Vada turned one year old on the 12th of November. In truly crazy-mom behavior I had already picked a theme back in July for her first birthday party, I had plans to go ALL OUT. Some people might think it’s a little crazy to throw a big birthday party for a one year, saying things like “she wont even remember it!” but I will! This party was totally for me! It was a reason to celebrate our first year of parenthood, and a blatant excuse for me to throw a party. I’m not getting married again, and the bridal/baby showers are dwindling down, so I take any excuse I can get to plan a party.
I went with an Apple theme, as Vada’s birthday is in the fall, and I felt like I could really do a lot with it. Have you read The Alison Shows How To Plan A Party Regardless OF BUDGET? It’s so good you guys! And so helpful! It asks things like “Do you even like to plan a party?” because if not, don’t! It also was really helpful in helping me think of the flow and overall purpose of our party. We invited a lot of people (about 40 including children) and good number of them showed up! We had kind of a short time frame, I only had about 2 hours for the actual party in the space I rented (time at the beginning to set up and time at the end to clean up) but this was plenty of time for greetings, food, cake, craft, presents, goodbyes. I think the kids and parents all had a really great time too, I know Vada did!
I wanted to share some photos and tips for planning your own apple-themed party!
For the invitations I designed this quick little ditty using free images and fonts off the internet. Because I wasn’t selling it, and just using it for personal use, there are so many good free files. I kept the info short and sweet, but made sure to tell people there would be food and drinks. I also didn’t bother with an RSVP because people NEVER do it. Lastly we went ahead and let people bring Vada gifts, despite not really needing a lot. Have you read this funny article on kid’s birthday presents at parties? A good read. I decided to actually mail invites instead of e-vites or FB invites, as I think its more reliable. I had my invitations printed as a 5×7 photo at Costco because its mad-cheap folks! Costco is bomb for photo printing. The little silhouette is Vada’s face too!
I started planning this party a couple of months ago for a few reasons. 1. I have a baby now and getting stuff done is so hard, especially crafty stuff. Vada loves to get into ribbon and paper and tape, so crafting with her is nearly impossible. I did most of the little projects after she went to bed so I wouldn’t be frustrated and my projects wouldn’t get destroyed. 2. I was working on a very limited budget, so I paced my purchases over a few months so it didn’t feel like such a hit. No matter what, a party is expensive. I made 90% of the decorations myself (Mr. Gaunt made me those big apple trees!), and a lot of the items were purchased at thrift stores too. A few splurges were the apple Oil Cloth for the tables, which I only bought because we determined we could re-use it at our restaurant. The other splurge was obviously hiring a professional photographer. This was really important to me for a million reasons, and I do not regret a single penny spent on it. I booked her early so that I could pay it off over a few months, which made it feel less impacting too. On the day-of it was so awesome not having to even think about taking photos, and then a week later getting over 400 photos to relive the day! Vada might not remember it, but she will at least be able to look back and see all the fun we had. If you can swing it, and you like to put a lot of work into a party, I can not recommend enough hiring a professional photographer (photogrpahers info at the bottom of this post).
For food we decided to go with kids food that adults would also enjoy. I wanted it to be fairly healthy, not just candy everywhere. Because the party was at 2:30 I didn’t feel like we had to do a full meal, just lots of snacks. We went with string cheese, Baby Bell cheese, pretzels, oranges, fruit leather, Veggie-humus cups, apple-peanut butter cups, ham and cream cheese pretzel sliders and apple straws. I also made a few sweet things too, because it IS a party. I made rice krispie treats shaped like apples (with royal icing piped on for detail), as well as healthy (no sugar, just a little honey) banana-apple muffins with cream cheese/honey frosting (also what Vada’s cake was). My friend made vegan/raw/sugar-free caramel apple pops too that were soooo good! It was just really important to me that all of our friends could feel ok about what their kids were eating, and the kids could still have fun. I run my mouth a lot about kids health food, so I didn’t want to be a complete hypocrite. For drinks we made an adult apple sangria, plus we had apple beer, bottled water, kids apple juices in cute mason jars, and Apple Dry Soda. It was all very cute.
I wanted to have an activity/craft at the party in case things got boring (ha! they didn’t) something that older kids and parents could do if they wanted. I ended up purchasing some inexpensive canvas tote bags, put a piece of parchment paper inside each one (to prevent bleed-through) and set up apple stamping. It actually turned out really adorable, and kids over 3 were able to do it with a little parental help. The tote bags came out so cute too!
Most of the projects were handmade by me, or from thrift stores, but here are a few resources links from the party:
-Photography: Katheryn Moran Photography
-Venue: Fairhaven Library Fireplace Room
-DIY Party Hat Template
-Plates, Napkins, Cups, Favor Bags, Honey Comb Balls: All from Target’s Spritz line.
-Catering: Leaf And Ladle