There’s a first for everything…
Before becoming a parent, I was definitely one of those people who rolled their eyes at first birthday parties… Fast forward to my own daughter’s impending first birthday and I was suddenly on Pinterest searching for party themes, giant balloon inspiration and cakes. What was happening to me?! I really didn’t want to have a party and my husband and I had always said we would just go out to dinner and toast ourselves for getting the three of us through the year in one piece. And honestly, after the most exhausting year of my life, what I really wanted to do was book a weekend in a hotel by myself, sleep and watch TV uninterrupted (while drinking champagne, of course)!
I have been lucky enough to have made a few great friends and acquaintances that have babies born the same month or so as my daughter, Ellie. Thankfully these ladies have common sense and started combining birthday parties, which has led to some lovely afternoons where the kids are entertained with the novelty of someone else’s toys and the parents can have a drink (or two!) and a few laughs. Suddenly, birthday parties seemed quite reasonable and I was secretly thinking that it would be nice to do a combo birthday party too. So when my friend asked if I wanted to team up on a party for her son and another little girl, I was hesitant at first since we don’t have tons of people to invite to a party but quickly got excited to plan.
Thanks to the organisational abilities of the brains behind the operation, we divided and conquered the responsibilities, which made the party seem less daunting for all of us. With everyone doing something, our little party turned out to be a lot of fun without being a burden. One down and seventeen to go…
Click through the slideshow to see what we did…
There are so many venue options in Hong Kong but we found renting out the common space in one of our buildings to be the best option. The space had BBQs, a play area for kids, and even a faux lawn so there was space for everyone. If the weather took a turn for the worse, we were covered (literally!).
It took a lot of self-restraint, but I used Pinterest only as a guide to get an idea for the theme and colour scheme. While Pinterest has a lot of great ideas, I am always amazed at the number of people who are willing and able to DIY! That wasn’t in the cards for us (read: we had neither the skill or will to learn) so we found pre-made versions of the DIY inspo. It was a lot harder than we thought to find decorations that didn’t scream “party for a girl” or “party for a boy” but we settled on a tropical theme with yellow and green as the main colours and just ordered some basic decorations locally and online. Pinterest did make me feel like tassels were a must, so I treated myself to them and it was totally worth it. They were a great focal point and a little bit of a wow with zero work on our end.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to cake shops, and once you really dig into what the designs could be, it gets a little overwhelming. After a spin (or 20) through Pinterest, the only option for me was to have a ruffle design so we sent our inspiration to the cake maker and they made a great version for us. The best part was that everyone actually ate the cake. We couldn’t believe it was all gone before the end of the party!
Even though catering would have been easier and allowed us to have a cohesive menu/theme, we decided that we didn’t want to blow the budget on this and ended up barbecuing and cooking ourselves. With so many kids involved, it gave us the opportunity to be 100% certain what was in the food – plus it put the guys to work throughout the afternoon. We ordered beer and Processco online and the guests were encouraged to bring their own if they liked something specific.
The best idea our little planning team had was to hire a photographer. Not only did we get some great family shots, the guests had the opportunity to get their photos taken as well. It was a great alternative to a photo booth. Also never underestimate the power of a few flowers!We picked them up from the wet market and it wasn’t a big ordeal or expense. A few blooms and leaves on the table really went a long way.
Featured image taken by Michelle Proctor Photography, image #1 from the White Loft, #2 from Kara’s Party Ideas, #4 from Host the Toast, # 5 from Pinterest