After recovering from Monteczuma’s Revenge this past June, I had a very, very important job to do. It was time to plan my son’s 1st birthday party! I was torn on how big or small I wanted to make it. I could keep it simple and low key, just inviting our immediate family over for cake and ice cream, or I could plan an actual themed party and invite all family and close friends. In the end, I thought, “He’s my first child, and the first year as a parent is fabulous and tough as hell, so we might as well celebrate big!”
We have a rather large family, when both sides come together, and some close childhood friends who still live in the area, so planning and paying for a full-on meal with cake was unfortunately out of the question. It was hot, the end of July, and practically everyone loves ice cream, especially me, so I finally decided on doing an ice cream theme party.
I will apologize now, this is a long post and very cute photo heavy. All photos are a great courtesy of Courtney D’ne Brown Photography.
I’m not a fan of cliche store bought decor nor did I have a big budget, so like usual around here, everything was pretty DIY. I made “ice cream cones” out of regular balloons and brown paper that I just rolled and taped together. The invitations, one year poster, ice cream jar monogrammed labels, bunting banners, and thank you photo cards were all made possible by the awesome and easy tutorials over at Just a Girl and Her Blog. Who knew I could make such things in Microsoft Word?!
For drinks we had water, lemonade, green iced tea, and beer (not shown) available. Of course we had to incorporate the same “Saegertown Aristocrat” box we used for Big Guy’s newborn photos and one year photo shoot. We like to bring things round circle around here. The banner above the beverage table was made with twine and clothespins, and a photo from each month during his first year.
Those who know me well, know that I really do not enjoy being on either side of the whole “sit and open every gift in front of everyone” process. Most people really only care to see their own gift opened. My husband and I tried our best to open gifts in front of just the gift giver, and anyone near by who cared, as soon as they arrived or we had the chance to give them a proper welcome. Larger parties are usually hectic, so this also ensured each guest got quality one-on-one time with Big Guy and Matt or myself, and sometimes but rarely, all of us together.
I also had a table set up with different photos and decor telling the story of Big Guy’s first year of life outside the womb that became a landing spot for guests to put presents in the meantime. There, we had a guest book available for his loved ones to write him a special message. Matt and I both wrote a short letter to him and plan to do the same thing at each birthday.
The cake was made by my best friend Courtney, who also took all of the beautiful photos that day and for our family photo shoot. I gave her these sugar-free recipes to work off of, and she made her own delicious version. I even saved and froze three pieces for us to enjoy on his second birthday. The topper is vintage from my mother.
The cake sat on his personal wood dish, which sat on an antique musical metal cake plate. It is a family heirloom on my Mother’s side. We unfortunately forgot to wind it up when I presented him with the cake, so she stepped in and helped. Naturally, we had to do a taste test to make sure it was safe. 😉
It was such a wonderful day full of love from all sides. The rain held off so we were able to finish our family photo shoot. To finish it off, here are some awesome shots Courtney captured before and after the party. These first ones are some of my all-time favorite photos.
And after the party…
We used this shot below to send as a “thank you” card.
I cannot believe I now have a one-year-old son. My, oh my, how time flies when you’re having the time of your life. I love you so much, Big Guy.