One of the things that we moms think about once our babies are born are first birthday party ideas. In my case, long before my daughter was born, I already knew that I was going to give her a baby cotillion for her first birthday.
I know it sounds crazy for a baby to have a cotillion on her first birthday because it is customary here in the Philippines that this is done when a girl turns 18 years old. Well, aside from the fact that I wanted a unique first birthday party for my little girl, the main reason for this is because I never had the chance to have that first dance with my father on my 18th birthday. You see, he died when I was still six years old and because of this, I decided that no matter what happens, I will get to see my daughter have that first dance with her father. Why during her first birthday? Uhmm, just in case I die before she turns 18. Crazy? Yep! And worth it!
So, how does one plan for a baby cotillion for your daughter's first birthday? Easy! I'll show you how I prepared for it!
I started working on my plans 3 months before her birthday. I booked the venue, contacted suppliers and created templates for the invitations. The reason for this? People are celebrating birthdays, holding parties and getting married on a daily basis and there's a big chance that someone might book your preferred venue/supplier ahead of you if you delay. So, if you plan on holding the party outside of your home, I suggest that you start looking for the venue and book it in advance.
Venue: Simply J's Cafe
I chose this place simply because they used to have this very dainty function room that could accommodate the number of people I planned on inviting. Also because, the furnishings were so lovely! So beautiful that I didn't have to decorate aside from letting pastel colored balloons float around.
Giveaways: Personalized small bath soaps in small pouches.
I found a supplier for hotel soaps/toiletries in Tisa, Labangon and ordered 100 pieces of round soaps then DIY-ed the labels. I just printed my daughter's name and her birth date on a sticker paper and placed them on each soap. You can find a lot of free templates online. The pouches were made from a cloth that we had lying around the house which my mother made into small pouches and we just tied thank you cards to secure them. Inexpensive yet pretty!
For the cake, I chose a pink, purple and red floral cake to go along with the decoration of the venue but you can always choose your own design to match whatever theme you have in mind.
In lieu of a guest book, I opted for a wishing tree because it's unique and doubles as a decor. This was also DIY, I just picked up dried branches from our neighborhood, secured it into a pretty vase and glued paper flowers on the branches. I prepared small pieces of papers on the side so that the guests can write their wishes for my daughter on them. They then hanged their wishes on the branches. I have kept the wishes somewhere safe and I plan to give them to my daughter when she turns 18. I have 13 years more to go before I can do that. :)
These are just paper cut-outs (I chose butterfly), wrote the guests names on them and placed them on the plates where they are assigned. Totally optional so you don't have to sweat this one out.
My husband had these printed on special paper and parchment paper.
I found a template for a debut online and edited it to make it simple. Just the dance, a song number from her brother and a film showing showcasing my daughter's milestones for her first year. No fuss and not too long.
So there you have it! An easy baby cotillion as a first birthday party idea for your daughter!
I know that some people will say that we shouldn't spend so much on birthdays because they are impractical, well I say do what you want and it's all about planning and saving ahead. This was something that I truly wanted not just for my daughter but for myself as well. Also, we saved a lot by not having to spend for decorations and DIY-ing many of the things needed.
So, you see? A baby cotillion is easy to pull off! Our guests loved the theme, my baby got to have her dance with her dad, brother and ninongs and I was there to witness it. All worth it!
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