Helllllloooooo! It’s been forever, I know. A month, precisely. I’ve missed you all. Have you missed me?! He he. No matter how you answer that, I am excited to be back to share with you Zoey’s first flamingle birthday party! And rather than just share these brilliant photos (credit to www.lilibeanphotography.com), I thought I would share with you how to plan a birthday party for your bebe (or toddler!) in 8 easy steps. Wow, that sounded like an infomercial.
First, define your theme. Give thought to the season of the year, if you will have the party indoors or outdoors, colors you love and the age of your child. Will your party be whimsical and energetic? Playful and silly? Modern with a colorful twist? Will it be during the day or at night? The obvious go-to is Pinterest and you can see my “Zoey First Birthday” board where I gathered all that inspired me!
Next, let the invite bring the theme – and the tone – to life. And to do that, you have to pick a vendor or company that you know can deliver on your expectations. There are tons of options out there – everything from Paperless Post and Evite to Minted or Tiny Prints. From Etsy to a friend who designs invites. In my case, I went with a company I’ve worked with in the past that I knew would bring my vision to life – Posh Paperie.
The third step in the process is the longest part if you are Ann Ueno, love designing and love hosting. Ha…let this be your warning. It is my personal favorite step, the decor step. Or really, steps. I essentially define and curate all things decor up until a few days before the party. But the main task at hand is finding vendors that fit your budget and style. For me, I used 7 key vendors:
- Shop Sweet Lulu
- Etsy – Studio Mucci
- Etsy – Party Lemonade
- Etsy – When It Rains Shop
- Etsy – Republic of Party
- Artifact Uprising
- Amazon (this is where I got most of all things flamingo proper)
Once you’ve kicked off project decor, hire your photographer! Depending on where you live, this is a critical step as photographers are busy and you want to make sure to secure him/her and get your deposit in. The lovely Lilibean Photography was our photograher in Miami. She also did Zoey’s newborn pictures so I knew I could trust her, she generally knows my style and doesn’t need much direction.
Okay so you’ve hired your photographer. Your theme is set and invites are ordered. You’re knee deep on Etsy and Pinterest, it’s now food time. Will you cook? Have it catered? Finger food or full meal? I personally love to cook. But, I knew that I wanted to a) enjoy the party fully b) celebrate Zoey all day long and c) not be stressed. So therefore, for this flamingle, I had it catered by Whole Foods. Yes, catering costs more. But I budgeted and planned as such and I am so thankful I did. The food was delicious and it was uber convenient.
And you can’t talk about food without talking about dessert! And a first birthday celebration is centered around that munchkins smash cake moment. I actually didn’t have a refer for a bakery in Miami so I did a little research in my neighborhood and LUCKED OUT BIG TIME. I hired The Baking Girl over email. Paid over email. Sent her a few ideas, a copy of the invitation and told her what I was thinking and prayed it would all work out. Well, she EXCEEDED my expectations. I picked up the treats and almost cried because they were perfect. I strongly recommend her if you live in the Miami area!
Last, favors. To be honest, I actually am not so much into favors. Often times I find they tend to be a waste of money. BUT, because I am crazy, I had to do them and was determined to make them at least somewhat not pointless. Somewhat not pointless?! Grammar at it’s finest. Anyways. I went with two. One favor to have/wear during the party. One to take home. I found sunglasses and flamingo headbands and glasses on clearance on Amazon and Party City so I snagged them up. Neon sunglasses for a Miami-based flamingle just fit too perfectly. I had to. Second, I found a woodworker on Etsy who made the cutest wood flamingo’s. I asked him if I could get raw wood ones (as I wanted to spray paint them hot pink), if he could put a hole in and bam! A flamingo Christmas tree ornament just in time for the holidays. My Jewish friends may have thrown theirs away but that’s okay. Ha ha!
I had gone this far and planned the whole party for months, her outfit had to fit the theme, right?! Right.
And there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to plan a birthday party post and if nothing else, I hope you can take away some tips and tricks. Until next time…