This past year has been an exciting journey for my husband Jeff and I. A year ago, we welcomed our first child, a baby girl named Liya. To make her first birthday extra special and meaningful, we decided to combine her birthday party with her Jewish baby naming ceremony. Planning this event inspired me creatively, and allowed us to celebrate our daughter in a truly personal and memorable way!
The theme of the event was Liya’s name since, after all, it was her naming ceremony. My décor inspiration started with a DIY sculpture of Liya’s name that was a play on the famous “Love” sculpture. This creation of paper mache and gold metallic spray paint morphed into a logo for the event that we would use on the cakes, tables and centerpieces.
The baby naming ceremony is a Jewish tradition where the baby is formally given her Hebrew name or names. It gives parents the opportunity to explain the significance of the child's names in a spiritual setting surrounded by loved ones. Blessings are recited to welcome the baby into the covenant.
While we maintain traditions throughout the service, we found ways to personalize it as well. We wrapped Liya in her godfather's tallis and performed a candle lighting ceremony with all of the grandparents. Additionally, the ceremony was held overlooking the beach, which added to the beauty of the day.
Balloon Artistry created the most wonderful centerpieces featuring cubes of our favorite photos of Liya over the year, with her logo on one side of each cube. Place settings were decorated with hand-made chocolate covered Oreo pops sealed with a thank you note from Liya.
When guests walked in, they were asked to sign Liya's toy box - a great memento of the day that she will use for years to come.
Other décor elements included a towering balloon sculpture and festive signage. A color scheme of pink with gold accents used in a fun combination of stripes, polka dots, balloons, pomanders and streamers was fun, whimsical and perfect for a child’s party.
It was a fun party and everyone enjoyed celebrating these two milestones in Liya’s life. Observing traditions is an important part of the Jewish faith. Creating ways to make it personally meaningful as well as fun helps to ensure that our traditions are carried down from generation to generation.
Madison Lee's Cakes created an exquisite three-layer cake with Liya's logo as the topper. There were two fillings - Pink Velvet and Cookies & Cream. Our guests would agree that it tasted just as amazing as it looked. Madison also created a smash cake for Liya...although her smashing skills weren't quite developed yet! The kids also loved the Decorate Your Own Cupcake Bar from Sands at Atlantic Beach.
Activities / Games
The adults had room to enjoy themselves, and we also had plenty of activities to keep the children engaged and entertained. There were kids tables with coloring books and art supplies. We also had some of Liya's favorite toys for the kids to play with during the brunch, and JB from Sweet Dreams Photo Video brought photo booth props, which made for some fabulous photos. After the brunch, Long Island Aardvarks came in and engaged the children in a music class.
Cigall Goldman, Mazelmoments.com
The Sands at Atlantic Beach
Sweet Dreams Photo Video
Lucy Eisenstein Waldman, Of Birth to Bris
Centerpieces & Decor
Madison Lee's Cakes
Long Island Aardwarks
Pretty Paper Party
GCM Design Co