How to Plan The Perfect 1st Birthday Party with Les Enfants

February 2, 2018Behind The Scenes, Events, Lifestyle, Meet The Expert

Written by The Kate Burnett, Director, Les Enfants 

First Birthday Celebrations

Birthdays are meant for celebrating and in particular a first birthday is a special milestone. As parents our lives are changed beyond recognition from the moment we welcome our children into the world and one year on our lives have been filled with so much joy, the first birthday is as much about us as it is our son or daughter.

No matter what size celebration you decide to have, as a party planner we can help with some useful tips to ensure your first steps into the world of children’s parties are as smooth as possible.


Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Venue

It is important very early on to decide if you want a small intimate gathering at home or if you need to find a hall, restaurant, hotel or activity space for your party.  This will very much set the scene, if you are lucky enough to have a July baby, a garden party is wonderful but for those of us who have winter babies venues are ideal and avoid any of the mess at home!  Budgets really vary so make sure you have considered all the costs.


Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Invite

The party season can get very busy, especially if you are part of an antenatal group where all your babies were born within weeks of one another. Lots of parents are opting for electronic invitations and paperless post, so even if you have not sorted all the details, send your guest list a save the date early.  We love Etsy for a range of talented designers who supply electronic artwork from all over the world. Or if you want something more hand finished, Paper Pocket has a lovely range of items too.

If you want something more personal how about creating an invitation with your little one’s hand or foot print, or a photo? This is a lovely added touch for special occasions.


Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Theme

Many parents opt to give their party a theme. Our tip would be to create a theme and colour scheme that incorporates your child’s likes and interests.  If you didn’t want to have just the number One as the theme, popular requests we have received include – Peter Rabbit, Hot Air Balloon, Baby Jungle Animals, Unicorns to name a few.  Pinterest is the perfect place to create your mood board and remember to hashtag search on instagram to get some of the best party pictures for inspiration.



We love the nautical theme for little boys; this little boat from My 1st Years could double up as a party prop and a gift!


Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Entertainment

Often at first birthday parties, there will be some other one year olds but more than likely with extended friends and family you will have a range of children of different ages.  This can make choosing the entertainment tricky but you will find your local baby and toddler classes will offer party options such as Monkey Music and Hartbeeps, all of whom specialise in entertaining babies, toddlers, younger guests and parents too!  Soft play is also a way to create a safe space for the birthday boy or girl and you could even bring along toys and ride-on’s to create a fun area. Little party hire has a great range of soft play activities to hire.

first birthday party entertainment ideas



Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Decorations

This is the part of the party our team love and the part you can really put your personal touch on.  Balloons are always a great cost effective way of decorating a space, we are all in love with the giant balloons at the moment and of course the tassel garlands. Bubblegum Balloons has a great online shop and is a good site for all balloon inspiration.  We also love the increase of the dessert tables which have made a real impact on the birthday party scene.




Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Food

Make sure you have plenty of finger food for the one year olds; Annabel Karmel is a great source for party food if you are holding the party at home or in a hall. Making the food fun is a great idea, keep it on theme and easy to pick at with tiny fingers. We know there is a pressure now to keep it healthy but a mix of healthy snacks and a few sweet treats are more than fine.




Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Cake

Lots of Mums love to make their own and this is a fantastic idea, really personal and a fabulous way to save money.  Don’t feel inclined to make one if time is short or it’s not your thing, there are lots of cake decorators to help.  Hello Naomi is one of our favourite cake designers, but there are plenty local to yourself. Or how about joining in the cake smash craze that has come across to the UK, you can read more about this the Les Enfants Blog here?


Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Picking the Party Bag Gifts

No party would be complete without the traditional party bag but when lots of your guests are under 18-months, the usual bags filled with toys and sweets won’t work.  We suggest giving all your little guests a nice book to take home or maybe a special keepsake they can treasure.  If you have a small group of children maybe you could give them all a personalised bag.


Plan the perfect 1st Birthday Party – Making Memories

If you don’t want to have a party maybe mark your child’s first birthday with a set of photographs, to treasure the memories and celebrate with personalised keepsakes your children can look back on when they are older.


We hope you have enjoyed these tips, now all you have to decide is what is the perfect first birthday gift for your little one and we know that My 1st Years are the first place we would look!

Katie Burnett – Director – Les Enfants
Katie Burnett, expert event stylist and owner of party planning boutique ‘Les Enfants’, and hire company “Little Party Hire” famous for her luxury children’s party creations. With an army of working mums behind her creating handmade party props Katie (a mum of 3) has spent the last 12 years building Les Enfants into an unrivalled party planning service providing distinguished clients with alternative interactive parties, from baby showers to sweet 16ths.