I realize that H's birthday was in October, but I have had this post sitting around for months and never quite finished it. And now I am going to do a half-ass job, because I have a few friends that might want to read it while they are birthday planning.
Order The Food
So you have time to enjoy the party, if you can swing it, order the food. We did fajitas for 20 people, which was under $200 and could have easily fed 30. People didn't eat as much as I thought they would.
We had beer and sangria at ours, but people didn't drink as much as I anticipated. It was mostly family, so that is probably why. If you will have a lot of adult friends, you may need more.
Have a Kid's Snack Table
For the babies and toddlers, I had a table with puffs, goldfish, animal crackers and raisins. I set out little cups for parents to fill with a mix for their little one.
Have Outdoor Activities for The Kids
If the weather is ok, I would highly suggest some outdoor activities to keep the littles occupied and the house from turning into a zoo. I bought bubbles, which were cheap and simple, and the kids loved them. They each got to take one home as their favor. Double duty.
Stage a Cake Photo Opportunity
I had a vintage high chair I painted to use at her first birthday photo shoot. We didn't end up getting to use it, so we put it on the back porch for her birthday cake photos. I strung a little paper banner, and set it so pictures would have a nice background of the back yard. Make sure to move back so whoever is taking pictures can get one of your little one without you bending over looking stupid.
Don't Make the Cake Too Sweet
The mini grocery store cake I bought was cute, but I think the icing was too sweet for H. I wish I had made my own, or asked for a low sugar or cream cheese frosting. The super sweet butter cream was too much for her.
I wish I would have made something like this, with a cream cheese + maple syrup frosting
Don't Open all the Gifts
If you are ok with it, just open gifts of special family members or people that really want to see their gift opened. It takes a TON of time to open all the presents, and even though it is cute, everyone but Grandma will probably get bored watching it.
Less is More
In the end, remember, the party is about celebrating your baby's first year. Don't get so caught up in the little things that you are too busy making everything perfect to enjoy the moment. People will remember the spirit of the party, not the perfectly coordinated cupcake toppers and goody bags!
Here is a link to my 1st birthday Pinterest board for more ideas, our theme was First Fiesta and it turned out really cute and the decorations were easy to find.