They all said, "don't blink", but somehow you did and twelve glorious months have flown by at warp speed. You want to cry, and maybe you should give yourself a moment to grieve the passing of the infant stage you loved so much... or just survived.
Either way, each stage of this parenting adventure is temporary - just a chapter in a book - and to move on to the next exciting chapter, you must first turn the page on the previous one. But the end of this chapter calls for a "One In A Melon" celebration like no other, so put on your party-planning hat, and let's get planning.
There are hundreds of adorable themes to choose from, but your precious babe needs the cutest, most adorable theme there is. Since she is truly one in a million, why settle for anything less than a "One in a Melon" theme? It's colorful, catchy, and, best of all easy, to bring to life.
"One in a Melon" basics
- all shades of pink
- lime green
- pastel green
- kelly green
- touches of black
- wooden skewers
- pretzel rods
- pink melting chocolates
- mini chocolate chips
- Country Time lemonade powder
- watermelon puree
- an assortment of pink & red candy (Twizzlers, "pinks & reds" Starburst, pink M&Ms, etc.)
- honeydew melon (cubed or balled)
- green olives
- cubed ham
- salami (or pepperoni)
- cherry tomatoes
- cooked tortellini
- extra long toothpicks or garnish swords (for the Italian skewers)
See below for more details on how we made this happen.
Setting-up part of the venture oftentimes feels the most overwhelming. It is important to do what you can do ahead of time. That way the day of the party doesn't feel as stressful or chaotic. For this party, almost all of the foods can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Italian skewers, pretzel rods, and watermelon lemonade can be made two days in advance. Fruit skewers and prosciutto bites can be assembled the day before. Make good use of all available time.
On the day of the event, set up your tables first. Should weather permit (and we hope it does) or your party is indoors, add your tablecloths and begin arranging centerpieces. If you opt to have a candy bar, go ahead and set that up next. Place the wooden high chair where you want it.
Tip: Don't have a wooden high chair? Decide where you want the guest of honor to sit for cake and/or gifts, and place their designated chair where you want it. You'll want to keep this central to the gifts and food/cake without placing it too close for reaching hands to cause any da mage. Place your high chair banner, and go ahead and place the party hat on the high chair for easy access when it is time.
Big entertainment for little ones
This is also a great time to set up a "kid's corner" with whatever entertainment you're providing for the littlest guests. It may be an outdoor area with a small swimming pool and water table, a ball pit with plastic balls, or even just a corner of the living room with age-appropriate toys and books for them to play with and read. Don't stress about this too much.
Even just pulling out some easy-to-manipulate large Legos or blocks is perfect! You won't want to put out any food until it is under an hour before the start of the party. If your party is outside, you may want to wait until just before guests arrive. Arrange your food however you prefer.
Don't have a separate cake table? Consider placing the cake on a cake stand in the center of the food table. All other foods can be arranged around that focus item. A smash cake is not necessary, but it makes for great photos and typically makes for fantastic entertainment. Should you opt for a smash cake, place it just on one side of the cake.
This fruit skewer is the perfect addition to your food table. They are easy to assemble and a great chance for siblings to jump in and help- you only need watermelon and grapes. Purchase number cookie cutters here to use for the watermelon "ones". Cut the watermelon into 1.5-2" rings. An adult will need to do this part, as you'll need a large, very sharp knife. Once you have your rings, take the cookie cutter and "cut" as many ones as you can from the rings. Use these in the middle of the skewers and add grapes to each end.
Easy but beautiful flower arrangements that double as unique centerpieces. These hollowed-out watermelons with added fresh flowers will have your guests buzzing! You'll need a melon baller, plenty of watermelons, and fresh flowers.
Build your balloon garland with this easy-but-adorable DIY kit. It also includes a precious backdrop for the perfect photo op! If you prefer a greenery backdrop, you can order one here or create a 3D one yourself using our guide. We also have an easy DIY step-by-step if you want to order custom balloons and create a garland yourself. I promise it sounds harder than it is! You just need a little time, patience, and good-quality balloons.
