Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Plan a First Birthday Party

My sweet little boy is turning ONE!!! in less than a month!!! I can't believe it. Time has just flown by!

We are throwing a first birthday party for him on the Sunday before his birthday and my mind is going crazy trying to plan it all.

Here is a picture of the invites we sent out this week.

First Birthday Invite

I literally just took a screen shot on my computer of the invite, so that might not be the best quality.

What makes this event hard to plan is that we are not entirely sure who will all show up. I thought we were just inviting family and a few close friends, but apparently my husband decided to invite the whole world! lol. I mean, people we barely know! People I have never met even! & that have never met David! And what's crazy is, they are actually RSVPing "YES"!! 

I love my husband, and I love how excited he is about David's birthday, but this party is going to get really expensive, really quickly if he doesn't stop inviting everyone he meets!

Here are some things I have learned about planning a first birthday party thus far:

how to plan a party

1. Figure out time & place at least 2 MONTHS in advance.

  • I went back-and-forth between different locations for David's birthday for months until I finally decided on this park. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to decide. The park we finally landed on we discovered on our way to a DIFFERENT park! 

2. Reserve the location before you do ANYTHING else.

  • If you're planning a birthday/event with more than 10 guests, it is a good idea to reserve the space. The last thing you want is to have 30 people show & have all this food prepared with no where for it all to go.
  • The pavilion at our park is pretty popular & gets booked months in advance, so make this your first priority!

3. Send out save-the-dates.

  • We set up a Facebook event for David's party a little over a month in advance. 
  • We did this for multiple reasons: 1.) to get the event on people's radar so they can plan for it (we have several relatives coming from out of state) 2.) to get an idea of who all might want to come 3.) to get addresses to send the formal invites 4.) to create an easy & convenient way for people to RSVP

4. Send out invites 3 weeks before the party.

  • We created invites for David's birthday. This step isn't necessary, but it is his first birthday so we thought it would be a good keepsake. Also, it serves as a good reminder so people don't forget about the party.
  • We just used one of the templates on and took the picture using a regular point & shoot digital camera. It only cost us around $10 for 30 invites. Not bad at all.

5. Set a clear RSVP deadline.

  • On the invite we told our prospective guests to be sure to RSVP to the event's Facebook page by June 30th at the latest (this is 5 days before the party).
  • People forget to RSVP all the time & so it is important to remind them otherwise you might have a lot of unexpected guests & not enough food.

6. Send a reminder on Facebook the week before and the day before.

  • This one is self explanatory. I'm a very forgetful person, and so I assume others can be to. 

7. Decide on a menu.

  • It's good to be thinking about this throughout, but it can be difficult until everyone RSVP's to know how much food to make/buy. 
  • Don't worry I will be sharing my menu with you all in a later post.

8. Prep food the night before.

  • If you plan on making food, prepare as much as possible the day before that way you are not stressed with a million things to do on the day of the party.
  • My current plan is to make desserts (brownies, rice crispy treats, cookies) and salads (potato, pasta, & fruit) the day before. 

9. Show up a couple hours early to set up.

  • We are doing a barbecue. The general rule with a charcoal grill (which is what we have at the park pavilion) is to let the coals burn for about a half hour before grilling. Scott plans to get there about an hour early to start the grilling process, while I start decorating & laying out food.
    • Our decorations are going to be low-key. Easier clean-up & plus, people don't really care if we do 5 balloons instead of 30. It's really just about who we're with and, well, the food. The food needs to be good ;)
10. Don't stress.
  • Of course, this is the most IMPORTANT tip. This is a party! It is supposed to be fun! Planning everything out this way & prepping food the night before should make for an easy & stress free party. And even if everything doesn't go perfectly, who cares?
  • This is David's first birthday. He is not going to remember it. We just want to have fun and celebrate this amazing year we've had together as a family. Enjoy your time with your family and friends!


  1. Currently planning my youngest's first birthday, and you're reminded me to get those invites in the mail NOW! Thanks for sharing these tips at #MerryMonday!

    1. Happy to be a reminder! Birthday parties tend to sneak up on you lol can't believe how fast that first year flies by!

  2. Lexi, your little one looks adorable. What a fun memory... first birthday. Oh, geeh. Is that your first year as a mom? I hope you take lots of pictures as they grow up so crazy fast!!! Thanks for all the party planning posts, this and others.And for linking 'm up at SHARE IT, at Pinned! A new party will open tomorrow and I sure hope to seeing you there again!

    1. Thank you! Yes it is, David is my first! They really do grow up so fast, it feels like my baby was only a baby for a couple weeks! He's grown up so much! I'm sorry I missed the party (computer issues) but I will be there next week for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Brilliant advice, the consistency is the key. But this post can really solve a huge problem being faced by majority of the parents.