I wanted to do a quick recap of Jack’s first birthday party on the blog for the memories! I really didn’t want to do some big birthday party. I’m not a great host and he’s also turning one 😉. (Plus it’s summer and I feel like it’s hard enough to get everyone on the same page with vacations and travel!) We invited immediate family only and my sister and Mike’s youngest sister couldn’t come and we still had 15 people… Mike’s family rolls deep! So it felt like a big party still! As he gets older things will likely become more elaborate, but our first birthday idea was to keep things simple and invite everyone over after work on Friday, Jack’s actual birthday.

first birthday idea first birthday invites

Even though it was just a small party, I wanted to make a little invitation to send out. I saw these first birthday invites on Instagram and loved the candle! Such a creative first birthday idea. I bought these classic looking candles on Amazon and thought they were perfect for the invitation. Funny enough, I printed the invitations at home with the same invitations we used for our backyard wedding.

first birthday invites

Mike made some seafood appetizers, then we did a cake smash with Jack, and we ordered pizza for people who wanted to stay after Jack’s bedtime at 7! It was just a good ole fashioned birthday party and I thought it was perfect. It really does take a village and I’m happy we were able to celebrate Jack’s first birthday with so many of our close family members.

first birthday decorations

I went with a “one is fun!” theme! I put together a mood board (lol) to visualize my first birthday idea earlier this summer and wanted just like…. fun! Bright, primary colors! Nothing too over the top. And pretty much all the first birthday decorations were handmade.

My mom made the three cakes. She bakes down in Tampa as a passion project and it was so special that she made Jack’s birthday cakes! We did a vanilla cake, a gluten free chocolate cake, and then a baby-friendly smash cake for Jack. (Which, by the way, is delicious!)

face cake toppers first birthday idea

For the cake “toppers,” I made these myself after seeing a few things on Etsy. I used my Cricut to make the party hats and the face cut outs. I can’t believe how cute they turned out. (Here’s where you can buy face cut out cake toppers on Etsy!)

first birthday idea with smash cake, balloon garland, and party hats

I bought this balloon garland kit from Etsy and it was amazing. I got the seven foot garland and picked out rainbow colors. HIGHLY recommend an electric pump. I pumped the balloons and had the garland assembled in 90 minutes! I did get blisters from tying the balloons, but it wasn’t too bad at all.

custom birthday plate from for pete's sake pottery first birthday idea

My friend Susan of For Pete’s Sake Pottery asked if she could make a plate for Jack’s birthday. I sent her my mood board and invitation and she made this just for Jack. It is absolutely perfect and we will cherish it forever!! Such a special first birthday idea and I’m incredibly grateful Susan reached out.

first birthday idea smash cake

I can’t imagine a more picture perfect day celebrating our Jack Jack! Surrounded by friends and family with a first taste of cake?! What could be better!

His cousins got him this little tricycle and we took it for a spin before doing the cake smash!

And I will leave you with this! Jack loved the cake, surprise surprise. This was when things were still decent. We wrapped it up when he took chunks in each first and chucked them across the room like he was trying out for the varsity baseball team!

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I considered my baby’s first birthday to be kind of a celebration for myself too, haha, like you did it! One year of parenting down and probably one of the hardest parts! So congrats to you too ☺️


This is adorable!! Congrats- one is as big for the parents as it is for the baby 🙂


Looks like such a perfect 1st birthday party! Would you please share your dress details? I love it!

Coralys M

Aww how cute. I love how simple everything was . Also that last picture of Jack is epic.


This is so sweet, I love it! Just wondering how you attached the ribbon to the candles? Did you tie them? Would love to do something like this for my son’s first birthday!


Hot glue… You just have to move quickly because the glue can melt the candle a little bit!


What frosting did you do for Jack’s smash cake? My baby turns 1 in 3 weeks so this helpful party inspiration


I love the simplicity of the decorations and attention to all the details. It looked lovely. Happy 1st Birthday Jack 🎁🎂🎉


Cute party! Wish you would have purchased from the Etsy & Instagram creator’s instead of just copying their work. Supporting small businesses is so important!


Happiest day to Jack! Such sweet photos, but I’m especially taken by those chunky tricycle thighs. So very “one!”

Mary Ann Elgin

The picture of Jack with his cake is adorable! I love the cake toppers. Looks like his party was just what it should be!

nicole Edward

Oh my heart! It so cute. It was simple but so meaningful.

Your Messh is the best.


How did you print the invitations? Was it just using a thicker card stock and your normal printer? It looks adorable!


Yes! Just printed on my normal printer- it’s nothing fancy. When you put the paper into the tray, you just change the setting on the printer to let it know you inputted card stock.


So cute! What a special birthday and beautiful party you put together, what a fun theme!


So adorable! Happy Birthday Jack! @Carly – can you share the details of the blue and white striped plates? Can’t believe he’s one already! Planning my sons first birthday now 🙂