Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Party Time, Excellent!

One thing that I love about having a blog is that I have a ready-made panel of experts, reading and willing to offer their advice. And, no, it is not assvice. Not from you guys.

I know it's only June, but I am a type-A person who needs to get started on things in advance. We have reserved the picnic shelter for Will's first birthday party and I am now in planning mode. I have already gotten some good advice from friends who have thrown a first party before me (which is why it is at a park instead of our house, for starters), but now I want to open things up for your suggestions.

Please let me know what you did or didn't do? What would you do differently? What was a disaster? What was a success? What was funny?

So far, this is what I am planning:

  • A Monkey Themed Party (for my lil' Monkey)
  • 11:30 AM start time (to go around the birthday boy's nap schedule)
  • "Easy" foods such as premade sandwiches, salads, fruit and veggie trays, etc.
  • I am hiring a photographer (friend of a friend, so it's inexpensive) to take candids and some posed pictures of the day

That's it, so far. What I am specifically wondering about are the following:

  • Do I put a finish time on the invite to keep things moving? Everything I read says to keep in short and simple. . . two hours max.
  • Should I do cake or cupcakes?
  • Should I bother with treat bags (and if so, fun things to put in them)?
  • Should I bother with games (there is a lake and playground at this park)?
  • Should I do the cheesy "sign the picture frame" thing (it's cheesy, but I like it)?

And, again, anything else you want to throw out there!


areyoukiddingme said...

The first birthday party is more for the parents than the baby. Of course, he will be the center of attention, but that's a limited time event between naps and lunch. These are memories that you are creating for him - not memories that he will actually have. So, keep it as simple or make it as complex as you will enjoy. Treat bags/games/picture frames - whatever you want to do or not do.

We just had family and a few close friends over - nothing big. We have a little family tradition regarding future life predictions - our daughter got to choose between a silver dollar (will be rich), a shotglass (will be drunk) or a rosary (will be religious). All babies that I've seen pick the shotglass every time. We had snacks and cake and presents, and everyone went home after 2 hours. We don't enjoy big parties, so it was perfect for us.

Happy Birthday to you too!

Fertilized said...

We are doing a monkey theme as well. I am a huge fan of the sign the matte's for the frames. I have tons in myhouse and I love the picture/frame more than anything. I will let you know how our's goes down on saturday.

I was going to do cupcakes because they are presized but I ran out of time to make them myself and It is not any cheaper when buying a cake/cupcake. In fact some plaves I found it to be more expensive.

Easy foods is the best.

I am not doing goody bags. Instead Walmart had huge bubble wands in the summer toys dept for $1 a piece. I bought all the kids one and will give them to them at the party. It's at a park also.

I am downloading on my IPOD some kid tunes to have that going in the background .. This comment is getting WAY too long ..I'll email you

Jen said...

I'd say yes on the finish time (my husband would adore to see that on an invitation) and yes to the picture frame idea. It's sweet. I'd say cake or cupcakes and treat bags depend on how many other kids are going to be there and their ages.

Lucy said...

I would definitely put an end time on the invite, you'll be exhausted after 2 hours and ready to pack up!
I didn't bother with treat bags, at this age, anything's a treat!
Going with cupcakes means you don't need a knife and forks...much easier.

Jen said...

I say yes to the end time because you'll be exhausted. And in case some people think its rude you can just casually mention something about only having the picnic shelter for a short time period. I also say yes to the cupcakes (especially if they're from Trophy!) because it will be much easier in the outdoors. For me I'd skip the gift bags because who needs more kid junk and the games for the sake of relaxation. Picture opinion either way. If it's something you all would cherish then do it!

Kim said...

I don't have time to properly comment.. but for B's first birthday (many moons ago), I made little bags of hershey's kisses and had tags that said something along the lines of 'kisses from b*****, thanks for coming to my first birthday party!' (that I had someone make) that I attached with curled ribbon.

Quick, easy, and eatable.

