Read our top tips for planning a First Birthday Party, as written by Mummy Blogger Sophie McDermott – Instagram blog Joshua_and_Jessica

A 1st birthday can be an emotional time for any parent. In the blink of an eye, that tiny baby you held in your arms is much bigger and on the move. It’s such a big milestone that it is definitely worth celebrating… it’s also a celebration for one year of parenting and a time to create memories that you’ll look back on and cherish forever. 

So, where do I start?

I told myself I wasn’t going to go over the top like I did for Josh’s 1st birthday, which my Dad regularly joked about, saying it was similar to a wedding with the amount of people in attendance. So the first thing to do is write out a list of family and friends you’ll be inviting and set a budget. Bare in mind that people may drop out at any time. We had around 20 people who weren’t able to come at the last minute due to illness so remember this when setting your budget especially for things like food. It’s always a worry you won’t have enough but chances are you’ll have too much so account for this. 

Where shall we hold the party?

The options are endless. We knew we had mainly adults and didn’t need to go down the route of going to soft play, or somewhere like a farm. Also Jessica’s 1st birthday was in February so we knew we wouldn’t be outside. We needed either a village hall or a restaurant/pub. We decided on a local pub due to them being able to provide all of the food and of course drink. If thinking of a village hall then most supermarkets, or places like Marks and Spencer’s or Costco do platters of food, or even better rope family and friends in to help make something and bring it along. 

How hands on do you want to be?

With Jessica’s 1st birthday party being after her Christening I knew I had no time in the morning to do anything other than get the kids (and myself) ready. This meant we looked at suppliers for food, the cake (which was made by The Kitchen – Croxley), decorations (supplied by Becky Wells Events) and entertainment (by Kaptivate Kids), all I had to do was turn up! However this is the more expensive route. If you do have the time to do things such as decorate the venue this will help lower your budget. In fact, we had Jessica’s Auntie make cupcakes. It was an easy way to provide a treat for everyone who came and was nice to include her in her nieces’ day. 

A Balloon Stand at a First Birthday Party With Balloons and Decorations

Always remember, things can be planned last minute!

After looking at pictures on Instagram I knew I wanted lots and lots of balloons but life took over and 6 days before the party I hadn’t ordered any! I contacted Becky, and she created the most beautiful set up including a tassel wall surrounded by balloons, which was the most perfect backdrop for photos. She also created a perfect balloon backdrop for our cake. It was so pretty. Similar balloon garlands can be made yourself, and I know many people who have managed to do them, but I didn’t trust myself, and again I didn’t have the time. 

What about the entertainment?

We had quite a few kids at Jessica’s 1st birthday so it was lovely to have Nicole from Kaptivate Kids to entertain all of the kids. Other popular alternatives are a bouncy castle or soft play area but we didn’t have the space for this at our venue.

And most importantly, have fun!

I’ve heard people say before about kids parties ‘Why all of the fuss when they aren’t going to remember it?’ but to see how much fun everyone was having made all of the efforts of organising worthwhile. I think every birthday should be celebrated and we definitely spoilt Jessica with her custom dress from The Tulle Fairy (Instagram account @thetullefairy.17) Along with her birthday crown, she really looked like a little princess for the day. I also think when you have older kids, it becomes as much a party for them as it does the birthday girl/boy. So make a fuss of them, they only turn 1 once. 


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