Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Photography Tips for a Fun First Birthday Photo Shoot!

first birthday photo shoot tips

YOU GUYS!!! I can’t hold back any longer, I’m so excited to share these ideas with you!

Hello lovely ladies! It’s Jen, your Orange County photographer here at Hostess With The Mostess. I adore working with you and your families. You always trust me to come up with creative ideas, and execute the most stunning photo shoots (if you’re looking for inspiration, head on over to my Facebook page, right here).

So today, I wanted to share with you a few simple ideas to help you create an amazingly awesome first year photo shoot of your own. Your little one only turns one year old once. So go big! Now I know it’s likely you have an extravagant party planned already, but I encourage you to set some time aside a week or two before your party, and do a first birthday photo shoot of your own! Added bonus: you can display some of the photos at the birthday party! Scroll down to check out some sample shots, followed by tips for making the most of your own first year photo shoot.

first birthday photo ideas - bunting and tutu

first birthday sprinkles smash cake

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Fantastic Doctor Who Themed Baby Shower

BBC doctor who themed gender neutral baby shower party

This fantastic Doctor Who Themed Baby Shower by Desiree Logue Champagne of Penny Blooms Floral Design and Events, a self-proclaimed “nerd” who absolutely loves the BBC Show, is anything but nerdy! Filled with creative details from the show like “jelly babies” (Would you care for one?) and bow tie cookies (definitely cool), this co-ed, gender neutral shower would make any fervent Doctor Who fan proud!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– “Hello Sweetie” Napkins + “Fezes are cool” & “Exterminate!” photo booth props
– Two-tiered cake featuring different elements of the Doctors, the Tardis and Daleks
– Super cute bow-tie cookies and bow-tie topped cupcakes
– Stars & streamers dessert table backdrop, gold sequined table runner + blue flower & silver star florals
– Paternoster Gang Punch, Cybermen & Dalek inspired cookies & Jammie Dodger heart cookies

doctor who themed cake

hello sweetie from doctor who party decor

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Warm & Toasty Winter ONEderland First Birthday Party

winter onederland first birthday party

What better way to celebrate a winter birthday than to curl up by a fire with the ones you love and roast marshmallows, right? Well, this Warm & Toasty Winter ONEderland First Birthday Party has all that and much, much more! Photographed by Kelly Trimble of Kelly Kate Photography and meticulously planned and styled by Brynn of Blooming Events, the guests at this sparkly celebration were treated to homemade vanilla marshmallows and a scrumptious hot chocolate bar with all the fixin’s to warm them up from the inside out. And from the looks of these adorable pics, the birthday girl enjoyed every bit! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Handmade chalkboard style dessert table backdrop with wreath design + matching tent cards
– Roasted s’mores cake, chocolate dipped marshmallow skewers & chocolate peppermint popcorn
– Gold glitter bow & washi tape accents, gold sprinkled Oreos & a hand-lettered golden welcome sign
– Hanging snowflake pinwheels, ‘snow’ cream puffs + mini cotton ball ‘snow covered’ tree

golden typography birthday girl's welcome sign

winter first birthday party hot chocolate bar

marshmallow s'mores birthday cake

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Adorable Milk and Cookies Birthday Party

milk and cookies party themed cookies

What’s more delicious than the classic combination of Milk & Cookies?! I can’t think of a single kid, or adult for that matter, that doesn’t light up at the thought of it. :) And for her daughter’s second birthday, Wynona Leach of Red Carousel styled an adorable Milk and Cookies Birthday Party that’s guaranteed to make lots of eyes light up too! From a beautiful dessert table – filled with the CUTEST little milk and cookies themed treats and illustrated paper details – to a gorgeous paper rosette backdrop for the drinks, this playful little party is truly irresistible!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Stuffed milk & chocolate chip cookie pillows, mug & cookie topped cupcakes & adorable white bunny cookies
– Bow-wrapped cake topped with a mini fondant cake, desserts stand, milk bottle & the cutest little girl!
– “Got Milk?” cookies & bottles of chocolate milk + flowers in pitchers & weaved into the white cake frame
– Pretty paper rosette drinks station backdrop + pinwheel embellished paper straws & photo garland
– Glitter paints & paper cutouts for crafting + cute desserts coloring book & chevron party hats

girly milk and cookies birthday cake

chocolate milk bottles

pink pinwheel decorated drinks table

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Chevron Striped Christening Celebration {Teal & Silver}

