As you may know, my baby girl turned one last week. We had a little party to celebrate and everyone had a lovely time. She was surrounded by family and friends and having everyone together to share such a special milestone is a memory we shall all treasure.
What’s that, I hear you say? Tips and advice on planning a first birthday party? Why of course, no problemo! Here’s a run down of what the day entailed..
Venue… Think about where you’d like the party. This will depend on the space you have or need, whether you want it at home or somewhere less personal where it doesn’t matter if you have little ones racing around. Our house is too small to hold all the people we wanted there and the in-law’s have dogs who get nervous around children. My parents have a home with lots of space downstairs so it’s become tradition to have parties and celebrations there (including our wedding venue, more on that in another post!) so it seemed a no brainier to have LL’s party there. We didn’t really want or need to hire anywhere but this may be the option you’d prefer. Depending on the size of the party and what you’d like, there are a few options you could choose from, such as a Village Hall, soft play, restaurant, hotel or Adventure Farm. Have a look on the internet for places in your local area or contact them directly for information.
Theme and Decor… Choose a colour scheme and theme. We had a little tea party using the vintage teacups, saucers, tea pots and plates we’d collected for our wedding. We went with pastel pink, peach, mint and cream as they look beautiful together. I love paper Pom Poms and found lots on eBay and Amazon. I purchased some in all the colours and hung them from the chandelier in the kitchen above the birthday cake. I also made a wool Pom Pom garland in the same colour ways and strung it up across the table. We hung bunting on the fence outside and tied pastel pink balloons on the gate. I purchased some baby milestone cards just before LL was born and took photos of her each month. I printed all the twelve months off, found some pretty pegs and hung them up on some string so everyone could see how she’d grown and changed over the past year. I found a gorgeous gold cake topper so added hints of gold here and there on the cupcakes, too.
You can add other bits and pieces depending on your ideas and little one’s personality and interests, perhaps their favourite toy, book or television programme. May I just say, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! I’m addicted to Pinterest and ‘Pinning’ has become part of my “me time” (when I get any that is! It’s so relaxing… I’ve got boards for everything!) There are lots of ideas on there to inspire you. You don’t need to go overboard to make it special…a few balloons, some paper Pom poms or bunting is all you may need. You can do as much or as little as you like, the day will still be special and memorable whatever you chose to do). eBay, Amazon, The Range, Home Bargains, Poundland all have a great range of party accessories for great prices.
Cake… Luckily, my mum is an amazing baker, and she really wanted to make LL’s cake. I love cake decorating, and we both added the finishing touches to it. Pinterest was where I found most of my inspiration for the decor and Etsy was where I purchased the cake topper. We went with a Victoria sponge, vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam. I covered the outside in a thin layer of buttercream, then patted descecnated coconut all over it. A sprinkling of edible gold glitter and a scattering of pastel pink sugar pearls and white chocolate chips and the cake topper was put in place. We were really pleased with the end result, it was simple yet pretty and if we must say ourselves, it was very scrummy! If you’re not a baker, don’t panic! There are lots of lovely cakes you can find for your party. Supermarkets and bakeries offer a fantastic range, whether it be off the shelf or custom made.
Food… We decided finger food would be the easiest option…lots of adults and little ones so went for a small buffet. We had a selection of savoury items…finger sandwiches (cheese and tomato, ham and pickle and tuna mayo and cucumber), sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, savoury muffins, quiche, breadsticks, hummus with carrot and celery sticks and garlic bread. For something sweet we made cupcakes, an apple and cinnamon cake and a mango trifle (a bit boozy for the adults!)
If you’re doing the food yourself, try and do as much prep before hand as you can. If you’d rather not then supemarkets offer a selection of delicious and tasty platters, such as Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, and also good old M&S. Getting someone else to do the catering is stress free and no hassle!
Games and Party Safety… We had a few little ones to entertain, so we made the front lounge child proof and popped a throw down and scattered cushions around. Some books and toys to keep them busy and they were very happy. We avoided party poppers (little ones don’t like loud bangs) and balloons indoors (they can be a choking hazard). Make sure there is a stair gate at the bottom of the stairs, and keep doors closed for the rooms where you don’t want little ones to venture.
Check out this website for great safety advice when holding or attending a birthday party…
What’s most important is that you enjoy the day! Take lots of photos, make lots of laughter and memories and eat plenty of cake! Happy Birthday to your little one! Xxx