It’s getting close to Baby H’s first birthday, which means I am in full party planning mode! I was actually surprised by how quickly I got swept up into the fun of planning, which has made it difficult to separate my wants from needs. It’s easy to go over the top because you imagine what it would look like on Facebook or in a blog post (I say this as I just finished reading about Mrs. Pen’s son’s adorable first birthday!). But I know that Baby H’s first birthday is not about the photos, and about the wonderful and exciting event of my baby girl turning one! It has been an amazing year with her, one in which we’ve learned so much and loved our daughter more and more each day.
So I’ve made myself strike a balance between beautiful, gorgeous birthday party eye candy with a million details and a more simple, streamlined party. I want to be able to pay attention to some details and have some fun with the planning, but I also don’t want to drive myself crazy and go overboard.
At about a month and a half out from the party, I thought I’d share where I’m at with the planning and some decisions I’ve made to keep the day in line with what makes sense for our family.
I had a hard time deciding where we should have the party. We don’t have a big family to host or a lot of friends with kids. But on the flip side, we don’t have a big house or a yard. I really thought we’d rent some sort of play place for the party, but pricing for a space was over half of what I was hoping to budget for the party. And since we don’t have a lot of children to invite, it didn’t make sense for us. So we’re having the party in our home and will make use of the space we have.
In addition to immediate family (our parents and siblings) we chose to keep the rest of the guest list to people who have had a strong involvement with Baby H’s first year – close friends who we have spent a lot of time with and our beloved nanny. In total, we will be inviting around 23 adults and 4 children (all of which are around 1 year old or younger), although I expect not everyone will make it (and, in truth, we don’t have room for everyone!). There are so many friends we love and who we know love Baby H, but we needed to keep the list smaller.
Since we are inviting a few children, I wanted to make sure we have something for them to do. But since they’re all around 1 year or younger, it’s been hard to really plan anything. So I’m keeping it simple. We will have Baby H’s jump-a-roo, some fun toys (shape sorter, stacking rings, etc), her push walker, and some books out on a big rug and the little ones can just hang out and play.
The timing of the party is 11am-1pm. Since it’s over the lunch hour we will need to have more than just sweets out for people. Our plan is to prepare food that is easy to prep and does not need to be warm. We will be preparing cucumber sandwiches, caprese salad skewers, tapenade and goat cheese on a baguette, fresh fruit, etc. Most of this we can make in advance and it can all sit at room temperature during the party.
I’m of course keeping the fun part for last! The world of birthday party planning is about as diverse and fun as wedding planning! I’m almost shocked that I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at different themes. Once I saw an idea I liked I just ran with it. So, for Baby H we will be doing a “rainbow” theme that will just be focused on fun, bright colors (vs. actual images of rainbows). Baby H is such a bright, cheery, happy baby that it only made sense to plan a party that was as bright and happy as she is!
I don’t want to share a full inspiration board because I’d rather just share photos of the party after the fact, but I thought it would be fun to share a snippet of our gorgeous invitations. These were designed by the very talented Chelsey Emery and they fit our theme perfectly – bright, fun and cheery in rainbow colors! (note: the quality of the image isn’t great as I had to crop our all of the details of the party, like our address!)
And…I’ll be going full speed ahead with planning over the next few weeks as we get closer to the date. But I’m incredibly excited to see everything come together and to celebrate our amazing Baby H with our closest family and friends!
Were you able to plan your LO’s first birthday party so that it was a “big” celebration without it being over the top?