As I write this post on party planning for a one year old, I still can’t believe that my sweet son has had his first Birthday! It really only feels like I was holding him after a long Labour for the first time yesterday, but of course that is not the case, he is indeed a wonderful one year old and filled with energy that I wish I could match!
The past year has been nothing short of amazing, life changing and a real eye opener. Having a child has helped me realise my strength, acknowledge my weaknesses and shown me the true meaning of unconditional love for my perfect Son and amazing husband. It’s also shown me just how little sleep I need to keep functioning. I’m not going to lie, as I write this I am completely exhausted, actually I’m totally wiped out, but the feeling of exhaustion will pass and David is completely worth the Tiredness.
My personal experience of Party planning for a one year old began a good few weeks ago. I told everyone I wanted ‘low key‘ which really meant I was stressed but didn’t want anyone to know that I was stressed (Can you relate? Tell everyone you’re fine, like a wee duck floating on the top of the waters when really underneath the water you’re paddling like mad?) A little debrief with my Husband calmed me down, and I felt reassured that all that mattered was David and his happiness. He was right, and I knew there was no need to go crazy on the details, but I must tell you that the Party Planning has been an interesting adventure!
Gift List, yay or nay?
Whilst researching what the perfect party for David would look like, I came across a number of websites suggesting a gift registry for his Birthday party! Whilst that might be your thing, for us it was a definite no-no! We felt that presence at his party was much more important than presents! We invited our close family to our home for some refreshments and to share in our joy of a whole year of our Son.
Although we didn’t ask for presents, I did send a request to close family and friends. I asked if they could write David a wee letter that he could open on his 18th Birthday. I thought it would be really special for David, aged 18, to have letters from those who have moved away or perhaps sadly may not be with us anymore, to know how loved and valued he is, and always has been. We’re still receiving letters and comments at present and those that have been given to me as an email (rather than sealed) have caused me to become a blubbering, emotional wreck.
Decor, balloons, banners and bunting!
One thing I was really keen to get right was the decor of the party. I wanted it to be underrated yet striking.
I envisioned balloons, a banner or two and some bunting. I look around our local shopping centre Foyleside (it’s a great space with lots of baby changing, shops and even a sensory room) and got some 1st Birthday Banners in the Card Factory, I admit these might not be the classiest or banners, but I only needed two to pop on the door, I actually thought they were really cute.. David promptly pulled one of the banners off much to his Daddy’s delight!
Finding Bunting turned into a bit of an expedition, I had left Party Decor as the last thing to do on my list, so had underestimated postal deadlines. Although I could find lovely and often personalised bunting online, by the time I would have ordered it, it would have been delivered too late, this led to me dragging my lovely husband round lots of shops in an attempt to find some! We actually looked in the Range, we found some there but it was too floral, we then looked in B&M, Dunelm, T K Maxx, Next and eventually Tesco. As luck would have it, Tesco, the very last store we were in was the where we found the colourful bunting we were looking for. It proved to be good decoration for outdoors!
The final piece of my decorative puzzle was the balloons! I love balloons so initially had bought some in Asda that were called ‘Confetti’ balloons. I went to assemble them and realised the confetti needed to be manually inserted into the balloons. I made a right mess and even managed to swallow a piece of confetti resulting in me choking and feeling really silly. I was elated when I found a local business who specialises in balloons and quickly messaged to find out what they could provide, if they were available and the costs for some balloons for the party!
I have to tell you, Tracy from Touch of Grace was amazing from first contact, she was friendly and professional, gave me loads of ideas and was very reasonably priced. It took a huge weight off my mind when Tracy arranged for the balloons to be delivered to my work on the morning of Davids party, meaning I could go straight home from work. Amazing service, and 5 days later, the Balloons are still fully inflated as if newly blown up. Everyone, especially David loved the balloons, I can’t wait until his next Birthday so we can look at some different ideas from Touch of Grace!
Finally we organised some food from a local cafe and I bought some buns and sweet treats. We had a really lovely, relaxing night spent with family.
My top tip for party planning for a one year old is to go easy on yourself. Relax and enjoy your guests, you don’t get to re-do this special occasion, it only happens once, so make it memorable but not for the wrong reasons.
On a final note, I want to state that I am so happy that my David had a wonderful evening surrounded by family and that the weather held out allowing the children to play outside. I am also thankful that all of Davids Great Grandparents (he is blessed to have 4 on earth as well as 4 in heaven) and his Grandparents were all able to be there. For us, family is everything, we love them all so much and we love how much they love David.