriously thinking about his first birthday party.
Questions to ask yourself:
Where is the party going to be?
What is the theme?
Who will you invite?
Will you invite just family? Or family and friends??
Do you want first birthday pictures prior to baby’s birthday party so you can frame them?
Do you want to use a picture on the invitation?
What will baby wear to his first birthday?
What kind of food/beverages will you serve?
Where will you get your cake/cupcake? (don’t forget the smash cake!!)
What will your decorations look like?
There is a LOT to think about!
Top thoughts should include the theme, location, and invitations. If you are hoping to have baby’s party at a venue, you need to call and get a date reserved ASAP. Your theme can help drive the location. For example, if you are having a farm animal theme, check out your park district or zoo to see if you can host the party at a barn.
I LOVE sending (and receiving) invitations with a picture on it. It is fun to see how much baby has grown over the past year. You need to think about whether you want to take the picture yourself or hire a photographer. If you hire a photographer, you need to plan ahead for scheduling, and turn around so the photographer has plenty of time to get the shots edited.
And finally, start looking online for invitations. It may take a week to find what you are looking for, order them, and get them printed. I recommend sending invitations out 3-4 weeks prior to the party.
Once you have determined venue, photographs, and invitations, you need to figure out who are going to invite. I love to throw a large party for baby’s first birthday. You have a lot to celebrate and so many people have been there helping you and cheering you on along the way. It is fun for everyone to see how much baby has grown. Keep in mind, however, that with a large party more money is spent on food and beverages.
Decorations–Most people stick to the basics…but I like to think outside of the box and hand make a lot of my decorations. I love to make a personalized banner for my children’s birthday (that ends up in a box in the basement afterward)….but it looked pretty for the few hours it was on display. Etsy and Pintrest have a TON of cute ideas you can purchase or make on your own to create a unique, special birthday for your little one.
Banner I made for my daughter’s birthday
Party Favors for my son’s first birthday
Puppy House for my son’s first birthday
Food–I am NOT a cook. I don’t like to cook and I am not good at it, therefore I am partial to ordering take out. I would rather spend the extra money and relieve stress by ordering sandwiches or a pasta dish. (personal opinion)
Extra Touches–Some fun extra touches to make your baby’s first birthday special is to create a banner of 12 monthly pictures of baby. I also like to frame pictures of baby throughout the home to feature the guest of honor. And if you have extra time, I think it is really special to make a movie of pictures and videos of baby throughout their first year and put it to your favorite songs. Make it personal. iMovie is a great program (if you have a Mac) to create this video.
And because I just HAVE to include some over-the-top first birthday pictures….
Most importantly-Have fun! Don’t stress out over this party…enjoy your last few weeks of baby still being a BABY. Soon you will have a toddler on your hands!!!
Favorite sources for inspiration: