I thought about posting this a few weeks ago as I was in the middle of my party planning preparations, but then I thought I might should wait until after the party to make sure all my plans worked out well. (Just in case ;)) And also because I could add in all the fun party pictures.
My Steps to Planning a Great Party:
1. Consult Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. I searched “First Birthday Themes for Girls”. You can search something similar that fits your needs to find an idea of themes you might like.
2. Decide on a theme. – I actually had ideas for two different themes posted to my board for Layten’s First Birthday ideas. One was a pretty, dainty, and floral theme just like her nursery and her baby shower. This one would’ve been really easy for me to decorate for because I could use a lot of the things from her nursery. However, we decided to go with a Pumpkin theme since her birthday is in the month of October. I love the idea of celebrating the Fall season and warmth and coziness of it. It was fun to decorate for this and celebrate her first year in this way.
3. Consult Pinterest again, this time specifically for the theme you’ve chosen. Pin all the related pins that seem like a possibility. You’ll be able to look back at all of these and choose your favorite ideas.
4. Decide on a cake. Will you order one or make your own? Cupcakes? Sheet cake? Layer cake? Smash cake? I decided to make our own for this party to save money. Both the sheet cake and the smash cake turned out pretty cute, in my opinion (especially for homemade cakes).
5. Decide on a Birthday Outfit. The birthday girl (or boy) is the center of all the pictures, so thinking about what she will wear is an important step. I purchased the tutu and crown headband from TJ Maxx & we paired it with a cream onesie and cream ballet flats we already had to complete the look.
6. Decide on a menu. Will you need to serve a full meal for guests traveling from out of town, or can you get away with just cake and ice cream like the good ole days? For our pumpkin-themed party, I had to decide whether I would rather have a Brunch with breakfast foods or more of a Lunch with more savory foods. I made a list of my Pinterest ideas for each and let my husband decide. Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Pumpkin Pastries, or Pumpkin Soup? We could’ve done a Pumpkin Sheet Cake like a Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Pie, or Cake pops that look like Pumpkins? The options were endless! We decided to go with the brunch idea.
Here’s the menu we decided to go with for our party…
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Sheet Cake (homemade, to look like a pumpkin patch)
Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits
Crockpot Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Pumpkin Fluff Dip with Various Crackers and Cookies and Wafers
Mini Bundt Cake Pumpkin (two cakes put together) for a Smash Cake
Peeled Oranges to Look Like Pumpkins
Little Smokies Sausages, added for some protein and something savory
7. Think about what things you can go ahead and purchase in advance so that you aren’t buying it all in one trip. Be sure to include “decor” in this as well. I decided to use Fall things from my house, and my mom brought some of hers as well. Between the two of us, we had plenty of decor and didn’t need to purchase anything else. I also went ahead and got things like canned pumpkin, cream cheese, the plates and other party ware, gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, and graham crackers, and little smokies sausages because all of these store well.
8. Think about what you can go ahead and make in advance so that you aren’t doing it all the night before or the morning of the party. I knew that I would have lots to do leading right up until party time, and I tend to stress over these types of things. Elminiating as much of that as possible, for me, was ideal. I researched how I could make the cinnamon rolls in advance and freeze them since I knew they would take the most preparation and time and make the biggest mess. I made two batches the weekend before the party. I made another two batches early the week of the party.
9. Write all of your recipes and ideas down on paper. The last thing you need is for your internet to be slow when you are in a rush or be unable to find the recipe you need. I wrote down activity ideas as well (Our wagon hay-ride didn’t happen because the weather was yucky.) Writing it all down also helps with allowing others to help you with the preparation process. My mom always asks what she can do to help, and if I have nothing written down – she won’t know how she can help me. I like to have things simple and ready to do so that I can lighten my load as much as possible, and we can all work together.
10. Put it all together! Pull out your decorations, party ware, serving trays, make your recipes, and get it all set up. This is my favorite part!
Thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to another year of laughter and fun with our little girl who just turned ONE!