Backyard Wilderness First Birthday Party

Back in July we celebrated our little guy's first birthday.  It was a special day surrounded by our handful of new friends as well as my parents who were in town.  It was simple in concept - a quaint backyard party - but with plenty of creative details to make my party planning heart full.

I get lots of questions on how I made the paper sewn garlands for this party. You can find the tutorial HERE.

I tried to prep quite a bit ahead of time.  My parents were arriving a few days before the party and I didn't want to be knee deep in projects when they were here.  This included printing out a collection of pictures from the last year as well as cutting and sewing lots of paper banners.

I used the very popular "Wild One" first birthday theme as inspiration without fulling committing.  I wanted it to feel more wilderness and less wild.  I purchased the invitation design on Etsy.

We hosted the party in our backyard which allowed us to set up the decorations earlier in the day.  One of my goals for all parties I have thrown is to get as much set up ahead of time.  I am always much less crazy when things are done well in advance and I have time to leisurely take pictures.  Plus having my party hosting team (my mom and dad!) around helped tremendously.  I would have been much more of a hot mess without them (especially on this particularly hot and humid day!).

I have only dreamed of this type of farm/barn outdoor setup.  It was truly a dream.  Who wants to get married in our backyard?  I would die of happiness.

Printing out photos for the party was probably one of my favorite elements.  It worked out well that I was able to use quite a few for his baby book as well.  Win win!

No one cares about all these sweet photos as much as a mother does (well, and maybe grandmas!).  These were definitely for me but worth all the work!

Okay, let's be honest.  The entire party was for me.  :)

We served up nachos for lunch (hello, nacho cheese + children!).  So I wanted something to cover the tables without using our white table cloths.  I settled on using brown kraft paper and drawing birthday designs that could be colored by guests.

For the banners I cut out different paper shapes and then ran them through the sewing machine.  Pretty easy and inexpensive and a good project for doing in front of the the tv! 


Setting up the camera for photos always provides a few humorous outtakes!

Our happy and sweaty family...(did I mention it was super hot!)

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

The nacho bar was super easy and I find that letting guests build their own plate makes for happy party goers.  Cute paper products were from Target.

One cake topper also from Etsy.

The dessert table was glorious.  I settled on two types of desserts and a smash cake.  I went with box cupcakes and a Martha Stewart whoopie pie recipe.  The whoopie pies were not as great as I had hoped but they made for pretty pictures.  We were not introducing sugar with our son yet so we went with a banana applesauce cake that was a hit!

Because it was so hot, the desserts would start melting pretty quickly.  So my patient and helpful parents helped me drag out all the desserts before the party started to take pictures.  Then they were quickly put back in the refrigerator.  The crazy things you do for beautiful blog pictures!

Tall washi tape banners helped elevate the table.  I then used extra arrows and garland to add color and texture.

Plates and napkins also from Target (napkins were in dollar section so unfortunately not available all the time - maybe next summer?).

I also set out a few blankets and pillows for little ones to sit and play.  As I have said in the past, seeing kiddos run around in our backyard is always such a joy.  I love feeling like our home can be enjoyed and used in this way.

My (other) party goal in life is where little ones can run around safely and freely while parents can mingle and enjoy themselves.  Just enough structure to keep kids busy but not so much that demands everyone's constant attention.  I believe this is how I grew up and will be fighting against the pressure to overdo kid's birthday parties as long as I can!  I suppose having small gatherings and chill friends also helps!

Our little bug absolutely loved his cake and all the attention.  Melts my heart.

And after all that cake and partying, we ended the day with a proper first birthday hose off!

Our sweet baby boy is growing up!  Such a fun and special day for us to celebrate his first year of life as well as with new friends who have helped make our new home transition just a little easier.

Thanks mom and dad for all your help!!! xo