folksy mermaid first birthday party

aqua-mermaid-smocked-bubbleMy sweet little babe turned one year old this past February! It’s incredible how fast a year can fly, especially after you’ve already gone through a “first year of life” before that seemed to be so fast but pales in comparison.

The inspiration for Julianna Cate’s birthday party theme came from her beloved knit mermaid doll rattle, which was gifted to her by one of her namesakes (the Cate/Kate part) at her Sip & See last spring. That mermaid was a permanent staple in the diaper bag and always clutched closely everywhere we went! (So much so, all but two or three of the little red spiral curls fell out over the course of a few months…) Lilly always liked to insist on bringing baby her “burnaid” and we didn’t dare put her in childcare at church or the barre studio without her little lovey.

folksy-mermaid-birthdayaqua-coral-mermaid-party-foodfirst-birthday-smash-cake mermaid-party-balloon-archaqua-coral-mermaid-cake

I tend to not reinvent the wheel with my party themes, but I do like to take my own spin off of popular parties — there’s no doubt that mermaid parties have ruled the roost for little kids in recent years, but I wanted to do something separate from the normal purple and aqua glitter events all over Pinterest. I was inspired by MeriMeri’s “Let’s be Mermaids!” line of party supplies and ended up finding the perfect invitations via SplendidSupplyCo. The little wavy redheaded mermaids reminded me so much of our little gingerbear!

I ended up going budget-friendly for paper goods, since party planning happened to coincide with my need to pare down on extraneous expenses. Luckily I stumbled upon the prettiest robin’s egg blue plates, cups, and napkins at Walmart, of all places! The invitations dictated our overall color scheme of robin’s egg blue, orange, coral, and a pale peachy-pink.


We opted to go with our standby baker (who also did our wedding cake and Lilly’s first birthday cake) for AnnaCate’s birthday cake. She did a beautiful swiss buttercream-frosted cake (with a peach background and scalloped pearl detailing) in an almond flavor with chocolate ganache and white chocolate buttercream, complete with a sparkly green number one and a little oyster glittered pendant with AC’s name on it (echoing the same details from Lilly’s first birthday cake!). Her pastry artists made some of the prettiest little glittery sugar seashells, too! I die!

I decided to take the slightly easier route when it came to AnnaCate’s cake smash ensemble — while I did still make her little custom birthday hat, I ordered the mermaid tail 1 onesie from a vendor on Etsy. It turned out super cute (and saved me the expense of having to buy an embroidery design file and the tiny bit of sequined fabric to make it).

My ultra-talented mom made the girls their mermaid smocked dress & jumper (matching their hair colors, of course).


Our menu was fairly simple but totally on-theme:  goldfish crackers, chicken salad “crab”ssants, spinach “seaweed” dip, “driftwood” pretzels… I intended to make some aqua “sea sponge” marshmallows but time eluded me. Another day! I did make little alligator-shaped sugar cookies for the parting favors. They had little tags that read “Sea you later! Love, AnnaCator”, alluding to baby’s nickname (since changing her is seriously like wrestling a gator. That baby is STRONG!). I was super stoked about the “mango mermosas” too — Trader Joe’s Secco + Mango juice; easy, perfect, delicious, and totally appropriate.




Photography – Christy Wilson Photography
Invitations, Tags – SplendidSupplyCo via Zazzle
My dress – Marie Oliver
Girls’ mermaid outfits – DIY (My mom / smocked plate here)
Balloons – Walmart, Target, Amazon
Cake – Dulce Desserts
Mermaid Tail Picks – Michael’s
Mermaid Table Runner – Target toddler sheet
Mermaid Tail One Onesie – Etsy
Whale Organizer – Pottery Barn Kids
Food, Custom Birthday Hat – DIY


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