1st Birthday Party Ideas
By an Award-Winning Professional Party Planner
Get ideas for 1st Birthday Party Celebrations
If this is the first page you've landed on, let me give you a quick introduction. I'm Matt James, a professional party planner, and the purpose of this site is to show you the most creative way you can use regular, shop-bought party supplies that can be found in most stores. Not everyone has the craft skills of Martha Stewart or the time to spend several days with a glue gun making things from scratch. It's fine to use shop-bought decorations and supplies—as long as you choose them carefully and know the best way to put them all together. So I'll share a few simple tips and trade secrets that anyone can use to add some creative touches to your party—whatever your budget.
Remember that planning a first birthday party for a baby is quite different to planning other kids birthday parties, in that a one year old isn't going to expect very much!
You're really throwing a party to give your family and friends an opportunity to get together and share such a special occasion. So you can afford to keep things a lot more simple than most kids parties.
I recommend keeping numbers small so you don't overwhelm your little one, perhaps just family and a few close friends. You might want to invite one or two friends from your antenatal classes who can bring their own babies but I would suggest no more than one or two other babies, otherwise it could get too hectic. Anyway, this is your baby's day to be the centre of attention!
The party itself doesn't have to be very long—an hour-and-a-half is probably plenty—but remember to schedule it around nap times. The last thing you want is to get them all excited when they're tired or you'll soon end up with a cranky baby.
It's still a good idea to choose a theme because it will help tie everything together like invitations, decorations, and a cake, but there's no need to go over-board. Check out the list of themes below
The one thing I would recommend though is—as the guest list will be smaller—you could probably invest a little more in a nice invitation. These are the sort of things that make great keepsakes for you to show your baby in later years. You could even mount one of the invitations onto the front of a guestbook and ask all the guests to write birthday messages when they arrive. Later you could add photos from the party and keep this as a record to show you child when they've grown up.
Either way don't forget to take lots of photos or have a video camera on hand so you can share the memories with your baby a few years down the line.
Click on any of the 1st birthday party themes below for complete party plans including ideas for invitations, food & drink, decorations, and party favors.
Matt James is a professional event planner and owner of event agency Left Field Productions, which has produced events for Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Spacey, Stella McCartney, David LaChapelle, John Waters, and Elvis Costello & Diana Krall. Since 2004, Left Field Productions has won 30 industry awards for excellence including Production Company of the Year. Matt is the author of the book Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired from Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals.
1st birthday party ideas
by an award-winning professional party planner