Last month we celebrated Z’s first birthday and Aqiqah and it was an absolute success!!! Z is a December baby, so needless to say it was going to have to be a winter themed event. As I began looking up first birthday ideas on Pinterest I came across the ‘Winter ONEderland’ idea and fell in love!!! It was a theme that I knew would be classy but I would definitely be able to keep it kid friendly as well.
Both my husband and I come from really large families and with our circle of friends as well it was going to be impossible for us to squeeze 80+ guests at home in the dead of winter! So we decided to rent out an ice rink and party room for our shindig.
When our guests first arrived, they were able to lace up and get on the ice for an hour. We even had the babies in their strollers enjoying a good run around the rink. Unfortunately, Z got scared from the sound of the skates on the ice and had a total meltdown….but at least everyone else had a good time! After skating, our guests headed upstairs to the party room to warm up with some hot chocolate and appetizers before we got the party started.
Now decor…how I love thee!!! I’m a total sucker for things that are cute yet still classy. I’m all about the details and since the space that I was working with was so large, I had to get creative on how to stretch a buck but also make sure that every little detail went with the theme (a.k.a. my type A-OCD tendencies kicked in to high gear :$). I’m totally embracing it and admitting that I might have a slight problem. I once heard someone refer to ‘type-A’ as ‘Type Awesome’ so we’re going to go with that :D.
My cousin Nadia is uber talented and oh so creative. She’s definitely got an eye for design. She has her own company called Create-ive Inspirations and if you’ve read my post on Z’s Nursery Gallery Wall you’d know that she is the one who designed his monogram canvas which was the focal point of that project. So I enlisted her to help bring my vision to life. As the main showpiece, I wanted to have a sweets table and create a simple and chic backdrop using white shear fabric and twinkle lights. On the table we had a few vintage birdcages with votive candles, snow-frosted evergreens and clear glass containers with ice blue and silver ornaments. She also dressed the tables with floating candles and votive candles that were in white frosted holders which all went along with our wintery theme. To add to the backdrop, my sister made some paper snowflakes which she sprayed with iridescent glitter (unfortunately it is difficult to see in the picture but it’s there! ) and I made the birthday banner using scrapbook paper and glitter washi tape to tie in the winter theme.
On the sweets table, I had a variety of treats displayed in both white and clear bowls. Gourmet Popcorn (peppermint-white chocolate & salted dark chocolate), chocolate truffles, blue candy sticks, white-chocolate covered pretzels, cookies and cream kisses, pastries from our local bakery and gourmet mini-cupcakes made by The Social Cupcake. My aunt is a fabulous baker and she is known for her AH-MAZING cakes which are light, fluffy and absolutely DE-LISH! So I had to get her to design the birthday cake. Since I was going for a chic look, we decided to go with a simple 2-layer white rosette cake decorated with silver Dragees. Oh, and I couldn’t forget about the little kiddies – so I had some ‘Baby Mum-Mums’ and ‘Puffs’ available :). I was also able to find some really cute Chinese take out containers online that guests used to fill with all of the goodies!!
Since I wanted the event to be free-flowing and interactive, I had a few activities set-up that guests could do throughout the night. I had a ‘Time Capsule’ station where people would write a letter to Z to open on his 20th birthday, ‘It’s Just a Number’ where guests had to guess his age from 0-11 months from pictures and a photo guest book filled with pictures throughout the year for people to sign.
I created a large chalkboard poster using Photoshop Elements 14 celebrating Z and his favourite things, alongside a photo collage of a cake smash that we did at home (FYI I’m so happy with how the cake turned out considering I made it myself!!! :D).
I also wanted to set-up a photobooth station where guests could use various props and take pictures in front of a backdrop that I made using silver wreath netting that I got for 70% off at Michaels….total score and I made a large polaroid cut out using white foam board!!! When I was at Michaels, I saw that they had a photo-prop kit that you can purchase but I was fortunate to find some free PDF’s online – THANK YOU PINTEREST!!!
For favours, I made a bunch of goodie bags for the kiddies. For the older kids I had a small Bubble Guppies colouring sheet, crayons, bubbles, bouncy ball, noise maker and sunglasses. For the littles I had a few teething links, Munchkin bath toy and plush ball. Both goodie bags also included a homemade snowflake sugar cookie that my sister and I made the week before. We literally spent an entire day baking and icing over 150 cookies and then another day packaging them with a cute thank you note that I created using a design that I found online. Everything was setup at a table along with a ‘thank you’ photo of Z.
Although it was a lot of planning and work making sure that every little detail was taken care of, it was totally worth it in the end. The late night DIY’s and endless trips to Michaels definitely paid off. Everyone had a good time skating and hanging out with friends and family. I know that Z is really young and he will probably not remember this day, but I’m glad that everyone was able make memories that they will be able to share with him when he is older.
If you’re thinking of hosting an event I hope that I was able to give you some ideas/direction on how you are able to do a lot of it yourself. I know that I didn’t go in to detail on everything, because if I did this post would go on for days!! But I will leave you with this, everyone has a talent or uniqueness that they have to offer. Look within your own circle and see how your friends/family are able to help you out. And because I am part of your network, mention my blog with Create-ive Inspirations or The Social Cupcake to see how they can help with your party planning needs!
Until next time!