Chip’s Orion Birthday Party by Dolly DeLong Photography

I love it when a first birthday party theme goes above and beyond. And Chip’s constellation birthday party was out of this world! Photographer Dolly DeLong captured the day with every little detail like a custom Orion constellation cake, designed cookies, and everything star and galaxy! Keep scrolling to see his adorable cake smash photos!

How old is your child?

Jill: 1

Tell us all about the planning for the birthday party!

Jill:I knew when our little boy, Chip, was around three months old that I wanted his first birthday party to be an astronomy/constellation theme. Our favorite boy name was always Archer, but after having two girls with names starting with A and B, we couldn’t resist having our third be a C name. So Charles Archer (“Chip”) it was. My husband and I met in art school and we’re both graphic designers. The typeface Archer is one of our all-time favorites, and the name also always reminded me of the constellation of Orion. We had two little girls, but didn’t find out what we were having for our third. When it was a little boy we were so shocked and surprised, that all of his first baby things felt so incredibly special. One of those things was a navy blue swaddle with tiny white stars (almost like paint splatter) on it. It felt so perfect for him because of my association of Archer and Orion. He had his newborn photos taken in that swaddle, and it seemed fitting to use as a table covering at his birthday party. Seeing that swaddle on him as a tiny baby was the inspiration for his whole birthday party theme. I was inspired by traditional star finders when I created his invitations, which had a wheel which revealed the information for the party as you turned it. I designed accompanying stickers for the back of the envelope which bore his name, birthday, and the constellation Orion. We had so many extra stickers that these doubled perfectly as muffin toppers at his party. I made constellation inspired and “galaxy” marbled sugar cookies, along with a biscuit bar, coffee, muffins, donuts, and fruit for his 10am party. His cake was given as a gift from a dear friend who happens to be a professional cake decorator (Whaley Bakes), and the balloon arch was an Amazon find (and so easy!). We had the best time celebrating our boy and sent everyone home with moon pies for the road.

Did you do a cake smash? What was the cake flavor and what did your Chip do when you presented him with the cake?

Jill:We did! It was a traditional vanilla cake with buttercream icing died a deep navy blue. Chip immediately dug in and pooped blue for the next 24 hours, ha!

Were there any games or activities at the party?

Jill:As I did with my older daughters for their first birthday, I had guests fill out a “memory card” sharing a special memory they had with Chip during his first year of life. Otherwise, we just enjoyed good company, good food, and opened his gifts together.

Did Chip receive any gifts that were special to him?

Jill:Chip seemed most excited about his Pottery Barn personalized chair. He loves his sisters’ chairs and now he has one all his own!

What are some fun memories you’ve had of Chip at this age?

Jill:Not knowing if we were going to have a boy or girl, this past year with him has been such a sweet surprise. He’s so easy going these days, and juuuust about walking (as Dolly caught in her photos!) and 100% all boy. He’s into everything and always has to be on the go and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring on all the grey hairs – I absolutely love having a son!

What are you looking forward to in this next year of Chip’s life?

Jill:I think 12-18 months is one of the most magical times and I can’t wait to experience it with Chip. Hearing him start talking more, seeing him walk proficiently, and getting to know his personality will be so exciting in the next year. Having not had any boys yet, I’m interested to see how he’s different and similar to his older sisters. He is such a gift and brings our family so much joy, I’m looking forward to him becoming a toddler!

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Chip’s birthday?

Jill:We actually ended up hosting two parties on the same day. These photos are of the more “formal” morning party with family and a few friends. Later that evening we hosted more of our friends for a laid back evening of yard games and hanging out just to celebrate the past year with our whole “village.” Our home is a 1950’s ranch and not terribly conducive to hosting large crowds, so this was our answer to celebrating with everyone who supported us during Chip’s first year but not being packed like sardines. It was such a special day and a testament to how loved Chip is!

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