When my oldest son turned 1, I made the mistake of spending way too much money on his birthday party. I wouldn’t say at the time, but I’ll say it now: I spent over $300 on the cake alone, paying $10.00/letter just to have his name on it. Crazy, right? As a parent, when these milestone birthdays come around, you want to go all out and throw a party that your child won’t forget. But at such a young age, will your child even remember?
So for my younger son’s 1st “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” birthday party, I knew better than to go overboard on things people probably won’t even notice. I still wanted to throw an awesome party, but I cut costs where I could and spent money where it paid too.
HAVE YOUR CAKE…
I splurged on a couple of things where it counted — we had a clown come and do balloon animals, which the kids loved, and we had Ben and Jerry’s host an ice cream bar, which even the adults enjoyed! But this time around, instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on the cake, I spent under $30. I found a picture of a cake I really liked online, printed it out and took it to HEB, our local grocery store. I know you might think grocery store cakes are plain and generic, but they can actually do a lot to make your cake more original. All you have to do is ask. I asked for a large round cake, rather than a rectangular sheet cake, with strawberry layered in between. Then I asked them to decorate it similar to the one in the picture I brought. I was really happy with the way the cake came out. And it tasted great too!
DESSERT TABLE: HOW TO LOOK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS
I wanted a lot of items on my dessert table so that it would feel extravagant, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. After all, it’s just one aspect of the party. I did order mini cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes (my one splurge on the dessert table), but the rest of the items I either made or bought wholesale. I looked for sweets that I knew would be inexpensive, even when buying them in bulk. I went with creme puffs, mini cinnamon rolls, powdered donuts, pirouttes and chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Aside from the cupcakes, I spent less than $25 on on all the food on the dessert table, and even had some food left over.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
To keep the table simple and clean, I used glass and white coordinating dishes. I neatly plated all the food and arranged everything nicely so that it would flow well together. To dress it up, I added some decorative touches all around the table. I labeled the food with cards and ribbon, and used balloons and a birthday banner that I made for the backdrop. And for a little flair, I put a variety of fruit in a couple apothecary jars I had around the house and placed them on the dessert table — another inexpensive way to make a dessert table look lush!
Even though not everything was screaming “Hungry Caterpillar,” using the same colors throughout really tied everything together. It all turned out great — the dessert table, the decorations — the party was a hit. And even if my son doesn’t remember it, I know I will!
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