How exciting, your little girl will soon be one! I am sure you are wondering where the time went. Weren’t you just bringing her home from the hospital? The days begin to blur and suddenly nighttime feedings got fewer and far in between. Your little dumpling is beginning to look like a little toddler. Now, here you are, starting to prepare for your little girl’s first birthday.

Not only are you celebrating the birth of your daughter, but you are celebrating the last year of her milestones. A first birthday is a celebration for the whole family. Babies have a way of bringing families together. Simply by being born they create new roles in the lives of people we are closest to; Aunt, Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa, Sister, Brother, maybe even for your first time, the new role as Mom & Dad. Enjoy the process of planning a party for your little darling and the people closest in your lives.

How to Plan a First Birthday Party

To start the planning process, there are four things that need to be decided: budget, guest list, venue, and theme. These party priorities will help you set specific party perimeters.  After you tackle these four things, all the rest will fall into place. If you have a large or unlimited budget, then you will have more flexibility to invite as many people as you want, as well as the resources to book a venue to hold your guests. If you are working on a smaller budget, you might look at hosting it at your home. This may require a smaller guest list to comfortably accommodate all of your party goers. If your guest list is a non-negotiable, check out renting budget friendly or free venues such as the following:

• Clubhouse
• Beach
• Park
• Kids Party Place
• Local Gym
• Family or Friends House

Narrowing Down a Theme

You can either choose a theme to fit your venue (i.e. you rent a pool at a local gym and choose an Under the Sea Party), or pick a theme and then choose your venue (i.e. you pick a Pink Princess Party and decorate a venue accordingly). There is lots of flexibility with choosing your theme. If you can’t settle on a theme you want right away, don’t worry. Instead, opt for sending out a neutral invitation. A pink invitation would be lovely, or even better, an invitation with your daughter’s photo. Your guests will still enjoy every bit of the fun when they arrive and see your theme come together.

Themes for a First Birthday

A budget friendly option is to choose a theme based on the time of the year, and season. For instance, a fall baby may have a party centered around pumpkins, leaves, apples, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. You may find you already have seasonal decorations on hand. Additionally, for a menu, it’s usually more cost affective to buy food items that are in season.

Watermelon Theme for a First Birthday Party. | Bloomers and Bows

21 Themes For Your Daughter's First Birthday| Bloomers and Bows |

Summer Parties & Themes:

Pool Party – Under the Sea Theme, Mermaid Theme, Pirate Theme

Backyard BBQ – Farmer’s Market Theme, Lemonade Theme, Watermelon Theme

Luau – Pineapple, Flamingo

Spring Parties & Themes:

Garden Party- Tea Theme, Fairy Theme, Lady Bug Theme

  • Pastel Woodland Theme
  • Pastel Unicorn Theme
  • Rainbow Theme
  • Spring Shower’s Theme
  • “Alice” in One-derland

Fall Parties & Themes:

Cider Mill Party – Pumpkin Theme, Apple Theme, Harvest Theme

Bonfire Party – Rustic Woodland Theme, Little Red Riding Hood Theme

  • Halloween Theme
  • Fall Farmer’s Market

Winter Parties & Themes:

A Winter One-derland Party: such as a Rustic with Evergreen trees and cardinals, White Snowflakes and Glitter

  • Disney’s Frozen Theme
  • Snowman Theme
  • Iceskating Theme
  • Fire and Ice Theme

Other Themes for a First Birthday 

  • One-derful
  • “Alice” in One-derland
  • Fun to Be One


Decorating sets the tone of the party. There are dozens of items to really make your daughter’s first birthday party memorable. Websites like  Amazon Handmadeand Etsy have thousands of options for customized goods that you can print or order already made. You can have everything from water bottle labels, to matching food tents. Keep in mind, printables take time to produce and send, and they take time to assemble. Order anything for the party a few weeks in advance. Do any assembly (folding, cutting, taping…) a few days/weeks prior to the party. These things always take more time the you expect, and you will have enough to do the day before and day of the party.




Free Checklists & Planning Documents for a First Birthday Party

Here are some free checklists and planning documents to help you stay organized when planning your party. These documents are intended for individual use and cannot be redistributed without expressed written consent from

Free Printable Shopping List for Planning a First Birthday | Bloomers and Bows | www.bloomersandbows.comFirst Birthday Party Checklist. Everything you need to plan a party for your little Girl. Bloomers and Bows


To Do’s & Recommended Supplies

• Pick a Theme
• Create the Guest List
• Decide on a Venue
• Mail invites out 4-6 weeks ahead of time
• Plan a Menu
• Purchase supplies or a Cake and/or Cupcakes
• Party Outfit: Head piece, Dress, Bib, Extra outfit for before or after the Smash Cake
• Decorations: Center pieces, Highchair Decorations, Balloons, Front Door or Mailbox
• Create a Music Playlist
• Book any Entertainment or Photographers
• Order any Custom Printables
• Go Shopping
• Create a Party Time Table for yourself to keep the party flowing ( i.e Food at 1:00, Cake at 2:30. Presents to Follow)


Table Supplies

• Napkins
• Forks, Knifes, Spoons
• Dinner Plates
• Ice cream Bowls
• Dessert Plates
• Table Clothes
• Serving Utensils for Cake & Ice cream
• Serving Utensils for Food
• Cups
• Straws
• Candy or Dessert Buffet


Cake Toppers
• Cake Candles
• Smash Cake
• Cake for Guests

Baby's First Smash Cake | Bloomers and Bows

Party Favors & Prizes

Goodie Bags
• Toys & Trinkets
• Prizes for any Games
• Crafts or Supplies


• Highchair Decorations
Backdrop for the Highchair
First Birthday Board of Likes
Hang a Banner of Baby’s First Year of Photos
• Party Hats
• Balloons
• Center Pieces
• Door or Lawn Decoration
Photo Props









Best Ideas for a Baby Girl's Smash Cake Photo Session | Bloomers and Bows |


  1. Have a back-up outfit for the smash cake
  2. Pick-out family outfits ahead of time so you are not scrambling
  3. Be sure to charge your phone and any camera batteries. Make sure you have enough space for lots of new memories and videos.
  4. Have Ice cream pre-scooped and stored in cupcake tins in the freezer

The Ultimate First Birthday Party Checklist




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