Backyard Barbecue First Birthday Party

We moved into Maison de Pax one week before Littler Pax was born, and he just turned one.  Amazing.  We decided to have a “backyard barbecue” for his party:

I found these darling invitations on Paperless Post:

And I thought they were perfect.  I wanted something that said “boy” and “casual” without being too cutesy.  In an effort to pursue that general feeling, I chose the light blue and red from the invitations (it helped that I already had card stock in those colors) to make this bunting:

And I let those colors dictate the rest of the decor.  As you can see above, we had tissue paper pompoms (I happened to use Miss Mustard Seed’s HGTV tutorial, but there are many out there that are fabulous), light blue cupcakes with red and blue flags, red and blue paper goods, and some chalkboard accents for fun.  I already showed you how to make homemade mason jar bubbles for party favors:

And suggested photos of the birthday boy at one day and one year for cheap decorations that the guests really enjoyed:

For dinner, we served hot dogs fresh off the grill with a hot dog bar of various gourmet ingredients: caramelized onions, sweet jalapeños (this is Texas, after all!), feta cheese, honey mustards, and more…

We also had some pretzels and dip, chips and salsa, veggies, and potato salad.  As I said in this post, I really was striving to make this a fun, relaxing, enjoyable event for all of us.  Why turn something that should be joyous into a stressful ordeal?  This particular menu meant a little work the day or two before, but nothing but grilling sausage the day of.  Perfect.

Not only was it easy, it was very inexpensive.  I bought paper goods at the dollar store, made bunting from card stock I already owned, used frames and chalkboard contact paper I already had to make the 1 day to 1 year pictures, and even lucked out by finding this fabulous wagon at Goodwill for $4.

In the end, the weather was gorgeous, the company was divine, and I was so pleased with how it all turned out.  Best of all, Littler Pax seemed to have a blast.

And, though if you’ve been following me regularly, you know I’ve refrained from showing pictures of my children so far (because, if I’m really being honest, I find them so easy to photograph that I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop sharing!)… I’ve got one more picture of this handsome and happy birthday boy for you:

I’d say that’s a recommendation if I’ve ever seen one. :)

How about you?  Any great birthday ideas to keep it simple, inexpensive, and classy?


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  1. So Cute! Shared on FB and pinned.Isn’t is fun to plan parties for your children.

    Consider yourself hugged.

  2. Aaaww Adorable! This is the perfect First Birthday party – enough detail to make it a celebration yet still simple enough for all to enjoy! Love the cupcakes in the wagon – so boy-ish! I’m visiting as your linky neighbour on Inspire Me Tues – so glad I stopped by!

    P.S. Your son’s bday is the day before mine and yes, I can see why you’d want to share endless photos of his “cuteness” with us!

  3. I love the Mason Jar Bubbles! And your little boy is such a cutie!
    – Lora

  4. Oh my word, he is totally adorable and your party theme is perfect. Thanks for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. Rachel,
    first let me just say, he is adorable! What a great party! Love the cupcakes in the little wagon, the banner is so fun and the invitations, perfect! My granddaughter will be one in July, can’t wait for her 1st birthday party, but would love for her to slow down and stay a baby just a little bit longer! Lots of good ideas!

  6. Cute, cute, cute….from little Elliot, to the decor, to the mason jar bubbles! I loved decorating for my kids birthday parties when they were younger. So much fun, creative stuff, is available now. Enjoy!

  7. So cute! Love the bubble favours. I also shared my little guy’s birthday this past week. It’s here if you want to check it out: Love the party and your little one is adorable!

  8. Oh, how cute! I love the way you used the mason jars and the cupcakes in the lil red wagon. Great job!

  9. Such a cute party! Thanks for sharing at Give Me the Goods!


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