We have two “spring” babies and one “fall” baby and we recently celebrated our youngest daughter’s 1st birthday! First birthdays are always big in our family since, well, it’s the FIRST (of hopefully many)!
I’ve been on this Minimalist bandwagon for over a year and it’s still a work in progress so when I decided on the theme of Bryn’s 1st Birthday, I came up with a Minimalist Floral Theme. And if you were there, it was definitely minimal (in decorations) but definitely not in food!
Since Bryn was a newborn, she wore these topknot head wraps or whatever you want to call them and they have definitely been a signature piece of her wardrobe. We go to church and that’s the first thing almost everyone looks for. If she isn’t wearing one, they don’t know it’s her… JUST KIDDING! But really, aren’t they so adorable?!?
If you don’t have a baby carrier, please get one ASAP. It’s an investment, rather than an expense. We have the Ergo. It’s the same one I used with my my first baby and it’s so helpful! You can pretty much multi-task and not even realize it. Also, have I mentioned that it’s a great place to hide your baby in? Bryn practically hid and slept while I carried her and ate my food… all at the same time!
Now, get this… We were supposed to celebrate our babygirl’s birthday on March 2nd but due to weather conditions, we had to postpone it. Our venue was outdoors and the city didn’t issue refunds which I knew ahead of time but I was set on having the party at this place. It is by far one of my favorite places for the kiddos to go to (especially during summer).
Now, on the day of the birthday party, thankfully, it didn’t rain but it was really windy. The backdrop you see behind us kept flying and wouldn’t stay put but some great family friends figured something out and came up with this….
It was minimal but I loved the brightness it provided for pictures. It was either this or the group of people having another party behind it… And honestly, I didn’t plan perfectly. I didn’t anticipate the windy weather; I didn’t have supplies to tie the cloths together, or enough string to hang some of the floral decor…but a friend of mine assisted in making the plain white cloths into something simple, yet pretty.
Here is a close-up of the simple floral wreath I made. The light pastel colors with a little bit of pink and lots of green resulted in such a pretty party decor. I sit here, wishing I had made more than one big wreath. The gold ring was purchased from Joanns as well as the flowers.
You can never go wrong with fruits at any party. Here was a simple arrangement of cheese, crackers, salami, and fruits.
And cupcakes are always a great addition to a party!
It can be stressful planning for big parties, especially the 1st Birthday, but on my third daughter’s first birthday, I actually didn’t have a migraine like I did with my other two. I told myself during the preparation for this that I wanted to enjoy and not worry.
Yes, there were a few hiccups but my awesome husband was just amazing on doing some runs and being Johnny-on-the-spot.
Here are some tips to help you with planning your child’s next birthday party:
- Start saving up. Birthday parties are not cheap but they are affordable. Stuff will add up – food, decor, plates, utensils, drinks, rental fees (if applicable), vendors, caterers, supplies, photographer/videographer, etc.
- Prepare/Order enough food. It’s always better to have more food than not enough. Many of our guests for Bryn’s party were even able to bring some food home. We had a variety – Chinese, Mexican, Filipino.
- Check for weather conditions and plan properly. Although we don’t have control over the weather, we can always have a back-up plan. In our case, the party was outdoors. It had already been postponed once and I would’ve hated to postpone it again or even worse, cancel the party…(and I was set on having our daughter’s party at this venue). I did check the weather but not in detail. I didn’t see how windy it would be but it was a great party nonetheless.
- Consider the kiddos. At every child’s party, there will be other children! (DUH!) The venue we rented out had a splash pad but again, due to the windy weather, it would’ve been too cold for anyone to get wet. Nevertheless, there was plenty of room for the kids to run around and play with one another or ride their scooters/bicycles.
- Always have coffee! Whether your party is outdoors, indoors, or “no doors” (pun intended), COFFEE is never a bad idea! I am so thankful my husband was Johnny-on-the-spot and was willing to make some runs for stuff that was needed and we didn’t already have, like coffee! And as usual, Starbucks came through!
- Have a cooler for your drinks! A cooler is a great way to store your drinks in and keep them cold. Juice and other drinks are great but always have water for those that prefer sugary drinks. DON’T FORGET THE ICE PACKS!
- Have tape, scissors, other supplies handy. Although I was aiming for a minimal theme, I’m so glad I had a friend with other supplies (like twine) handy in her trunk. I definitely didn’t think about having that. I forgot the string to hang the floral wreath I had made for the photobooth and she assisted in that area. Tape was great (especially double-sided tape) for the table cloths. Otherwise, they would’ve been flying all over the place.
- Have enough tables and chairs. Our venue was great! It was an amphitheater and came with a good number of tables and chairs already. We just brought the serving tables, gift table, dessert table, and some chairs. The extra chairs weren’t really necessary as there was plenty of grassy area to sit on.
- Communicate with your guests. I sent out invitations through Facebook and it saved us money. Facebook is a great platform to create events on (public or private). I was able to inform my guests about the party being postponed until the following week through here. What about those that don’t have Facebook? Well, I just texted them an invitation. I can’t say that I was the best communicator as I did post one important part of the directions on the day of and some people didn’t look at; sometimes Maps on iPhone can be misleading. Eventually, everyone found the venue.
- Have to-go boxes or extra plates and aluminum foil. I am Filipino and it is very common for our culture to encourage our guests to bring food home, either for themselves or other relatives. As I mentioned earlier, many of our guests bought several plates to-go. We didn’t have to-go boxes because that wasn’t part of the budget but extra plates and aluminum foil will do.
- Have your printed permit (if applicable). If your party requires reserving through the city, you most likely will be issued a permit after paying a fee for renting. The security guard on duty did come and ask for my permit, which I only had on my phone. Although, she wanted the hard copy, she still allowed us to have the party.
- Use chafing dishes! If you are planning on serving any food that you would like to keep warm, use chafing dishes. They are great for parties. Don’t forget the cooking fuel. We used Sterno from Smart and Final.
- Hire a photographer! I am so thankful for talented friends. I had asked a friend of ours from church if he could capture Bryn’s special day and I am so glad he did. He’s usually just a wedding photographer/videographer but I loved how he captured our daughter’s first birthday. If you are in the Southern San Diego area, hit him up! (www.jemramosvisuals.com)
- Have a separate cake for the birthday celebrant to dig into! A sweet lady from our church offered to make Bryn’s cake. I just showed her what I wanted and voila! Fun Fact: She also made our wedding cake over 6 years ago!
- Lastly, enjoy the day! Don’t be afraid to designate some duties to others who are willing to help you. Believe me, it’ll help keep you sane. Talk to your guests and enjoy their company rather than trying to do it all.