Hunter's 1st Birthday - Story and Co

May 25, 2017

Hunter’s 1st Birthday


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How I plan a party is very similar to how I plan my hair cut, outfits, home styling, dinner party etc. I am a visual learner + love seeing things (I was a big vision board junkie about 10 years ago – yes I loved ‘The Secret’ 😳). 

4-6months (for a big event) 
I like to start planning early (yes I am perfectionist + organisational warrior 💪🏼) but also because I like to support small businesses especially on Instagram so I like to give myself plenty of time if I need personalised pieces made. 

How I start all my planning for my events – I head to Instagram and Pinterest. I am loving how Insta now has the save options/create collections. What I usually do is screenshot the images I like (making sure it is highlighting where I can find certain products) and create a folder in my phone called ‘1st Birthday inspo’ that way I can combine my Pinterest and Instagram images together. I usually do this for all my events, fashion, fitness or haircut inspo, especially if I have an event coming up. 
After that, I review my folder + see what sort of direction I am going in. 
It was clear from the beginning, for Hunter I wanted something different to his nursery design (which is very preppy/hamptons) but still had a touch of his personality. The overall key theme that drove my vision was the image of the ‘stag’.

4 months

  1. Theme is chosen – Hunter’s was woodlands meets little chief. 
  2. Decide on the venue. Sometimes choosing the venue comes first therefore I may adjust my theme. We went with a local brewery, which had wine barrels, lots of wood + an outdoorsy vibe. 
  3. Create a list of everything I need to do from now till the party. (Catering, food theming (styling comes later), guest list, invitations, cake, decorations, lollie bag/favours). 
  4. Guest list + invitations is what I get straight onto. These set the theme and usually take a while to make. I always like to give my guests plenty of notice for any event, I just think it is the most respectful thing to do. (Oh and I am a nazi on RSVPs – a huggggge pet hate of mine is chasing up RSVPs. Everyone is busy, it just shows someone you aren’t interested. Another blog post on this later). 
  5. Invitations – I love them personalised. Whether it is with a photo or their name, something that is different. Sometimes I make them but for Hunter’s I got them made and I made the pouch. I didn’t want an ordinary envelope, so I decided on a cotton bag. I also printed a photo of Hunter with a sign personally inviting his guests which went into the pouch. I got all the craft pieces for the bag from Kmart and Eckles Invites made + printed the invitations 

3 months 

  1. Personalisation – cake toppers, signs with names etc. I like to look around for the best quality but also within my budget. 
  2. Decorations – list of decorations (put into two categories, what I can make + what I need to get made). I am very fortunate that my uncle is very handy and usually can make anything I show him. My uncle made the feather garland, the mini teepee and donut board. 
  3. Favours / Lolly bags – I really wanted a donut wall instead of a lolly bag, everyone loves donuts + our guests were mainly adults. Plus our venue wouldn’t allow me to bring in food, only if it was take-away. My uncle made the donut board and stand. I ordered the donuts from Krispy Kreme a week before the party. 
  4. Making of decorations – I made the take away bags for donuts (all craft from Kmart – so cheap + great quality). I ordered my giant balloons and ‘ONE’ balloon from Parties made pretty. 
  5. Birthday board – one of my favourite pieces. You can use this board for any child and any age. I just used liquid chalk from Kmart. Hunter’s board is from Vines of Wild in collaboration with Zilvi.
  6. Invitations and addresses – ready to go 

2 months 

  1. Cake – I was going to get it made, but I only wanted a simple naked cake so I practised making my own over a month, to make sure I had the height and flavour right. By doing this early it gives you the option to still order one. 
  2. Catering – confirm catering and beverages at the venue. 
  3. Test run of how I want the event to look – I usually set this up in my home and take photos so on the day, I am not rushing or stressing. Plus because I am perfectionist, I like others to see my vision if they are helping me to set up. 
  4. Organise what Hunter is going to wear. I was going to match the theme but I didn’t want it too gimmicky so I went with his style which is preppy. Details below of his outfit details.
  5. My mum – I really wanted her to be a part of the event but something I could continue on doing for all events. So I decided on her picture in a frame on the cake table, that way she was there with us. 

2 weeks – 1 month

  1. RSVPS – I like to give myself 3 weeks especially with catering and usually you have 10 people at least you have to chase up 
  2. Tables – I went with organic to match the theme, so I used branches and leaves from our garden.
  3. Put the balloons into Big W so they will be ready for the day
  4. Organise who will help you on the day. My uncle helped with setting up, hubby was on Hunter duty + my brother picked up the donuts. 
  5. Write a plan for the day and layout for the venue. This was probably the best thing I did, it made everything run so smoothly and stress-free. 

Week of party

  1. Make the cake
  2. Get outfits out ready 
  3. Final payment of venue
  4. Put all decorations in bags to take to venue 

I know this may seem over the top, but doing it this way, I saved money as I was able to find the cheapest pieces but best quality, I was able to slowly make decorations without rushing and I could think of every detail without being rushed. I also was able to enjoy the process and the week of his actual birthday without doing last minute rush jobs.



love + grace

Jo xx

The comments +

  1. Fiona says:

    This is stunning. How beautiful and well put together. Love the birthday board. I hate it when people don’t RSVP too. Can’t wait to see more

    • Jo @storyandco says:

      Hey Fiona,
      Thanks lovely for your comment. Just getting started so stay tuned for more! Haha I know so frustrating isn’t it Hun about the RSVPs – glad I’m not the only one.
      And yes the board is so beautiful and can be used for any child. I love that you will be able to see them grow over the years too! X

  2. Nelly says:

    I have just looked around your site and love it, well done, can’t wait for me!

  3. Angela says:

    I found this really handy, thank you Jo. I have been looking around for some suppliers for my daughter’s first birthday so I plan on contacting your list in the morning seeing as though they obviously were great for you.
    Ps glad to know I’m not the only perfectionist and pre-planner out there!!!

    • Jo @storyandco says:

      Hi Angela!
      So glad you found it useful. Good luck with the planning, & let me know if you need any further help. Happy birthday to your little one too
      Haha the life of a perfectionist! A post coming about that soon too x

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