We recently celebrated our first child’s first birthday. I never thought that a 1st birthday party would actually be FUN. But fun was an understatement. For Ava. For me. For everyone. I wish I could host a 1st birthday party every year for the rest of our lives (that would also mean Ava would never get older, and that would be perfectly fine with me at this point).
I originally wanted to do something “non-commercial”. (You know, something very millennial. Something I couldn’t just buy off the shelf at Party City.) However, Ava had different ideas. She fell in love with Sesame Street several months ago. Since that time, she’s had Sesame Street stuffed animals, books, and she’s had a chance to watch a couple episodes a week. While she’s doesn’t pay attention to an entire episode, she usually dances along to the songs you hear in every episode. “Clap-clap-it’s the letter of the daaaaayyy!” She thinks Elmo is pretty cute, and she adorably grunts every time she lays her eyes on or even hears the words “Cookie Monster”. It was pretty easy to figure out how to celebrate Ava’s 1st with something she would love. Our entire party can be found Etsy and Amazon–other than the cake. Our cake was made by our nanny and it was absolutely fabulous. Most of the cost of the party came in the way of catering food and booze. The rest of it was easy to keep within a budget. Without further adieu, I share with you Ava’s 1st Birthday Party.
Sorry for the blurry photo of Ava’s amazing outfit (stole it from a video). I found this one on Etsy. There are A LOT of super cute birthday girl outfits out there, but I chose this one from Monogram4Me. I wish you could see the video of this little one walking out of her room and into her party in this outfit. It was worth skipping the rest of the party.
I created a little photo area (not a photo booth) with a cheap plastic table cloth, a banner, and an Elmo 1st birthday decorating kit–all from Amazon.
More party supplies from Amazon (the character cutouts, the plates which conveniently came in sets of 16 and the plasticware). We used rainbow popcorn from a local gourmet popcorn shop (all the yummy fruit flavors), the multicolored goldfish, and had the rest catered by East Hampton Sandwich Company. If you have one nearby, I highly recommend them. They delivered everything including sandwiches, plates, plasticware (but not the ones you see here), cups, and tea enough for 30, were on time and friendly, and I will definitely be using them again. Plus, the lobster rolls were a huge hit!
The birthday banner came from Amazon, the balloons were from Etsy, the bib was part of Ava’s outfit (it had bloomers too!), and the high chair skirt was also from Etsy. The rainbow tablecloth was a cheap, easy one from Amazon. Ava’s smash cake was FREE from MarketStreet in Colleyville, Texas. This is another definite recommendation as they customized a 5″ cake just for her big day, and it was truly free!
Just a reminder, buy an extra plastic tablecloth when you’re out shopping. It saved our rug and made clean up a breeze!
I wish I could say that you, too, can have this amazing cake. But we are the luckiest family in the world, and have a nanny that obviously makes amazing cakes. I didn’t expect it to look better than all of the ideas I had from pinterest. But she knocked it out of the park! It was delicious too–chocolate with oreo buttercream icing that was bright pink! However, you can find the super cute cookies on Etsy (and they too are delicious)!
Ava’s party was a smashing success. She loved all the decorations. In fact, we decorated the night before, and she wanted each family member to pick her up and show her all of the details, one by one. Her eyes were wide and her smile even more so. She was just in awe. She was delighted to see all of the people that love her so much (mom, dad, grandparents, godparents, family friends).
I don’t have pictures, but I picked up a few other things that made for a good time for the adults involved–all from Michael’s.
- Bubble wands
- Bubble gun
- Throwable paint balls (these were so much fun and actually easy to clean up)
Lastly, I highly suggest thinking about other kiddo’s nap times when it comes to scheduling a birthday party. We held ours from 11am to 2pm. Ava often takes a morning nap around 9:30am and then an afternoon nap around 1pm (but can make it until 2pm if she’s entertained). This seemed to give us a good window to include everyone in all of the fun and still get Ava some much needed rest.
What are some of your favorite 1st birthday ideas/themes? “It’s fun to be one.” “You’re ONE in a melon.” “Wild One”, etc, There are so many great ideas out there. However, tailoring it to something we knew Ava loved (no matter how commercial) was so rewarding for all the grown-ups!
PS My dress came from Rent the Runway!