I pretty much LOVE parties. Cute parties, fancy parties, funky parties, theme parties. Growing up my mom was a teacher and totally got into parties. We had theme parties all the time and would even get the barbies involved with little ‘scenes’ near the buffet. No party-in-a-bag for us. To me, parties mean everyone enjoying each other and enjoying life. When a party has some thought put into it, it makes it even more enjoyable! On top of my love for parties and all things cute and creative- I have fell in love with party planning blogs like Hostess with the Mostess and Kara’s Party Ideas blog. Then comes Pinterest! Oh my- so many ideas there. I also have been following Etsy for years now and just love the concept of a local seller coming together with others. Genius idea. It’s like a 24 hr art fair. Many late nights and searching went into my son, Ethan’s first birthday.
The fabulous Lauren Chitwood of Lauren Chitwood Events helped with planning, florals (including the huge tree for the dessert table), and setup. I work with Lauren quite a bit with weddings that I photograph and she has designed some amazing weddings. We love Lauren at Feather Whimsy and she just happens to be a “Feather Mommy” with regular blog posts. Last week her little bundle of joy arrived and I will be photographing Penelope’s newborn photos this week! Yay! In a year we will get to celebrate Penelope’s first birthday!
Lauren and I met a few times and discussed ideas and layout of things. Lauren has so much positive energy – it is contagious! It was great to have her creative energy to bounce ideas off of and ask- what do you think about this?? I would send her these emails that were several pages long of ideas and photos that I was thinking about. Lauren also set up the space a few hours before the party- Another reason to have help! I was running around holding Ethan on one hip because he woke up early from all the commotion and there is no way that place was going to get set up if it was up to me
I decided to do the party at our home because 1) it’s easier than hauling everything to a location and setting up 2) Ethan is familiar with home since he spends most of his time there and I thought he would be most comfortable. 3) My husband just finished his dream of a home theater room in our basement where we showed Ethan’s first year video. From the time I knew I was having a boy, I just fell in love with woodland things. Woodland themed stuff can be pretty gender neutral but still a way to have really cute things for a boy. His nursery is a modern woodlandish theme and I decided to go a little retro woodland for his first birthday. I was just blown away at the fabulous food by DaRae of DaRae & Friends Catering. They are based out of Lexington and again we have worked with DaRae and her staff for years from small weddings to grand affairs. She is known for her great southern style of cooking. As a mom- let me just tell you how magnificent it is having the first birthday catered!!! I actually love to cook and make cute little desserts but I still haven’t quite figured out how to pull this off with a 1 year old crawling at my legs and wanting to be held every five minutes! Initially I was just going to stay up late nights and slowly prepare everything. When I decided to go with DaRae for catering it was such a weight lifted off me! I highly recommend having your parties catered if you are a new mom!
Other activities besides great food was a craft table, a wishing tree, the first year video, and a woodland themed photobooth. I go into a little more detail below-
I put together the photos in this layout because I’m going to order an album of all the cute details and moments captured. Lucy Chesnut from Feather Whimsy and AAP is one of our assistants. She photographed most of the pictures and Angela and I did a few here and there.
All the sources are listed at the end of photos-
Big thanks to DaRae & Friends Catering out of Lexington, KY for such fabulous desserts!
Adorable cake pops by Sweet Couture also out of Lexington, KY
Of course every first birthday needs some themed beers to go with the party- We choose octoberfest beer and ciders
For the banners, I downloaded a font and then we glued the paper to just random scrapbook papers I bought at a scrapbook store.
Below is a “Wishing Tree”. We made little tags to hang on the tree and people wrote little birthday wishes for Ethan.
Delicious food from DaRae & Friends
Yes. I cried when everyone sang Happy Birthday! I couldn’t help it. It was one of those moments that you see yourself from afar and realize that a year has past. I am so proud of our little one. He just grinned and laughed when everyone was singing. And yes, Ethan eats naked (avec diaper) because he can be crazy messy.
At the craft table, I had coloring pages and stamps and stickers for kids to decorate their wooden frames. I then mailed them a copy of their photo in their thank you note
This was by far the most special 10 minutes of the party. We all gathered in our new home theater room and watched a video I put together using iMovie (ha!). I used iPhone videos and videos and pictures from my other cameras of Ethan over the past year. I knew if I didn’t push myself to do it (2 days before!) then I would never do it. It’s pretty cool to have and I can’t wait to watch it with him when he’s older.
When I found these adorable little woodland masks (see below), I knew we had to the photobooth!
Planning and florals by Lauren of Lauren Chitwood Events (based out of Louisville, KY)
Food and Dessert Table DaRae & Friends of Lexington
Cake Pops by Sweet Couture of Lexington
Bunting from Starlit Nest
Invitation design from Less Ordinary Designs
Woodgrain bow tie from Buttered Toast
Custom forks from Sucre and Spice
Woodland Masks from Mahalo
Straws from Polka Dot Market
Some woodland party pieces from Fresh Origins