A Pink & Gold Birthday Party: Emma’s First Birthday

I can’t believe Emma is already one year old! Though it is hard to see my baby growing up so fast, it gave me the perfect excuse to go all out with a pink and gold birthday party. I decided not to go too specific with the “theme”, but I knew I wanted the overall feel of the party to be sweet and girly.  I am so pleased with how everything came together.

The main inspiration for the party decor came from her sweet dress and the lovely invitations from Minted*.  I added some extra trim to the neckline and hem of her dress to make it a little more special. For the party decor, I used a combination of store-bought and DIY items. Not only do I really enjoy a good DIY project, but it also helped keep costs down.

I made the backdrop for the cake table using tulle in various shades of pink, peach, gold, and white to create the ombre effect. I added large paper flowers to the top to finish the look. The “emma” sign was another DIY made with foam core board and inexpensive fake flowers. I found some really pretty fabric in my colors and simply cut it into runners for the tables. My sister and I put together the flower arrangements using store bought flowers.

As a special touch, I had each of the guests write a note to Emma for her to open on her 18th birthday. The frame at the end of the table contains a poem that I wrote to explain the purpose of the notecards.  I had each guest seal their notes in an envelope and after the party I put the envelopes in a safe place to save for Emma’s 18th birthday. Since I know Emma will not remember this very special first birthday party, I think this will be such a special gift to give to her when she turns 18!

The smash cake is a banana cake frosted with a lightly sweetened stabilized whipped cream. This is a great tutorial for achieving the ombre effect on the cake. I made the “emma is one” cake topper with a couple of paper straws, card stock, and some glitter letter stickers. The cupcakes are devil’s food chocolate cupcakes with a mascarpone frosting and dipped in crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies to give a “dirt” appearance. Each cupcake is finished with a single faux flower stem (note: I washed the stems of the flowers before placing them in the cupcakes). Both cake recipes are from this recipe book (it is one of my favorites!). The skirt and banner on the highchair are two more DIYs.

Guests enjoyed sparkling lemonade from Trader Joe’s from glass bottles. The bottles are actually recycled from store bought drinks, with the labels removed. I added paper flags with “one” written on them to the paper straws.

The fireplace features a few more paper flowers, some simple flower arrangements, and a banner with Emma’s monthly pictures for the first 11 months of her life. The “emma is one” canvas was painted by yours truly.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, this little one loved her cake smash (it was really the first time she tasted anything with a reasonable amount of sugar in it). I changed her into a glittered “One” bodysuit for the cake smash so that her dress would remain clean to open presents.

While Emma’s first year has been full of highs and lows, the party was really just an exclamation point on the best (yet most exhausting) year of my life so far. The party honestly turned out better than I had envisioned and Emma seemed to really enjoy it (even if she didn’t know exactly what all of the fuss was about). Overall, I’d call this party a success!

Fabric for backdrop, table runners, and highchair skirt – Fabric.com (pink dot, tulle)
Paper flowers – Martha Stewart (exact, similar, similar)
Dress – Gap (sold out)
“One” bodysuitChic Pipsqueak on Etsy
Glitter crown – DIY, but LoveCrush Crowns on Etsy has beautiful ready-made options
Paper straws – Target (pink, red)
Cake plates – Homegoods
Flowers – arranged by my sister and me
Cake & cupcakes – made by me

Thanks for stopping by today! Until next time…
~ Elizabeth


*Note:  This is post is not sponsored by anyone and none of the links are affiliate links. I included the links (when possible) as a resource only.