Planning Your First Birthday Party!

The first year of your baby’s life whizzes by; one minute they are a newborn and the next you are planning their first birthday!

It’s true to say that first birthdays are more of a milestone for family and friends than for your little one. Of course, they will understand they are having a big fuss made of them, but they aren’t old enough to decide on a theme or have a list of friends to invite.

When clients book a first birthday portrait session with me, many will have a theme to match that of the party, so I’ve seen some wonderful ideas that are perfect to celebrate a first birthday.

I’ve gathered everything here for you to help you plan an amazing first birthday party for your little bean.


Once you’ve decided on a theme for your party, everything else will fall into place fairly easily. Does your little one like a particular TV or cartoon character? Maybe they enjoy music or dancing? Is soft play their favourite thing or are they a social animal?

You might prefer to keep it simple and tie the theme to a colour instead.

Have a look at my gallery of recent first birthday shoots for some inspiration here.


Firstly, you’ll need to decide if you are going to have a small intimate gathering at home, or if you want to have someone else worry about the catering and hire a venue. Each has its pros and cons, but if you decide to have a soft play party, it’s tricky to have one at home. Here are some ideas for venues in Salisbury that you might want to consider.


You’ll be likely to have lots of little people at your first birthday celebration so make sure you have a variety of baby-friendly finger foods as well as party food for the adults. If you are catering yourself you’ll find a variety of easy to make child-friendly recipes online – I particularly like the look of some of these Jamie Oliver recipes:


Your baby’s first birthday is such a special time you must make sure you have plenty of photographs to remember the day. It’s a lovely idea to have them printed and make a photobook or album as a keepsake for when your baby is older. Make sure you get some photographs that include you – so many parents spend family celebrations behind the camera! While you are in the planning stage, it’s also a great idea to book your ‘official’ birthday portraits with me. I can ensure stunning classic portraits of this very special milestone in your baby’s life. What better gift to give them? Find out more about our Birthday Beans Photography Sessions here.

If you have any ideas or extra tips that you think would prove valuable to other mums and dads, comment below!

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