I started dreaming about my son's 1st birthday party before he was born.
I know that sounds totally crazy.
But we had this adorable sheep theme going on for his nursery and I just kept imagining a Farm Theme 1st Birthday Party as an extension of that when he turned one.
But besides waiting for your child to actually be BORN, here are the 3 things you must do first when you begin to plan your little one's big day.
1. Set the date!
Really take a look at your calendar, don't just assume it's going to be on their actual birthday. (You'll probably want it to be on a weekend, not a Tuesday, right?)
Check the weekends for holidays that aren't known for their date and might not immediately jump out at you (Father's Day! Memorial Day!).
Ask your closest family and friends if they will be around - don't assume they can make it - confirm they do not have a trip or a wedding planned or any other big events already scheduled.
2. Decide on a Budget!
Setting a budget is incredibly important.
The budget will help you determine the number of guests you can invite (12 or 120?) and the type of party (backyard gathering with cake or a full course meal at a restaurant?) you can have.
Some people prefer small intimate family gatherings and others are hoping for a big event with a cake smash and a photographer. Make sure it's possible.
You can throw an AMAZING party with any budget. (And honestly, I think the most creative ideas come out of having constraints - limits make us think up ways to get around them!)
3. Pick a theme and/or colors!
Ooo here's the fun (and also a really, really important) part: pick a theme and color scheme. Trust me when I say this one decision makes every other decision SO much easier to make.
Brainstorm ideas based on your little one's interests (what toy does he like to play with? what characters does he like?) and think about colors you like or look good on him.
Check out Pinterest and Etsy for popular ideas. But once you decide on something - stick with it!
OK now! -
With your date/season, budget, and theme in mind, it becomes SO much easier to navigate the overwhelming quantity of other decisions you'll have to make.
It's easier to decorate for a "red and navy baseball party" with $20 to spend, than blindly walking into a party store.
It's so much less time-consuming to visit a bakery for a "lime and orange monster cake" for $100, than flipping through those dated idea books.
And it's certainly more fun to pick out a custom "mint and gold tribal birthday outfit" for $30 than wandering aimlessly through a mall!
So that's it! Those are your 3 big decisions to make right away. After that it's a piece of cake ;)