How to Plan a First Birthday Party Like a Pro
Here are some tips and tricks to plan the perfect first birthday party!
In the life of every parent, there are milestones that we all look forward to. Most notable is the birth of our children, their first crawl, first steps, first words and 365 days after their birth — their first birthday! Congratulations, you've survived your first year as a parent! It's now time to mark this symbolic milestone on your journey as a parent. There are a few generally accepted rules when working on the first birthday, including keeping the event short (no more than two hours), keeping the guest list short, and inviting a lot of kids within your child's age group.
As a parent, the entire process of planning the first birthday will fall mainly on you. No pressure! Every single step from choosing a theme, finalizing the guest list, foods, drinks, and games are on you, and delivery is critical. Don’t worry, we’ve written this guide to ensure every detail is in place so you won’t miss a thing! Truth be told, organizing a first birthday party is by no means easy, which especially rings true for first-time parents. In the spirit of making life easier for everyone, we've compiled a comprehensive list of some of the most spectacular and easy to deliver first birthday ideas for you and your little bundle of joy!
You only have one chance at a first birthday; few birthdays are as important as the first, and the memories you and your family will make before, during, and after the event will last a lifetime. The ideas we've listed here are generally simple and easy to deliver. We offer gender-specific first birthday ideas as well as mixed birthday ideas.
When it comes to planning such an important event, finding a good starting point can seem overwhelming. This is why we put together this list of tips and tricks to keep in mind. Following this advice will make your party planning process easy and stress-free!
Keep it Short
This is undoubtedly one of the essential rules that parents from around the world tend to break. In the spirit of making this monumental event as beautiful and rewarding as possible, we tend to overreach and plan for a first birthday the same way we'll prepare for that of an adult. A general rule of thumb would be to plan for about 60-135 minutes of peak "alert-baby time," any more than this would be wishful thinking.
While you may want to invite everyone you know, this is not a very great idea. It'll be better to keep the guest list small and cozy, think grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, as well as a few of you and your spouse's friends and their little ones. If you're feeling especially festive, you can invite a few friends from playgroups and their parents.
As a parent planning a first birthday, the last thing you want is to break the golden rule of keeping your event as short and straightforward as possible. Now that we've gotten this tip out of the way, it's time to dig in deeper and unearth more party planning gems.
Pick a Theme
What's a birthday party without an accompanying theme? It's crucial to pick a theme appropriate to your event and take your celebrant into the equation when settling on your theme. What's your baby's favorite show to enjoy? What's their favorite toy to play with? What colors do they tend to gravitate to more than others? These three questions should help you in deciding on a theme for your baby's first birthday.
If you're not a first-time parent, the celebrant's older siblings can help decide on the theme for the event, which this can lead to more exciting ideas!
After settling on a theme, you need to figure out the appropriate decorations for your guests. You need to avoid decorations that may be a choking hazard for your small guests. Decorations and props must also be out of the reach of kids so as not to have crawlers getting to them and ultimately putting them in their mouths.
Whatever decorations and props you use must be aligned with the theme and feel of your event. The last thing you want is medieval props in a Spongebob Squarepants themed birthday party, or Dora the Explorer decorations in a Ben 10 themed party! There's an art to doing this, and you must master it.
A great idea fora first birthday party is a photoshoot. You can decide to have a photoshoot before the birthday party, during the event, or better still a couple of days after the big day. Photoshoots don't have to be expensive. You can have a memorable birthday shoot on a budget, just remember you don't need too many people or extravagant props, all you'll need are the basics, and you're good to go.
What you'll need for a unique birthday shoot on a budget includes a theme, props, cake, drapes for the background, a table, tablecloth, photographer equipped with professional equipment, and a few other items depending on your budget.
For example, we're going to walk you through what 3RD & LUXE used to organize this stunning medieval-themed birthday shoot.
