For months I planned and prepared for this 1st Birthday and Cake Smash photoshoot. Kari-Anna was our guest of honor, our little rainbow baby! I, of course, made sure to have as many handmade touches as possible…
I designed & sewed the dress, made the flower crown, baked and decorated the birthday cake, made the cake-topper… and envisioned a scene perfect for the littlest princess in our family. She is, after all, our true-life dream come true, but that’s a story is for another day.
I’ve done a few cake smashes in the past, but none compared to this one! This was my 1st cake smash as a mom since I never had one for my 2 older kids… and I planned on photographing it. The whole process wasn’t easy, and I knew it wasn’t going to be, but I think that’s what made it all the more pleasurable when everything started coming together.
I stayed up most of the night before the actual cake smash putting the finishing touches on baby girl’s dress, baking the cake, and making the frosting. I was exhausted, but I still hadn’t made her birthday crown yet so I kept on working! I was definitely prepared to miss sleep that night. There was just so much involved in terms of to-do’s for the day of the cake smash so sacrificing a little sleep was expected… and I accommodated for it because I work best under pressure. I did manage to sneak in a few hours of shut eye unexpecteldy after laying in bed to nurse Kari back to sleep, so when morning came, I had to finish decorating the cake, make the birthday crown, and style Kari’s complete outfit. I also had to prepare all the decor and teepee and carts and things for transporting to the park along with the necessary photography gear. If all that wasn’t enough, I had to wake up and get our 3 kids ready for the day since they had a birthday party to attend as well. Talk about action-packed!!! No biggie though – as you can see, we survived… and can live to tell about it.
If you are interested in how you can pull this off as well, keep reading. I made a bulleted lists of important key elements to consider when planning a DIY 1st Birthday & Cake Smash Photoshoot.
The evening in June when I took these pictures was unexpectedly cold and windy and we had no idea that the temperature would quickly drop to the lower 60’s and the windspeed would be reach over 25mph! That isn’t too bad on a regular summer day, but for this day, it caused the teepee and flowers that styled our scene to fall over more times than we could count!
My plan was to complete this photoshoot in as little time as possible as we were using the sunset as our natural light and because it was getting too chilly to have baby girl in a sleeveless dress. Knowing that we were racing against the sun, literally, and now, the wind, we had to pour our energy into it quickly to get some decent shots. All of my “assistants” were amazing and they deserve all the praises in the world for helping me pull this off . They positioned Kari for me. They picked up the teepee when it fell over. They even fixed the flowers and restyled the scene more than we ever anticipated doing.
My mom was behind me singing songs and trying her best to get Kari’s attention because Kari kept cry-crawling to me… makes sense as she’s my little hip monkey.
Ash kept re-assembling the tee-pee & picking it off the floor since the wind kept blowing it down. And when he wasnt busy doing that every 3 minutes, he was shouting and dancing and acting like a monkey behind me, along with my mom, to get Kari to laugh…
My dad was behind us flying kites with Addi and Zali (great kite-flying weather by the way…) to keep them distracted and occupied while Ash & I focused on baby girl. If it wasn’t for my dad’s entertainment, it would be “mom…” this and “mom…” that.
And my sister, may God bless her greatly, was there helping me with any quick requests I had.. like, “Can you get the cake and put it right there again?” “Ray, can you fix the flowers?” or “uhhh, can you pick up those flowers again, pleeeeease?”
I seriously couldn’t do this without them! So thankful they were all there to help me capture these images of Kari-Anna. It truly takes a village to raise a child and I’m extremely grateful for all the people that make up my little village. I am so grateful to my husband and parents for always being there to lend a helping hand and putting up with all my shenanigans. You guys rock, big time!
Now, a short letter to the star of the day…
Kari-Anna, my sweet baby girl… your life has changed mine in so many beautiful ways. I am more of who I want to be, need to be, and hoped to be because of you… and it is a privilege to be your mom. I love you. And I pray that the Lord continues to bless you every single day of your life. I pray that you realize soon just how important a relationship with Him is and come to the realization that 0ut of any thing you can attain in life, knowing that there is a God who loves you, cares for you, and wants the best for you, is all the knowledge you will ever need. Depend on him & Trust in him.
I love you, baby! Happy 1st Birthday!