Avery Turns One: A Birthday Party Under Php30k

October 09, 2016

Some people say that first birthdays should be celebrated big and special and I couldn’t agree more.  As a first time mom, my baby's birthday is one of those occasions that I have been dying to plan and organize.
Given the wide array of resources and events companies we have today, parents (or maybe just mom’s) have gone all out when it comes to celebrating their child’s birthday.  From the invites, set up, program to the souvenirs, these event organizers will give you so many options (all of which are so pretty and nice), but of course it doesn’t come cheap.

When I was still in the planning stage and sourcing out suppliers for Avery’s birthday, I came across a caterer who shared that there was this mom who spent Php150,000 for her child’s first birthday. WOW, right?  I know it’s all worth it and parents are always so giving when it comes to their children, but what if you don’t have that much cash, but still want to give your little one the best?

This was our dilemma a few weeks before Avery’s birthday.  There are event organizers that offer 30k, 40k, 50k packages, but it still doesn’t include everything that you need like the venue, cake, souvenirs, etc.

So, how did we do it? Let me share with you how we planned and celebrated Avery’s birthday in just under Php30,000!

PRE EVENT (Concept, Invites, etc.)
In any event, the pre-event preparations will probably consume 25-30% of your budget.  This includes the design and concept.  What I did was DIY everything.  I think DIY is always the key to working with a budget.  I started by finding inspiration for what I wanted and what better way to do that than going over different boards in PinterestCreate a mood board for your reference.  This will help you think and plan within the planned concept.  As for me, I went for a Flamingle Party!

Once I had my concept, I went on to design and elements.  Form my Pinterest Board, I chose elements that I wanted in Avery's party.  I had the invites and pre-birthday shoot done by my brother.  If you do have any friends or family in the design industry, it would really be nice to ask help from them. That's another key to working within a budget, ask for help.  

We did a DIY photoshoot inside our room by using a large plain bedsheet as a bakcground.  The name banner is re-used from her christening and a #1 gold foil balloon that was purchased online.  After the shoot, my brother just did some of his magic on the photos and made it look like we had a professional shoot!

First Birthday on a Budget

First Birthday on a Budget

For the invites, we printed a few and gave them to those without Facebook access.  Mostly, invites were done via Facebook and so no hassle of distributing invites here and there.

Cost: more or less Php800 for my brother's food (hihi!), paper and prinitng.  

I’ve been doing events for years, but I have never planned a children’s party and I just realized this while planning for Avery’s party.  I didn’t know where to start and what to do, so I (again) had to ask for help.  I contacted a personal friend of mine, event stylist and owner of Adwolf, Gab San Agustin.

Since we didn’t have an extravagant venue (our venue suddenly decided they wanted to renovate a week before the party and so our pencil booking was cancelled) and given what little budget we have; she was able to transform the house into a flaminglingly cute venue!

How did she do this? I don't know really.  Her team has this power to transform everything (even trash) into something nice and amazing and I'm not saying that because she's my friend. When it comes to work, I am more of her critic that her friend and what she did for her inaanak's birthday was amazing!

Cost: more or less Php10,000 which includes some materials, logistics, and rentals This does not include labor costs, of course. For a quotation, you can contact them via  @gabriellesanagustin or @adwolfevents

I initially wanted a caterer because I really dread having to fix up after a party.  Ren, on the other hand wanted her Aunt to cook and I have to admit that was a better choice because she is an amazing cook. We had a simple menu: Beef with Mushroom, Mashed Potatoes, Backed Macaroni, Carbonara and Chicken Drumsticks.  I wasn't able to take photos of the food being the busy mom that I was that day, but let me share with you these DIY Food Labels I printed out to make the home dining table buffet cohesive with the whole theme.

Why a simple menu? Because it's a children's party and visitors are more likely spend time looking after the children playing than contemplating which dish to munch on first.  We also had to serve food that would be appealing to the children.  Apart from the menu, we also made a DIY desert table with Mallow Pops, Cake Pops and Avery's flamingo & pineapples themed birthday cake.

As for the utensils, we also bought colored paper plates, napkins, spoon, fork, cups and straws to match the theme.  

Cost: more or less Php13,000 for the food alone and Php3,000 for the utensils and other stuff (60-80 pax)

My souvenirs were all DIY.  We bought easy assemble carton boxes with handle with yellow and pink stripes to match the theme.  Also bought colored jutwines for the tags which we had printed (cost included in pre event budget) And finally, all the toys and candies were bought from a local party and candy store in Marikina.  I'm sure there's such a store in any city :) 

For the photos, again ask for help! Encourage all your visitors to take photos and upload them using an official hashtag (ours was #AveryTurnsOne) This will make it easier for you to collect photos without spending on a professional photographer!

Cost: more or less Php2,500 for the loot box, jutwine, candies and toys.

All in all, our money out was more or less Php29,000.  Not bad, right?  That includes the little expenses here and there that are not in your actual plan.  Also, if you want to track your party budget easier, you can try using MS Excel's party planning template. I did and it actually helps. 

Avery's party was not extravagant, but it was indeed a very memorable one.  If you have the means, you can go all out and do with the expensive stuff or if you're on a budget, you can do something  similar to what I did or maybe just keep it small with family and a few friends.  It doesn't matter how big or small the celebration is, what matters is you celebrate it with the people you love and be thankful for your child's God-given year. 

Plus, I think your Lola did good for a first birthday, dba? :) Can't wait to plan for her next birthday!



  1. Omg! Her birthday is so fab! Good job, Ate Alex. The place is instagrammable worthy. How I wish I was there to celebrate your daughter's birthday. Hehe. Happy 1st birthday to her!!! <3

    Augustin Ra • Indie Spirit


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