Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Use Pinterest to Plan Baby's First Birthday Party

I always thought I was a decent party planner.  I love planning them.  I love finding inexpensive and easy ways to make the party something special.

Lindsey was born in December.  I never wanted my babies to be born in December, but it was just the way it was.  :)  So, I knew that I would be extra busy that month planning her party, planning for Christmas and preparing to go on TV for the first time to talk about my Mommy & Me Monthly Service Challenge (you can watch my segment here).

(BTW, I'll be going on Studio 5 next week, so set your DVRs or sign up to receive emails from me so you don't miss it!)

Thanks to Pinterest, I planned several simple decorations and low-prep food ideas so I wouldn't have too much on my plate, but that didn't stop the drama from happening...

I had to re-do the cake... 3 times!
My grandma's pitcher broke (one of the things I got from her when she passed away)
Paige thought all of the presents were for her
Lindsey threw up her cake
Lindsey got burned on her bath water

No joke!  

Even though Z's party was filled with surprises, it was a lot of fun (to put together & to have).  I loved her gold & pink birthday party!

I've found that the best resource to use when planning a party is Pinterest.  It has infinite resources & ideas for party planning! 

So, in hopes of helping you to plan your baby's first birthday party (or any party for that matter...), I have some tips for you...

Plan Ahead
This is crucial!  If you're planning a birthday party at the last minute, you'll either go crazy, or you'll forget something, or you will regret not doing something.  When it comes to baby's first birthday party, we seem to want it perfect.  It's a big deal in our culture!
Start planning at least 2 months in advance... if you give yourself lots of time, you'll be able to find the best deals and find things you really love.

Research & Pin Like a Mad-Man
Pin invites, decor, recipes, activities, pictures you want to take, basically any party idea you might want at your party.  This is your brainstorming phase, so no answer is a wrong answer. 
One thing I've found helpful is to make a board just for the party (you can make it a secret board if you want it to be a surprise for the guests). You can view the Pinterest board I created for Lindsey's first birthday party, here.  (at this point, I usually don't have a set theme for my party, but I will probably have a few ideas)

Weed Out Your Board
Once you have all of the party ideas you like, you can go through them all and delete the pins you know won't work, won't fit into your theme or that are too difficult.

EASY is my middle name... whoops... I mean... :)  
When it comes to parties, I like to simplify, simplify, simplify!  You can still have an amazing DIY party without spending weeks making all of the decorations and pulling an all-nighter.  I love to check out my Pinterest board links & see what other people have done.  I find things I like, and think how I can simplify it, so it's not as complicated to make/do.  When it comes to party decorations, the hot glue gun is my BFF -- it's a lot faster than sewing!   

Make & Gather Decor
This is such a fun stage for me.  Be sure to visit lots of thrift stores and clearance sections so you can get the most bang for your buck!  Oh yeah, and good thing you planned ahead, so you have plenty of time to find and re-purpose that perfect cake stand, huh!? 

The Day Before
As far as the decorating and the food, try to do as much as possible the day before, so you're not rushing even more the day of.
One last thing to do the day before... charge your camera!  If you spend all of this time planning a party, you'll want to have lots of pictures!  Oh yeah, and it is probably a special occasion, so you'll want pictures of the people/birthday boy or girl... :)
Also, the day of, you might be running around serving people and visiting, so if possible, hand over the camera to someone else so they can get all of the pictures for you!  (I've noticed teenagers usually really enjoy this, and you might even get some funny selfies of them)

Now it's time to sit back & enjoy the party!  Enjoy being with friends and family.  Enjoy celebrating.  And most importantly, enjoy all of the compliments about your great party!  ;)

Oh... one last thing!  Don't forget to send out thank you cards once the party is over (Pinterest has lots of ideas or you can click here for even more thank you card ideas).

(If you're looking for inexpensive party decor, the ideas I posted here work well with saving money on parties, too!)

It seems like most parties I plan have some last minute drama happen, so be sure to expect the unexpected... and try to laugh when something bad happens because it looks better in pictures than crying does!

This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby's First Year series with 40 other bloggers.  View more posts on celebrating baby here.

I'm participating in the All Things Baby Blog Hop, so all week long I'll be bringing you posts about baby's first year!  Be sure to check out the main #ultimatebaby page to see lots of other great articles, check out our Pinterest board & enter our HUGE giveaway (below)!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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