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coco’s 1st birthday party!

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, we celebrated our little Coco's first birthday! I shared some of the materials we used for decorating her party, and here are a few photos from the actual party. Now let me warn you, it was super hot that day—like 100 degrees hot. The weather threw of a bit of a wrench in what I imagined to be a playful and relaxing party at the park. But despite the heat, everyone still had a fun time celebrating my favorite 1 year old.

This is a long post with lots of photos and details described, so click below if you want to see more!

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

To create some extra seating for both little ones and grown-ups alike, we rented these wooden tables and colorful pillows from Circa rentals and put out a bunch of colorful Gathre play mats to sit on. And even at a park, crayons and coloring pages always entertain the bigger kids.

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

We reserved an area of a public park that had a covered pavilion are where we kept food and also offered (thank goodness) a ton of shading. When decorating a public space in which set-up and break-down time needs to be pretty quick, we planned out in advance what would go where and clustered together any of the honeycomb hanging pieces that we could ahead of time.

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Because we love pizza so much, we had a pizza truck cater the party. I didn't even know these existed until I came across The Urban Oven at my friend's party a couple months ago. It was seriously some of the best pizza we've ever had. It was easy for the kids to eat while also a little extra special for the grown-ups to have brick oven pizza at a park!

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

We also got a cooler full of Sweet Clementines popsicles to have on hand during the heat wave. I really debated whether to get them since it was one extra thing to buy for the party and only made my decision just a few days before. Once I saw the weather forecast in store for us, I went for it. And I'm so glad I did because it helped to keep everyone hydrated and refreshed in the heat.

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

For Coco's birthday cake, we worked with Matchbox Kitchen (who made Ruby's 1st birthday cake, too!) and had a banana salted caramel cake covered with coconut! (The coconut was a nod to our nickname for Coco and also because I love how pretty it looks on top of a cake). I asked for the cake to be simply decorated so that I could add a bunch of fun toppers which included a flamingoswan, this glittery cake topper, a timeless cake stand, and surrounded it with a bunch of these cool glow-in-the-dark animals that were leftover from party favors. It's always funny to see the look on a one-year-old's face when they have their first birthday cake and song because they have NO IDEA what is going on. Ruby was way more into it than Coco was!

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Since my husband is Korean (and first birthdays are really important in Korean culture), we added in a simple Doljabi ceremony where Coco was let loose to pick from one of these objects. Each item represents a future profession she could be. She chose the scrolls and the money which means she'll be a wealthy scholar! She was pretty freaked out at all the people watching her as she crawled towards them, but was happy at the end when everyone cheered after she picked her objects.

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

Last but not least, for a one-year-old's birthday in the park, I highly recommend bringing a big playpen filled with ball pit style balls! I saw that set-up at another friend's party earlier this year, and it's pretty much the best entertainer for older babies. It's perfect for when they are not quite big enough to run around at a park or playground, but also helps to keep them nearby and safe.

We had a great day celebrating our little Coconut, and I'm glad my month of kid's birthday parties has come and gone! Next year, we are doing a joint birthday party. With two kids only 8 days apart in birthdays, I gotta make it easier on myself next year ;P 

Photos | Casey Brodley

Crafts/Production | Ariel Fulmer

Location | Vina Vieja Park in Pasadena

Food | Pizza by The Urban Oven, Popsicles from Sweet Clementine.

Cake | Banana salted caramel cake covered with coconut by Matchbox Kitchen, glittery gold "1" cake topper by Little Cat for Sweet and Saucy Cake Supply, Flamingo and Swan toppers by Poppies for Grace, cake stand by A Heirloom and glow-in-the-dark animals from Seedling

Decor | Flamingo balloons from Poppies for Grace, Zebra balloons from Oh Happy Day, blue play mats from Gathre. Wooden tables and colorful throw pillows from Circa rentals. Colorful honeycombs from Oh Happy Day. Animals on wood tables from Michael's

Disposable Tableware | Confetti plates, ombre plates, cups, and napkins from Oh Happy Day; wood utensils from Sucre Shop

Outfits | Ruby's : T-shirt from Monrow, confetti skirt from Hello Alyss, glittery sandals from Avarcas.  Coco's : confetti top and bloomers from Lulaland, hair pin from Homako, dotty party shoes from Zuzii

{P.S. See how we planned the party here}

35 comments

  1. Yay! What a fun and sweet party! You can’t tell that it’s hot, to be honest. Congrats on another year of great celebrations (and yummy food choices). Whew! Also, cheers to Coco becoming a wealthy scholar! What does the white rope symbolize?

  2. Will babies ever stop being cute? I just wanna squeeze everyone’s cheeks.
    Also it’s funny how I read this post so intently even though I probably won’t be asked to plan a toddler’s birthday anytime soon. But I guess after attending a few, to be honest, boring parties lately, I have this fear of hosting a boring party (which actually I’m sure I’ve done).
    What I learned from this:
    When you’re holding a largish party where you will invite friends and acquaintances that might only know the host and not necessarily each other:
    good, simple, and interesting food is a must! Food makes everyone happy, and if it’s simple it’s easy to eat, and if it’s interesting it could serve as a good conversation starter for strangers.
    A good variety of activities really helps for both adults and kids. It gives introverts something to do, and can be a conversation starter, whether it’s a simple arts and crafts set up, or a silly card game that gets everyone cracking up.

  3. Such and adorable party!Do you have any tips on how to get a cake not to melt in 90+ heat? We’re from Miami originally so this could come in handy!

  4. I love how simplistic you guys made Coco’s first birthday party. The theme was mellow. The cake was adorable with the little animal touches you made. The decor was perfect for the park surroundings. And you even had a splash of your hubs culture there. LOVE!! These are things I can imagine I would incorporate in my LO’s first year celebration as well!!
    HBD to sweet Coco!

  5. Joy, that looks like a super fun party. Can’t even tell from the pictures that you guys were melting in the heat 🙂 The cake looks adorable. More recently i’ve been loving plain white cakes with fun cake toppers.
    I am curious what did Ruby pick for her Doljabi ceremony? Do the predictions come true or is it just another fun tradition?

  6. happy birthday coco!
    btw, may i know which park that you held the party? seems like a good one. we are looking for a good park to celebrate our daughter’s birthday.
    thanks for the info! 🙂

  7. Happy 1st birthday, Coco! Time surely flies when you’re having fun!
    (Joy – I love all the sweet details of Coco’s birthday bash, including the doljabi (yes, I’m Korean)! A wealthy scholar sounds pretty awesome to me! 🙂

  8. Hi Joy,
    It’s a beautiful party! May I know where did you get the rug for the Doljabi?
    Thank you.

  9. Every occasion become special when celebrated with family and friends. To make these occasion Bounce2adventure provide you with range of jumping castle which comes in different colors , shapes and size that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. Kids just loves them and loves to spend whole time on them, thus you can socialize with your friends.
    http://bounce2adventure.com/

  10. Thanks for your post about all parties, it’s really awesome and very informative for us about all events and parties. Here we also provide best Birthday Party Venues in Delhi-NCR , then why are you waiting for! Take the benefits for your parties. Thank you.

  11. Hello! I was wondering where you got the little teeny tiny party hats for the animals on the wood table? Did you make them or do they actually sell them?
    Would love to know! 🙂

  12. Hi Hannah!
    We sold them as part of our party collection at Target in 2014 so they are no longer available. Sorry about that!
    Joy

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