We had a fantastic time celebrating Adeline’s first birthday last weekend! I hope you enjoyed the photos I put up yesterday of her birthday bash! I had a few ideas swimming around my head for what I wanted her first party to be like, and I’m really pleased with how everything turned out! Here’s a peek into what went into planning for her birthday party.
Here are some key elements that I wanted this party encompass:
- Only have snacks/dessert and not a full meal
- Avoid renting a location yet have enough pace for 20+ guests
- Make decorations and look at the Dollar Store for supplies and décor
- Outdoors (if possible)
- Fall is a wonderful season, and Adeline LOVES being outdoors!
- No structured activities (there weren’t many kiddos there, so I didn’t have to worry about entertaining little ones this year!)
- Time for us to hang out and celebrate Adeline (instead of refilling food, etc.)
After deciding how we wanted the party to “look”, we got to work. I tried to do most of the “prep-work” myself, but we decided to order cupcakes for our guests to make things easier for us! We set a budget of $200, and we only went a few dollars over (we included Adeline’s birthday gifts in this total, so the actual party was under $200).
We decided to have the party at Ault Park, one of our favorite playtime locations. It’s not far from our house, and it’s a wonderfully shaded area. There are plenty of picnic tables, and any kiddos coming to the party could play on the equipment and swings. Our backup plan was to have the party at our house. I’m SO GLAD the weather was nice, because our house is petty small and that many people crammed inside would have been stressful!
I made our invitations on PowerPoint. I just changed the paper size to 4×6, and designed them from there. I saved the invites as a PDF and had them printed at Walgreens. I mounted them onto some cardstock from Michael’s.
I used an online coupon code for the photo printing, and I used a printable 40% off coupon for Michael’s. The invitations cost $8 (not including stamps). I also had some photos printed off for a photo banner, so some décor is lumped in that cost as well. We kept our guest list pretty limited too, we invited our immediate family, a few baby friends (and their parents) and our small group from church. I would have loved to throw a GIGANTIC bash with lots of extended family, but we decided to invite people who had a big role in Adeline’s first year.
Then, we decided on our “menu”. The party was from 3 to 5 in the afternoon, so we opted for cupcakes and some snacks. We kept the snacks gluten-free (my brother, my sister-in-law, Adeline and myself are all gluten-free). I made a big batch of Lemon Rosemary Chex Mix (subbed extra Chex in for the almonds and used gluten-free pretzels), a Veggie Tray with onion dip (onion soup mix plus lite sour cream) and Apple Slices with cheese (2 bars).
Next time, I would make another veggie tray (this one had 1 bag of petite carrots, 2 heads of broccoli (blanched) and an English cucumber) and have some more apples & cheese. Sadly, the “Lemon Rosemary” flavors in the Chex mix totally didn’t come through, bummer. Next time, I’ll stick to the Original Recipe.
We ordered cupcakes from Abby Girl Sweets in downtown Cincinnati, and those were delicious! I ordered 2 dozen, 6 Double Trouble (chocolate), 6 vanilla, 6 strawberry and 6 carrot spice. I wish I would have ordered more of the Double Trouble because those disappeared first!
Can you really go wrong with a chocolate cupcake filled with cream and topped with ganache? I don’t think so.
I also made 2 dozen gluten-free cupcakes from scratch using these recipes:
- Vanilla Cupcakes from Gluten Free Goddess with Chocolate-Almond Buttercream (made a half-batch) from Savory Sweet Life
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (<– my adapted recipe with inspiration from Ginger Lemon Girl)
I made the dry mixes a few days ahead of time so that I just had to add the wet ingredients and bake. The day before the party, I baked the GF cupcakes and frosted them that night. I stored the frosted cupcakes in the fridge in plastic containers overnight. For beverages, we picked up a gallon each of sweet tea and unsweetened tea, and 2 quarts of lemonade. We brought our own pitchers from home and filled them up with the water fountain. Easy-peasy.
Let’s see… what else. Oh! Décor! I didn’t do much here. I made a photo banner with pictures from the last 12 months, and picked some green hydrangeas from our neighbors yard to display in mason jars.
The table cloths are from the dollar store, as is the little orange basket you see behind the apple and cheese bowl. I kind of wish we had balloons, but Adeline didn’t even know they were missing.
We had a really lovely time, and I’m glad that we were able to keep the food and location fairly simple! I hope you can take away an idea or two if you’re planning a birthday bash.