This Baby's Birthday Cake Smash Was Hosted Virtually for Everyone to Join
The backyard celebration—in which family and friends were encouraged to attend via a virtual livestream as guests—was all planned for one special one-year-old.
Mother of two Addie Gundry always imagined a special first birthday for her daughter, Claire. That's because she had done the same for her three-year-old son, Cooper, with a dinosaur-themed first birthday party a few years prior. "I was so excited for that big milestone and wanted to celebrate in a big way," she recalls. "For little Claire, I was hoping to do the same."
And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which rendered any such plans seemingly impossible. "During these uncertain times, we wanted to celebrate but we did not want to host a crowd," she explains. "It was tough to cut down a list of friends without excluding people, and so it was much simpler and very sweet to just keep it virtual with our family." The solution? Addie planned a virtual cake smash. "I knew I needed three things," she says, "a great backdrop, highchair, and dress!" They staged a backyard gathering of their little family and a few nearby neighbors, all socially distanced, in front of a yellow barn festooned in balloons, banners, and a highchair for Claire. Family members were invited to join a virtual livestream, mailed gift bags for fun, and encouraged to send their best wishes to the birthday girl just as they otherwise would have in person.
Addie says it all turned out for the best. "I know parents are feeling this way for their little ones for the rest of the year and so something about just making the decision to host a family Zoom felt like a relief and relaxing," she says. "I could have fun planning knowing it would happen and knowing we were keeping our friends safe and healthy."
A Sweet Invitation
Even for a virtual party, it's worth sending out beautifully printed invitations. This stationery suite ($18, etsy.com) by Sincerely Pretty Paper was in the pastel color palette and gingham theme of the birthday party. Keep one for yourself—as Addie points out, it's "a great thing to add to the baby book!"
A Special Outfit
Make that two special outfits. As with any baby's cake smash, it's bound to get messy. Claire was presented with a wardrobe change—before and after the cake—to wear on her special day. Her dress, the Holly Day Dress ($68, thebeaufortbonnetcompany.com), was saved for the smash itself. "The dress inspired the entire theme," says Addie.
As Addie says, "it is all about the backdrop" with a virtual party. This pretty-in-pastels balloon installation was a collaboration with Sparkle and Twine Parties, and paired well with a sky-blue cooler of drinks and pink high chair. "We placed her outside against our little pale yellow barn," adds Addie, "and the colors all came together."
For the family's celebration, Addie wanted to delight their virtual guests. "For a Zoom call I wanted to surprise them when the call started, and they saw Claire cute in a high chair next to this big balloon display!" she says. "They genuinely all laughed and cheered when they saw how fun the display was."
Three-year-old Cooper was eager to lend a helping hand with the decorations. "Claire absolutely adores her big brother, Cooper, and he adores her more than anything," Addie says, adding that he was given the honor of presenting the cake. "I wanted him to be included in the singing and party and this was a fun way to have him next to her helping."
Addie baked not one, not two, but three desserts—all funfetti topped in buttercream frosting, with her son Cooper. "I had so much fun baking with him and allowing him to frost and decorate," she says. "Something about the imperfect sprinkle application and mess made it even more fun."
A batch of sugar cookies were baked in Claire's honor. Each one, courtesy of Shop Cookie Couture, was custom-decorated to pair with the illustrations on the invitation and Claire's birthday dress. They were wrapped in cellophane and sent out to guests as party of their virtual party package.
The Birthday Girl
A Slice for All
Each guest was mailed a small bundle of party favors to celebrate along with the Gundry family. Addie filled a Martha Stewart party bag with homemade baked goods wrapped in cellophane, an iridescent party horn ($12, merimeri.com), a bottle of spray-on sanitizer ($6, hellobello.com) and face mask ($16, busybeeskids.com) that's apropos of the party—plus, a complimentary Le Grand Courtage bottle of champagne for the adults.