Beyond Design, on at least 5 parties in the past, & she always delivers way beyond my expectations! I told her the party would be centered around photos, asked her to make the invites casual & fun, and gave her the color scheme and party details. I couldn’t be happier with the invitation & two inserts she designed! She made some really fun graphics we ended up using for other aspects of the party too, incorporated photos of Liv on the “film strip” band that went around the invite, and even put a little frame on the envelope for the photo stamps I ordered.
This is probably the best time to mention that all the pictures below were taken by the very talented Dawn, of Elemental Image. She arrived early to the party to take pictures of the decor, mingled with the guests to get candid shots, did personal photo sessions with each of the families, took all the “must have” blowing out the candles, opening gifts etc. pictures, and put together a slideshow of the edited images. She worked hard, got some amazing photos, and out guests raved about her! This is the first time I've hired a professional photographer for a party and I'm so glad I did! It was really nice to not have to worry about grabbing the camera at just the right moment; I knew she was getting great shots of all the important things, so I was able to just enjoy the party and our guests without having to be host and photographer.
Figuring out what food to serve is my least favorite part of planning a party. BUT, I’ve found a way to make it fun for me, dessert tables! You know the amazing Amy Atlas right? Well, I don’t mean personally… unless you’re Martha or Oprah or Kelly Ripa… I mean you’ve seen her incredible work right? She designs and brings beautiful dessert tables to life. I drool over her blog on a regular basis and incorporated some of her ideas into the dessert table I put together. There’s quite a bit to cover with this table, from the backdrop, the food, the serving dishes, the printed pieces, etc, so I think I’ll dedicate a separate post to the dessert table and just give you the basics here (check out the post about the dessert table here). I made the easy stuff: marshmallows, chocolate dipped Oreos, & white chocolate coated popcorn. I ordered the most adorable rose flavored mini macarons from Sparkles Kitchen
Ink Bloom product (separate post on that coming soon) & some pens so that people could write a little note to include in the time capsule if they had forgotten to bring one to the party, as well as a little card with some suggestions about what type of things you may want to include in your note (i.e. predictions about the future, advise you would share with an 18yr old etc). Also in this area was the embroidered name blocks made by Childmade
The décor for the party was pretty simple. The Cottage Market
Whim-So-Doodle. They have a workroom at the back of the shop where you can use their die cut machine and punches. I saved a lot of money on this little project by using their tools. I picked out three sheets of paper, punched three scallop circles from one sheet, 3 smooth circles from the second, and die cut the letters out of the third. They even had that adorable ribbon for sale by the yard. It all cost me less than $7. Also pictured here is Liv’s cake eating garb, the party hat & bib I made from one of those reusable shopping bags they sell for a buck at TJ Maxx (more details to come) and the too cute for words ruffle butts Sherbet Baby
I can’t decide if the dessert table or the photo sessions/props were my favorite part of this party! I set up a space for the photo sessions that was out of the way of the rest of the party. To create the backdrop, I rented a pipe frame (it’s the pipe from the “pipe and drape” rental companies rent for use in creating walls/dividers in convention centers) and draped two lengths of white paper from a roll over it down to the floor. You can find the roll of paper at office supply stores; it’s what teachers use to cover those big bulletin boards they decorate for their classrooms. I had almost as much fun making the props as everyone did playing with them (do you feel another blog post coming on? Check it out here). We had moustaches & mouths on sticks, chalkboard thought bubbles, empty picture frames, & umbrellas.
Just about half the guests were adults and the other half children, so two favors were in order. The kids took home a moustache or mouth on a stick with a favor tag Beyond Designs made that said “Thanks for a picture perfect first birthday – Liv”. For the parents, the tag was a mini “Polaroid” with the details for ordering a 5x7 print from their photo session on the Elemental Image site. I decorated little binder clips with stickers and ribbon to serve as picture holders.
Last but not least, I always dress us all to coordinate with the party… everyone does that right?! Mom in pink, Dad in teal, Big Sis in a twirl skirt I made with this super easy tutorial from the sewing genius, LiEr of Ikat Bag, and the birthday girl in a dress I designed using elastic thread shirring. I’m in love with this fabric line (Art Gallary's Sugar Collection) I bought from Fernandina Fibers and used for the girls’ outfits… but that’s a post for another day...
You made it! That's all the highlights from Liv's first birthday party... by this point, I would definitely be getting the "wrap it up" sign from off stage as they try to play me off the stage with the music. So this is me leaning into the mic as it disappears into the floor to say "Thank you to my patient husband for weighing in on every minute detail I brought to you, caring because I do, and being my favorite second set of eyes. My amazing photographer Dawn, you not only made this party look even better than it was, having these wonderful images to remember such a special celebration is a true gift. And to Ginger, for turning my collections of concepts into the sweetest printed materials & our best collaboration yet! I couldn't have done it without you guys!"