teal and silver chevron striped christening desserts table

Tanya Mirco of Empire Lights Event Styling has always loved Chevron stripes and couldn’t resist including them in her son’s Christening, so she created this Chevron Striped Christening Celebration! She designed all of the paperie herself and based the rest of the party’s look around that — pretty clever if you ask me! From the tablescape and menus to the sweet treats and cake, everything coordinates beautifully. Good job Mom!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Silver glitter Cross cake topper & glittered ‘R’ monograms + a sparkling silver crown
– Teal & grey chevron striped cake + mini pies, chocolate brownies, individual puddings & macarons
– Coordinating chevron striped invitation, welcome sign, table runners and other party decor & paperie
– Party hutch filled with milk glass bottles & party favor boxes + ‘Wishes for Ryan’ box

teal chevron striped dessert table

chevron christening invitation

chevron striped christening cake topped with a silver glitter cross topper

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Pearl Princess Barbie Pool Party {Movie Inspired}

mermaid barbie pink and blue girl's pool party

Anyone else out there already dreaming of summer days spent by the pool? Well, this adorable Pearl Princess Barbie Pool Party from Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio is full of great inspiration to start planning those summer play dates and birthday pool parties now! Inspired by the new movie, Barbie™ The Princess Pearl, Kim incorporated lots of cute under the sea details & “pearl princess” inspired activities. I especially love the clam shell cookies & sparkly princess crown decorating!

P.S. Make sure to check out Kim’s post here, where you can download all of the free printable designs featured in this party!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Coordinating pink, teal & purple everything: beach towels, sunglasses, sweets… even the bathing suits!
– White chocolate popcorn, beautiful starfish sugar cookies, sweet drinks & pearl topped Barbie cupcakes
– Giant pearl beads for bracelet making + adorable press on nail stickers & pink polishes for DIY manicures
– Adorable Pearl Princess mermaid costumes + Pearl Princess Barbies for each little guest

mermaid barbie pool party favors and ideas

clamshell or oyster and pearl sugar cookies

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Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding {Rusic + Regal}

winter is coming sign for a game of thrones party

Calling all Game of Thrones fans! Shanda Pierce of Avenue Six Events and Josie Gonzalez of Quasi Studios an amazing job incorporating important details from the enormously popular book and TV series into this fantasy Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding theme. From beautiful tablescapes inspired by various noble houses to a gorgeous woodsy setting and lots of rustic + regal elements, this beautifully styled shoot has us even more excited for the return of Season 4… April 6th can’t get here fast enough!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Cupcakes decorated with different house crests + ‘Winter is Coming,’ ‘Ours is the Fury’ & other house mottos
– Painted pinecone ‘Dragon Eggs’ + faux ‘wolf fur’ embellished candlestick, place cards & bride’s shawl
– Metal arch decorated with vines + autumnal bouquets of dark red lillies & cream colored roses
– Gold rimmed goblets, garden moss & burlap table runners + Maps of Westeros

wolf hair decorated place card

game of thrones inspired table decor

game of thrones inspired wedding

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Dinosaur Dig Birthday Party {Modern Museum Style}

dinosaur dessert table

Maureen Anders of Anders Ruff here to share my son’s recent Dinosaur Dig Birthday Party! Natural elements combined with pops of orange and green helps make this popular dinosaur theme versatile for big or little kiddos. I hope you “dig” all of the dinosaur party decorating ideas and activities!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Dinosaur Lunch Boxes with Herbivore and Carnivore labeled foods
– Tissue Paper leaf garland (Easy and inexpensive DIY!)
– Giant Dinosaur Coloring Wall Poster with dinosaur excavator tent hangout
– Burlap Dinosaur Excavator Kits labeled with an Anders Ruff iron on & personalized favor luggage tag
– Dinosaur bone excavator dessert cups (white chocolate bones + graham cracker crumbs + chocolate pudding)

dinosaur party cake

dinosaur party invite

dinosaur table setting

dinosaur lunch

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{Party of 5} Ice Skating Birthday, Retro Police, Mardi Gras, Strawberry First Birthday, Bubble Guppies

hot cocoa and ice skating snowy winter time birthday party

Here we go with the latest round of Party of 5 picks from the incredible submissions that come our way! This week you’ll find the following creative themes:

– Hot Cocoa & Ice Skating Birthday Party
Retro Police Officer Birthday Party
Mardi Gras Birthday Dessert Table
Strawberry Themed First Birthday
Bubble Guppies Birthday Party

1. Hot Cocoa & Ice Skating Birthday Party (pictured above) from Greyson Design

2. Retro Police Officer Birthday Party by Sweet Georgia Sweet

retro police officer birthday party

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Trend Alert: Terrarium Centerpieces {Garden Wedding}

garden-wedding-flower-arrangements

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning! Today’s guest post is all about the hot new trend — Terrarium Centerpieces!

