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Ariella’s 1st Birthday Party – Rustic Winter Wonderland


Ariella is our little winter baby, with her birthday falling in the first week of January.  Even though we live in Los Angeles and it's not technically freezing over here, I still loved the idea of making a 'winter wonderland' themed 1st birthday party for her.  I'd seen quite a few winter wonderland kids parties floating around on the web, but I didn't want recreate those typical winter parties with penguins, polar bears, and igloos.  Instead, I had the idea in my head for a rustic/shabby chic winter wonderland party that still had the winter feel, but was a bit more girly & sophisticated.  Just like our little girl!

Design Inspiration

My design inspiration for the party constantly evolved, but in the end I settled on a rustic & chic winter themed party.  I was drawn to lots of burlap, lace, jute twine, and birch, and I mixed those elements crocheted snowflakes, snow covered manzanita branches, and blush & cream colored roses.

Project Details

A special 'thank you' to all my wonderful vendors who helped make all the party details come to life!

'Ariella' banner on mantel: Prop Shop Boutique

Gourmet Marshmallows: One More Bite , Mia Mallows ,  Guimauve Confections

Birthday Cake, cake pops, & chocolate covered Oreo's: Sweet E's Bakeshop

Fondant Cupcake Toppers: Two Sweet Cakes

Winter Truffles:  Whole Foods

Snowflake Cookies: Lori's Place

Manzanita Centerpieces & birch vases: designed and created by me, branches by Blooms & Branches

Mason Jars w/ Lace & Burlap: designed and created by me

Burlap & Lace Table runner on Hot Cocoa Bar: Little White Boutique

High Chair Banner: designed and created by me

Lace Crown: Sweet Louise Boutique

Crocheted Snowflakes: Sew Fun Creations, Edangra, Zolayka,

Bottle Brush Trees: Love It Shabby

Snowflake Food Picks: Pink Cherry Mama

Winter Onederland Invitations Suite & Thank You's: Designed and created by me, Lace Envelope Inserts: All Things Angela's

Chalkboard Signage: Designed and created by me, Frame by Shugabee Lane

Wooden Snowflake Silverware: Tulle and Twig

Handstamped Wooden Heart Spoons: AngieHeartsJared

Front Door Wreath: Dandelion Crafting Company  Letter A: This Makes Me Happy

Snowflake Balloons: Single Source Party Supplies

Flower arrangements: Designed and created by me

Rentals - Linens, tables, & chairs: Classic Party Rentals

Birthday girl attire: Baby Gap and Poppy Bows

Lace Placecards: Designed and created by me

Catering: Whole Foods Catering

Return Address Stamp: eDanae

Photography: Beth Stirnaman & Emily Klaparda


Favorite Items

Manzanita Branch Centerpieces: I had fun crafting these myself!  I found an online tutorial about setting the manzanita branches in Plaster of Paris.  I followed the steps and was very pleased with the end result!  I then put Oasis wet floral foam in the top and inserted the cream roses into the foam.  Then, I glued dried flowers onto the branches to complete the look for the centerpieces

Hot Cocoa Bar:  This was a real hit with our guests, who loved the gourmet hot cocoa and unique toppings - especially the handmade marshmallows!  Perfect for a chilly winter party!

Mantel Decor:  I was especially pleased with out the mantel decor turned out, which was a great backdrop for the birthday girl and her cake smash. I purchased some bulk burlap and designed the "swag" and then tied it up .  I found the pink trees at Michael's, and then added the floral centerpieces and the birthday banner.

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Shooters:  I saw these at a party awhile back and thought they would be a great addition to Ariella's party!  They were a great, warm comfort food for a cold winter day!  Guests loved them, and even asked for refills.



Start your planning early!  I think I started for looking for winter wonderland themed items 9 months prior to the party - this way I felt I had the time to research items and vendors that would be perfect for my theme.

Plan a "seasonal" party in the actual season it occurs in - it was easy for me to find plenty of winter wonderland themed items, which started coming on the shelves in late August!  Lots of great sales, too!

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Monday 8th of May 2017

So beautiful and elegant, I am inspired. Any ideas on entertainment for one year olds??

Entertaining With Emily

Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Also, I wanted to let everyone here know that the invites I made for this party (a printable version of my handmade ones) are finally NOW available for sale in my etsy shop, along with some other printable items from this party!

Entertaining With Emily

Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Hi Everyone - Thanks for your sweet comments! In regarding to the tomato soup and grilled cheese shooters - here's the scoop: Keep the soup warm in a crockpot on Low or Warm. Have someone re-fill the tray of shooters when some get taken. We made the grilled cheese ahead of time - slice into triangles and keep warm in an oven on low or a toaster oven. Or, you can just have a crockpot on the table with tomato soup in it and have the guests serve themselves!