You are probably here because you are searching for party ideas specifically Under the Sea theme? I am willing to share how my husband and I came about the first birthday of my daughter who just turned one-year-old six months ago. We are Cagayan de Oro-based and we have teamed up with CDO-based event suppliers.
I am so happy with the outcome of her party. Why do we have to celebrate parties anyway? Why do we have to spend extravagant ones on baptism, first birthdays, debuts? Before I got married, I envisioned myself to be a practical mother and wife. As much as possible, be modest with our way of living. We are not that rich, especially my side of the family. My mother instilled to me to be thrifty, and not to spend so much on material things. I used to sell RTWs and became a member of different direct selling companies during my college days so I can have some extra “baon”.
I know my husband and I could not afford to have an extravagant party. We do have our savings and we want to safe-keep it for future emergencies. We are so happy and blessed to have found some sponsors for my daughter’s first birthday. Although we got tempted to use some of our savings, most of the cost of it was made by my parents-in-law. For that, we are truly honored and grateful for fulfilling our dream party for our daughter.
I have always been fascinated with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Ariel is my favorite Disney princess. Since my daughter cannot choose a theme for her first birthday, I decided to choose this theme. After all, I was not able to experience this in my childhood. So, I am certain of theme, so what’s next? Plan on the venue. We chose Country Village Hotel because they have good packages and deals. They both have indoor and outdoor functions. They have a pool but we opted indoor since it would be hard to monitor the guests if we chose outdoor. With this, it is essential to choose an event stylist and other suppliers.
It was not hard for us to hire a stylist as we were able to book Ribbons & Scissors headed by Ms. France during my baby’s Christening and newborn photo shoot. They also have affordable packages. Initially, I was supposed to just book them on styling just for the birthday party but after taking a look at their packages, I went all-in since they also have good deals I cannot refuse. One of them is to have a pre-birthday photoshoot! I admired their way of being able to visualize concepts. I bombarded Ms. France with ideas from Pinterest and I am amazed by the outcome. I think I have not been able to encounter someone as passionate as them. I already have a fair share of disappointments with other organizers. Some are just for the sake of doing it as their business. I am not also closing my doors to others. But once you are a satisfied customer, you will always want to book again with them. So, not so sure how to let go of them, actually.
So, let me share with you some ideas that you might find interesting. This blog is lengthy that I have to divide parts according to topics that you may want to access right away. You may click on the following links:
Some people have known me to be wanting to give something with a personal touch. Back in my volunteering days, (I used to be a volunteer teacher for underprivileged students with special needs) I used to design thank you cards. A lot of my colleagues would assign me for this task. I can design digitally but I am not that creative and crafty hands-on for the real thing. This reminds me of our preference for our wedding invitation. I would like something not being thrown. Since we wanted our photos to be included with our invitation, ours was a fabric-printed scroll that one can keep by hanging or simply just keep it. It would be a waste to have it found in a trash can, or safe to say, one cannot dare toss it! Let’s face it, most people are not as well-organized as others who are fond of storing those things. For our little girl, as much as I wanted to have her photos printed on the invitations, I was not able to come up with any idea that would not end up on the trash can without spending so much. This invitation comes with our stylist’s package. So, we would like to utilize the budget that was set for this. So I searched for ideas and forwarded them to Ms. France. I am happy with the outcome. I’d like to believe that this is not trashcan-worthy. But, if for some reason some people are not that mindful, I am glad my daughter’s face is not on it. The only con about this is the glitters. So, for next time, I would like to tick off this particular detail. Nonetheless, it was marvelous. In the package, we have converted some of the invitations into party favors since we only needed a few printed invitations. Most of our guests are Facebook-reachable, creating a Facebook event is more convenient. But we provided a few printed ones since there are still guests who are not digitally-oriented.
Speaking of wanting to give something with a personal touch, my husband and I agreed to be providing fighting fish as one of the party favors. (Yes, we do have more than just 1 party favor!). Okay, I may have to mention again our wedding experience. The trend for party favors on weddings are the succulents. We kept getting it! They are so cute and so adorable but not all people are gifted with the green thumb! And because they were the trend before, we wanted ours to be different. My husband is a goldfish enthusiast we wanted to consider this idea. It was just not that possible since it requires too much care and caution since it would involve fish bowl which is breakable So, we went for a personalized travel pillow. I did not want our faces to be displayed publicly when our guests travel, so we converted our face into our cartoon versions. It was so costly since it had been shipped from Manila. So going back with my daughter’s party favor and because we were frustrated that our ideal party favor was not materialized in our wedding, we both agreed to have it materialized this time. It’s an under the sea themed-party anyway! It will suit perfectly! Thankfully, we found a sponsor for this. Goldfish are hard to maintain, so my husband preferred the fighting fish. They are easy to raise, and not that difficult to care. I think there were around 30pieces of this. The fish was placed in a plastic (with water) and on a bowl. The new owner will then take out the plastic when they get home. We placed them on a plastic for the safety of the fish. It’s a party, who knows somebody might drop something in the water. We also pasted some care instructions on a bowl. This is just a guide on how to keep the fish alive.
How to take care of a fighting fish like me.
1. Do not overfeed. Feed me once a day. If you can see floating feeds for a while, remove it.
2. Change half of my water once a week. Remove half of my existing water and fill up the rest with a new clean water.
3. I only live for myself. Do not let other fish join my territory.
I tried to follow up with some guests who received this party favor. Some were still alive, some were not. Some stayed alive for a few days, while others reached certain months. Yes, this is a unique party favor, but think of a strategy how guests would be encouraged to take care of this creature. Maybe, create a sign at the table: “Please take me only if you can take care of me” – I do not know if this would work. We have not done it during the party.
