UPDATED TO ADD (05/15/12): A tutorial on how I created the strings of Polaroids in the birthday party table scape is now posted *HERE* for reference.
After months and months of planning for Ava’s first birthday party, the big day finally arrived. Our house was filled to the brim last Saturday with an outpouring of birthday love for our sweet girl. The whole day was kind of surreal, and I still can’t believe our baby is a year old. I wanted to make this a special birthday for her (even if she won’t remember it) and am so happy with how everything turned out.
I am especially grateful to my friend Heather whose photos make up this blog post. See, I had a lot of regret following my baby shower last year that I had not asked someone to take photographs. I thought I could do it myself and ended up with only a handful of images. Lesson learned! — Heather captured some priceless moments for us, and I cannot thank her enough! My mind was in that crazy hosting-coordinating-wrangling mode and it all went by too fast for me to be certain I was even there. But best I can recall it was a perfect and lovely first birthday. Now I have the pictures to prove it :)
The idea for the invitation was the whole foundation of the party. It was the first thing we created and set the tone and colors for the rest of the details. Invitations were designed/printed by me and the pennants were cut and hand-threaded by my mom. This super cute first-birthday hat was made by Dainty Couture and purchased on Etsy. My mom, Pinterest and Etsy. It’s a recurring theme for this party :)
Seeing this table scape come to life made me so happy. The colors, the layout, the cake, the teeny tiny details… it was all exactly how I had hoped it would be. The best part is that everything on this table (excluding the cake and birthday hat) was made by my mom or me. Serious business.
Ava’s birthday cake was inspired by this cake on Banana Fudge Swirl. I met with Dreamcakes Bakery in Homewood a few weeks ago and showed them what I wanted. But I was floored when I first saw what they had done. It was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. And oh dear heavens y’all — you should TASTE this cake. DELISH.
Heather was so sweet to take a few photos of the three of us together before the party started. It has been five months since we had family pictures made, and Ava has changed so much. Of course I love that whole series the very most.
The tent from our family session last fall made a reappearance at the party. I get such a giggle out of Allen sitting in the tent with Ava during present opening time. She was perfectly happy sitting with Daddy and looking at all of her gifts.
We had an “incident” during cake time where Ava reached toward the flame on the candle. I blew it out just before she grabbed the wick, but she had a nasty ol’ cry over it. When I was flipping through the images, this one caught my attention. I was inside the house scrambling for who knows what and totally missed the foreshadowing unlit candle grab.
And yep, this is about 0.5 second after she burned her finger. Poor baby. We took her out of the chair and comforted her and then rallied for one last try at the cake. We were able to get a few pictures snapped before she she realized what we had done and started the waterworks again. The good news is there was lots of cake left for me to finish off. The bad news is there was lots of cake left for me to finish off. I won’t tell you if I actually did polish off the very last bite…
When Heather suggested we gather all the babies for a photo, I chuckled. Yeah right. There were nine babies ranging in age from six to 19 months and three others under the age of five. But then we did it anyways, and I love it. It was kind of a given that it would be chaotic, but this is the kind of photo that will be so fun to look back on in a few years. It is these kids and their parents (and of course our other friends and family!) who made Ava’s first birthday party so very special. I am forever thankful to have them all bottled up together in a photo like this.