Custom shirts for everyone in the immediate family are a popular trend. Shirts aren't necessary, but they are precious in photos and as a longer-lasting birthday party keepsake. You can order some like these that ship quickly, or on some sites, you can design your own for something more specific or detailed. These don't cost a lot, but they show that you've put a lot of time and effort into this party. No one has to know how easy this is!
Have your cake and eat it, too!
What about the cake? Keep it simple and grab a cute, on-theme cake topper. Buy a simple cake from your favorite baker or local grocer, iced pink and green (or your colors), and throw a topper on top. Your cake will look incredible, and it caused you zero stress or grief. Here is my suggestion for a cake topper, and it comes with a high chair banner and a precious party hat for the birthday babe.
You'll want to have a party favor but nothing that breaks the bank or stresses you out. Grab some small cellophane bags, some pink ribbon, and some bags of watermelon sour patch candies (really, any red, pink, or green candy works for this). Add a handful of candies to each bag, tie them with a ribbon, and add a custom "Thanks A Melon" party tag to them. Voila!
Hint: Always read the reviews before you buy from any site, but definitely Amazon. Amazon is my go-to, can't-live-without, one-stop-shop, but I have been unfortunately duped before. Being duped usually happens with too little time to actually replace whatever it was that I ordered and was counting on. Ordering something you "think" you're getting gets really disappointing, really fast when the actual item shows up looking nothing like that beautiful photo display you saw on the site. Most of this can be avoided simply by checking the reviews and looking for "In Real Life" photos from previous purchasers.
- Skewers- any fruit of your choice can be used on the skewers; we used grapes because they were in line with the color scheme, but honeydew melon is another great option.
- Centerpieces- while not ideal, if you cannot get your hands on fresh flowers in hot pink, you could substitute with fake flowers from Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or similar.
- Party Favors - Just in case your party guests are all too young for candy, or if you just want to steer clear of that as a favor, consider using the large bubble wands instead. Find them in bulk here in an assortment of colors or you could possibly find singles at your local Walmart or Target in pink and green.
Feel that you need a little more sustenance at your food table? Either because you know your intended crowd or because your party time is closer to meal time, a great variation is to add in some mini sandwiches to a tiered tray and throw some cute themed cupcake toppers to some of them. Alternatively, you can use one of the cupcake toppers as the final touch for the smash cake if that is something you are including.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a party turns out. For a first birthday, you don't need too much in the way of equipment; however, consider any additional items you don't already have on hand. One example is a wooden high chair. Whether painted, white, or natural wood, a wooden high chair makes an excellent photo op for baby to sit and enjoy (read: decimate) her smash cake. Adding a high chair banner to the front turns it into its own decoration, too.
At this young age, bouncy houses can really be too overwhelming, but consider adding in a ball pit or small water table for the little ones (if the weather permits and you have the space). I like this ball pit because it has good reviews and is a great price point. There are plenty of water tables out there, and if you already have one on hand, just use that! Here is my suggestion for a sturdy and large water table that is large enough for multiple toddlers.
Don't forget the tables. This is minor equipment, but it is still very important equipment. I would suggest having a large table for the food and a smaller table for the gifts. You could go "all out" with your food menu, you may consider adding in a third, small card table to use solely for the cake and smash cake. Simplify your life, and use what you have if you already have these. Is your party inside? Take good use of a large dining room table and any hallway or sofa tables you may have. However, if you don't have tables and need to purchase them, here is a great large table and a great smaller card table.
Most of your food ingredients will need to be refrigerated before prep and after assembly. You'll want to keep these items in the fridge until under an hour before party time. The refrigerator is also a great spot for fresh flowers if you're using those for the centerpieces. If you absolutely don't have the room, make sure your food items fit first. Flowers will tolerate being out of the fridge much better than the deli meats will.
Have fun. I know, you want it to be perfect. Sure, you want everyone to enjoy it. Yes, you want to be the perfect hostess with the most wonderful set-up. However, your baby's first birthday party is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. You need to find a way to enjoy the day and soak up the memories. If something goes wrong, try not to stress. Roll with the punches and enjoy all the little moments.
Your article helped me a lot, thanks for the information. I also like your blog theme, can you tell me how you did it?