In many ways, my son’s first birthday felt like my birthday as well. A celebration of the day he entered the world and a reminder of the day my life was forever changed.
A day that carries that much weight deserves balloons, presents, cake…the whole nine, as they say.
But how do you truly celebrate when you’ve spent the majority of your son’s first year in the house? How do you adequately “turn up” when you’re not comfortable getting back out there just yet?
You plan a house party. Literally.
Yep, just me, my husband and the baby… in the house.
Don’t feel too sorry for us, though. Thanks to technology and a little creativity, we felt very much surrounded by love.
Now that the world is slowly opening back up, virtual birthday celebrations may be few and far between. However, if you’re a mama like me, you recognize just how special this time will be to look back on.
Here’s how we planned the perfect 1st birthday party for our boy.
We planned out our guest list.
It’s tempting to invite more people than usual to the party since the event is virtual, but it is still easier to manage less people. We had close to 20 people join our son’s virtual party, and that seemed to be the perfect amount.
We sent out party invites.
The initial party invites went out about a month in advance via text message. The beauty of having everything virtual is that it sets the tone for communication to follow suit in the same way. No money spent on paper invitations. No time spent preparing and mailing invitations.
We created a party schedule.
With less room for social interaction among guests, it was important for us to keep things moving along as awkward pauses tend to be more noticeable with a virtual event.
We created a fun background with decorations.
Even though we were at home, we wanted to create a fun vibe. For us, it was as simple as ordering decorations from Amazon (well in advance of the party, of course). We wore matching “Dada,” “Mama,” and “baby” party shirts as well.
We chose a virtual platform for the party.
Google Meet was the way to go for us. Our guests only needed a gmail account to access the party. If our guests didn’t have a gmail account, they could create one for free. After that, our guests received reminder alerts from us via text and email as we got closer to the party date.
We set up the tech equipment.
This is where my tech-savvy husband came into play. He set up my cell phone to an adjustable holder on our kitchen counter so that guests could see us. He then set up our laptop so that we could see the guests. He also set up our TV so that we could see guests there as well, but all you really need is a way for your guests to see you, and for you to see them. Be sure to test out your equipment prior to the party.
We didn’t forget the cake (or cupcakes)!
We ordered a small smash cake from a local grocery store a week in advance. Our little one was not shy at all about digging into his miniature cake. We celebrated with cupcakes to celebrate on his actual birthday, a day before the party.
We expressed our gratitude.
It’s always nice to say thank you, so after the party, we sent out digital thank you cards with pics of our little one digging into his cake.
Celebrating my son’s 1st birthday was something we looked forward to all year. We were determined to keep spirits high, even with all that was going on in the world. A nice combination of creating a schedule and going with the flow worked for us and may work for you too if you decide to go this route for your future events.
Mamas, how did you celebrate your little one’s first birthday?