Since we availed of a pre-birthday photoshoot, we wanted to utilize the photos. So, I added some personalized notebook for the adults! I am just grateful for my friend Jigz who designed the layout. We used photos from all the themes in the photoshoot! I really want a useful party favor and I know a notebook is. Of course, I do not want to forget to showcase our stylist’s party favor. These are the shells they have beautifully crafted.
The only regret we have for this party is that we were not able to assign was the proper distribution of the party favors. Some guests were able to take home more than one bowl of fighting fish. Also, we failed to inform the host about this. So, guests just went towards to get those party favors. I think it was good that we have more than one type of party favors. It is safe to say that all the guests did not go home empty-handed. But still, I regret that the fighting fish was not distributed fairly. That is our fault, and not any of the organizers.
I just want to showcase my friend’s layout. It is so lovely and soothing to the eyes!
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Another thing to consider in planning for a birthday party is the activities. It is a children’s party. So one must consider hiring entertainers. We booked PYCO FUN FACTORY since we already have experiences with them in the past. They are easy to deal with, and they come up to the event on time. It was so stress-free. We only met once. But I communicated with the owner for some time since I did have some last minute changes on the things that we want to avail. We are tight on a budget but I would like the guests to have fun. I am not so sure if they are party organizers. I just wanted their hosting and entertainment services. I think we did not have an organizer who would really see the overall flow of everything. Nonetheless, it was a successful party.
Initially, we plan on renting Pyco’s Jump and Bounce inflatable but I was too concerned if we provided these, kids might not participate at the party anymore. Will this inflatable be kept once the party started? Will it distract the party having it around? So many things to consider. We decided not to get this anymore.
These are important factors: the host, games or activities or the entertainers, food carts, the program flow.
The host must be versatile enough to draw laughter on the crowd. Sometimes guests can be unattentive to the activities. We do not want that in our party. We want everyone to enjoy. We particularly did not meet with our host, which somehow he managed to handle the event pretty well. Kids and adults were able to participate. At first, it was hard and a struggle, but overall, it was a fun-filled party. We did not discuss all the details or certain games. It was all the host’s idea. We are so relieved. The package from the stylist included the prizes for the games but we also contributed additional goodies. We made sure that all the goodies are safe for kids, so we prefer not to purchase these from markets that sell harmful goodies.
Since the event is dinner, we set the invitations at 4:30pm. We only availed the ice cream cart and we did not consider getting any other food cart since the interval for dinner is not that long. So while guests arrive, some of them were trying to find their seats, or some take some photos with the photo booth corner, have group photo shots with the photobooth which was situated outside, get some ice cream, have some of the kids’ face painted. At almost around 5:30 pm, it formally started. I cannot remember the flow of events already. Some entertainment packages we availed were: balloon show, bubble show, face-painting, and the usual many different games. Since this is a children’s party, there has to be a mascot. But in this theme, we had a cosplayer. We are just fortunate enough that we have a friend who agreed to do this for us. We do not have the official costume of the Little Mermaid, that we just made some DIYs. Luckily enough, guests are so game taking a photo with her!
Take a look at the setup.
I bought the shell chair and the inflatable shells at Shopee.
This is situated outside the door. BACK TO TOP
I specifically wanted an area for the kids or babies. Since it was our daughter’s first birthday we have considered having an area meant for small kids especially those who cannot walk yet or still learning how to walk. So, we sent some mats to our stylist. We provided some few toys for the little one who still cannot participate in the games. This is quite not necessary in parties, but guests would appreciate this consideration.
I did not want a full drape cover the ceiling, thus they set it up this way. Having a full drape covering the ceiling makes the venue dark. BACK TO TOP
Photo corner is where guests may take photos. It also showcased a developmental board that showcased our daughter’s milestones. We also provided monthsary photos of our daughter. BACK TO TOP
We really wanted a very big cake. We have our preferred supplier for a fondant-based cake but we cannot afford the rate and so with their package on desserts. We went for Whip and Twirl. The rates are justifiable and we personally know the owners. A cake is already included in the package. I know from experience that desserts do not really run out (at least in our parties). There will always be extra but good thing guests can take this home with them. I actually had fun and convenient experience with them. Ms. Cheeky went extra miles from checking on the venue, suggesting where to buy the Ariel doll that would be used for the cake, and also providing backdrop and lighting for the dessert buffet table. Although the cake is not that big, it was so pleasant. Just look at the details of the cake, which is theme-oriented. Since we never really ran out of desserts, we considered not going for the big and many-layered cake since there are other desserts also in the package. I was too excited for the party that even before I booked them, I purchased some molders that are related to the theme. They never got to used it since they have their own. I can still use it as a fun way of preparing snacks for my daughter.
I am an advocate for healthy food for babies. It is so hard to incorporate this idea to a party. Initially, I have thought of providing an area of food meant for babies who have started eating. But then I could not assign somebody for this. So I asked the moms of these kids what they prefer. They told me not to worry as some of them can bring something for their little one.
Some of the activities captured:
Well, that is how we came about to have our daughter’s first birthday party. My husband and I agreed not to spend too much on the coming birthdays of our daughter. As much as possible we want to keep it modest. We do not want her to be used to the extravagance. Simple get-togethers with family and friends are enough. This would not be too hard to achieve since we are meaning to save for something. I am not sure we can keep this kind of preference during her 18th birthday.
Thanks for making it till the last part of this post. I feel like I miss some details, but this composition is long overdue, I have to publish it already. Just let me know if you want to ask something!