I love to throw birthday parties. I constantly go over the top and spend weeks crafting, creating and arranging parties. I search around Pinterest for fun ideas then I take the time to put my own spin on them. I pull out the Cricut and get crafting with my oodles of craft supplies. I have even sewn things for parties!
Miss O has had 3 birthday parties and I went the extra mile for all of them. Her 1st birthday was all pink. I started planning that party when she was 6 months old! Her 2nd was a Dora theme which included a 5′ tall Dora balloon that I swear followed me around the house. For her 3rd, she came up with the fantastic theme of Princess Peach.
When it came time for this handsome man’s party, I was exhausted. I had just finished with the Princess Peach party and my grandma’s big 80th birthday party celebration. Although I love putting in the energy to each party, I decided it was time to reevaluate where to save money and where to splurge. You can’t do it all realistically without weeks of preparation, which I did not have. I simplified my decorations and my menu and pulled it all off in about two weeks. And you know what? It was still a totally awesome 1st birthday party. Once he’s old enough to remember, I will pull out all the stops for his birthday party. For the first couple of birthdays you can relax a little bit and figure out what works and what doesn’t for you in terms of party planning.
Choose a theme for your party that is easy for you to work with. Choose a theme that you already have decorations for. If your kids is already rocking a nursery full of robots, use that. The normal decorations can double as party decorations. Another easy way to save on decorations is to stick with a colour for your theme as I did with Miss O’s pink party.
Balloons! Kids LOVE balloons. Find a local party store in your area that isn’t part of a chain and you’ll still save while you splurge. Most places offer both hi-float ($$$) and regular helium ($). Regular helium will start to droop after about 12 hours which is more than enough for your party; however, this doesn’t seem to apply to foil balloons. The foil ones lasted almost 2 weeks! So they provide more than just a pretty centrepiece for your party. Little J drags them around with him wherever he goes.
I’m serious, save your money when it comes to the cake. The birthday boy is going to eat 3 bites and he won’t even notice if you got him an $80 custom made Thomas the Tank Engine cake or a $20 grocery store cake. They will still write anything you want on the cake. I went with a simple strawberry shortcake and had them put a big 1 on it. He didn’t know the difference and we all got to enjoy a delicious strawberry shortcake!
Spend the money on prepared foods. Don’t spend all morning cutting up fruit & vegetables and assembling them perfectly on a platter. Spend that extra bit of money on pre-made platters of food so you can spend your day hanging out with the birthday boy instead of standing in the kitchen
- Invitations. I stuck with simple evites. They’re free and help you keep track of the guest list. Unless there are older family members coming who do not use the internet, there’s no need to send paper invites. I usually print a copy of the invite I made online and deliver it to them.
- Loot bags. Unless your family has a ton of kids, there’s no need to provide loot bags.
- Presents. Be honest: what does a one year old truly need? A few small toys and some books are my go-to gifts!
- Cake smash! This one really depends on the child. Miss O did not like any sort of mess as a baby. Little J on the other hand LOVES mess. So we hired Elle Dee Photography and gave J a wonderful blue cake to have fun with. The results were AMAZING. I supplied all of the props as well!
- Splurge on giving your one year old baby a ton of love and snuggles today! At the end of it all, this day is truly about your special little guy or girl on their very first birthday.
Enbridge, a company that has been delivering natural gas to Ontarians for over 165 years, recently conducted a survey about birthdays. The most important part about birthdays to Canadians is sharing it with family (87%). One of the simplest ways to make birthdays more meaningful is simply by paring down the guest list and adding your energy where it really matters – celebrating and being present at the event.
Enbridge certainly did so recently when they brought over 100 people of all ages to celebrate. The video below is them blowing out their birthday candles. Check it out!
Tell us below what your favourite birthday memory is below.
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Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Enbridge and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.