Friday, March 14, 2014

First Birthday MUST-Do's!

After recently having Everly's fabulous Valentine's Day Birthday Bash... I decided to compile a cheat sheet for you all to use as my absolute musts for a 1st Birthday. They are easy and will save you time/money and you will look back on your babe's birthday looking like you put SO much more thought into it than you actually have... (air high-5, girlfriend!)
1. Go with a seasonal/holiday theme: Everly's birthday was Feb. 6, so finding adorable Valentine's decor/candies/etc was a cinch. I got most of the deco-picks, cupcake liners, heart dishes etc. at the Dollar Tree and dollar aisle at Target. (Hello, bargains!) Embrace the holiday that will always remind them of their special day!
2. Take Smash Cake photos a week or so BEFORE the party.
While it was cute to watch her dive into her cake during her party, really letting her get covered in frosting and get really cute shots of this first sugar induced hyper-mode was so much better knowing I could just dip her in the bath immediately after.
I took these shots below in my master bathroom, on a plastic table cloth, with party decorations draped behind her. SO EASY!

3. Decorate with ^above cake smash photos. I made this garland above the
candy bar/cake table using clothes pins, felt stickers and bakers twine.
Cost: $5? Cheap and adorable!

4. Make "Candy Bar" using my glass collection. I save every Artichoke Heart, Pickle, Mason, ETC, Jar for just such an occasion. I decorated them with washi-tape, fabric scraps, stickers and felt. And all I had to do was buy themed colored candy. Then after the party, I peel the stickers and put them in safe keeping until our next party.

5. Decorate your existing decor. I decorated my candle sconces with simple red burlap fabric (left over from fall pillows) and stickers. My table candles I just put a strip of washi-tape around and some hearts, which peeled off without damaging my candles. I even used a few yards of lace I had at the window just by bunching the ends of the fabric with rubber bands and hanging it with thumb tacks.

6. Garland, garland everywhere!
The easiest most adorable garland (in my humble opinion) is simple fabric strips tied onto yarn.
Using your theme colors, the possibilities are endless. Use a mix of fabrics, it looks even better.

I tied them everywhere... the chairs, the windows, even around the birthday girl's high chair tray.

7. Decorate the high chair. It makes for adorable candle/cake time photos and everyone thought it was adorable. If you aren't the sewing kind, you can decorate the tray (I just taped it on around the edge) and tie balloons to the chair itself.

8. Encourage your guests to wear your theme colors/theme.
I truly believe people enjoy and welcome a fun dress code, I know I do.

8. Order or make one cake for the baby-- ahem-- almost toddler, and enough cupcakes or cake pops for all your guests. I've found doing this makes my party experience SO much less stressful, knowing I won't have to deal with cutting the cake and passing it out. I can do cupcakes and small paper plates like nobody's business.
(I made the cake with marshmallow fondant, my FAVORITE recipe can be found HERE, cupcakes are plain white with a Wilton Tip #32 and pearl sprinkles)

9. Use photos of your birthday babe as decoration. It's hard to tell, but I clothes-pinned them
across the window and on every chair... From birth to present. It was so sweet looking at all of them and thinking of how much changes in just one year.
<insert sentimental sigh, hand-over mouth, tear in eye, here>

10. Pass out "Thank you for coming" photo cards with your favors.
My family/friends are super informal, so I can get away with things like this.

Prior to the party I ordered thank you cards to pass out that had Everly's cake smash photos.
My family/friends know I'm about as busy as it gets and enjoyed these photo cards along with their favor bags from the "Candy Bar." It was so much easier than having Everly, ahem-- Me, write out thank yous to everyone, plus they loved the pictures.

If you have any first birthday (or any birthday) MUST DO's, share in the comments!