MY BABY GIRL IS 1!!! Holy cow. Honestly, time has never moved SO FAST. December 27th was her actual birthday so I thought I’d share some of the details of her first birthday party that we threw two weekends ago!
Being a Christmas baby, I couldn’t not go crazy with the whole “Winter Onederland” theme. I saw it on Pinterest months ago and was sold. I mean, how many babies does that theme actually apply too? I thought it was SO cute and while the Fall season is really my cup of tea, I’m willing to bet Winter will always hold a special place in Avery’s heart so creating her her own little “winter wonderland” was exactly what I wanted to do! I approached her birthday party much like I approached my wedding, with drawings and mock ups and designs that filled my day planner. I LOVE planning and designing (just about anything honestly) and throwing in personal details is really one of my favorite things to do while planning any type of party or, even just decorating my living room. I had an absolute blast planning and designing her birthday party and I think it definitely showed. So as much as it was her birthday party, I felt like it was a little gift to myself too.
SO, the first thing I did while planning her party was search for a venue. I wanted a red barn to compliment my all white winter wonderland theme. Just the splash of red from a barn was all I wanted to help give that cozy, winter feel. We toured a few venues but when we saw Aliso Viejo Ranch, and realized it was like 10 minutes away from our house, we booked right away. It was PERFECT! Once I had our venue nailed down, I started to contact vendors. I knew I wanted an all white bounce house and found Lux Inflatables on Instagram and Sara- the owner, was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING to deal with! She was so responsive with all my questions and even sent me over a list of vendors she’d worked with in the past for decorative items- like the balloon garland I needed to decorate the bounce house!. She made everything SO easy and I cannot recommend her enough if you’re throwing a party and are in need for a bounce house (in the greater LA/OC areas) ! Here is a link to her website 🙂
Once I knew I had my two must-haves : venue and bounce house, catering was next on the list. My husband is a pizza connoisseur and the first thing he wanted when I asked who we should have cater- was pizza. We decided we wanted someone to come cook wood fired pizzas on site and Joey found Olive Wood Catering to come and they were absolutely DELICIOUS! To put things in perspective- Joey will only eat Neapolitan style pizzas (the way pizza is made in Italy) and will never be caught eating at a chain pizza place like Blaze. He’s that big of a pizza snob 😉 So when he gives the thumbs up on a pizza joint, thats a big deal! If you’re in need of a good pizza caterer and are located in LA/OC, we cannot recommend them enough! Linked here!
Rather than booking a Photo Booth vendor, we actually made our own. Joey found an app that connects your digital camera to an iPad to create a little “selfie booth.” We found an attachment for the tripod so that the iPad was attached and people facing and then the whole thing was set up in seconds! And honestly, the photos came out great! Just a simple email out to whoever snapped a photo and it was done! And now we have our own little selfie booth for future events/parties.
For our backdrop, we used Party With Eli! I LOVED the backdrop they created and it worked perfectly behind our make-shift Photo Booth. Here’s her instagram if you’re local!
My best friend, and Avery’s Godmother is an avid baker, so much so that I constantly tell her she needs a side business. She’s our go-to for any and all desserts for literally anything so it was a no brainer that she would make Avery’s cake, smash cake, and then some treats for our dessert bar.
We also brought our own bluetooth speakers to place around the patio to keep music playing throughout our event. We made our own little winter playlist filled with our favorite Christmas songs, and you already know Winter Wonderland was on there! I think that might be my all time favorite Christmas song now, I love that “walkin in a winter wonderland” verse SO much!
Upon entering the venue, guests were greeted by our “Avery’s Winter Onederland” map of the site. Joey painted it based on the little areas we designed throughout the venue. This is something we definitely plan on keeping forever.
At the center of the entire venue was Avery’s highchair. There was a tree in the middle of the patio and we knew right away that we wanted to decorate it and use it as our centerpiece.
Joey made the “Avery’s Winter Onederland” banner that we hung from the tree and then I bought some white ornaments to further decorate the tree. I bought a white high chair from Ikea, had Joey spray paint the silver legs white, and glued a white tutu and snowflake garland around the front, to decorate it, and then my mom bought me a few faux rugs to place underneath!
To the left of the high chair, I set up a guest book table for gifts/cards. I also set up a little photo album where guests could snap a polaroid picture, stick it in the album, and then write a birthday message to Avery. Avery’s Godmother, Natalie, set the same thing up at our baby shower and I just love the idea so much. It’s such a cute and easy keepsake of the day and something that Avery can look through in the future to remember who celebrated her first birthday with her. I also framed an ultrasound photo and had a little 1-11 month old photo board set up on the guest table as well! The little 1-11 month frame now hangs in our bedroom.
Our selfie booth backdrop was absolutely perfect! And right next to it, sat our all white bounce house!
With the bounce house, I also added on a little ball pit because I HAD to get photos of little Avery playing around in what I called her “snowball” pit.
The dessert table was possibly the most fun to design/decorate. I really wanted to play with our theme and named the table “Frosty’s Cafe.” Joey made the sign himself and we filled the table with winter themed snacks like : reindeer snacks (white chocolate covered pretzels), snowballs (white Mexican wedding cake cookies), iscles (rock candy sticks), elf food (Sprinkles cupcakes), and of course Avery’s smash cake and the real cake, as well as some snowflake Rice Krispies!
Next to our dessert table was a little penguin bowl set up. I’m pretty sure my dad was the only one that played it, but it was pretty cute!
As an activity, we set up Avery’s Cookie Co! We set up a table for everyone to decorate their own Christmas cookie! We also had a little cabin tee-pee set up to compliment the cookie making station!
Next up was the hot cocoa bar! My favorite thing about winter is that it’s cold out, which instantly makes me want hot chocolate. I ended up buying three different flavors of hot cocoa from Williams Sonoma- original, double dark chocolate, and vanilla. Vanilla ended up being my favorite of the bunch. Then, we filled plates and canisters with white snowflake marshmallows!
The seating tables were the next fun thing for me to plan! I wanted the tables to go under the pergola which was directly next to the red ranch doors. I bought cotton ball garlands from a home decor store to hang from the pergola to give the illusion of snow, and this was perhaps my favorite detail of the entire space!
For my center pieces I bought faux snow and bunched it together down the tables and then filled it in with little reindeer and polar bear figurines, some snow covered pinecones, and 3D white snowflakes. At each seat, each guest got a little candy cane treat from Avery- in addition to a little “Avery’s Winter Onederland” ornament that I had hanging on trees throughout the venue for guests to grab as they left at the end of the party.
Well there you have it, all the details on my baby girl’s Winter Onederland! We had such a great time celebrating with friends and family! To see the party in motion, follow this link here where you can see a Reel of the decor on my IG!
Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!