So mostly, I thought we would do a mellow first birthday party for our daughter because really, is she going to remember any of it? But then I realized that the first birthday party is less of a birthday party and more of a coming out party for the parents. Namely, us! I mean, I would say that a party is in order if we are showering AND brushing our teeth on a regular basis and even on the same day sometimes. Also, I was able to score a haircut and even shaved my legs. Now if that doesn't deserve a party, I don't know what does.
So where to start? Well, I picked a theme first and I decided to go with Breakfast at Tiffany's. My daughter loves Truman Capote. (Ok, I am kidding. My daughter's name is Audrey so I thought it would be fun.) Also, it's a super great movie and book; and incorporates elegance, love, booze, NYC, lit and diamonds. Pretty tricky, but it works. I also decided to make it a champagne brunch - again, it's a party for mommy and daddy - and limit it to 3 hours at an off-site location close to home.
I was able to find a lot of great favors from Oriental Trading Company like old wayfarer knock offs that resembled the ones that Audrey Hepburn wears in the movie, sparkly rings, white feather boas and white satin gloves. These were great because some of the older kids and adults took them home as little souvenirs. Very cute!
I also found boxes in the Tiffany color (sometimes called Robin's Egg) and filled them with truffles and had them placed around the party space and of course, gave them out upon each guest's exit. Along with the truffles, I also gave out wallet-sized photos of my daughter enclosed in a silver-sparkly envelope that I found here. I also ordered some posters from the movie at allposters.com to bring the movie theme to the party. There are some great Martha Stewart products from Michael's for invitations, decor and embellishments, too.
One of the best things I did was set up a play area for the kids. This kept them out of their parents hair and entertained them while we all mingled. I tried to have things that didn't have a lot of pieces that would get lost. We bought this fun Learning Home for Audrey for Christmas and that was a big hit with the kiddos - and it was great for a wide range of ages.
For food, I did the standard brunch faire - croissants, pastries, fruit, smoked salmon, bagels - and then had egg souffles as something a little special (and savory). I also had some kiddie snacks like goldfish and cookies. For drinks, I had mini-sizes of most everything - water, juice boxes, colas, ginger ale. And for sparkling options, I did Prosecco, an affordable (and tasty) alternative to Cook's (blech!), sparkling juices and orange juice.
I struggled with what we were going to do for cake. Was I going to pay $200 for a cake that fed 50 people (hellloooo-more people than were at our wedding) and looked like a Tiffany box or was I going to order cupcakes from Sprinkles for about the same price? First of all, cake sucks because you have to cut it, it usually tastes like crap and it's annoying. Cupcakes are super awesome, but then it's like $3 a cupcake if you order them from a bakery. That makes me want to scream! So I decided that it was easier and more cost effective to make them myself. I had some help frosting them the night before and we were able to transport them quite easily with the use of cookie sheets that have the lip around the perimeter. I was able to use food coloring to match the Tiffany color for the frosting. Details, ladies!
I ordered her birthday dress from Etsy which was completely adorable and I received sooooo many compliments on it. I have to admit, it was freaking cute. Etsy is great for all things special and I think a first birthday dress falls into that category for sure.
I also tried to control (somewhat) the gifts we received. I asked that if anyone wanted to bring a gift, that they bring a book for her growing library. There were some people that asked if they could buy clothes and that was perfectly fine with me, and we received a couple of toys, too - anyway, it was perfect. What I didn't want was a bunch of toys that we would be tripping over the minute we got home. Also, we didn't open gifts during the festivities, but did so after post-party naptime. That was great, too. No one wants to watch a one year old open gifts for two hours. Boooooooooooo-ring!
Overall, I think it came off very well and it was great to get everyone together, family and friends, to celebrate the first year of our daughter's life. When it was all over, I am glad we went BIG and made it special. Our daughter and this past year's events have been very important to us - and we all deserved some time to catch up, b r e a t h e and have some fun together.