Covey's First Birthday Party
I am a great many things, but timely is not one of them, haha! I always do what I say I will, but it may take me six months! I've been promising a blog post on Covey's first birthday party since I posted the reel last October, and I'm finally doing it!
What I've Learned About Birthday Parties
Before diving in, I want to quickly talk about first birthday parties. There's a ton of amazing, gorgeous party pictures on instagram (our feed included!). When I planned Gio's 1st birthday eight years ago, I felt a lot of pressure to create something similar. I tried to live up to the magazine-like pictures the first couple years, but what I realized is that I personally didn't enjoy doing it to that level. It made birthdays feel more stressful than fun. Instead of it being a labor of love, it felt like a labor of expectation.
The thing I learned is that there is complete freedom when comes to planning your child's birthday celebration. If throwing a huge epic birthday party isn't your thing, don't feel pressure to do that. What really matters is that you are present in the moment, celebrating your child, and reflecting on the amazing year it's been.
On the flip side, if you are a mom who really enjoys party planning and coordinating all the beautiful details, then go for it. Go big and don't feel any judgement. For some people, creating these beautiful celebrations is a gifting, a fun creative outlet and a way they show love.
My best advice is to consider the parts of party planning that bring you joy and focus on those. If you like to bake, maybe it's making a special cake. If it's crafting, maybe you make a scrapbook or banner. I personally like graphic design and photography so I plan a fun dessert table and take pictures of it. I don't do games, favors, invitations or decorations around the house. Give yourself a moment to be intentional and think through what you want birthdays to be like for your family.
Covey's Party Details
On that note, Covey's 1st birthday was the fourth one I've done and I decided to attempt something new! Since taking pictures is an element I really enjoy, the one big thing I wanted was an arc backdrop for the smash cake pictures. Brent did an amazing job making my dream a reality! I convinced him to film a step-by-step tutorial if you want to give it a try! I've already had a few people send me with pictures of their completed backdrops!
Since the backdrop was my big project this time, I went simple with the food and dessert table. I decided to use decorations from Covey's nursery so I didn't have to buy new things...which meant the theme was boho rainbows and terracotta colors!
For first birthday parties, I like to somehow display monthly pictures to show how they've grown and changed over the year. For Covey, I printed 4x6 black and white pictures and then trimmed them to 2.75x4.5 inches. I printed the month on thick white cardstock, then cut them to 3.75x5.5 inches. I attached the picture to the cardstock with a glue dot then punched a hole through both at the top. I looped the ribbon through the hole and used double stick tape to attach the bottom ribbon to the picture so it would lay in a way that wasn't covering her face.
My mom made the cake, a tradition she started for Gio's first birthday and has lovingly kept up for all our kids' parties. Here's the link to the cake topper!
After Brent made the amazing arc backdrop for me, I ordered balloons from etsy. I chose the 9 foot garland length. The balloon colors were doubled cream peach, doubled apricot and double matte coral. This was the first time I've used doubled balloons and they were really cool, but my electric pump wasn't strong enough so we ended up blowing them all up by mouth the morning of the party. I was really thankful Brent's parents were in town to help!
Picking the highchair accessories was obviously something I had been thinking about since before Covey was born! I couldn't decide between two cushion covers so I used both! I used Hippie Daisy for pictures before the party and Blush Sunshine for the actual cake smash. We used the Blushing Beige placemat, Cherry leg wraps and Cherry footrest.
One sentimental thing we've done for all our kids' birthdays are their birthday binders. Every year, we print out two pages that each have one question on them. We leave the pages on a table with sharpies so guests can write their answers at some point during the party. Then we save them all in a binder that they can keep and look back on over the years. The two questions we use each year are:
- "One word I would use to describe Covey" (for first birthdays, I like to use "One thing I'll always remember about the day you were born")
- "My favorite Covey memory from this year"
My hope is this will be a special way they can look back and see how they've grown and changed, and also what unique traits God put in them from the very beginning. You can see more question ideas and actually purchase a simple $3 printable PDF template I created here.
We had such a special day celebrating our beloved Covey girl! She is a gift to our family!