If you have a cheerful little girl with a birthday on the horizon, then Samantha Spector of Milk & Honey Special Events is about to WOW you with inspiration from her daughter Sophia’s first birthday! A combined birthday + Hebrew Baby Naming Ceremony, this Sunshine Birthday Party needed to be sophisticated enough for the adults, while still staying true to Sophia’s bright nature. From the baby lemon tarts to the “You Are My Sunshine” song signs, let all the darling details put a smile on your face! :)
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- Breakfast brunch spread with berry turnovers, berry scones and cups of sweet berries
- Sunshine drops and malt balls in apothecary jars tied with yellow ribbon
- Brownie hearts with yellow party flags, lanterns with pink flowers and a yellow ruffle smash cake
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Samantha…
Sunshine Birthday and Hebrew Naming in Monterey, California
The inspiration behind our daughter Sophia’s first birthday party was Sophia herself. She was born amidst a tough year for our family – my mom came down with a rare illness in the last months of my pregnancy and was in the ICU for several months. Unsure of what the outcome would be, Sophia’s arrival brought everyone a much needed dose of sunshine through some cloudy days. She’s also been a happy distraction for my mom during a very tough recovery.
This event was both a first birthday party as well as a Hebrew naming ceremony. It is Jewish tradition to have a naming ceremony right after birth, but since my mom was in the hospital we kept delaying it until she was well enough to be present. When my mom was well, she passed on to me a Baby Dior gown that I wore during my own naming thirty-ish years ago. Since Sophie is petite, we were very happy she was still able to fit into it.
Party guests would be mostly adults, so we wanted to keep the atmosphere somewhat sophisticated. Yellow seemed like a natural color choice for the sunshine theme and touches of light and hot pink brightened the décor and added a touch of femininity. I worked on several DIY projects for the event. At first unsure of what to do with the photos I had been taking of Sophia each month, I finally decided to make a pennant banner to hang from the mantle. Using sparkling paper, I made a special party hat for Sophie and a bunch more as favors for other kids. I used branches from my father-in-law’s orange trees interspersed with lemons to decorate the tables, window sills and mantles. I found some basic photo frames to display pictures of Sophie and painted them in our party colors. Amidst the branches, I placed yellow lanterns filled with daisies instead of candles. It seemed more whimsical fitting for an afternoon party.
Etsy was a great resource for decorations. I found beautiful pink chevron labels and my husband and I had fun coming up with funny titles for some of the dishes that reminded me of Sophia. For example, the deviled eggs were “Our lil’ devil” eggs and the marshmallows were “Puffs” like the puffy cereal she loves to snack on.
BAR & DRINKS
The yellow dessert bar was a major attraction and featured more lemons to make the sunshine theme flow throughout. We placed a beautiful Ikat runner across the table in honor of my husband’s country of origin, Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is famous for its Ikat design. Speaking of my husband, he is a dessert aficionado, so he was in charge of sweets. He may have gone overboard, but it was very delicious and gorgeous. A yellow ruffle cake with Sophia’s name was the centerpiece. We had big and small apothecary jars filled with yellow malt balls and lemon drops. We also served lemon tarts, lemon filled cupcakes from our favorite bakery in San Francisco, lemon macaroons, berry turnovers, Ricchiutti marshmallows, and my husband’s famous homemade salted brownies (cut into hearts so I could have an excuse to eat the scraps!). Pink and yellow tissue wrapped Caffarel chocolates were set out in a wood seedlings crate filled with moss as a farewell gift. “Take some sunshine home” was written on the mirror behind the favors with chalk pens.
We had fun selecting Sofia champagne, rose and white wine, as well as mini cans of Sofia champagne and delicious Belgian Sofie beer chilled next to a container of Strawberry Agua Fresca. Many guests added the Strawberry Agua Fresca to their champagne.
Sophia had three outfits for the party! She wore a bright yellow dress at first. Then she changed into my Baby Dior gown for a short Hebrew naming ceremony. Afterward, she put on her third dress of the afternoon to eat birthday cake!
- Food: Aqua Terra Culinary
- Cake: SF Baked Love
- Cupcakes: Sift Cupcakes
- Marshmallows: Recchiuti
- Macaroons: Draeger’s
- Favors: The Candy Store
- Dessert Bar Candy: The Candy Warehouse
- Event Planning & Design, Flowers: Milk & Honey Special Events
- Photography: Simply Inspired Photography
- Sofia Champagne & Wine: Francis Ford Coppola Winery
- Sofie Beer: Goose Island
- Pink Chevron Labels: Sunshine Ink
- Yellow Ikat Table Runner: CreativeTouch84
- Straws, yellow balloons: Shop Sweet Lulu
- Number One Candle Holder: BHLDN
- Sophia’s Birthday Dresses: Yellow and white dresses, BabyGap; silk gown, vintage Baby Dior
- Sunshine Invitations: PinchOfSpice
- Glasses & linens: Chic Event Rentals