We officially had our first big party in the house to celebrate Ryder’s first birthday!
I kept going back & forth on whether or not I wanted to do something big, or keep it small, but with the way the last 2 years have gone, we needed to celebrate. It wasn’t that unfortunate, but throughout my entire pregnancy (keep in mind, this is our first), due to covid restrictions, my husband was not allowed to be with me at any apt. It wasn’t until my c-section delivery, that he was allowed to be present. The only exception, being when we tried an EVC, because of the nature of that procedure – soooo, all that was important in regards to this party, was just having our families with us for the day. And to be able to host them, a dream!

Obviously, we all know I love to throw a party.. I obsess over details, decor and presentation, but I also didn’t want a huge production, so we settled on a late afternoon lunch, al fresco with a seat for all of Ryder’s family. There are a lot of us (lol), so while I chose to do a long-table seating arrangement to accommodate, I didn’t want things to feel stuffy or too uptight. To keep a more relaxed vibe, instead of doing a plated lunch, we offered a family-style grazing table for guests to pick on. Since a lot of you wrote in asking questions on details, I’ve shared more specifics below:

DECOR + THEME: all I really wanted to do was incorporate a few fun balloon arches to liven up the patio space. Since I clearly don’t have the time [or the skill] to do them myself, I reached out to Kelly, from Little Rose Party Company to help me execute on the day-of. It worked out perfect! That morning, they came to set-up, arrange tables and chairs, and do the balloon installs. All I had to do was set the table and add the finishing touches, because I just love that part. We went with a fun palette of bright colors and a ‘Party Animal’ theme. I wanted guests to enter the space and be blown away by the colors of the decor.

FOOD + BEVERAGES: we wanted to do more of a family-style presentation, so that people could come in and fill up a plate at their leisure. We were in the middle of a heat wave, so after some back and forth I made the executive decision to keep the food inside. We love, love, love a grazing table situation so we hired The Graze Company to do a massive charcuterie board. Half the family is Spanish, so this was very appropriate. We set-up the ‘Watering Hole’ Beverage Station with ice buckets filled with ice cold wine, beer, sparkling waters, lemonade etc., as well as the dessert cart that housed fresh-cut local watermelon, our favorite lemon squares and sugar-free candies. To avoid any waste, I ordered takeout boxes so guests could fill them to take home.

CAKES: any celebration IMO, deserves a cake. And for cakes, there’s one place I like to go – Butter Baked Goods in Dunbar. First off, it’s the cutest little spot, V instagrammable, but more imporrtantly, their cakes are to-die-for. We order one for pretty much every celebration. We ordered two of their signature peanut butter cakes, one ten inch for guests and a 5 inch smash cake for Ryder.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Skoda has worked closely with me for the last 5 years, so I didn’t think twice about asking her to be there for his day. I didn’t even want to THINK about taking photos, or capturing anything the day-of, I just wanted to be present, so I had her there to document on my behalf – and now we have these incredible photos to print for his baby album. It’s really special and sentimental.

Obviously, a party of this scale is totally unnecessary for a baby and TBH, will probably never happen again. We just wanted to have fun with it, and celebrate our new home & growing baby with our families after not being able to ALL be together for so long. I am also in the unique position to have connections to, and work with so many incredibly talented companies that can help me with such an event.

I have worked with the majority of these vendors on more than one occasion and they have all surpassed any expectations I’ve had. You know how picky and detail-oriented I am, so that’s saying something. I would highly recommend them all & will be using them again for future parties, without question. Putting it out there, because I know you’ll ask!

Balloon installations, dessert & beverage cart: Little Rose Party Company
Grazing table charcuterie board: The Graze Company
Birthday cakes: Butter Baked Goods
Cake trays, dessert towers, ice buckets etc: Homesense finds
Dessert table favorites: Smart Sweets, Lemon Squares, & fresh-cut local watermelon
Photography: Melissa Skoda


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