Entertaining | October 2016
Celebrating a Brave “One”
Planning a preparing and bountiful birthday
Story by Michelle Hope | Photos by Meredith Smith
With many reasons to be "Thankful" in the bountiful season ahead, celebrating life is at the top of the list. Planning the perfect first birthday party for your little one can range from simple to over the top, depending on your budget and style. Our little one's first pow-wow can offer inspiration and tips on how to throw an unforgettable milestone event.
Invitations are the first indicator guests have of what to expect for your party. They should set the tone for how you want them to dress and what guests can anticipate as far as activities and food. We worked with Greyline designs to customize our invites. All the paper details were designed to coordinate, from the welcome letter to the food signage and the favor sign. Printing your own invitations is a great way to save money and allow you to add your own embellishments, like the envelope liner, to really “wow” your guests.
Eats & Treats
We are big fans of caterers and hiring a little help for food-related festivities. Even if your budget does not allow for full-service catering, you can always substitute in some areas to cut down on stress and avoid breaking the bank. We had Central BBQ’s sausage and cheese platter along with McAlister’s rotel dip and chips as appetizers. They also provided a baked potato bar with all the fixins and their famous sweet tea. Deep-fried turkey sliders and corn on the cob served on skewers rounded out the lunch menu. We kept it light and seasonal so guests had plenty of room for sweets.
Dessert was the main event for this birthday bash. We had a special smash cake just for the birthday boy (to accommodate his food allergies) and a smorgasbord of miniature desserts that were as stunning as they were delicious. Sweets by Sonia created mini pumpkin loaves, white chocolate Oreos, French macarons, s’mores bars, cake balls and limonsitos. Boston cream pie cupcakes finished off the display of this sugar buffet. This sweets station doubled as decor and could have stood on its own for a simple celebration. Keep that in mind if you want to make a party special without serving a full meal.
Teepees were a must for creating the perfect pow-wow atmosphere for the kids to play. They are easy to find and affordable in local stores or making them yourself is only a YouTube tutorial away. We had a giant black-and-white photo of the birthday boy created at FedEx Office and anchored it with giant “1” balloons. The birthday banners, headdresses and high chair garland were custom-made by a local Etsy shop (That Crafty Auntie Em). You can't have a pow-wow without a dream catcher, so we snatched one up from Bohemian Blush to use as part of the backdrop. My favorite piece of décor was the handmade wooden canoe — it provided the perfect photo op and will serve as a lifelong keepsake.
In order to have a successful party, you have to keep everyone entertained. This can be a challenge for a one-year-old audience, for sure. Keep in mind you will likely have all ages so it's best to do a few activities to accommodate the group.
We had a piñata, which is always a hit (pun intended). You can fill these with age appropriate toys, candy, or even make this fun for adults only if desired. Ours engaged the older kids at the party. Babies love to bang — so I created a playground area with toys, teepees, and little tom-tom drums for the boys to bang on. This was a fun DIY project that each baby got to keep after the party.
There was plenty of photo opportunities and some face paint and glitter tattoos for the adults and kids alike. I cannot recommend hiring a professional photographer enough — you will enjoy the party and make many memories you want captured, so this is money well spent, for sure.
A video montage of the birthday boy's first year captivated the guests and wrapped up the event. Everyone left with the most adorable favor bags that were designed by With Love and Confetti (another Etsy shop) filled with wooden marshmallow sling shots.
We hope this fun little pow-wow inspires you to throw a native party of your own. No party to plan? Turn this into an educational play date for your kids. There is so much we can learn from other cultures and that’s always reason to celebrate.
Event Planner & Décor
and high chair garland
Sweets By Sonia
Flowers & Balloons
Kroger Floral Department
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