Remember when first birthdays weren’t a big deal in American culture? Your parents and grandparents put some cake in front of you, let you go to town, and called it a day. Maybe you got a few presents, but there probably weren’t invitations or many decorations. Life was simple “back in the day.”
Now first birthday parties are huge. Heck, I started pinning things for Liam’s before he was six months old! I guess I just assumed we’d have a big first birthday party for him because that’s what most of our friends do; however, the closer it gets, the more Mr. TTT and I are thinking we might want to keep this celebration small. We might even have two separate celebrations — one at Mr. TTT’s parents’ ranch (where we also got married) and one at our house, as a way to include more people without it being one big overwhelming event.
Regardless of how many people we invite, here are some of my ideas for decor, food, and activities because, even if it’s small, I do love to plan a party!
The first thing I like to do when planning a party is to select the invitation. Then, I build the color palette and decor around the invitation. I know I want something simple and fun without any pictures, as we will be taking professional photos only a week before his birthday. Here are a few of my favorites:
The one problem we may have with ordering invitations is if we have two small parties, we would have to order two sets with different dates and addresses. Sites like minted have minimum quantities of 15 and one of the parties would need less than 10 invitations, meaning we’d pay for a bunch of invites we wouldn’t need (and they are pricey!). Because of this, I will probably either make them myself or ask someone to design them for me and print them at home.
When I first started thinking about Liam’s first birthday a few months ago, I liked the idea of a ball theme. I knew I wanted to have a kiddie pool filled with ball pit balls at the party because I knew it would be fun for Liam and the other babies around his age that might be in attendance. However, I realized that I’d rather not have a set theme and instead just go with a classic birthday party “theme” if it can even be called that. Think party hats, streamers, balloons, and cake in fun, bright colors. Here is some of my inspiration I’ve been pinning:
Since lots of our friends have babies and toddlers, I’d like to have some activities that they can participate in with Liam. I feel like first birthday parties can sometimes be too much about the adults and not enough about the birthday boy or girl because they are so young. As I mentioned above, I plan on filling a kiddie pool with balls to create a mini ball pit (this will also be our present to Liam as he can play in it long after the party is over). He also has a fold out tunnel that I’d like to put out in the grass for the little ones to crawl through. The other day, we discovered that he loves it when we put him in his jumperoo outside (we hang it from our covered patio) and, though he’ll probably be walking and not interested in it when the party comes around, his younger friends who aren’t yet walking might love it. We also have a small plastic outdoor jungle gym type thing that was handed down to us and it has two slides, so we’ll probably set that up, as well.
Mr. TTT has mentioned that he’d like to man the grill for the party, so I was thinking we could do a burger bar and offer many different “patty” choices like beef, turkey, chicken, and portobello mushroom along with lots of fun toppings. This way even our vegetarian friends and those with diet restrictions have yummy options. I’d also like to do some classic sides like french fries (sweet and regular potato), as well as some healthier ones like green salad and fruit. I want to have food for the babies and toddlers, too, so I’ll have to think about that – I’m open to suggestions!
Are you a fan of big first birthday parties or do you prefer to keep them small?