How can I describe the events and emotions of this past year in one post? We finally made it to this point with our miracle baby, the one who brought us so much healing after losing her big brother, Anderson, almost three years ago. I have not opened up much about Marley’s birth story or any of the many memories made with her family this year. What began as an unexpectedly quick labor and delivery late Easter night evolved into the happiest moments of my life. We were blessed to finally meet our smiling healthy baby girl for the first time at 3:33 a.m. weighing a “whopping” 5 lbs 10 oz . And every day since has been nothing short of fulfilling and rewarding. Although we weren’t spared our share of hardships as any new parent, losing her brother only taught us lessons of appreciation and gratitude, even through the rough nights of colic or lack of sleep with his little sister.
Now, here we are a year later. Marley Jo’s first birthday party had to represent everything special and precious that she is to us. . . if only crafting was a love language. Making and creating is one of my favorite pastimes, so it has been the most humbling honor to create pieces that represent how much I love my baby girl.
It has been a privilege to partner with many talented shops to put my vision together for her first birthday party. Marley has always been intrigued with deer, so naturally we formed the theme around one of her favorite animals with the print throughout paired with neutral mushrooms and muted wildflowers.
There are so many elements that I love about this table. Our friends at Gib + Grace Luxe Events built a beautiful low picnic table, and I was so excited to see how their rug and pillows coordinated beautifully with my table decor. The dried florals in small vases were easy and simple to incorporate on the table, as well as all the other decor spaces inside. I found that dried flowers were much easier than real florals to arrange in advance and have them ready to go!
Party hats at a kids party is the perfect party favor for almost any age, and they were super simple to make. I bought some discount pre-made hats and just covered them in felt and ribbon topped with a yarn pom pom. You can find the pom pom maker here.
The kids absolutely LOVED the small piñatas at their table. This was a great way to personalize favors for each child attending since some were too young to eat candy. Lula Flora Designs has so many great options to choose from for all ages and party themes. We stuffed our piñatas with animal stickers and erasers, confetti, soft-wrapped caramel, and felt mushrooms (see additional pic at end). The sky is the limit for personalized stuffing options!
Each child also got to leave with their own cookie “bouquet.” These masterpieces were baked with love by my friend Sandee at Sandee’s Sweets. As usual, she surpassed my expectations and brought my vision to life!
These large marquee letters from Alphalit BCS were the perfect way to make a big statement and set the theme for the event. Our letters were visible from any spot in our backyard or inside the house, and not to mention, the best photo spot for guests–small to tall! We incorporated these fun lightweight watercolor cutouts from Party Prop Central throughout the balloons and staked them across the back flowerbeds. They were the perfect accents to dress up every “station” with our theme of deer, mushrooms, and wildflowers.
Of course you can’t have a kids party without a bounce house! This large white house from Gib + Grace Luxe Events was the perfect space for kids and adults to enjoy. And the white color made for more great guest pictures.
We concluded the outside events with a homemade piñata that I constructed from cardboard, duct tape, streamers, a wrapping paper front and a tissue paper tail, conveniently all made with supplies that most people already have in their homes.
It paid off to have talented relatives who were more than happy to contribute other hors d’oeuvres and treats. My sweet grandmother assembled delicious appetizer picks inside wood charcuterie cones. I loved how the cones also represented the flower theme. She even used mini flower cookie cutters to punch out mini flowers on cheese. As an extra accent, I attached floral wax seals to the front of each one to make them look more like a flower bouquet.
The mushroom meringues made by my cousin looked so realistic that they easily fooled every guest into thinking these were real mushrooms, and not a delicate dessert. Displayed on an authentic wood stump, we all agreed the display looked too beautiful to eat, although I’m glad we finally did!
As if the floral bouquet cookies weren’t enough, my friend Sandee, outdid herself by creating floral cakes and mushroom cookies. And yes, they tasted as good as they look!
Where do I even begin on the balloons?! Each arrangement was the absolute “icing on top.” High Hopes balloons perfectly captured what I was envisioning with the style and theme, and obsessed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about axis print balloons! Last month, Marley officially announced her first word, “ball,” and ever since seeing these displays, could not stop pointing to each balloon while declaring her favorite word. Truthfully, she and I both could stare at them all day.
My generous husband granted my wish of having a charcuterie cone wall by building it himself. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. He even made interchangeable plain shelves if I decided to not use cones next time. Naturally, I reassured him that I will use it for every event I host going forward.
My talented friend, Heather, is the master of arranging anything with florals. So much love was put into all of the stunning floral arrangements on the gift wall, cone wall and small vases. She created all of the wall pieces and vases using dried florals from Hobby Lobby and Amazon.
Speaking of dried florals, the leftovers made the sweetest little gift toppers. While some of the wrapping paper was used for wrapping gifts, the leftover paper pieces were styled into the piñata, guestbook, placemats and even framed.
Any person could agree that important events seem to pass so quickly. If only there was a way to freeze frame time and remember every person who came out to celebrate Marley on this day. Unfortunately, a one year old will not remember this day at all. So, I asked friends and family to take a quick polaroid picture, write Marley some birthday wishes or share a favorite memory, and attach both to a scrapbook so she can look back one day and see how truly loved she is. This will be even sweeter because we had some relatives write and mail some wishes who weren’t able to attend the actual party. This was a way to include them without their physical presence.
I fell in love with the style of this party and had so much fun decorating that I think much of the floral and mushroom decor will stay out for awhile!
Bounce House & Kids Table: Gib + Grace Luxe Events @gibgraceluxeevents
Floral Styling: Heartworks @heartworks_gifts
Balloons: High Hopes @high_hopes_balloons
Marquee Letters: Alpha-Lit BCS @alphalitbcs
Cakes & Cookies: Sandee’s Sweets @sandeessweets
Mini Piñatas: Lula Flora Designs @lulafloradesigns
Photography & Videography: Whitlee Michelle Photography @whitleemichellephotography
Cutouts and Backdrops: Party Prop Central @partypropcentral
This is absolutely beautiful, down to the last detail! The decor, desserts, and deer-related finishing touches brought everything together for the perfect first birthday celebration.
Leah Hamm says
Lauren you are so talented!!
You did an amazing job with all the decorations and colors! I love it all, you should open up shop!
That camera & scrap book idea,”OMG”, that is so awesome to have for her to look back on.
I hope Marley Jo had an amazing 1st Birthday.
Happy Birthday Deer One!!
Linda Vinson says
Wow! What can I say? Everything you worked on and made for sweet little Marley’s 1st birthday party was simply past amazing! You have such a God given talent, and you use it in the best way! You have blessed many with it, including me. Marley is so lucky to have you as her mama. I am so thankful I got to finally see your sweet little Marley. She is such a cutie pie and so happy. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful pictures with me. I enjoyed looking at them so much!
Linda Vinson says
Wow! The decorations and pictures are absolutely amazing! You worked so long and put in so much work to make little Marley’s first birthday so very special! It is evident in all the pictures. You have a God given talent, and I am so proud you use it in the many ways you do. You have blessed many with it, including me. I know everyone who came was just in awe. I am so glad I finally got to meet little Marley. She is a real life baby doll. Thank you for sharing Marley’s special day with me through these beautiful pictures.