4 Must Haves for a 1st Birthday Party

We recently celebrated my nephew’s 1st birthday.  As a party planner I was so excited to be a part of the party planning process.  During this process I started thinking about the elements that I love that make a 1st birthday so special.

Smash Cake – A smash cake is a small cake that is exclusively for the birthday boy or girl.  It allows them to get their hands dirty and fully experience their own cake.  Many bakeries will give you a free smash cake when you purchase a cake from them for the party.  There is something so adorable about watching the birthday boy or girl experience cake for most likely the first time.   I also recommend doing a separate smash cake photo session.  Some kids are so overwhelmed by everyone singing and looking at them they barely taste the cake.  This amazing cake was made by Flour Parlor in Sarasota. She even did the cake bunting to match our other decor.

Smash Cake (2)

Nautical 1st Birthday by Happy Family Blog: Cake Time

Decorated Highchair – Signing happy birthday for the 1st time is an amazing moment that you will want to capture on film and in photos.  Just like you plan the décor for a cake table think about your highchair as a photo prop.   I personally love a sign that says 1 and balloons behind the high chair.  Also think about where you want to put the high chair.  You want to make sure you have plenty of space for all your guests to gather and have a good view of the birthday boy or girl; as well as a decorated backdrop.

Cake Time

Monthly Photos – There are lots of creative ways to highlight your birthday boy or girl’s 1st year of life.   Some of my favorites include: monthly photos labeled and hung, pictures in frames or a digital slide show.  For my nephew’s party we decorated the cake table with lots of photos highlighting his first year.

Nautical 1st Birthday by Happy Family Blog: Cake Table
Nautical 1st Birthday by Happy Family Blog: Cake Table

Birthday Outfit – 1st birthday is a great excuse to have an outfit that commemorates this milestone.  It does not have to stop with just the outfit.  Don’t forget about an adorable bib and party hat to complete the outfit.  (I figured this is a good place to highlight some sugar baby products they are all so cute, I will let you pick which ones you want to highlight.)

Friends and Family from afar – I will never forget how my aunts and uncles flew into town for our daughter’s 1st birthday.  I would recommend picking and sharing a date early to give out of town guests plenty of time to book their travel.  Having friends and family in town makes the milestone even more special.   

Photographer – While I love to have a photographer to capture all the moments, it does not have to be a professional.  You can always ask a friend or two to help with photos so you can actually enjoy the party and know it will be documented for you to see later.

Would you recommend adding anything to our list?  Love to hear about your 1st birthday traditions.



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