Yesterday was a special day in our house because we celebrated our baby girl’s FIRST birthday! Where did this year go!?
Even though her birthday isn’t until the 23rd, we decided to have her party two weeks early because Justin’s parents are in town visiting and this way they could be part of it. We kept things family only – just both sets of our parents, my grandparents, and two of my siblings and their spouses who live close enough to come out for the afternoon.
We keep first birthdays really simple around here. Our personal philosophy is that it doesn’t make sense for us to spend a lot of effort, time, and money on a party for someone who honestly doesn’t know it’s their birthday or what is even going on. If you love throwing a big birthday bash for your one-year-old, that is awesome and I support you! It’s just not our thing. We really believe you can have a meaningful, special celebration while keeping things pretty streamlined and simplified, and this party was just that!
I kept invitations super easy with a free evite that got emailed out to our families with all the party details.
Instead of trying to throw together a whole meal, I decided on serving a variety of appetizers and desserts. I put together a large charcuterie board with meat, cheese, and fruit, some raw veggies and hummus, and tortilla chips with our family’s favorite dip.
For dessert, I bought a small 4 inch cake for Vi’s smash cake and I ordered cookies from my friend – she runs a small cookie business out of her home and does an amazing job! I pretty much gave her free reign on what to do since we didn’t have a theme or anything and she designed this amazing cookie tile platter based on Vi’s outfit in a photo I had posted (how creative is that!?) They turned out so amazing and were such a special touch!
We also had a simple ice cream bar with vanilla ice cream and a variety of toppings for people to enjoy.
Decorations were sweet and simple and made up entirely of things I already had on hand, like this letterboard with a poem I made up for the food table.
I had made pink tassel garlands our of tissue paper several years ago for a Valentine’s party and have gotten so much use out of them ever since – bachelorette parties, baby showers, and now, my girl’s first birthday!
In addition to the food table, I had to give her high chair a little something special too. 😉
The last element of parties is typically gifts. We personally prefer to not have gifts during our children’s first birthday. We are fairly minimal people and don’t want to accumulate a ton of toys just for the sake of gift giving, not to mention at this age our kids are just as happy playing with a cardboard box or a plastic cup haha! In my experience, just saying “no gifts, please” doesn’t always work. It can feel uncomfortable to show up to a birthday party empty handed, which is understandable. But then some people still bring gifts and some don’t…and that can be awkward for everyone. So what we do instead is include on the invitations an option for people to give a donation in lieu of gifts if they want. For LJ’s first birthday, we asked for book donations for a local organization that distributes them to hospitalized children in our area (LJ got three books when he was in the NICU). For Vi’s first birthday, we chose a ministry at our church that distributes basic essentials to local families in need. Through this pandemic, there have been many families financially struggling and we felt this was one tangible way we could help. Those who still wanted to bring a gift were very happy to be able to bring donations in Vi’s honor.
The highlight of the party was Vi getting to dig into her little cake. She didn’t hesitate to get into that frosting ! We did not let her eat the whole thing but she really enjoyed it while she could. 😉
That last picture was right before we took away the cake – once it was getting in her hair we figured she’d had enough haha!
We had so much fun enjoying the beautiful weather outside and hanging out with our families. We ate delicious food, we played cornhole, we talked, we laughed, we had a great time celebrating our little girl!
I cannot believe my baby girl is almost one! She is such a joy and I’m so glad we could have a special day celebrating her life!