daughter's first birthday

5 best tips for planning your baby’s birthday party

My daughter Madison turned one in May. Months before, my husband and I had planned out what we wanted to do. We were going to go modestly BIG. The was room booked, decor bought, and the itinerary ready, the only thing that wasn’t ready was the food. We really wanted to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday with a big party. However, the party planning, no matter how big or small the party is, is not easy. So, I thought I would help with my 5 best tips for planning your baby’s birthday party.

Two months before the planned event, we got a call from the hall saying that the city had closed down their facility. The measures put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. No doubt, my daughter wasn’t the only one who’s birthday plans were changed by the pandemic. However, regardless of the unfortunate change we decide to go ahead with the celebration but on a more intimate scale.

We went traditional and modern for our decor. Whatever you plan to do, I hope my 5 best tips for planning your baby’s birthday party help you!

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1. Figure out the theme

I think the biggest hurdle for me was trying to figure out a theme. The theme dictates the colors you want the decor, the style. It plays a huge role in the party planning process.

The modern setup with our "Wild One" theme of champagne pink and cream colors for your baby's first birthday party. Check out my 5 best tips for planning your baby's birthday party!
Photo Credit: Rina Ryu Photography

When I was trying to figure out my daughter’s theme, we went back and forth from “Wild One” to “One in a Melon”. I also loved my friend’s theme for her son, “Happy 1st Bee-day”. It was hard because Wild One sounded so nice but we didn’t want a jungle theme and as simple and pretty “One in a Melon” would have been it was just too much watermelon for me. My point is don’t put too much stress on the theme. Instead, I opted to use the “Wild One” but do a champagne pink and cream color theme.

Once we got the colors, it made it much easier.

2. Be creative with where you get your decor

We found that decorations for a party are so expensive and it adds up! Going to your local party chain store I found that prices can be expensive and also that they didn’t really carry the specific colors and style of decor I was looking for.

Simple modern setup. Balloon garland kit in our champagne pink and cream colors! Check out my 5 best tips for planning your baby's birthday party!
Photo Credit: Rina Ryu Photography

The balloon garland I got from Amazon. This kit made it super easy to set up (first time making a balloon garland). It came with glue dots, the garland tape, and ribbon. It was perfect.

Check out your local dollar store for other small pieces that add to your decor for fraction of the cost. Those dollar stores that are “plus more” I found are great for extra things like helium, signages, and other decor pieces. Check out Etsy too for unique and customizable pieces.

There are also places that allow you to rent out party supplies and decor. Do a google search for what is available in your area!

For the traditional Korean doljabi set up we rented from Happy 1st Day. They are based in Vancouver, Canada.

Traditional Korean Doljabi setup. The little details. Check out my 5 best tips for planning your baby's birthday party!
Rented traditional Korean Doljabi setup. Check out my 5 best tips for planning your baby's birthday party!
Photo Credit: Rina Ryu Photography

It was so nice too because they allowed you to custom the colors that fit your needs. They had the traditional touch that my parents also loved. I recommend Happy 1st Day for your baby’s doljabi set up.

3. Give yourself more time for the decor

The night before setup of the balloon garland. The set up process for decorating a party is lengthy. Give yourself plenty of time. Check out my 5 best tips for planning your baby's birthday party!

I guess we were lucky that our hall canceled our reservation because we had rented out the hall for an additional hour before and after the party for setup and clean up. However, the set up actually took my husband and me, four hours to complete. As first-time balloon garland makers, setting up the doljabi table, we really underestimated how much time we needed.

Also after the party we were so tired, we left the decor up for a few days after the party. We took our time taking it down.

So if you think you need only an hour maybe give yourself an extra hour or two if you’re attempting things you’ve never done before.

Don’t be like me in this picture still setting up in the middle of the night, before the party. It is not a pretty picture.

4. Hire a photographer

I understand that this might not be possible for everyone but if you are able to get a photographer I really recommend it. As the host you will be busy running back and forth, getting things ready for the party. You will miss a lot of it and if you rely on yourself to take pictures, you will find very few of the day. Or worse, you won’t be in any of them.

If you ask a friend or family member to take pictures for you during the party, you might end up being disappointed. Remember they aren’t professional photographer trained and practiced to capture moments on the go! This is my top tip for your baby’s birthday party.

If it fits into your budget, get a professional photographer and ask them to capture the day. They will do a great job. If you’re in the Vancouver area, check out my list of photographers I recommend!

5. Enjoy the fruits of your labor

Not everything will go as planned but try to relax and enjoy it. I was really uptight about everything, I wanted everything to be perfect. However, the reality is that not everything will go how you planned, but the most important thing is that your child is enjoying their party.

I hope my 5 best tips for planning your baby’s birthday party will help you as these were things I learned along the way. I am not the best planner and I am not very detail-oriented when it comes to this kind of thing but practice makes perfect. And lastly, this party is for your baby and about celebrating them. As long they have a good time, it was a successful party.

This was just my first of many birthday parties and I know by the time I get to my last baby and their 18th birthday, I will be the best birthday party planner ever. My parties will be, as the kids say, on fleek. Actually, that is apparently old news now… hmm… by then my parties will be ‘vibin’?

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