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Our Little Rover is One: Jennings’ First Birthday

Celebrating Jennings’ First Birthday

There’s a reason I’m so excited to share Jenning’s first birthday and it goes beyond the fact that it exceeded my expectations…it’s my first boy-themed party and I LOVED how it challenged my creativity.

Clary and I were talking a couple of months ago and she brought up how cute it would be to do a Defender theme…sold! I ran with it, or drove with it, if you will. Luckily my friend Hil lives down the street and happens to have a green Defender, so that was my starting point. Because Jennings’ nursery has been our haven for the past year, I also wanted to incorporate gingham into the theme.

Drive By Party

With these things and Covid in mind, we decided on a “drive by” and I coined it, Our Little Rover is One! Jennings hasn’t stopped moving since day 1 (and honestly even in the womb), so rover felt appropriate and I loved the double meaning.

The invitation was our first step and my talented team member Sarah was at it again. I told her that I envisioned a Fortnum and Mason style picnic basket in the trunk with a wool blanket and florals spilling out. I added to this English Countryside element by inviting guests, once here, to “park it for a picnic.” Sarah designed all of the printed pieces for me. It’s so nice to have that in-house now as it’s always a big job. I’ve actually thought about selling these pieces as party boxes…you’ll have to let me know what you think. I digress.

In addition to offering gingham pillows and blankets, I asked Lucy’s Market to rework their famous baskets into picnic baskets (they even let me paint them to color coordinate for the affair). They provided delicious chicken salad, crackers and shortbread cookies and I added a couple elements like this flatware and gingham dishes. Lucy’s baskets ship nationwide and truly were the icing on the cake. Speaking of cake, Alicia of Pum’s Sweets shared her talents again (she has been making our cakes since Elle’s first birthday). We also had Defender-shaped cookies, which were a hit. Those rested on my favorite transferware platter and I used my Burleigh cake plate that I’ve had for years as it felt very on theme.

My go-to for florals is Alyssa from Ginger Rose and she nailed my vision, even using one of my soup tureens for an arrangement. I also snuck in my favorite on-theme floral book on the party table. The florals in and around the car were something else! I had the idea to use boots as a part of the arrangement and it turned out so well. Lizeth from Mom’s Kloset made my balloon dreams come true yet again…she always nails the color for me!

For the first birthday cake smash, we used our every day high chair (which happened to be the perfect color) and I got Jennings a plain bib at Baby Braithwaite which I then had monogramed by Bella Latella. Angie found the best Defender embroidery. We used it on the bib in light colors and also to adorn several of the bags that flanked our main display table, in darker colors. The bags were filled with all of the elements of the picnic, including these blankets, which I layered on top of these to be water tight! I also used this quilt as more is more!

In back we had a wagon of florals as well as a floral foraging basket…I have been on the hunt for one of these for years and finally found the right one. I had my tailor make pillows out of the same fabric we used for our tablecloth and Elle’s bow. They turned out beautifully. For favors, I gifted friends their own play-size Defender. I had mini Defenders on the kids tables too, which were as cute as they come.

Heidi snapped precious photos and all in all it was a wonderful day. Hope sharing these ideas is helpful and sparks your creativity! Party planning is one of my favorite past times and making special birthday memories for my kids is something I’m so grateful to get to do and share with the world. I’ll be sharing even more on Instagram, including the cutest picture of Birdie enjoying the picnic scene, so hop over to tune in!

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Our outfits ended up coordinating better than expected! Elle’s dress, socks, shoes and bow are favorites of mine. Jennings’ outfit is from Daniel and Sofia, socks are here and shoes are from Buckles. My sweater is Jefferson Lane and here are my skirt and shoes. Michael is wearing Sid Mashburn.

We used my favorite fancy-looking plastic dishes, these cups ($.50 each!) and canteens for florals. The tablecloth is custom, as is the one on the party table.

Some of our paper elements. We also had a “one” banner, signs and license plates made for both cars.

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About Emily

Emily Hertz is an Atlanta-based, NYC-born lifestyle blogger with a passion for party styling and an affinity for all things beautiful. Explore Emily’s fashion favorites, entertaining ideas and tot-friendly finds.

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