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REAL PARTIES: Charming Backyard Birthday Party {with a French Twist}

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charming backyard first birthday party

Today’s Real Party feature is a Charming Backyard Birthday theme that Kay created for her adorable daughter – Raffaella – to celebrate her first birthday. This party has so many pretty details… from makeshift dessert platters embellished with moss to artificial butterflies and colorful tissue poms.

The party details are very appropriate for a first birthday party, but they’d actually also translate well to adult occasions & holidays like bridal showers, Easter or Mother’s Day too!

charming backyard first birthday party

Read on for all the pretty details, as told by Kay…


“We were so happy at how great the party turned out. Everything went according to plan. Her birthday party was one of the best days, we were surrounded by the people we love most and we have a little girl who is happy, beautiful, and healthy. Nothing could be better than that.

charming backyard first birthday party

I bought lots of glass jars and vases from discount stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. They ranged from $10-20. I didn’t want to use cut flowers; I wanted them to last in the house for a while after the party, therefore, I went with plants like ferns and Orchids. I added mosses and artificial butterflies to make it more cutesy. Artificial butterflies were purchased online from Barnard Ltd.

charming backyard first birthday party

Poms poms are all the rage these days, so I definitely had to incorporate them into her party! I bought tissue paper in various shades from Paper-Source. I made a total of 17! We literally were making them up until the very first guest arrived.

charming backyard first birthday party

For the dessert bar, I went with French pastries made by a local bakery, Patisserie Chantilly. We had Macarons in 7 different flavors, Eclairs and Madelienes. We used different plates/platters and propped them up with bowls and mugs for some whimsy. The canopies that draped over the table were from IKEA.

charming backyard first birthday party

charming backyard first birthday party

I also didn’t want to do the traditional cake or the ever-so-popular cupcakes and opted instead for cream puffs. I purchased moss from The Home Depot for the makeshift cake stand (pictured at top) that held the cream puffs.

charming backyard first birthday party

We also served pitchers of Fuzzless Navel (Orange Juice & Peach Nectar) which is the non-alcoholic version of the Fuzzy Navel. Both the kids and adults loved it!

I made the birthday pennants myself (see banner pictured at top), using paper from Joann Fabrics that was on sale. It was a great deal at 5 sheets for $1! I stapled them to strands of green ribbon and attached printed letters with double sided tape.

charming backyard first birthday party

I also had two types of party favors, one for the adults and one for the kids. For the kid favors, I used Chinese take-out boxes (purchased from Uline) and added some ribbon and a sticker that I stamped the word “merci”. The adult favor were Meringues purchased from Trader Joes, wrapped up and tied off with cute brown faux bois ribbon from Joann.

charming backyard first birthday party

The cheese platter is actually something I am the most proud of!

charming backyard first birthday party

I picked out all French cheese, except for the chedder =), Brie, St. Agur Blue, Comte, and Bucheron. They looked beautiful set again a dark slate platter. I used broken pieces of terracotta and alphabet stamps to write out the names of the cheeses on them. (I picked this idea up from a Danny Seo book. It’s a great way to reuse broken terracotta pots!)

We created a sitting area for the kids and their parents under green and white stripe hammocks-turned-canopies, that I picked up on sale from IKEA. I put a large blanket in the center and added some square end tables to complete the area.

charming backyard first birthday party

And of course, thanks to my friend and photographer Brian Khang for taking such awesome pictures and allowing for me to share with everyone!”

Such a pretty party, Kay! Thanks for sharing! =)

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

18 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Charming Backyard Birthday Party {with a French Twist}”

  1. Nikia says:

    what a unique idea with the hammocks as canopies. I will surely use this in the summer for my balcony. I returned what I thought was a stand alone umbrella because I needed a table to keep it sturdy. I did not want my space overwhelmed with a huge table so needless to say I went without shade. What a cool idea.

  2. Ellen Collis says:

    Holy cow, this is SO elegant for a 1 year-old’s birthday. I love it. I hope mom took plenty of pictures so her daughter can see this and appreciate it when she’s older. PS. I’m totally craving animal crackers now..

  3. Nikki Marfori says:

    This party is simply sweet!

  4. aggie says:

    That is just so cool!

  5. Steph says:

    OMG… where did you find Comté cheese?! I lived in France for a year and it was my favorite cheese. I haven’t been able to find it since I got back to Canada! :(

  6. Lollipop Events & Designs says:

    What a beautiful affair!! One lucky little girl.

  7. Morgan says:

    Adorable! I love the netting over the tables :).

  8. Laura says:

    Just adorable! I loved it!

  9. Shannon says:

    So cute and classy!
    What did your invitations look like?

  10. vanessa m. says:

    Darling! I’m going to borrow some of these great ideas for my May Day Baby Shower I’m planning.

  11. Shannon says:

    Did you do a children’s activity or craft at this party? I cant think of any to do for my daughters party that is a similair theme.

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  13. Emma says:

    OMG…everything looked so beautiful..very lucky girl…Would you mind telling me where you found those long table clothes? I cant seem to find any for my daughter’s upcoming birthday…

  14. Jenn @ HWTM says:

    Emma –
    Your best bet is probably to rent the tablecloths from a local party rental place near you – most party/event rental places have the 6′ banquet tablecloths (as pictured here) available in several different colors and materials.

    If you’re looking for something that’ floor length and you’d prefer to purchase/keep it – check out Their table covers are great! (but they’re only available in one color right now.)

    Good luck! :)

  15. Emma says:

    Thank you so much for getting back to me Jenn. Did you get yours at tablevogue? Did you like them? thank you.

  16. Emma says:

    Jenn, Did you get yours at tablevogue? Did you like them? thank you.

  17. Jenn @ HWTM says:

    Hi Emma –

    The ones pictured here aren’t from Tablevogue (they look like rental tablecloths) but I do have one of tablevogue’s 6′ tablecloths and love it – we use it all the time – and it washes/dries very well. No need for ironing which is a huge plus as far as I’m concerned!

    (It would get expensive to buy a lot of them though, and I do usually rent tablecloths for parties with more than 1 or 2 tables.)