A Floral Woodland First Birthday


When I started envisioning a theme for Emsley’s first birthday party I was instantly drawn to thoughts of flowers. Since she was born in July picking a theme related to summer and the feeling of being outside felt totally appropriate. I loved the idea of a ‘Garden Tea Party’ theme in our backyard but right now our backyard lacks a fence and is full of weeds and mud (the joys of a new build!). A Garden Tea Party theme at our place could have felt really authentic but not exactly the pretty Secret Garden-esque feel that I was going for. Also, weather would have been something that I needed to consider when planning an outdoor party so I figured I would err on the side of caution and keep things indoors. Playing off my original idea of a ‘Garden Tea Party’ I decided to create a ‘Floral Woodland’ theme instead. That way I could still include lots of flowers but also mix in some wood elements, which if you’ve seen pictures of our house, I absolutely love!

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I found Emsley’s dress unexpectedly while shopping in the outlets in Seattle this past April. I had a mom moment in the store when I laid my eyes on it. I picked it up, ran to my husband to show him and instantly started to tear as I told him it was going to be the dress our baby girl would wear at her first birthday party. The waves of tulle flowing down from the waist were elegant and channeled that whimsical feel that I was going for. The top part of the dress has a sheen to it which made the dress feel a bit fancier and an appropriate choice for the big event. And well, the colour of it was the perfect shade of blush which fit in with the whole theme of the party.

The gold flower crown I actually made myself and I will do a DIY tutorial on it shorty for those who have been asking where I got it from.IMG_1035-1IMG_0966IMG_0922

For the decor I used a lot of wood items from around our neighbourhood. The great part of living in a new development is that there are lots of wood pallets to be found in a variety of conditions and colours. I picked up this one in our neighbour’s backyard and used it to create an entrance sign. The wheelbarrow has been in our family for many years and had the perfect rustic look that I was going for.



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IMG_0949IMG_0900This rustic wood frame was a great find from Homesense Canada and fit Emsley’s monthly photos perfectly. All that hard work during the past year taking her monthly photos finally paid off. It was so nice to see them side by side and to be able to compare the growth she has made over the past year.

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender 6I thought it would be a fun idea to create a time capsule for Emsley to open when she turns 13 years old. We asked our family and friends to write down two things on a piece of paper: what they thought she would be when she grows up as well as one thing that they wanted her to know. I didn’t look at the responses and instead sealed them closed so they couldn’t be opened until the time comes. I have a feeling 12 years will go by a lot faster than I want them to! The “Let there always be love in her eyes and flowers in her hair” print I purchased off of Etsy.

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FullSizeRender 24I picked the colours of the menu to represent the woodland theme, meaning lots of brown, white and green tones. I also only chose berries for the fruit as they are found in the forest. The backdrop was made of two wood pallets stood up side by side. The flower 1 I made by pulling apart various silk flowers and gluing them onto a cardboard backdrop. The tassel I found pre-made at Winners and was a must have as it had the perfect colours in it to match my flower 1.FullSizeRender 21IMG_0650The cake topper I had originally made for Emsley’s baby shower by a company called Sweet Saltwater Designs. These ladies make so many amazing things out of maple wood. We have many items from them including the name cut out in her nursery. I loved incorporating an item at her birthday that had already been used at the first ever celebratory event we had for her.IMG_0956IMG_0946


What’s a first birthday party without a cake smash?! Every child deserves to sink their hands and face into a cake once in their life without being told to stop. And this momma struggles with messes most days so this was an extra special event for us! The tulle backdrop for the cake smash I made myself. Unfortunately the white and yellow pieces didn’t show up as well in the pictures as the grey and pink ones did but I’m very happy with how it looked in person. It was such a cheap and easy thing to make to add a little extra colour to our all white walls. The wood highchair was a vintage find off Kijiji that our friends had purchased for their daughter’s cake smash. It was originally a darker brown colour but like most things I touch I gave it a makeover with white paint. The front flower decoration I made with flowers I purchased at Michaels Canada. I took them apart and pieced them together using floral tape.FullSizeRender 18

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Not quite sure what to make of that sparkler…

FullSizeRender-9FullSizeRender 17She was unsure at first if she wanted to get her hands dirty (wonder why she’s like that?!) But a quick removal of the cake off the cake stand (as it was just too wobbly and unsafe) and she quickly figured out that she had permission to make a mess!

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There goes the flower… surprised it didn’t end up in her mouth!FullSizeRender-4

What is this sticky substance on my hands and why isn’t my mommy wiping it off?FullSizeRender 9IMG_0921IMG_0968Playing up the crowd.

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Thank you to everyone who came out to our Floral Woodland party and celebrated our girl’s first birthday with us! We had such a wonderful day honouring our sweet little pumpkin!

6 thoughts on “A Floral Woodland First Birthday

  1. Hi Arlynn: such a beautiful theme! I have been following your blog this past year and it’s been great because my daughter was born in September! I also live in the same city! I was wondering- are there any decorations you would want to sell from your party (ie high chair, tassels, etc)? I would be interested if so! TIA!


      1. Hi, this is adorable. Did you make the babysbreath floral crown? Is it real? Can you please provide the instructions?


      2. Hi! Thank you! Yes I did make it and yes it was real. I cut off pieces of baby’s breath about 5 inches long and trimmed them a bit to make the shape I wanted. I left a couple inches of stem on each piece I had cut so I could wrap floral wire around the stem. I connected each piece to the next by wrapping floral wire around one stem to another to create a circle. Hope that makes sense! Not the easiest thing to explain haha. Any other questions let me know!


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