Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Birthday Party Ideas

For all of us who have thrown our children a first birthday party you know the level of stress that it can bring.  If you are anything like me, you want everything to be as prefect as it was in your head when you envisioned the whole party.  Let’s face it, nothing is ever perfect, take it from me, if you roll with the punches and keep your chin up, have a positive outlook no matter what, your party will be a huge success! 
Normally this is where I would say, “keep it simple” however, I never keep it simple, which is why I need to take my own advice from time to time.  For those of you who have yet to experience this rites of passage for parenthood, known as the “first birthday party”, I hope some of these ideas will help you along the way.  Remember, it’s not just your child’s first year you are celebrating, but also, your first year of being a parent(s)!

1.       Theme:  Having a theme set’s the mood for the entire party, not to mention, help keep you on track when it comes to the food and decorations, it makes it easier to tie everything together.  Haven’t thought of a theme yet? Think of your child’s favorite book, or perhaps a nickname you call your child, like “He/She is such a ‘little monkey’”.  Also, if the party is close to a holiday, you might think about incorporating it into the theme.  Here are some cute ideas:
b.     Barnyard Bash
c.      Carnival
d.      Sesame Street
e.      Vintage nostalgia – bring back all the great toys you had as a kids
f.       Candyland
g.      Winnie the Pooh
h.      Dr. Suess
i.       Curious George
j.       Little Monkey
I will be doing a post on each of these theme's, each week, so come back to get to more great idea's or simiply click on the theme you would like to view to see if the post is ready!
2.     Invitations:  I know it’s “greener” to go with e-invitations, however, I still love receiving and mailing paper invitations.  I also think the invitation is a preview of the party.  I like to try and do something unique for my invitations, however, that’s not always the case with three little ones running around the house.  Try a play on words when writing your invitations, or add something to the card to make it three dimensional.  Give it the “WOW” factor so that when people receive their invitations they think, “I want to be at this party”, and be sure to mail them at least 3 weeks before the party. I try to mail mine 4 weeks before, that way people know the date and there is less of a chance of people not being able to attend.  Here is a cute wording for a first year birthday that come from the Celebrations site
We can't believe it's been a year,
(Childs name)'s first birthday is already here!

First smile, first laugh, first tooth, first step, first birthday!
Join us in celebrating (child's name)'s special day.

One little candle placed on the cake.
One first birthday wish to make!

3.    Decorations:  Now that you have choosen a theme,  start planning (at least 4 weeks before the party) so you have time to shop the clearance sections of popular stores for some great deals.  Planning early can save a lot of money!  I would suggest creating an inspiration board.  Sit down with your computer and starting putting together pictures of great ideas that go with your theme.  From there, duplicate it as best you can. It’s that easy.

4.    Food & Drinks: Take your cue from your theme and your inspiration board.  Try to keep it simple and remember, if it makes it easier on you, order the food, just be sure to display it in a cute way.  If you want to make it yourself, check out websites like allreciepes where they tell you how difficult it is to make the dish.
5.    Thank you’s:  Please remember to send your Thanks You’s within a week of the party and be sure to hand write them when you can, it’s a simple way to show your appreciation.

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