It's difficult to believe that a year has already gone by since the day our son was born on December 1st. In celebration of his Punjabi heritage I decided to throw a Bollywood inspired birthday party. Plus I just love bright vibrant colours so any excuse for a Bollywood inspired party will do. Though given it was already a busy time of year planning for Christmas and having recently moved into our own home, and having a super active child to care for, meant that I couldn't do as much as I had hoped. I didn't even have time to sew a dessert table skirt or set up the curtains that were to be the dessert table backdrop. I also had envisioned a photo backdrop stage for guests to have their photos, which I had started working on though didn't finish in time. There were many party decorations I didn't get to finish on time much to my dismay. Which is why you might be thinking to yourself that this doesn't look like a Bollywood Themed Party. That is what happens when you have an over active child, or even just a child who wants all of your attention.
Although it wasn't everything I envisioned it was still a fun and colourful day with our friends and family. Plus who can resist our cheeky monkey's smile, that can brighten anyone's day! Albeit it was a lunch time function which meant our cheeky monkey was tired and cranky. He normally takes his nap from around midday anywhere to 2pm. Therefore having all these people give him loads of attention only made him more tired. Which made it difficult for me to take nice photos of our cheeky monkey. It is challenging setting a time for a first birthday party when you know they will be ready for a nap by the time guests arrive. Yet any earlier and there is no time for setting up the food and decorations which can only be done that day. Not to mention any earlier and it would be breakfast rather than lunch.
The Grazing Table
The colour scheme that I chose was fuschia, teal, orange and purple as those are very vibrant and reminiscent of a Bollywood party. It was difficult at times trying to find decorations or flowers in that colour scheme living where we do. Life by the bay means that there really aren't that many local shopping centres. It was lucky that I did have a lot of the serveware to plate up the food given we had just moved house. So the kitchen was fully stocked. The great thing about grazing tables is that you can use a variety of plates, boards and platters and it doesn't look higgledy piggledy.
Setting up the food on the morning of the party took a lot longer than I had thought. I chose to do a grazing table since it was mostly adults attending. Our little man doesn't have many baby friends yet, especially since he doesn't go to daycare. Prepping and plating the food for the grazing table is what took the time. Just removing the packaging and slicing, dicing or cutting the food, then plating it took me a couple of hours. Really there wasn't much to it otherwise.
Close Up Of The Grazing Table
I chose a selection of cheeses, dips, crackers, dried fruit and nuts, fresh vegetables cut up, and an array of cured meats and antipasto favourites. That alone wouldn't be very filling so I served tandoori chicken sandwiches and some Punjabi deep fried goodies, including onion bhaji and samosas. We had to order a lot of those to ensure everyone would have a serving. There is nothing worse than being hungry after attending a party with no food. But then again if guests don't like any particular food then they probably would go hungry anyway. So you just have to take a punt as to what the vast majority will enjoy.
As we don't have a massive living area we have a small round dining table which is what I used to display the food. Which meant food had to be replenished when they were low. So it probably looks like there aren't many deep fried goodies but we had a few bags full of them. At the end of the day we actually had quite a bit leftover which we had for dinner. Then the remaining deep fried goodies my husband took to work for him and his mates lunch the next day. That way we had no wasted food at all. It worked out well.
The Grazing Table
Now I have learnt that you simply cannot have a party and serve only a few pitchers of beverages. I learnt this at my 30th Garden Party. I had an array of cold salads and hot chicken and keeping to the theme had a few pitchers of juices rather than softdrinks. I was topping the pitchers up within minutes. I then had family running down to the store to buy bottles of softdrink in the end. Lesson learned!
Therefore we had plenty of beverages all nicely displayed in a large metal drinks tub filled with ice. Rather than large bottles I opted for individual servings so that people can easily help themselves. I made sure there was a selection such as beer, lemonade, creaming soda, lemon lime and bitters and blood orange. In addition to individual cans and bottles, I had a couple of pitchers of alcoholic beverages. One was a delicious and fruity sangria and the other a light and summery moscato lemonade.
The Dessert Table
Every party isn't complete without a dessert table, so of course I had a dessert table set up. Unlike the grazing table I could prepare most of the desserts the day before to save time. Unfortunately the table once set up did look a little bare without the skirting and curtain backdrop I planned to have. However I managed to decorate it with flowers and glittery peacocks. Though I would have had more flowers if they weren't so expensive. But we didn't want to go crazy on the spending for his first birthday.
Now since I planned his party a bit too late I didn't get the cake I was after either. I was hoping for a henna decorated cake, Instead I ordered a confetti cake from The Cheesecake Shop. Though they couldn't even get my order correct and I ended up with a bare white cake with the smallest confetti strip around the bottom of the cake. Instead of actually covering the entire sides of the cake with confetti as ordered. The top had pink flowers piped on it so I had to scrape all that off to leave it bare. Pretty certain that I had told them to only write happy birthday in teal on the top as it was for my son.
