Guest post by Felicity Frankish from Babyvine.com
I can’t believe it. In just a few short weeks I will be mother to both a 3 year old and a one year old. Where did that time go? I know, I know, it’s totally clichéd, but it really does go so fast. From the sleepless early days, working out a newborn’s patterns, to the rambunctious toddler years, one of my favourite things is party time! Who doesn’t love a birthday?
I am currently underway planning my second, first birthday. And while I am no expert on the topic, I really have learnt a thing or two along the way. Party planning doesn’t have to be stressful – and you certainly don’t need to rent out a hall with entertainers, caters and jumping castle to boot. In this day and age, it does feel like birthday parties have become ‘outdoing’ parties. Bigger isn’t always better, and in the end, the most important thing is that gorgeous birthday bubba!
So here are my tips on how to plan a first birthday.
This is tip number one for a reason. Do it! If you leave things until the last minute, you are going to end up paying a fortune. I am a huge bargain hunter, I love shopping for a sale and I love going online to eBay to grab something cheap. The downside to eBay? The shipping can take weeks and weeks. This is why it is important to start your planning early.
I find starting about three months out to be ideal (although I won’t lie, even six months out the birthday was on my mind – did I mention I love a party?).
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Pick A Venue
You need to think what type of party you are having before you start planning. Is it an outdoor garden party? A party at your home? A grandparent’s home? A hall? Wherever you are planning, book it in straight away, then the real planning can begin.
Pinterest Is Your Friend
There are sooooo many amazing ideas on how to plan a first birthday on Pinterest. One of the best places to start in party planning is to pick your theme and Pinterest is just the inspiration you need. We went for a Fairy Party for Cassie and are now in the depths of a Peter Rabbit party for Vivi. The good thing about planning a first birthday? Your guest of honour won’t be too fussed no matter the theme you pick, so have some fun with it and bring out your inner child.
Did you know you can also download free printables? Source of magic!
Get The Invites Organised
Once you have a theme, it’s time to get the invites organised – another one you don’t want to leave until the last minute. If you aren’t keen on the DIY idea, there are plenty of stay-at-home mums who do this for a living, so why not support another mum! They will often work with your theme and provide everything you need:
- Bottle labels
Head on over to the Australian Handmade Facebook page and put out a callout!
Don’t Go Overboard
It is so easy to get caught up in the party hype and go a little overboard. Try to control yourself. Every purchase you make, ask yourself, will this really add to the party? While attention to detail is good, a lot of the smaller details will get missed by your guests.
An easy way to do this is just organise a party table. This can include a backdrop, tablecloth, some balloons, a couple of theme-related items, and food. It will set the scene for the party without going overboard. There is only so much you can fit on one table!
Use What You Have
Remember, one year olds don’t need much entertaining – you probably have plenty of toys at home for your little one already, so just dedicate a space to the babies and leave the toys there! And that’s your entertainment done. They really don’t need much at this age, so I wouldn’t bother looking into face painting, fairies or any other form of entertainment. It would be wasted on them.
Don’t forget the food! While it’s fun to put together a party table full of theme-related snacks and lollies, a first birthday is often full of adults, who might enjoy some more filling savoury options (especially depending on what time of day it is). Make sure you have some on offer, and plan ahead. Will you have time to make it all? Can you buy in bulk? Are there sales happening where you can get the food cheaper?
Of course, this includes drinks too. Make sure you have plenty of offer, and a place to store them, like an ice bin outside for easy access.
Don’t stress – it’s just a birthday after all. If you need help on the day call over some family and put them to work, they won’t mind! Handing around food is also the perfect way to mingle and see all your guests on the day.
And remember, your little one is only little! If they are tired, put them to bed and don’t worry about them missing everything. An overtired baby doesn’t make for great photos and people won’t mind waiting a little for the guest of honour to catch up on some sleep. It can be a really big day for them!
Do you have any great tips on how to plan a first birthday? Share below!