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Ideas for a Sweet 1st Birthday Party (that will entertain big kids and grown ups, too!)

Ideas for a Sweet 1st Birthday Party (that will entertain big kids and grown ups, too!)

My husband and I love hosting, but as our family grew -- and with our kids being really little -- it became less practical for us to entertain as frequently as we used to.  Our baby turned one and we saw it as a great opportunity to celebrate him and to bring our oldest friends, newest friends and their families together for a big ol' party.  It's always super important to us that everyone have a great time, never go hungry, and just really, really enjoy.  Here's how we threw a party for all ages for our baby's 1st birthday.  

Food + Entertainment 

I always say that renting a bounce house and tables is still one of the more affordable things to do for at-home parties in Los Angeles.  We did a low table and chairs for the kids and tall cocktail tables for the adults.  

The kids all loved the bounce house and playing on our swing set, and we had a DJ** playing G-Rated versions of all of their requests.  The party got cray cray at the end when we did freeze dance, which turned into a serious battle-it-out karaoke dance party.   

The kids' tables had water, juice and fishy crackers, and in our backyard, we had a caterer grilling for tacos and quesadillas.*  We also had wine, beer and a frozen margarita machine, which was the hit of the party for the adults!  

For sides, our caterer provided chips and guacamole, and Grandma made a fruit platter and a vegetable tray in the shape of an anchor.  

*My older kids are a bit picky, so I also had a butter noodle station set up for the kids who didn't want quesadillas.  I put it in a crock pot and had parmesan cheese, little bowls and forks on the side.  
**Contact info below

Dessert Table 

I focused most of the decorations around the dessert table, which was set up right at the entrance of our home.  I added Shepherd's canvas-wrapped newborn photo and some other nautical knick knacks.  All of the decorations were custom made by Six and Boe*.  The Baby Whale Cake and Sea Themed Cupcakes were done by the The Coco House LA and not only was the design just what I wanted, but Erica at The Coco House made her own version of our family fave -- Funfetti -- and it was divine.  

We went with mini cupcakes for all of the kids because it's always easier for them to pick them up rather than carry around a plate with cake and a fork

*More info below

Party Favors + Decor

  • My friend Sheila at Six and Boe handmade all of the decorations to match the theme of the cake and party.  Sheila and I met at a restaurant when we were both pregnant with our youngest babies -- Shep's one year b-day is also my friend-a-versary with Sheila and she's an incredible mother and person -- and she pours herself into what she makes, and it was all. so. perfect.  You gotta check her out.  
  • We went simple with the party favors.  I was trying to think of something that all of the kids, from babies on up to seven-year-olds would enjoy playing with -- we chose ever-timeless slinky's and stacked them up on the kids' table.  
  • I bought flowers from Trader Joe's and ordered these mason jars and ribbon on Amazon and made the floral arrangements with my daughter.  
  • We rented cocktail tables and linens from Party on Rentals, and added photos I had around my home of Shepherd with his big brother and sister to make it super personal.  
  • My friend Jennie at Embroidered Treasures made the labels for the water bottle labels to say Have a Whale of a Time at Shepherd's 1st Birthday
  • The balloons, poufs, napkins, wooden forks, knives and spoons were all from Bonjour Fete.  

The Birthday Boy's Many Outfits 

And most importantly, I think one of the best tips is that if you're having fun, your guests will, too!  The feeling of the party was just so joyous.  I don't know if it was the margaritas or the DJ or just a culmination of all the awesome personalities that baby Shepherd brought together, but it was so much FUN.  At our wedding, we had the band stay an extra hour because no one wanted to leave.  Well, the same happened at Shep's First Birthday -- DJ Yazzy stayed an extra hour and let the big kids sing karaoke and ROCK OUT.  We got so much positive feedback from our friends and knowing everyone had a great time was everything to Matt and I.  XOXO.  

*Photos by Casey Kutznetsky Photography
*So pleased to be a Bloomingdales and Amazon Affiliate Marketer Yay!  I get a small commission on links on my blog, and I only recommend people and things that I adore.  <3

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