Tuesday Trends- 2.21.17- 1st Birthday Parties

Pinterest is an AMAZING place to gather ideas for just about everything- from food, to decorating, to candle making- it’s all there. If you look for pins on 1st birthday parties though, the pages are endless and can leave you with a migraine trying to figure out what to do.

Today, we want to help you make your little one’s 1st birthday memorable, manageable, and trendy!

As a Mom getting ready to plan my very first child’s 1st birthday party, I am HERE for you. I am in the trenches with planning right now and I understand how overwhelming the whole process can be, so I’m going to help you narrow things down.

Be unique- There is nothing wrong with a beautiful princess party or a wild monster truck birthday party- these have been and always will be favorites for a reason- kids love them. Sometimes, though, we want to branch out and find other ideas. You don’t need to rack your brain or spend 1,000’s of dollars to do that though. You know your child- what is something that you recognize as your child? For example, my son is a dare-devil and trying to do things far more advanced than his age. He has had a very rough first 8 months (so far) medically and this has been the most wild, unplanned for (the medical part) adventure we have ever been on. When I stopped to think about his party, it was easy to pick “Where the Wild Things Are” as his theme because not only has it been a wild year, it’s one of his favorite books. Maybe your child loves the water and you could do an ocean party. My friend’s daughter is obsessed with shoes and we are throwing her a fabulous shoe party. I’ve also done a party for a little boy who loved listening to his Dad’s old records- so we did a 50’s theme soda shop party complete with old records and record players. You know your child, take your inspiration from them.

Themed-foods- so you have an amazing theme, what about the food? It’s so simple and a special touch to include foods that fit your theme. From s'mores on a stick for a campfire party, to beach-y pudding cups, to nightlock punch- there are a million ways to incorporate your theme into the food. This is also a great way to get family and friends involved if they are eager to help. I know for my son’s party I have 3 or 4 family members dying to make food and I’m already preparing lists of ideas to provide them with for themed food items (they don’t need to be expensive or fancy either- it’s easy to take something you were already thinking of preparing- like chocolate covered pretzels- and turn it into Unicorn Pretzel treats.

Colors- maybe a theme isn’t for you- and there’s nothing wrong with that! There are so many other ways to keep the party cohesive without an overwhelming theme. Picking a color palette and utilizing it throughout the décor, invitations, and food is a perfect way to make the party stunning, cohesive, and trendy without having to spend weeks preparing homemade decorations (or ordering it on Etsy!). Soft, muted palettes are feminine and elegant. You can do so much with different textures of fabric to keep it whimsical and soft. Bright colors make for a loud and fun punch to your party and set the tone for a festive day.

Venue- Many 1st birthday parties are now held at a venue- sometimes it’s because they have a very large number of guests, but sometimes it’s because you want to be able to enjoy the moment and not have to stress about every little detail. A venue can come at a heavy cost though, so there are lots of families who take the trend of holding it at a “venue” and make it their own. Renting a pavilion in the woods for a “Where the Wild Things Are” themed party (hint, hint) is an inexpensive way to incorporate a venue into your theme. For us, it’s wonderful to have it somewhere other than our home, we can have a large guest list, but don’t have to worry about seating, restrooms, or too much cleanup. I also recommend crowd-sourcing on your local yard sale pages on Facebook. There are amazing venues that historical societies, churches, and even local organizations have that are very inexpensive and unique. You can also come across some remarkable finds- like this TreeHouse World – in my area that would be fun for all ages!

Games- we all have seen “ Pin the tail on the donkey” and “Duck duck goose” at just about every birthday party we go to. They are classics and are always great games to use- but there are some fun new games making their rounds at 1st birthday parties. Best of all, you can make most of these yourself very easily and they are less group focused taking the pressure off you to lead every game! If you are the creative type and have time and space to create the setup, a carnival booth type setup with a prize board is fun and something you don’t have to hope people will participate in. This type of setup isn’t just for carnival parties, you can make it work for any theme- and what’s great about it is that people can participate in it throughout the entire party, so no calling for participants for group activities! Though not a game, a great activity is a time capsule, where guests can leave messages about the brand new 1 year old and what their hopes are for them in the future. You can collect these messages and store them away until a pre-determined date (high school graduation, wedding, etc.).

Favors- we have all had some amazing food-based party favors- but the trend for favors is leaning more towards non-edibles this year. If you are having a book-themed party, give that book to your guests with a photo of your child inside. Personalized gifts are always a hit, if you have small children coming to the party, getting a chalkboard with their first initial and chalk will keep them busy during the party and is a great gift to take home. Another unique idea is to make frames tied into the party’s theme and set up a photo booth at the party and then have a website or app where you guests can view and print the photos to put in the frame. (This could also be an activity where they get to make their frame to take home!).

Smash cakes- smash cakes aren’t a new trend, but they sure are a fun one! A smash cake (or cupcake, or donut, or other treat) is a fun way to get your little one involved and get some amazing photos that will become some of your favorite memories.

There are so many trends for 1st birthday parties, but I think the most important take away is that the party should be unique to your child. In the end, all that matters is that your child is celebrating for all they have achieved in their first year of life!

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