A baby's first birthday is a huge milestone worth celebrating; however, when I started planning Lena's first, I soon found the expense growing. For me, it was not worth breaking the bank. Between delicious dessert and darling decor, I'm sharing budget friendly alternatives we used to celebrate her "magical" day.
Keep it close.
We kept the guest list small and invited close family and friends. We sent out around 10 invitations through a more affordable option, email. Although I prefer to snail mail pretty paper goods (hello hand lettering opportunity), the design combined with the cost from Paperless Post was too good to pass up. The company also offers the option to purchase a single paper invite as a keepsake for only $5.
Host at your home.
In addition to hosting at your home (if you are able to), use everything available in your living space to entertain for it. We set up a drink station across the surface of a bookcase in our entry room, along with desserts and light snacks in our dining room. The serving dishes, many of which were from Target or Home Goods, I had collected over the years. For cups and plates, however, we opted for a disposable kind (cups here and plates here) that also doubled as decor.
I was originally inspired by one of Lena's handmade toys, a unicorn doll, for the theme of her birthday party so naturally we included it as part of the decor.
Want a lot of bang for your decorating buck? Balloons and blooms! I grabbed a handful of eucalyptus and daisy bouquets for around $3-$5 each from our trusted Trader Joes. My favorite budget friendly decor find though was this cloud like balloon arch.
When I originally researched the balloon arch, I received quotes anywhere from $75-$150. So you can imagine the excitement to my DIY heart when I stumbled upon this balloon arch decorating strip for five bucks! This combined with two packs of white latex balloons (a pack of 15 count 12 inch and a pack of 20 count 9 inch) and 30 minutes of your time (with no helium required) equals DIY done right. All for under $15! For a little added "magical" flair, I paired a gold banner from Jollity & Co. with the balloon arch and attached moon and star shaped mylar balloons to her highchair.
Dessert on a dime.
If you are a skilled baker, then this is an area where you can really save some money. If you are like me, however, baking a cake is not your strong suit. Admittedly, because of this much of our budget was allocated toward enlisting the services of a small local bakery famous for macarons, Hummingbird Macarons & Desserts.
To keep the cost down, we ordered a (relatively simple) six inch buttercream cake with a small assortment of "magical" themed cupcakes, cookies and of course macarons!
Above all, our favorite part of the day was the time we spent with family and friends while reflecting back on our daughter's first year of life.