A guest post written for 53 Weeks.
Your baby is turning 1!!! It’s time to enjoy and celebrate this major milestone! Here are 10 tips that helped this mama out!
- Pick a theme
Picking a theme can be fun and it helps you stay focused and helps organize the direction of the party.
We decided to go with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. My daughter has an adventurous spirit and is full on wonder so it was a natural choice for us!
- Ready, set, shop!
Now that you have your theme, it’s time to set a budget. Remembering that in the end it isn’t how expensive your party is but how memorable and fun it was for everyone.
The first place to start for me was shopping online at party supply sites. They have great deals and so much to choose from! From there check out your local dollar store. It’s amazing what you can find for a $1! I headed to a local wholesale lantern store to purchase all the colorful lanterns that we hung from the ceiling. I ordered most party supplies on Black Friday and took advantage of the discounts. If there is a holiday coming up take advantage of the savings!
- Guest list
Make a list and check it twice! You’ll need to know how many people you want to invite in order to plan successfully. This will help you decide on location, budget and overall work. Surround that little one with loved ones who have made the year so special! It takes a village, right?
We decided to invite about 75 people. Below is our group shot (blurred to respect privacy).
- Location, location, location
Now where to have the bday bash? Keep weather in mind – not so fun having a jumpy house outside if it’s raining. Can you accommodate all guests in your home? Is a restaurant more your style and letting staff handle the set up & clean up?
We decided on a recreation center. The blank space allowed us to decorate freely and there were no time restraints which allowed us to enjoy the party without watching the clock.
- What’s on the menu?
Try to be creative and work with your theme. Also, keep in mind how convenient it will all be. No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen during their child’s party.
We decided on sandwiches which were individually wrapped with salads as sides. This made it easy for all and allowed many variations and choices. Best of all – no one is heating anything up or running around. For the cake, I decided on going with cupcakes which are very convenient. No cutting, no passing out, no mess. I purchased a cupcake stand on amazon for presentation. Our daughter, of course, had her individual smash cake. I was able to find a cute cake topper on Etsy.
- Planning ahead will help you stay sane (kinda).
A first birthday is a big deal and one may feel the pressure to have it all be great. But now that you’re a mom, who has the time to be Martha Stewart? I started planning about two months prior. The time also allows for extra creativity and DIY projects. I shopped online, made calls and completed projects all during my daughter’s naps.
- Dress the part!
Get your guests involved and make everyone feel like they are part of the fun! Children love to see fantasy come to life.
We offered our guests their pick of hats as they walked into the party. Hats were purchased from a party supply store. Some of us wore costumes and had a blast! Our mini Alice looked adorable in her light blue tutu!
- Gotta entertain the littles.
Try estimating how many children will be coming to the party and their ages. Kids want to enjoy themselves and be a part of the theme via games and activities.
I purchased a corn hole game and covered it with green fabric and glued some flowers on it. My husband printed out posters at work. We also printed out some coloring pages for the younger kids. We also hired someone to face paint and hand out balloons.
- DIY with Love.
Crafty? Time to put your skills to work. Not crafty? Recruit friends and fam who are. Or now will be the time to become great friends with Pinterest and DIY tutorials on YouTube. Why DIY? Because sometimes you just can’t find what you want or need in a store. It can also be great way to save money.
For me, I enjoy DIY projects because I’m taking the time to do something out of love. Some DIYs I made were garland made out of dollar store playing cards, Queen’s guardsman which were made from dollar store poster board and construction paper and our table runners were also made by simply purchasing some fabric and sewing the sides. I also had some items which included pictures of her first year.
- Have fun!
When all is said and done…ENJOY this special day! In the end it isn’t about the décor, it’s about celebrating their sweet life. A year has gone by and it probably all happened in the blink of an eye (despite the sleepless nights). So take it all in, these moments go by way too fast. Remember to take lots of pictures so your little one can look back on the celebration! Congrats you made it! Happy Birthday little one!