What a weekend! What a party! I am ridiculously tired after all of the festivities that Will's First Birthday brought to us.
We had weekend guests, dinners out, and, of course, the BIG party. Somehow, it all worked out, and I am pretty sure Will enjoyed his first birthday from start to finish.
The party went well, and I am fairly certain it was due to my over-zealous planning. In the end, however, it was all about Will and he had a great time, so that was worth it.
My advice for those of you still planning the party is as follows:
1) Keep it moving.
Serve food (if you are having it) right away. And then do the cake for the birthday honoree and gifts right away. A lot of people with kiddos are going to have to leave for naps and such, so get the main events out of the way so people can leave when they need to.
2) Have it someplace other than your house.
We chose a park and it was perfect. I wasn't worried about people spilling on my carpet or too many people in my crowded kitchen. When it was over and Will was tired, we didn't have to worry about people lingering too long. We stayed a not-rude amount of time (2 plus hours) and then left when the Birthday Boy got tired.
3) Don't bother with games.
I planned for a pinata and sidewalk chalk, bubbles, etc. No one used any of that and the pinata pretty much went to waste. Unless you have a lot of older kids, I wouldn't bother, as it felt like a waste of time.
4) Don't cook, bake, make, or prepare in any fashion. Time is money.
I did pizza. I had it delivered to the park. It was perfect. I ordered based on two slices per person and had some veggie and fruit trays that I bought pre-made from a grocery store. I also had two liters of soda, bottled water, and juice boxes. I think we spent about $100 for food for 45 people. No making anything and no picking anything up. I loved it and it took a lot of stress off of me. I guess I could have saved some money by making things myself, but I do believe that my time is worth something, and I don't think that I could have saved a lot.
5) Remember the point of the party.
I'm not going to post about it here, but there was some drama. Family crap that is not worth wasting my time here on. I started to get worked up, but then I looked at my little boy's face. He was eating his first bites of pizza, playing with his balloons, and charming the pants off of his party guests. I realized that all of the other stuff didn't matter. M hugged me close and I felt the miracle of everything overtake the minutae.
Here are some pictures of the party for your viewing pleasure.