Close Up Of The RoseWater Cupcakes
I ended up decorating my own confetti cake later on, with hundreds and thousands. This was the cake I used to take his birthday photos with. Though we did get a few cake smash photos of his birthday cake we bought, however it was also the cake we served to our guests. Poor Jayden only got to touch the cake ever so slightly so that we could still serve it to guests. So we didn't really get to do a cake smash in the end.
In addition to birthday cake, I baked rosewater cupcakes topped with dried rose petals which kept to the Bollywood theme. Rose water and dried rose petals are very reminiscent of India. You can get the recipe for my cupcakes here: Light & Fluffy Rose Water Cupcakes. In addition to the Rosewater Cupcakes I made a pavlova topped with fruit, a fruit platter for those who don't have a sweet tooth, a couple of candy jars filled with lollies and chocolates, and of course chips/crisps. Those desserts didn't really keep to the theme as we also had to cater to what guests enjoyed eating. If time had permitted I would have made the fruit platter into a fruit bouquet, by cutting shapes into the fruit and skewering them.
Close Up Of The Dessert Table Decorations
For the party decorations I went DIY and made my own Bollywood inspired decorations that were vibrant and colourful. Again I didn't get to finish all the decorations that I had in mind however I did get the main ones finished which were to use for his photos. One of the DIY decorations I made was a mandala birthday board. That way we can always look back on his first birthday and remember all his first moments and other details. Birthday boards are still quite popular and there are countless ideas that you can find on Pinterest. Or you can simply create your own as I did. I will share with you all how to make your own birthday board later on the blog for those who are interested in creating their own. It is an affordable DIY idea for children and adults birthdays or for any special occasion. If you already have paints then you really just need either a canvas or wooden board. So there really is nothing to it if you already have the basics needed.
The Cake Smash Photoshoot Decor Including The DIY Birthday Board and DIY Tassel & Bead Garland
The other main decoration I used was a Colourful Tassel & Bead Garland which does take some time, though super simple to make. I will also share this DIY project later on the blog for those interested. Though in short it is just a matter of making tassels and pom poms then stringing everything together. The rest of the decorations were bought or I already had stored in the cupboard. Such as the glitter peacocks on the dessert table, the elephant statue, candle holders, Bollywood print table runner, golden candle hurricanes used as vases and some party decorations. I love beautiful things so I can be a bit of a hoarder hence why I already had quite a lot of the decorations and decor.
The Guest Book Table And Photo Board
Although a birthday board is a great keepsake to remember your child's first birthday, I also decided to have a guest book. It is also a great keepsake to bring out for them when they are older or on their 21st birthday. That way all your guests can leave a message, piece of advice or favourite memory. I left an array of stickers and coloured pens so that guests could also decorate their message if they wish. Then each year continue to add to the book and once full, just start another. I am a sentimental person so creating memories that last is what I love to do, and this is one I will ensure to do every year. As with any birthday, having photos on display is another tradition to uphold. I used a memo board from my office and pinned a few photos along with some die cuts that fitted with the theme.
Close Up Of The Guest Book Table
Lastly to add a personal touch, allowing guests to take a party favour with them is a lovely way to say thank you. It can be difficult to find both an adult and kid friendly party favour for party's like mine where it is mostly adults and there is the possibility of having a few children. Sure you can have separate favours for adults and children however I chose to cater to both and hand out the one party favour. Doing it yourself adds another personal touch and allows you to create the perfect favour to suit your party.
I created a Polymer Clay Bollywood Elephant Tassel Key Chain which was easy and fun to make. I will post the tutorial later on the blog for those who are interested in making their own key chain. It's super versatile and can be used as a bag chain for children's backpacks, a key chain for your keys, a key chain for your handbag or really anywhere you would like. The key chains were then packaged in a clear plastic box, with metallic string tied into a bow on the top, finished with a small 'thank you' or 'just for you' gift tag. However you could package it in any style to suit your party theme.
The Party Favours - DIY Polymer Clay Bollywood Elephant Tassel Key Chains
Another way to thank guests afterwards is to create a photo fridge magnet from one of the birthday photos of your choice. Places such as Kmart have an array of options for photo printing and editing these days. For a couple of dollars you can edit a photo to create a thank you note for guests. Then you have the option to print it as a fridge magnet. It prints an entire photo on magnetic sheet so it looks just like a thank you card that you would normally send and stick to your fridge.
Close Up Of The DIY Bollywood Elephant Tassel Key Chains Party Favours
There was a lot that I didn't get to deliver on with this Bollywood inspired first birthday party, though it was still a memorable day. Why not try your hand at some of these ideas and throw your own Bollywood inspired birthday. I'd love to see your creations so be sure to tag #thewhitepunjabibride on social media. I just love bright, vibrant, colourful and fun celebrations and Bollywood is reminiscent of all of that.
How did you celebrate your child's 1st Birthday?
Have you thrown a Bollywood Inspired Party before. How did it go? Share your photos with the tag #thewhitepunjabibride