Well, we made it through the first year! We did it with a few bumps, a couple bruises, and lots of laughs along the way.
As we started planning the twins’ first birthday when they were 8.5 months old (yes, I started early), I knew that I wanted a big shin-dig (after all, I turned the big 3-0 just two days before), but I also didn’t want to upset our wonderful rhythm of the day that we had established.
Here are some tips that I would recommend to anyone planning a first birthday party:
THEME: For the theme, we were going back and forth with so many different themes, and nothing seemed perfect. But then I came across the Up theme on Pinterest, and it just stuck. We had a sketch drawn of our house and people have added their thumbprints to it to look like balloons when they were at my showers or came to visit the babies, and so it just seemed too perfect. From there, I went a little crazy. You can see our entire birthday party featured on The Wise Baby (Up-Themed Birthday Party)
PHOTOGRAPHY: My biggest advice is to have a photographer come in for it (if you can put it in the budget). Even if it’s just a student photographer, it is worth it to not have to worry about taking pictures (or have family take pictures). That way, everyone can enjoy and someone else captures the memories… while YOU get to EXPERIENCE them!
TIMING: Ours was from 12-2. The twins woke up from naps at 11, they got milk, got dressed, and then took family pictures at about 11:45. We kept them on their normal lunch schedule (they ate in front of everyone), because we didn’t want them to be cranky or hungry. Then they weren’t starving for the cake smash (I didn’t want them to have too much sugar anyway). Before the cake, we told everyone thanks for coming, and we also said that if anyone wanted us to open presents in front of them, we would be happy to do that, but otherwise we would open them privately. When they got tired, they went down for a nap and we could then visit and be baby free. It was perfect because we didn’t get them out of their schedule.
OPENING PRESENTS: Do yourself (and your family/friends) a favor. Don’t open presents at the party. As I said before, if someone wants you to open their present during the party, go for it! But no one needs to sit through opening gift after gift… and your 1-year-old doesn’t either! Just make sure to keep a good list and write a nice thank you note afterwards.
Yes, I am aware that our twins are now 19 months old, but I thought these were good tips, despite them being not totally applicable for us at this point. But now that we are on the other side of 1.5 years, we will be reusing these tips for the 2nd birthday party!