Kunmi's First Birthday | Carroll Baldwin Hall | MD
There’s a lot to do on the path to one: you need to perfect the most persuasive, secretive little smile; you need to blast some cardio and train to sit up (you’re an independent woman); you need to giggle – as Drake once tweeted, “You never worry about the last laugh if you’ve been laughing the whole time.” You need to practice anger management: ripping paper is so much more satisfying than stress balls, and you’re basically a new age Michelangelo.
Despite all of these ground-breaking triumphs, you’re expected to make time for leg day! Your fastidious routine is taking you places: across the living room, across the kitchen, to the milk… a girl’s got to look out for herself. You’re hungry for knowledge. You’re also hungry for milk.
Finally, you can get an ‘amen’ and ‘hallelujah’ – it’s over, and you’re ready to party.
Kunmi didn’t know it – who are we kidding? She totally knew it – but she was about to become the epicenter of her mother’s full-blown creative orbit. Uche’s love of the two most fundamental elements of her life, flowers and Kunmi, were never more self-explanatory than in the design of Kunmi’s very first birthday bash.
Kunmi was born on March 20th, the brink of Spring. For Uche, beings a floral designer, the stars couldn’t have aligned more perfectly. She’d been dreaming up her daughter’s first birthday from the moment she discovered a girl was on the way, and knew the theme immediately. “Bloom”: a sentiment close to the heart.
The sweetness of watching Kunmi bloom was captured in confectionary shades: peach, pink, rose gold, and a kitten-soft gray were the lead colors of the “pure and clean palette.” Historic Carroll Baldwin Hall was transformed into a fairy-tale nook of hand-made paper flowers and garlands of balloons. Guests gathered via Taylor & Hov invitations doubling as cute keepsakes: pressed flowers hugged by a pair of acrylic plates and printed with raised gold font.
In the dining area, dessert took center stage quite literally, backed by a dramatic white trellis gate lavishly decorated with elaborate balloon garlands. An intricate tiered cake by Bouche, dripped with sugar and floral details was focal to plates of pastries so pretty they could’ve been petals.
Textured rose gold linens were crowned with buds of frosted balloons, whimsically sprouted with sprigs of eucalyptus and roses. The playful motif, balloon and branch, nested at the center of the kid’s table – miraculously un-popped by mischievous hands.
On the adult tables, garden style arrangements in various shades of pink and peach played dress-up in marble hat boxes brimming with garden roses, eucalyptus, tulips, stock, and lisianthus. We customized the table setting to tell a unique story of Kunmi’s first year: the numbers corresponded to her achievements each month.
Month 1, she smiled. Month 3, she laughed. Month 12, she spoke!
The pastel stationery was styled with cute knick-knacks a child might collect: a curl of fuzzy peach ribbon pulled from a dress, a fistful of illustrated stamps scooped off a desk, tiny garden flowers guilelessly picked. Kunmi’s personality sparkled through with the debut of her glittery Kate Spade kicks and ballet flats. She won’t believe it later, but her feet were that small!
Favors included petal-stamped lollipops, cotton-candy speckled with golden stars, palm-sized boxes of pink gummy bears, and satchets of wildflower seeds for guests to plant and watch bloom.
This scene from a dollhouse dream unfolded into lounge area complete with a photobooth, buffet, seating, and a repurposed bar. The bar was sourced from an unfinished table and rebranded by Uche, painted and stenciled with Kunmi’s own logo: “Kunmi Blooms.” There is no analogy more apropos for Kunmi. An heiress of blossoms, her throne was a blushing velvet Victorian sofa, the shelves of roses her beckoning admirers.
The most striking image may be the waterfall of pink balloons swelling from the stone fireplace. The contrast between fruition and permanence within an icon of warmth and home is unexpected but lovely.
The dialogue between house and balloon is like slow joy approaching. You can’t truly describe the feeling of a child’s first year of life, but sometimes you can see it.