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Unique First Birthday Party Ideas

Event Planner & Coordinator: Aliana Events | Florals: Celio's Design | Venue: AT&T Sky Space | Photographer: Melody Melikian

First birthdays mark a year of tremendous growth — from cradles and cries to walking and talking — and it’s a perfect time to celebrate all that’s still to come. We’ve rounded up our favorite unique first birthday party ideas to inspire and delight you. With fun themes as varied as flamingle (a clever mix of flamingo and mingle) and fashion, décor innovations like floating clouds and tables that resemble ice, and activities that include riding a unicorn, these celebrations will have you wishing to be a kid all over again.

Playful Elegance

Having an aunt who is a top event planner means having a first birthday party to remember. Jenny Chang, owner of Rock ‘N Events in Los Angeles, pulled off quite a feat with this gorgeous celebration for her niece — she created a unicorn-inspired celebration that also managed to be elegant and timeless. Set on the top level of luxe boutique hotel, Mr. C Beverly Hills, the event featured a pale pastel palette of lavender and blue with subtle touches of blush. Icy blue satin napkins and pale purple hydrangeas brought color to white tablescapes complete with alabaster tablecloths layered with silk petals from Wildflower Linens. Friends and family offered well wishes to the birthday girl and ended their lovely afternoon with cupcakes topped with intricate frosting roses from Sweet Florie.


This “flamazing” first birthday party from planner & designer, Design Plan Play, took flamingo theming to the next level with tropical pink décor, giant balloon installations, and live flamingos. A pool party at a private Miami Beach home, this celebration featured an entrance with towering balloon swag interspersed with peace lilies and hibiscus flowers and then even more balloons spelling out the birthday girl’s name in spots throughout the party. Guests were well considered with custom towels, bug spray (labeled “buzz off”) and sunscreen (labeled “cover up”) stations, as well as tables set with sippy cups and paddling flamingo toys for fun pool play. Rentals from Bambini Soirée brought elegance with hot pink ghost chairs, palm frond linens, and pale tulle tableskirts. The fun day ended with dessert — a stunning, playful five-tiered cake with layers of “feathered” flamingo-hued frosting, topped with a pink pineapple.

Butterfly Bash

This darling girl’s mom envisioned a butterfly garden party to féte her daughter’s first year and Wrap It Up Parties delivered with a whimsical celebration that incorporated greenery and butterflies into the décor as well as the food. Revel Decor infused hues of pink, bringing an ultra-feminine touch to the event, adorning a greenery wall with hot pink florals and pale pink butterflies along with a stylish letter “A” monogram signifying the birthday girl. The signature wall set off the monochromatic dessert table featuring a stunning ruffled pink cake, pink cupcakes, pink macarons, pink butterfly cookies — well, you get the (delicious) idea — from Toni’s Patisserie. Chic tables were festooned with white birdcages spilling over with greenery and white and pink roses to complete the theme. A fun bubble show entertained the smallest guests at this sweet Chicago celebration.

Dream Big

This fanciful event pulled the nighttime theme of dreams into beautiful daylight — illuminating every gorgeously-planned detail from Aliana Events. The AT&T Sky Space served as an appropriately towering spot in the clouds with views to match the floating cloud décor suspended above the tables clad in pale blue cloths and white florals from Celio’s Design. Sheer white draping and suspended stars added to the “dreamy” vibe of the chic celebration. Signage encouraged the birthday boy to “dream big” and guests to “dream with Zack.” A skyscape backdrop with fluffy white cushions and blanket provided a photo-ready spot for Photographer Melody Melikian to capture guests when they weren’t on the gleaming dance floor. As a sweet end to the festivities, guests enjoyed a five-tiered baby blue cake decorated with white stars, clouds, and hot air balloons with a custom, glittery “Zack is One” topper.