Tracy said...

I'm working on ours, too, even though it's three months away! :)

We also reserved a pavilion at the park...more room and a place for people to play if they want to. We are going to put a finish time, have finger foods and one big cake for guests, two little cakes (or cupcakes...haven't decided) for E&R. Our theme is going to be rainbows, I think. It may sound cheesy, but I figure I'll tie in, "somewhere over the rainbow, dreams come true" into the invitations. Then just LOTS of color.

Can't wait to see more of the responses you get!

Adriane said...

Well, crap! I am doing the exact opposite of what everyone is suggesting. :-) Big party, no end time specified, goody bags, etc. Shoot! I am so glad you posted this - I am going to read all the advice and suggestions! Love the idea of the picture frame. I may have to borrow that one, too!

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Wow, you're on the ball. Lemy's birthday is about a month away and I'm just coming to terms with the fact that we will have a party after all!

As for my suggestions...I'm going to put an end time and probably have cupcakes (I prefer them anyway). If you want to do the frame then do it--I don't think its cheesy and if it is, who cares? You don't want to regret not doing it. :)

Good luck! ((HUGS))

Joy said...

1). Yes, put a start and end time to the party! Will will get sleepy, there'll be stuff to clean up, etc.

2). Cupcakes! Easier than dragging a knife and plates to the park. Everyone can just unwrap their little treat and eat it.

3). Treat bags only if the children are about 18 months or older at the party. Little treats that are age appropriate like some animal crackers and some stickers. Nothing fancy!

4). No games- those come later!

5). We had a "sign the pillow" thing for my youngest daughter's 1st birthday and she LOVED it! It's such a sweet momento for her to cherish later.

Joy said...

P.S. My 4 year old's party is this Saturday so I'm in party-planning mode. I also have a Party Planning blog (which I SORELY need to update). You've inspired me to write about an outdoor/park party.

Gibson Twins said...

Cupcakes that way you don't have to spend time cutting and serving. For the twins 1st and 2nd birthday it was family only (we did not allow other small children so as to keep the spotlight where it should be- on our kids on their bday).

Cupcakes on a cupcake tree (craft section at Walmart) are cute and easy. If you want to do ice cream also, get the cases of 4oz individual serve ones.

Ashley said...

I just had a curious george party for my 4 year old and made some pretty cute monkey cupcakes. They are actually posted on my blog under Carter's birthday if you want to see them. They are just chocolate cupcakes with lrg. and sm. nilla wafers and black icing. They were so easy and really cute! Good luck with all the planning!

Maria Confer said...

Happy Birthday Katie!! I hope you're having a wonderful day!!

Amy said...

Anyone who has kids will be fast and furious at this party! SO no need to mention the 2 hour max. Unless people are idiots, they will take the cues from you and Will once he is getting super fussy, sleepy just say "He's gotta get that nap!" And they will get the hint.....As soon as all or most of the guest arrive, get the cake going, then open presents then its over....and lil man will be buzzing from all the excitement so even if it pushes out his nap a half hour or so no biggie. Gotta be flexable on that sched lady! Good luck sorry we can't make it but yay on an amazing first year!

Debby said...

i say yes to goodie bags! For the kiddos I did a bag full of some of Grayson's fav things - like mum mums, apple crisps and bibster. For the adults - i had cookies - since it was a cookie monster theme. As well as a pic of Grayson from his 1 year photo shoot the day before. You could do some kind of monkey theme - like a barrel of monkeys game or something cute with a sock monkey...or even a banana...since monkey's like bananas. Ooo or a curious george book!! ( I think if I didn't love my current job I'd be a dang good party planner and love it!)

I had SO much fun planning and throwing G's party and know you will too with Will. Hiring a photographer is absolutely brilliant. Wish I'd thought of that one.

And I also say yes to a time limit. You will be so exhausted by the time the party even starts that you'll need it.

Anita said...

Cupcakes! They're handy & just the right size for the birthday kid too :)