Whimsical Garden Tea Party – Elia’s First Birthday

First birthdays are for the mamas, or at least that’s what I told myself. I had her first birthday theme picked out shortly after she was born. Our infertility journey lasted for several years, so I had lots of time to dream about birthdays and nursery decor. Parties and decorating are two of my favorite things. We went with a wonderland themed party, and I had a blast decorating and planning. I thought it’d be fun to share the decor details and some of my favorite things from her party.

First Birthday Pictures

First, we hired a photographer. Best decision ever!!! Thank you Heather Cowan Photography. It was totally worth the investment to have a professional taking the photos during the party. Family members were able to get a picture with the birthday girl too. This doubled as our smash cake and one-year photos. The photos are so beautiful, and I’ll definitely be sharing lots here.

Tea Party Decor

For the decor, I pulled pieces from EVERYWHERE. My Mawmaw loaned me some of her teapot collection. My mom let me go through her house and pick out things, and then a lot of our own home decor and chairs were used in the setup. It was a family effort, but it saved a lot of money using things we already had. 

For the items I did buy, I shopped thrift stores and the Wish App. The Wish App had lots of little small items like the pocket watch, keys, and mushrooms to add the wonderland theme to the centerpieces. I enjoyed bringing all of the pieces together. Each table had a different mismatched centerpiece with freshly picked flowers. It was a warm February so the daffodils were blooming already. Saved money on flowers too! Woo hoo!! This added to the fun whimsical theme.

We used the big tree in our backyard as the center of everything and put the cake table in front with mismatched chairs to look like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. All of the chairs were from inside our house. On either side were tables for presents and guest book. In the middle of everything were round white tables for guests. The tables were missing the tablecloths because of the wind, but I was so happy that my vision came together for everything else.

Party Food and Cake

With food, I am always overly ambitious, so I made all of the food, smash cake, and cookies myself. The menu was simple and mostly small bites, but it was all yummy. I enjoy cooking, so this was another fun part for me. Doing the food myself also helped save money. We used trays and serving ware from my wedding in 2010. Mom saves stuff. Haha. I couldn’t believe she had things left over from our wedding!

The Outfit

Her outfit was the best! Thank you Bailey’s Blossoms. I scoured the internet for months looking for an outfit to fit the theme. The maxi skirt and lace leotard were absolutely perfect. I made the headband myself with flowers and headband from Hobby Lobby, of course. The first round of making the headband was bad, her head was a lot smaller than I thought haha, but I managed to size it down enough.

To add another special touch, I used an old door and window to display polaroid pictures from when Elia was born. When people visited at the hospital and once we got home, we took a photo of them with her and had them sign it. I loved having this set up for everyone to see. One of these pictures is the only photo we have of Elia and Matt’s mother together. My MIL passed away a little over a month after Elia was born.

It was definitely a DIY birthday party, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We had so much fun celebrating our little miracle, and now it’s almost time for birthday number TWO!!! This year is not about me, so we’re having a Baby Shark party. You can find that post here.

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