First Birthday Party Inspiration: A Sweet and Simple Brunch

This past weekend we celebrated our little Fern’s first birthday (her actual birthday is tomorrow – the 15th). We decided to have a small little birthday party with only our close family, because even though I love throwing a big party, I’ve been to plenty of first birthday parties that were so over the top and overwhelming that the birthday boy or girl just ended up being a crying wreck. We also decided to make it a brunch, because mornings are the happiest times for Fern and since it was her party, we figured she should probably enjoy it when she was rested and happy. Even though it was to be a simple affair, I still wanted to make it special and festive, so I rolled up my sleeves and added my own DIY touches and I was very pleased with how the entire day turned out. Because it went so well, I thought I’d share some of the details from her party to serve as inspiration for those of you planning a first birthday party. Enjoy!

  • A Sweet & Simple First Birthday Brunch

    A Sweet & Simple First Birthday Brunch

    For my baby’s first birthday party this past weekend, I knew that I wanted it to be memorable and special, but I also knew that I didn’t want it to be stressful and overwhelming. So a sweet and simple birthday brunch was just the thing for us! A lot of DIY details to make the day pretty and personalized, but nothing over the top. Here are the party details along with tips for how to recreate the various elements.

  • Invitations


    Because Fern’s birthday was only a small family gathering, I didn’t bother with fancy invitations. Instead I just created a little text message invite. I found a pretty floral background on the internet (it got cut out of the photo) and took a screen shot of it so I could use it as the base of my invites. Then I wrote in the details on top of the photo using an iPhone app I have called “Over” to get fancy with the fonts. Everyone who was invited is tech savvy and uses text messaging, so this was completely appropriate, but you could still send paper invites if you wanted to.

    Download Over App from iTunes

  • My inspiration

    My inspiration

    The main inspiration for the party decor was this dress. I had seen it months before and knew it was the perfect party dress for Fern’s first birthday. I loved that it was colorful, fun, whimsical but still classic and timeless. This was the feel I wanted Fern’s party to have. I also took a nod from the Peter Pan collar and repeated the scalloped shape throughout the party along with the color scheme.

    Purchase dress from Vanilla & Lace

  • The Perfect Tableware

    The Perfect Tableware

    I stumbled upon the most perfect tableware at Target and snapped it right up. I can’t include links, because these don’t seem to be available on their website, but the napkins, plates, straws, etc. are all from the Mara Mi collection there – you’ll see it in the party section. The patterns were mixed and I loved the outcome. I also scattered in plants and various vessels from around my house as well as baker’s twine throughout.

  • Plants


    Brightly colored annuals added to the color scheme and tied it all together when placed in various vessels. Each plant had a little banner or flag placed inside to make it extra festive. Adding in plant life is always a great way to bring life to a space or event.

  • Close-Up


    Here’s a close-up of one of the banners I made. I simply did an internet search for “banner” and then free handed it onto a thick card stock type of paper. Once it was drawn, I cut it out and attached it to two wooden skewers. And there you have it. Simple, but statement making.

  • Cake


    I made Fern’s little birthday cake (you can find the recipe here at Disney Baby) by pouring the cake batter into two ramekin dishes. Once the two layers were done baking, I sliced the top off of the cake that would be the bottom layer so that the top layer would sit flat. I frosted the middle and then sandwiched the top layer on. I also made another little banner to place on her cake.

    Find this recipe at Disney Baby

  • Cupcakes


    I did end up finding one small muffin tin, so I made a small batch of cupcakes using the leftover batter from the above recipe. I added cute little cupcake toppers that were part of the party ware set from Target’s Mara Mi collection. The little pom pom banner was simply an embellishment I found at the craft store that was attached to two wooden skewers.

  • Brunch Food

    Brunch Food

    I asked all of our family members to bring some type of brunch food to contribute, which was such a fantastic idea! It definitely took a lot of the stress off of me and helped me to enjoy the party more. The menu included: fresh fruit, orange juice, lattes made by my barista husband, cinnamon rolls, crockpot breakfast potatoes, crockpot egg casserole, crockpot apple cinnamon oatmeal (we love our crockpots!) and bacon (made in the oven – so much easier!).

  • Vignette Wall

    Vignette Wall

    I created a little vignette wall at one end of the dining room, tying in the color scheme and shapes that were being used throughout the rest of the room. The “one” and “1” signs were simply drawn out on black poster board and then painted as was the banner. I like how all the pieces tied together. Putting things in a grouping is an easy way to make a party decor statement.

  • The View

    The View

    Here’s the view when you entered the dining room. Please excuse the unfinished window frames and the couch in the living room – we’re in the middle of remodeling our house! I made another banner by painting black poster board circles and folding them over baker’s twine. I also added in a strand of black streamer. I had more, but ran out of time to use them. Next party I guess!

  • For the Guest of Honor

    For the Guest of Honor

    This is the area I created for the guest of honor, Miss Fern! I placed our chalkboard behind her highchair to serve as a photo backdrop and created another little banner to hang above it (can you tell I like these banners?). I made a mini banner to hang along the front of her highchair as well.

  • The Crown

    The Crown

    Fern’s crown was simple, but SO cute! It was inspired by a photo I saw on Instagram and I recreated it. All you do is take gold pipe cleaners and create a circle to fit around your baby’s head. Then, using the circle as your base, manipulate additional pipe cleaners into triangles and attach them to the base. Fern’s crown was simple doubled up with triangles to get the effect you see here.

    Crown inspiration from Caroline Armelle Drake on Instagram

  • The End!

    The End!

    And there you have it – our sweet and simple first birthday brunch!

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