First Birthday Party Planning Tips



Birthdays were always a huge deal in my house. Between school, family, and friends, it wasn’t uncommon to get a solid week of celebrating. It was awesome. Cake overload & high expectations, so when it came time to plan parties for my own children I had big shoes to fill and some big decisions to make. For my older daughter, Layla, on her actual birthday we kept things really small and low key, but that weekend we had a huge bash. I want to say 25-30 people and that is considered a smaller party these days. She had a smash cake & custom decorations & a pink Ralph Lauren dress…and I would 110% be lying if I said that I didn’t turn to my husband and say, “why didn’t we just go to Disney alone with her for 3 days?!”

First birthdays, I think, are all about mom and dad. It’s a “we survived this first year!” party & I really am surprised no one has made that a theme with zombie babies and t-shirts saying ‘we survived the newborn apocalypse’, or something. It’s really nice for both of our girls to look back on those first birthday memories that we shared with family, but I know lots of parents who decide to forgo the first birthday bash. Like I said, both times I wish I had..mainly that morning when  I was running around like a nut trying to get together last minute things and totally obsessing over how much food we have.

That being said, if you are deciding to have a party, it’s ok to stick with a more adult centered party. Layla’s first (she’s 3 now) was 95% adults. I believe there were maybe 2 or 3 other babies there. We all still had a blast & the best part is that Layla was very occupied with our adult guests. Either way, what matters is acknowledging how bad-ass you are for making it through the first year, & however you decide to celebrate is always the perfect way.  Read on to learn all of our First Birthday Party Planning Tips.  has great tips and tricks for parents throwing a first birthday party. If you’re stuck trying to come up with a theme here are a few ideas:

Mustache Bash

Inklingspaperie from Esty. Etsy is a great planning and decor resource. Mustache bash has been a huge hit the last few years. It’s a fairly easy theme to elaborate on without stressing over decor. Add mustaches to basically anything, bowties, and those small touches will add up to great decorations people will love.


You can view our version of the Littleman/Mustache bash here.

American Baby has great tips for throwing a fabulous first birthday, and nothing says America quite like baseball. Navy blue and red would be great primary colors for this theme. Sticking with a vintage feel, add those subtle touches (like small American flags to cupcakes or red & blue chevron straws) to pull everything together. This idea is perfect for a July birthday.


Rubber ducky Who doesn’t love a rubber duck? I saw a great idea on Pinterest: leave a bowl of rubber ducks on the favor table with a sign above saying, “adopt a duck.” A great simple favor that people will use after the party. Floating ducks in blue color water are also great, inexpensive & easy center pieces for tables.


You are my sunshine has a great You are my sunshine theme party. Bright summer colors, lemonade flavors, sunny details creates a great atmosphere for a little girls first birthday. Adding quotes from the song around the decor will have everyone singing.



The first year with your little one will fly by. Anything you do for their birthday will be special. Try not to stress yourself out or go to overboard.  You don’t want to forget to enjoy the day and the most important person at the party is your baby!  After all your baby made it through the first year too, so congrats to you both!

- Tess

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