Terrariums are a popular trend in wedding decor and are popping up in party decor also. Here you can see how you can use them as centerpieces for your wedding dining tables as well as decor for your sweets table.  Super easy to do and such a visual impact!  Check out how I incorporated this trend in this styled shoot for Koyal Wholesale featuring a Rustic Glam Garden Wedding theme with an emerald green and gold color palette and using their apothecary and bell jars, moss balls, flowers and plants to create visually stunning terrarium centerpieces.

apothecary-jar-terranium

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Magical Genie “Make a Wish” Birthday Party

genie magic lamp inspired moroccan birthday party ideas

Your wish is my command! We all know that when you blow out your birthday candles, you get to make one special wish, but what if your whole party was full of wishes?! That’s what Suzanne Olvey of Fanciful Events dreamed up with this Magical Genie “Make a Wish” Birthday Party for her daughter. Featuring a unique, more feminine take on a typical Moroccan theme, light pinks and golds filled the dessert table while magical genie lamps and stars decorated the scene. That’s one party I’d certainly wish for!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY painted Moroccan ikat patterned backdrop with gold stars, a genie lamp & small hanging lanterns
– Pink cake topped with a mini genie lamp & decorated with golden tassels and cascading gold stars
– Gold star topped cupcakes and meringues + ikat, genie lamp & gold glittered star cookies
– Low tablescape with floor seating & wishing star magic wands + ‘Make a Wish’ sparkling confetti filled bottles

gold genie lamp topped birthday cake

make a wish pink and gold dessert table

moroccan low table with pillow seats with pink and gold place settings

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A Whimsical & Girly Garden Birthday Party

whimsical and girly garden birthday party ideas

Step into the {gorgeous!} secret garden, lovingly styled by Maria Olivia Camposco of Invento Festa for her a little girl’s 2nd birthday. This Whimsical & Girly Garden Birthday Party features beautiful pink blooms, mini gardening tools and lots of lovely, Springtime treats. I especially love the birdcage theme that’s carried throughout, from an ivy-filled birdcage on the table to mini versions filled with bite-sized lemon squares, to a wooden birdcage silhouette hanging on the wall. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon! :) P.S. This would make for a beautiful bridal shower or baby shower too!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Pink rose topped cupcakes, sparkly blue & lavender caramel apples, and pearly pink macarons
– Doily wrapped milk bottles, pink bow wrapped chocolate puddings & cascading flowers & lace wrapped cake
– Leaf covered floor, small mint & pink floral printed fabric throughout + tiny white flowers tucked in ribbons
– Butterfly & lady bug topped truffles + a watering can filled with butterfly & flower topped cake pops

garden party decor with leaves, rain boots and mini bikes

cascading pastel flowers and lace wrapped birthday cake

pastel cupcakes, caramel apples and blue bird topped desserts

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Vibrant & Sophisticated Tuscan 40th Birthday Soiree

pink, teal and gold vintage tuscan 40th birthday party theme

Che bello! This Vibrant & Sophisticated Tuscan 40th Birthday Soiree by Jill Sanger of Isari Flower Studio and CBS Lifestylist is like a mini vacation! Beautiful pink, teal and gold jewel tones make everything feel feminine and elegant while touches of crystal and mercury glass keep it vintage and romantic. Turn on your imagination and be transported to a quiet Italian countryside bistro — now that’s amore!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Vintage pitchers filled with bright pink & purple flowers + crystal decanter centerpieces
– Rustic burlap welcome sign & opulent teal and gold tablescape crawling with Tuscan ivy
– Wine & cheese tasting paired with delicious looking charcuterie + fuchsia orchid topped two-toned pink cake
– Custom flower & ribbon decorated pink and gold dinner menu + a classy cocktail bar

dinner party centerpiece ideas with crustal and candelabras

tuscan pink and gold dinner party menu

romantic and vibrant adult birthday party theme

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Rainbow Watercolor Painting 9th Birthday Party

confetti filled party balloons and a rainbow layer birthday cake

This Tween Watercolor Painting Birthday Party by Darleen Meier of Darling Darleen is filled with a rainbow of colors, jumbo confetti balloons, and the most adorable little hand-painted owls! For all of the little Van Goghs, da Vincis, and Picassos out there that love to dive into their paints, there’s lots of inspiration to soak up here. I especially love the idea of teaching the kids the basics of painting one subject (in this case a cute little owl), then seeing how they each put their own unique creative spin on them. Such a hoot! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Painted teal ombre cake filled with rainbow layers + pastel candies & simple swirled cupcakes
– DIY monogrammed apron party favors & paint sets for the kids to play with and take home
– Large, confetti filled balloons with metallic tassels + bright tulip & gerber daisy flower arrangements
– Rainbow painted ‘9’ birthday sign & mini owl masterpieces made uniquely by each party guest

