They say time flies when you’re having fun. This is never more true than when you suddenly realize your baby is about to turn one year old! Recently, Brookwood Baptist moms (and TV commercial stars) Emily and Patricia celebrated the first birthdays of their babies, Addie and Hollaway. So in their honor, we wanted to share some fun first birthday tips for planning a first birthday party that you and your family will never forget.
1. Don’t Overdo It.
The first, and maybe most important tip: don’t stress yourself out. Your baby’s first birthday should be a fun, special occasion. If you push yourself to the breaking point trying to make it perfect, it won’t be very much fun for you (or anyone who has to deal with you, for that matter). Which brings us to our second tip:
2. Smart, Selective Decorating.
As adorable as it would be, you really don’t need to turn your whole house into a beautiful birthday playland. Keep it simple. Focus on a couple of key areas that you know will be a focal point (especially in photos). For example: decorate your baby’s high chair and the wall behind it, since you know you’ll be photographing them “eating” their cake there. And speaking of cake …
3. The “Smash Cake.”
Without question, one of the absolute best things about first birthday parties is watching your baby dig their chubby little baby hands into a cake, then shove it in their chubby little baby face. But then, what are the rest of you supposed to eat?
Most of you probably know “The Smash Cake” already, but it’s a big enough deal that it bears repeating just in case. Basically, you get two cakes: a big one for your guests to eat, and a baby-sized one for your birthday boy or girl to just go nuts on. And voilà—let them eat cake!
4. Explore Your Resources.
Remember: you don’t have to do it all yourself. You’ve got enough on your plate as it is. If you’re struggling to come up with a theme or decorating ideas (or you simply just don’t have time), it’s okay to rely on the web for inspiration. Of course, you’ve got your Pinterest—and there’s no shortage of ideas there. But there are lots of other blogs with great inspiration pieces (and free printables!), like Handmade Charlotte, Oh Happy Day, Camille Styles, Mr. Printables, and Hello! Lucky.
Of course, the first thing people will see (and sometimes the last thing you think of) is the invitation. Birmingham has lots of great resources for custom invitations like Empress Stationery, Four Hats Press, and Night Owl Paper Goods.
5. Stay In The Picture
This might sound weird, but we don’t want you taking pictures at your baby’s first birthday party. Hey, you know we love your pictures. But this is the type of event you really want to be truly present for. Enjoy it, soak it in—with your own eyes. Not through the lens of a camera. Delegate those duties to someone you trust, so you can just focus on enjoying yourself and being there with your baby. Make sure you jump in a few pictures. And, of course, tag them with #ichooseb when you upload them. ; )
6. To Gift Or Not To Gift?
That is, quite often, the question. People usually want to bring something, but don’t know what. If people express a desire to bring a gift, you should be prepared to suggest something (in case they ask). One of our favorite gift ideas is asking for books to start your baby’s library. In fact, we like it so much that we wanted to give you a free printable “From the Library of” book plate to help you do it up right. Just download the PDF and paste it into any books your baby receives.
7. Remember: Above All, It’s A Party.
You’re supposed to have fun. Make a good party playlist. Use disposable plates and utensils for easy clean-up. Invite your friends (not necessarily just the ones with babies). And again: don’t overdo it (see tip #1).
When you’re planning a first birthday party, the possibilities are resources are endless. These are just a few tips we like, but we know there’s plenty more. Please share your favorite ideas, experiences and resources with us in the comments!