My husband and I wanted a big celebration for our son’s first birthday. There were so many reasons to have a big celebration (besides my love of throwing a party). The years surrounding our son’s birth we went through a lot of big changes. First and foremost, I had a baby. I also left my professional interior design career to stay home with our new little dumpling. It was an intense time, we had moved from Minneapolis to Manhattan to Chicago with my husband bouncing from job to job. It was quite a mess, but we made some amazing memories within the chaos. We also wanted to celebrate Andy’s birthday, his and our son’s are just days apart! SO MUCH to celebrate!
We were so happy to be settling in Chicago, but wanted to be sure our Minnesota families made it to the celebration. We hosted the event at my parents’ home in northern Minnesota. We decided on a lobster boil to harken back to our little New Yorker’s birthplace and since Andy LOVES lobster. We both happen to be major foodies, so planning a party around our desired menu is a pretty common occurrence for us.
We made all the delicious food ourselves. Andy was in charge of drinks and the boil. He made basil lemonade, iced coffee and a rum cocktail. I was in charge of all the baking. I made whoopie pies for the very first time. I also made Thomas Keller’s Olive Oil Cake with Buttercream Frosting for my son to smash and eat. He loved it! Best cake I have ever made. It has become a new staple in our house!
Components + Credit
- welcome – chalkboard sign, buoys, net
- tabletops – tablecloths, table runners, newspaper placemats, cloth napkins, bamboo plates, vintage jelly jars for clarified butter, vintage water glasses, vintage blue Ball jars for floral centerpieces, placecards in sailor knots (served as party favors, used as doorstops), galvanized metal trays for spices, lobster eating instructions and water
- other decor – micro origami boats for beverages, flag garland, buoys, paper pinwheels, message in the bottle for birthday boy
- graphic design – Grace Bettino
- decor – Erin Catlin
- photos – Erin Catlin & Grace Bettino
- floral – Aitkin Flowers & Gifts
- meet & greet, beverages & snacks
- lobster boil
- scavenger hunt & lobster pinata
- cake smash
- present opening
- puppet show
- s’mores around the bonfire
- beverages – sparkling water, basil lemonade, iced coffee & rum cocktail
- appetizers – cheese & cracker pouches, berry & maple whipped cream pouches, mixed nuts koolyoks
- meal – lobster boil (Maine lobster, potatoes, fennel, corn on the cob), clarified butter
- dessert – Whoopie pies, olive oil cake with buttercream frosting (Thomas Keller recipes), Brooklyn Hard Candy