All birthdays are wonderful occasions but that first birthday celebration is especially significant. How do you plan a party that will hold a lifetime of memories? Whether you host a small gathering for family and a few close friends or decide to throw an extravagant bash for a crowd, plan for success by deciding on a theme and then the decoration ideas, birthday cake design and party favors will be much easier to choose.
A party theme is simply an idea that unifies all the party elements. There are innumerable possibilities, including: nursery rhymes, a favorite book, popular characters (Disney, Sesame Street, Seuss, etc.), family traditions/interests, even personality traits (cute-as-a-button, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Rascal, etc.). Although your little one will enjoy the colors and the activity that are a part of celebrating, s/he won’t remember the event so plan what is meaningful to your family. Once you settle on a theme idea it’s time to think about decorations.
Unless you are planning an elaborate soiree, limit decorations to a few areas. A front door wreath or a themed welcome sign greeting guests, food buffet/dessert table décor, and a couple of arrangements in the main seating area will create a party atmosphere and still leave room for guests to move freely. For extra fun, decorate baby’s high chair with a mini banner and attach a floating balloon.
Back the main food display with a backdrop to create a focal point. This can be simple, like a collage of baby’s first year in pictures, or an arrangement that features something related to the theme. Suspend pennant banners and balloons to offer festive pops of color. Even inexpensive wrapping paper can be used as a table runner to add color and pattern.
Give the birthday cake pride of place by elevating it on a pedestal. Food options can be arranged on pedestals and platters, using a variety of heights for interest. Guests expect fabulous food at a party and even simple fare can become party worthy when it is presented with flair; party picks and medallions dress up food choices. Napkins with fancy folds, glasses with identifying charms and colorful straws offer more decorative potential.
A first birthday definitely calls for lots of pictures! For the best results, remember to plan the party during a time slot when baby is typically at his/her energetic best! During the party you’ll be busy with baby and guests, so chronicle the event by hiring a photographer or designate a willing someone to record the day. A photo booth stocked with a collection of props is a great way to engage both guests and baby. A smash cake just for baby will allow baby to have all the frosting fun s/he wants while the camera rolls (remember to have another outfit ready so everyone doesn’t get covered with leftover frosting!).
If there will be young guests at the party, pre-planning a few activities just for them will be beneficial. Simple games, puzzles, even a craft station, will keep kids happy. Determine beforehand who might be able to keep an eye on the youngest guests.
Send guests home with a party favour. Present a small thank-you gift in an attractive package or an embellished container can hold dessert abundance.
Planning a meaningful party theme with fun decorations, including delicious food, and taking lots of pictures, will make baby’s first birthday the sweetest celebration!