It’s true…time flies when you’re having fun! Just yesterday, you gave birth to your little one and pretty soon your baby is turning 1-year-old! Now the fun begins, with planning your tot’s 1st birthday party! Do you envision an elaborate gathering of extended family and friends or an intimate celebration, held at your home or an Indianapolis party location, serving kiddie finger food or preparing an elegant spread? There are SO many options and so many things to consider when planning. Take a look at our step-by-step list to help you pull your child’s first birthday party together:

Calculate your budget to determine how much money you’d like to spend on the party overall. Once the total budget is set, you will have an easier time deciding how much to allocate for venue rental, catering, entertainment, invitations, decorations, favors and more. Creating a budget will also help you determine the most important aspects of your child’s first birthday party and which items may not be necessary. Perhaps you’re working with a smaller budget, but are a fantastic cook. Divert catering charges by making the food yourself. Maybe you have a crafty friend who’d be willing to help you make decorations and you can forgo the cost of store-bought décor.

Party Date
Select the date and time you’d like to have the celebration. Think about whether or not the party will focus on activities for many little ones, or will be more for adults that surround the child’s life. This may dictate the time of day and the location you ultimately select. (Remember to plan for meal and nap times if many children will be involved and provide an appropriate assortment of dishes, snacks and areas where little ones can enjoy themselves.)

Guest List
Are you planning on close family and friends or a larger 1st birthday party including extended family and out-of-town guests? Compiling a list will give you a better idea of how many people will be attending and will help you manage a budget. A quick rule of thumb on setting a budget figure will be driven by your guest count. Try taking your overall budget and dividing it by your guests to determine if you’ve allocated enough.

Party Location
If you plan on having the child’s first birthday party at your home, will there be enough space? If not, consider a party venue. Take a look at Snappening’s venue search to find information on Indianapolis’ best party locations. Once you’ve decided on your venue, be sure to book it far enough in advance so you can get the specific functional space you want.
First Birthday Party Themes
It could be as simple as incorporating certain colors (purple, pink and green) or as detailed as focusing on a character (Minnie Mouse), book (The Hungry Caterpillar) or topic (zoo animals, beach, super heroes). Consider ideas on One Charming Party for 1st Birthday Party theme inspiration, or to purchase a theme guide filled with menu and favor suggestions, printable invitations and thank you notes, party supply guide and tutorials on how to create the ultimate First Birthday Party.
Now that the theme has been determine, you’ll have an easier time deciding on what food you’ll serve. If you’re throwing a beach-themed bash, a picnic-style menu might be best. Again, the food can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. If you are planning on a large number of guests or just don’t like to cook, consider hiring a caterer to design the menu or place a catered order at your favorite restaurant.
Invitations :: Décor :: Entertainment :: Favors :: Games and More
Now that your birthday party is taking shape, decide on which aspects are important to you and which you can do without. If most of your guests are adults, you may choose to omit the distribution of favors. If the party will be held at your home and there’s not a lot of extra space, you may decide that there’s no need for entertainment. Visit for hundreds of ideas relating to over 40 different themes.