Baby's 1st Birthday: Party with the Princess - Pretty Real

Baby's 1st Birthday: Party with the Princess

9:05 AM

Recently my little princess turned 1 (obviously I am terrible at posting in real time.  Please don't be mad)! I began thinking about her birthday party somewhere around 8 weeks after she was born. ;) I knew I wanted to do something fun, girly, and unique. Well despite my intentions, I couldn't get 'princess party' out of my head even though that theme for a 1st birthday party is hardly unique. And of course, pink just naturally goes with princess!! In thinking about how to give it a little twist of my own however I realized that damask print has been a recurring them throughout her first year- It was used at my baby shower, in her nursery, and at her dedication luncheon. So I ended up settling on a vintage damask princess theme. Here are a few of the details:
I knew the centerpiece would be the dessert buffet--a la Amy Atlas. I love using food as part of the decorations for a party--so fun and serves two purposes! I already had apothecary jars I'd purchased for my sister-in-law's shower and I have to say, I've used them at every party I've hosted since then!! I made sure to use vintage type dishes whenever I could (i.e. apothecary jars, and damask/crown/princess mugs, and homemade tiered trays).

I used damask table runners that I made with no sewing machine (stitch witchery baby!), and Disney princess curtains for the backdrop of the dessert buffet.

I made tulle poms and tissue poms to hang around the house. When a party is indoors, there's a lot of space to fill (why couldn't she have been born in June?!), so this is an easy and cheap way to do that.

The banner was my FAVE. In damask, black, and hot pink, it added to the theme. In addition to the banner Megan made food labels, and signage ("How Sweet it is to be Genevieve" for the dessert table was the cutest thing ever!) which in my OCDness I adorned with little gems. I love printables and think they can totally make a party. If you're not as lucky as I am to have fabulous Megan Ayers as a BFF, then for a small price you can get party printables from a number of sellers on etsy.

Ornate frames also added to the vintage feel. And pearls strung with photos of Genevieve from about 3 months to 1 year did the same.  I also bought a high chair off of craigslist and painted it pink both with her one year photos and this party in mind.

(sorry for the lack of photos...I promise it looked yummy :))

I wanted to feed a crowd...cheaply. I have to give myself a pat on the back for thinking of a mashed potato bar. My mother in law makes the best homemade mashed potatoes and I included cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, salt and pepper, jalapenos, and nacho cheese (ok, that's a lie. I was supposed to make nacho cheese but was running an hour behind and didn't get to it. I'm still getting this hostess gig down!). I also made spinach and pancetta grilled panini (mmmmmmmm), along with turkey avocado panini. My mom made the best Greek pasta salad ever and a tossed salad with candied walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese, as well.

I really didn't want to make all of the desserts from scratch but didn't want to use candy either (in my experience unless it's chocolate or there are a ton of kids no one eats the candy--it just sits there looking pretty which really isn't the point!). The dessert buffet included homemade peppermint patties, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, cherry cheesecake bars, cake pops, and a cake. Semi homemade included: dipped pretzels and chocolate covered strawberries. I used store bought yogurt dipped pretzels, powdered donuts, and strawberry wafers. I have to say the homemade peppermint patties were a pain but I got the most positive feedback from those! Figures right?! The cake pops were my FAVORITE to make and were so delicious. I liked [and ate] every single dessert on that table!!


I'm not big on activities (can you tell I'm a first time mom?). So that, coupled with the fact that the sitters Megan used were unavailable, and most of the guests/kids were pretty young, I figured I could get away with not planning structured activities. Side note: I found these awesome paper castles kids can put together and decorate but el Cheapo (that's Joe) wouldn't let me buy them! BUT I did get knight's armor for the boys and princess tiaras and wands for the girls (and mini baby dolls and princess onesies for the baby girls), so I figured the kids could play with those toys. Besides, my mother in law has plenty of toys at her house to keep the kids occupied in a little hideaway refinished basement area, so I think the kids did ok. For future parties I definitely plan to follow Megan's lead and get sitters. I too think that was a genius idea!

All in all I think the party was a success! Of course I was a bit behind and there were certain details I missed but at the end of the day Genevieve was happy, full, and loved and that's what really matters.

Now, I only have 10 months until her 2nd birthday. I'd better start planning!!

PS: Check back later for some DIY guides for some of the homemade items mentioned...

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