For this medieval first birthday party they decided to go with silver as the dominant color; even using silver birthday balloons spelling out the name of Gwenivere, the adorable celebrant. They matched that with a gray brick wallpaper matching the theme, silver drapes, with confetti and metallic balloons. Not to forget the decadent cakes, tarts, and other sweet treats! All with a gorgeous silver sequin, petal circle or pintuck tablecloths to bring it all home. The vibrant pink flower arrangement matched the cake and balloons and added the perfect pop of color to this fun medieval theme!
As you can see by this charming first birthday party by 3RD & LUXE, you too can have a gorgeous party for the special person in your life turning one while still keeping it fun and affordable! They kept the event simple by using framed photos, paper tassel decorations and drapes, simple balloons that match the color scheme, a few attention-grabbing tablecloths, and delicious desserts that didn't overtake the attention from the birthday girl!
You can really make the most out of your event when you pick a few stand out decoration pieces and keep the rest simple but on theme! Framed photos are something you most likely keep around the house. So naturally using them as party decorations is a great idea, just like the personal touch of homemade goodie bags and desserts. By adding DIY and homemade treats to your event you can save on expenses and it lets your specialty decor items pop!
For this event, the main focus was on the bright and shining dessert table. It was eye-catching, from top to bottom! Decorated in silver tinsel, balloon garlands, shining sequins, and the cherry on top, that gorgeous castle cake! The other tables, while more subtle still made an impact with a delightful mix of textured tablecloths letting each table hold it's own.
The Importance of Tablecloths
It's easy to overlook the importance of tablecloths in our events, and most parents having a photoshoot for their kids tend to make the mistake of paying little to no attention to the tablecloths they use. Keep in mind that the art of choosing and using a tablecloth is by no means easy. During your theme search, you’ll need to know the different fabrics and variations available for you to pick the right tablecloth for your special photoshoot and party.
Below, we've explained a few popular table linen fabrics featured in this brilliant medieval styled shoot.
Pintuck Taffeta is a high-end, lightweight fabric with a smooth yet textured surface that's sure to provide a radiant sheen throughout your event. Soft lights tend to reflect correctly on taffeta creating an ambiance that's sure to make your event look classy and luxe. The silver rectangular pintuck tablecloth was the perfect fit as the base for the guest book table. You can find our pintuck collection available in fabric rolls, napkins, overlays, sashes, runners, and more!
This luxurious and eye-catching design is stitched onto a mesh backing. Payette Sequins are often round, metallic, and reflective. If you want to get maximum bang for your buck, then you might want to consider Payette sequins. Shining bright, the silver rectangular payette sequin tablecloth was made a statement piece as the perfect base to highlight the dessert table for this first birthday party! You can find our payette sequin collection available in drapes, chair backs, runners, fabric rolls, and more!
Petal Circle Taffeta
The petal circle taffeta fabric and design allow you to add some refined fun to your birthday shoot. As we already know by now, taffeta is a high-end fabric that features a smooth texture, doesn't weigh too much, and its color always lights up every room. The sophisticated yet fun texture of the silver rectangular petal circle tablecloth lent itself the ideal base for the guest table. You can find our petal circle taffeta collection available in runners, drapes, overlays, and more!
The different types of tablecloths we just listed above are by no means a comprehensive list, just a guide to help you on your quest to pick the perfect tablecloth for whatever event you're planning.
After all is said and done, there's a lot that goes into planning and successfully giving your little one a perfect first birthday party, you have to keep in mind that you're not an island and there are a plethora of parents that have gone through what you're about to go through now. Ask questions, work hand-in-hand with your spouse or family, accept help, be flexible, and, most importantly, you have to understand that this event isn't about you but celebrating your little bundle of joy!
For more styling tips and updates on the latest decor trends, follow our Instagram account. You can also tune into our YouTube channel for more decorating tips and tricks! Also be sure to follow 3RD & LUXE on Instagram and learn more about their planning service on their website.