Rhys' First Birthday!

Hi friends!! Today I want to share something really special with you.

Rhys’ first birthday party!


Rhys turned one on September 6th and we had the best time celebrating our little guy. It feels so cliche to say and I have said this a lot (along with every other mom in the history of ever) but time flies. I was really emotional leading up to Rhys turning one. The weeks and days before his birthday felt especially emotional. I was flooded with nostalgia from the year prior. Those weeks leading up to his birth were filled with so much anticipation. I wondered when he would be born and how labor would go. I was equal parts excited about labor and terrified of the unknown. I wondered what he would look like and if life with a newborn was really as hard as I would hear people say it was. It was super hot the week before his birthday this year, just like it was the week before he was born. So much nostalgia. The day he was born simultaneously feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.


So much happens in a year! Especially with a newborn. Every month, every week….heck, every day (!) there are changes and new milestones. It’s pretty incredible to think that a year ago we had a baby who literally knew nothing of the world - except that he wanted to eat and be held ALL the time - and now we have a one year old who is truly a little person. Pretty cool when you think about it!

I knew I wanted to have a fun celebration for his first birthday. First birthdays feel like a big deal to me! Well actually, to be completely honest, before I had a baby I kinda didn’t get why people had “big” parties for their one year olds. Like….they are one. They won’t remember. But now that we have Rhys, my tune has completely changed. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to do something special. Making it through the first year is a big deal. There are so many milestones, so many transitions….just so much to celebrate. And I wanted to have a party for the memories. One of my favorite things to do as a kid up was looking at photo albums of my parents, aunts, and uncles from when they were growing up and looking at photo albums of us as babies/kids. No, Rhys won’t remember his first birthday, but we will. And he will be able to look back at the photos and see all the amazing people who love him and were there to celebrate him.


There are so many people who have been a huge part of our lives during Rhys’ first year and I wanted them to be there to help us celebrate. I have a good number of family members who live here in Columbus (although my two brothers flew in from NYC and California….best uncles ever!), and Scott’s parents came up from Florida for the weekend - so special! We also have many friends who have babies around the same age as Rhys so we wanted them to be there too. I had originally thought we would just do the party at our house, but as the guest list kept growing, our house quickly became out of the question. People would have been packed like sardines in our house lol! We hosted the party at Flat 51 which is an amazing studio in our neighborhood (German Village) owned by two local and super talented photographers. The space is so wonderful. It’s light, bright, and a blank canvas…which is exactly what I was looking for! By the way, Jen Brown - one of the co-owners of the space - did all the photography for the party and captured everything so wonderfully. I debated if I should hire a photographer for the party but it ended up being the BEST decision. It allowed me and my guests to be totally present during the party and not need to worry about snapping pics. Jen did an incredible job!! I’m also so thankful to have such amazing high quality images from the party! I know these will be special pictures for us always.


Speaking of the vibe and decor of the party, I worked with the INCREDIBLE team at Celebrated to bring everything to life and WOW, they truly did an amazing job! The first time I sat down with them for coffee to initially chat about Rhys’ party, I knew they were going to make it really special. They were fun, easy to talk to, professional, and immediately jumped on board with my vision. They were also the ones who suggested Flat 51 as a perfect venue when I mentioned I was a little stressed about fitting everyone in our house. Jessi and Lindsey - you are lifesavers!! They had me send some inspiration pictures, then based on that, they showed me 2 different mock up party aesthetics and themes they thought I might like. I went to their office to see everything and was blown away. They basically made two little parties in their office for me to take a look at and see what I liked. Choosing which direction I wanted to go was so difficult because they both looked SO good! Many of the inspiration pics I sent them included lots of greenery (duh), crowns, and whimsical elements like balloons, teepees, etc. We ended up deciding on a “Wild One” theme based on “Where the Wild Things Are”. We love that book in our house and it just felt like the perfect theme for Rhys!


As you can see, they took the theme and made it even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined! One of the (many) great things about working with Jessi and Lindsey from Celebrated was that I was able to relax and not run around like a maniac the day of and the days leading up the party. With so many people in town for the weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was have to spend significant amounts of time setting everything up. The Celebrated girls and I were in communication a lot leading up to the party so that we were all on the same page. The morning of the party, they set everything up at the venue. All I had to do was walk in! Big shout out to Scott who picked up and dropped off all the food and beverages while I was home getting Rhys and I ready for the party - thanks babe! ;) Also, HUGE shout out to my parents for helping with the food, and in general going out of their way to help make things easier for me, always. Don’t know what I would do without you!!

When we walked into the party, I was BLOWN. AWAY. It was better than I could have even imagined it! The food area was decorated with a stunning balloon garland and photos of Rhys. We had black and white plates, palm print dessert plates, and gold cups & cutlery. Scott and I wanted to keep the food simple so we ordered sandwiches, and had a few other easy, fresh sides.


The dessert area had a big boxwood greenery wall with “Wild One” across it in gold balloons which hung on the wall above the smash cake, cupcakes, and decorated cookies.


The other SUPER SUPER cute area was the kids area! The Celebrated girls set up a cozy area for the kids (and adults, let’s be honest) to play, lounge, and run around. We had a “crown yourself” area where the kids could put gold crowns around their heads or wear beautiful flower crowns. They also set up a little area where people could make their own dream catchers! This was so fun!! Everyone loved doing this. I made one for Rhys that is currently hanging in his room. It’s such a fun reminder of his party every time I look at it :)


One of the highlights of the party was signing happy birthday to Rhys. We hadn’t given him cake at all before his party and I was curious to see what he would do with it in front of him. Rhys is a GOOD eater. He loves food and has a big appetite (thatta boy!) so not surprisingly he loved the cake. We sang to him, sat the cake down, and he went to town on it!! I swear he ate more than half of the cake before I decided it might be best (hello sugar rush) to take it away. Now we know….the boy loves cake!!


Rhys’ party was truly one of my favorite days. He is such a blessing and the perfect addition to our family. It’s hard to imagine life without him now. The party felt magical and whimsical. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our precious little guy! I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.


Party Details:

Venue: Flat 51

Party Planning Decor: Celebrated P.S. They ship, too, so check them out even if you aren’t local!

  • ALSO! The girls at Celebrated are offering a 10% discount to Whole Living Lauren readers using the code: YAY10

Photography: Jen Brown Photography

Sandwiches: Chocolate Cafe

Smash cake & cookies: Cake Creations