DIY monogrammed aprons and kid's homemade owl paintings

pink and purple confetti streamers above a birthday party's dessert table (more…)

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Sparkly Golden Birthday {Geometric + Glitter + Gold}

kid's golden birthday party decor

For those who may not know, a Golden Birthday is when you turn the age of your birth day. And when her daughter’s Golden 2nd Birthday was nearing, Anna Nodolf of ADN Designs knew that nothing would be more perfect than covering everything in gold and glitter (sign me up!). I love the coordinating golden decor — even all of the food is gold! With lots of fun shapes (the birthday girls favorite) and sparkle this party is as good as gold. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Hanging gold and glitter geometric pendants + gold foil & polka dot photo booth backdrop
– Adorable sequins and gold bow wrapped present party favors & customized gold wall decals
– Gold M&Ms + caramel ice cream topped with edible gold stars + gold chevron striped table runner
– Gold glitter ribbon wrapped mason jars + framed party signs, coordinating fabrics & photos

gold glitter ribbon mason jars and food table

gold pom food topoers

gold birthday party buffer table

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Cars Birthday Party {Welcome to Radiator Springs}

cars and radiator springs inspired dessert table and customized drivers licenses

For all of you out there with little grease monkeys that absolutely love anything cars/trucks/zoom-related, this creative party will knock your socks off! Chrissy Trujillo of Vitalic Photo planned, styled and photographed this McQueen Radiator Springs Cars Birthday Party for her son, who’s going through quite the McQueen phase right now. One of the best parts? The birthday boy and his other race car driver friends each got their own Radiator Springs driver’s licenses and little wooden cars — perfect for speeding off into the sunset.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Customized Radiator Springs inspired backdrop + movie inspired photo booth props & thought bubbles
– Pin the buck teeth on Mater, McQueen race car piñata + design your own license plate activities
– ‘Cars’ inspired treats, like Maters Taters potato chips & Sheriff’s Stoplights fruit ball skewers
– Bright red cardboard race cars, oil cans with birthday messages & Piston Cup trophy party favors

cars themed 3rd birthday party piñata and printables

mcqueen cardboard race car toy

doc hudsons dip sticks, maters taters and other cars inspired party food

DIY oil cans

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Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower {Gender Neutral}

kate spade inspired baby shower dessert table

When I first saw this Kate Spade Inspired Gender Neutral Baby Shower, I knew you guys were going to love it as much as I do! The talented Rachel Pettit-Scott of RV Parties combined aqua, pink and gold + vibrant multicolor stripes to create the perfect gender neutral color palette for this cheery, fashion-forward baby shower. This would be so cute as a bridal shower or birthday party too… for any age!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Golden polka dot & rainbow striped cupcakes + white chocolate covered & gold glitter topped Oreos
– Rainbow striped streamer backdrop & party flags + a trail of rainbow spades adorning the table cloth
– Lots of gold & spade shaped confetti + bright bottle wraps, party flags & polka dotted wooden utensils
– ‘F’ candy dish for Baby Franklin + pink & aqua macarons and white chocolate cake pops

kate spade gender neutral baby shower party printables

rainbow stripes cake pop party flags

kate spade inspired baby shower invitations

gold glitter white chocolate covered

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DIY Giant Paper Flowers Tutorial

DIY giant paper flower tutorial

A few months ago, we featured an incredibly gorgeous Frida Kahlo Inspired Party by Tania Fischer and Veronica Plasencia. One of the highlights of that celebration was the insanely cool paper flower backdrop that Tania made to serve as a focal point at the party. (See refresher image above.) Well…. she’s back today to share with us exactly how she did it! Scroll down for step by step instructions on how to make these statement-making paper flowers yourself, including Tania’s trick to giving the petals that pretty natural looking curl!

DIY Large Paper Flowers Tutorial

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DIY GIANT PAPER FLOWERS

by Tania Fischer

MATERIALS

– *Paper
– Scissors
– Spatula, cake knife or pencil
– Glue or hot glue
– For the base, cardboard

*These flowers were made with a cover paper, but you can use construction paper (cover), copy paper, scrapbooking paper, newspaper, or high end art paper.

DIY Large Paper Flowers Tutorial

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