Wild Child

A wild “one” theme proved fitting for a busy one-year-old at this event custom-made for party animals from planner, Marketa Events. Large umbrellas provided parents welcome shade from the Los Angeles sun as they sipped mimosas from “mommy’s bubble bar” and their kids played in the ball pit pool. Greenery and desert flowers in brass pots adorned tables clothed in palm prints from La Tavola Fine Linen and wood cutouts of lions, elephants, and giraffes from Invitation Maven — a subtle, stylish nod to the jungle vibe. The motif continued to the snacks and sweets table with animal crackers, “bananas for monkeys,” and a delectable tiered cake with golden animals roaming through its frosting trees by The Butter End Cakery.

Colorful Celebration

Primary colors are a classic choice for a birthday party palette but this celebration’s décor from A Prestige Planning is anything but ordinary. A colorful balloon installation from Balloonzilla provided a bright focal point and a backdrop for a packed sweets table at the Newport Beach event held in the Fashion Island Hotel. A transportation theme was woven into the tri-colored decor in the form of cookies masquerading as trucks, cars, and planes and train cars holding lushly-hued florals from The Blooming Branch. Visuals by Arpit beautifully captured every vibrant detail of the milestone event including the tiered cake topped with a sugary likeness of the adorable birthday boy from Grace & Honeycakes.

Fashionable Féte

What’s black, white and blue all over? This fashionable first birthday party from Instincts Design Studio, Ltd. Suburban Chicago’s Cafe La Cave provided a pretty and convenient gathering spot for guests welcomed by place cards in the form of glittering black bow ties in honor of the birthday boy who donned a Tiffany blue tuxedo jacket and jaunty hat. The stylish color scheme was carried through to the black-and-white striped linens and sparkly blue runners from BBJ Linen. Signage and napkins deemed the toddler “Mr. ONEderful” while his likeness was cheekily captured by a caricature artist. Even the desserts fell in line with the dapper vibe with polka dot bow tie cookies and layered black and white chocolate brownie trifles from Sweet Soirees.

Lemonade Luncheon

Lemonade stands are a happy childhood staple, so what could be better than using them as a sweet (and just a little bit tart) theme for a first birthday celebration? Sunny yellow and bright pink — both classic lemonade flavors — naturally lend themselves to creating a joyful vibe and here, Lili Marie Parties, wove the colors into a stunning balloon arch, strings of hanging tassels, and blooms decorating the tables in glass bubble vases with lemons at their base. Not one, but two, stands provided Poppilu Lemonade to guests with an “adult” stand offering lemonade mimosas. A festive dessert table held two polka-dotted cakes, cupcakes, colorful berries, and, of course, lemon squares for guests to pair with their sweet sips.

Unicorn Magic

There are unicorn birthday parties and then there are UNICORN birthday parties — this one deserves all caps for its inclusion of an actual unicorn (well, a horse adorned with a horn which, to a child, is every bit as enchanted). Utilizing the traditional “mythical creature” palette of pink, lavender, and pale blue, Andrea Eppolito Events spun a vision of wonderment with seating in the grass nestled by fur and sequined pillows and an enchanting teepee tent perfect for the tiniest of guests. Destinations by Design decorated tables with lush pastel flowers and created a gorgeous flower cart complete with tin buckets overflowing with beautiful blooms. A face-painting station gave guests a magical makeover, complete with unicorn headbands before they enjoyed a slice from the beautiful three-tiered, one-horned cake from Kailava.

Winter Wonderland

This winter wonderland first birthday celebration had a little help from mother nature — a “white out” snowstorm broke out as guests arrived, which only added to the authenticity of the theme. The party’s venue, Waterside in Edgewater, New Jersey, is fully surrounded by windows and the storm scene over the Hudson River and Manhattan provided a gorgeous snowy backdrop for the festivities. But the space’s décor from Ruth Ridgeway Designs rivaled the stunning views with shimmering crushed sequin tablecloths topped by fur trimmed trumpet vases bursting with white birch, icicles, snowflakes, and white floral bouquets. The party, as beautifully planned by AMG Events and Visuals who saw to every fun frosty detail, featured chic lounge areas with glowing tables resembling blocks of ice and an adorable “photo opp” spot full of the birthday girl’s favorite furry winter friends.

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