The Big One: a First Birthday Party


April showers don’t only bring May flowers… they also brought my daughter’s first birthday party indoors.  This party was a labor of love though, so I wasn’t about to let a few raindrops get in the way of celebrating my baby girl.  I watched the weather closely for a week before the party.  It was gorgeous and sunny  a year earlier on the day she was born, so there was no way was it going to rain!  Right?  Wrong!  The chances of rain only increased as Saturday grew closer, but I was still in complete denial until the night before.  Most of the indoor decorating was done and the rain was making it clear that we’d need a plan B for the outdoor seating we were counting on in the backyard.  No problem… we transformed the garage into a party room!  A last-minute trip to the local party supply shop to procure a roll of plastic table covering was all we needed.  The shelving and tool bench got covered in sheets of the pretty plastic, tables were set up, and flowers were placed strategically.  Crisis averted!  We had a place to seat at least some of our 50+ guests.

Let’s be honest… first birthday parties are largely for the parents and other adults.  It was because of that fact that I decided to forgo a true “theme” and settled on a few fresh colors instead.  The color palette I chose was Tangerine, Sherbet, Robin’s Egg Blue, and Pink. All of the stationery (invites, thank you notes, banners, tent cards, party circles, etc.) was designed by me and printed at home.  My crafty side couldn’t resist making coordinating tissue paper pompoms and pinwheels too.










I documented Callie’s growth over her first year by photographing her in the same chair each month with these adorable month milestone signs from Mom and Wife.  The photos made a perfect banner for the party.




We served lunch, which consisted of a salad bar with grilled salmon and chicken, pasta salad and assorted bread.  Everyone loved it and it was a conveniently do-ahead menu.  I baked color coordinated cookies (recipe here) and 2 kinds of cupcakes… Chocolate Malt and Banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  We also has a small Baby Buffet set up with baby and toddler friendly options: bananas, mum-mums, string cheese, and pastina with peas and carrots.







The birthday girl had her first cake (and first sugar!) sitting in her vintage high chair that my husband sanded and painted aqua.  She LOVED the cake and put on quite a show for everyone.  I had high expectations for the cake smash and Baby C did not disappoint!



This was by no means the first event that I ever coordinated and styled, but I think this one really sealed my eventual fate of starting my party styling business.  I loved every step of the planning process and the end result was more than I could have hoped for.  All that AND my husband and I had officially survived the first year of parenthood!  Woo-hoo!!

Party Photography: Stills by Hill Photography
Styling and Party Printables: A la Mo
Paper straws, baker’s twine, and candy cups: TomKat Studio


  1. Still can’t get over how great these colors are!

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