After a busy week of running errands and organizing home, as I promised, I want to share with you how did I manage to organize my son’s first birthday party. It took me a while to put everything together, and it was my helpers and me, cause I needed a lot of help, more over because we celebrated this party three weeks after I had surgery.
Two months ahead of time I started pinning ideas of how did I wanted the table to look like in my Pinterest account. I got several ideas plus I remembered about an etsy shop run by a highschool classmate, Sara from The Unique Day . I took my time to browse for bundles and themes and I decided to personalize the farm theme with boyish colors. By then I already had ordered my invitations from Shutterfly with a coupon I got from the huggies website (that happened before they rebuilt the point thing).
At first, I thought about baking the cake, preparing finger foods building my own piñata, but after my surgery, I was thinking to do everything with the least physical effort possible. My mother in law helped with the menu and my sweet hubby helped with cutting all the paper goodies.
So here’s my to do list to prepare that first birthday party:
TO DO LIST TO PREPARE THE FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY
- Gather theme ideas. Pinterest is very useful for this. Start a new board and browse tags like birthday ideas, birthday tables, first birthday, etc.
- Decide how big do you want the party to be. Have a chat with the people who will be helping you during the big day and check your budget. I would recommend not more than 10 people per host, so you can take good care of your guests.
- Distribute responsabilities between the hosts. Maybe your mom and hubby are helping, maybe it’s your mother in law and a friend. Let them know what are you expecting them to do before, during and after the party, so everybody will be able to enjoy and help at the same time.
- Gather the addresses of your guests to send them the invitations. You need to phone, text, email or call them to gather their correct and full address. House number, street, location, zip code.
- Order the invitations. A month and a half before the party you should already have the theme decided. Depending on your theme, you can find a wide variety of designs, from the generic to very personalized in websites like Etsy or Shutterfly. Personally, I avoided the usual cartoon characters from Disney or Pixar and went for a more alternative choice like a farm, an aquarium or a castle. Make sure your invitations have the correct address of the venue, the date and the hours you will be hosting the party, plus a telephone where your guests can confirm their attendance. Remember babies usually nap every three hours, so the party should last around two hours, so you will prevent baby to get fussy.
- Send the invitations via mail. One month ahead of time, mail the invitations. Here in USA mail is pretty fast, so if you are just inviting locals, they should get the invitation within two days.
- Plan the menu. I would say that two weeks before the party you should be planning how are you going to feed the crowd. It also depends on the party schedule. Is it a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner? Remember which kind of guests are you having. Remember babies can choke with food in big chunks, so maybe the safest way to go is to prepare some special food for the little ones and food for the adults.
- Buy your decorations and dishware. You can find a wide variety of designs in Amazon. I personally started buying the decorations like streamers and ballons, dishware and menu items online and left the last minute purchases to the local grocery store. My paper decorations were designed by The Unique Day, who, for a small fee, personalized items like the cupcake toppers, cupcake wrappers, menu tags and favor bag tags. Remember you will need to print them, so order an XL color printer ink and a heavy weight paper.
- Order the cake. You will be very busy preparing favor bags, menu items and decorations to be cooking one day before the party, so the easiest way to go is going to your preferred bakery two weeks before the party and order a beautiful and delicious cake.
- Prepare your paper decorations. If you like me ordered printable goods online, start printing and cutting them in your free time (if you think you don’t have any, just sit down with scissors in hand during the nap time).
- Start cooking. I would say one or two days before the party you need to start cooking everything. I started with the popcorn for the treat table. I picked hot dogs for the main menu and my mother in law helped with taco wraps and spinach dip. An aunt helped with a mexican dip and at the end, my cupcakes were from Walmart, which surprinsingly had a good flavor although after the party everybody recommended the ones from Publix.
- One day before the party go to sleep early. If you want to be an energized and smiley host, quit everything you are doing by 11 pm and go to sleep. By now you should have all the groceries needed for the final cooking plus the decorations ready.
- Have somebody take pictures of the party. Comission a friend or family member to take pictures with your camera of a phone. This way you will be in them and you will have plenty of material for the scrapbook.
- Enjoy the party!!
On October 2nd we celebrate the party with guests and their kids, it was a fun time and I received a lot of compliments for the organization, the goodie table and the piñata time. My son received tons of gifts, from toys to cute clothes and had a blast with the smash cake. Here are some pictures of my goodie table.
I was very greatful for the presence of the family and friends who celebrated with us a milestone, Liam’s first birthday. A year full of blessings and learning, as much for him as for his parents.