Once upon a time, a genius decided to take the words “cake” and “smash” and put them together… giving us this seriously adorable first birthday tradition! The cake smash is my absolute favorite way to end a milestone birthday session. We’ll start with 2 outfits for some fun, non-messy, traditional portraits and then afterwards we’ll break out the cake!
I love to style your smash set to match baby’s birthday party theme, but you can choose any color scheme or theme you’d like. I have an always-growing selection of banners, poms and paper fans to dress up the background and you are welcome to bring any balloons or party decorations to help personalize your set. The further in advance you schedule your session, the more time we have to plan!
Here are a few tips to help with planning your baby’s first birthday portrait session:
- If you’d like to use your portraits to display at baby’s birthday party I recommend scheduling your session when baby is 11 months old. This will give you time to make prints and order any products that you’d like to display.
- Bring some puffs or small snacks that baby likes. This is a great little trick to help us get some great images even if baby isn’t interested in smashing… we just stick them right into the back of the cake!
- Have a sippy cup or bottle nearby in case baby get thirsty or needs a break to wash down all that yummy cake.
- Avoid getting a chocolate cake! It looks… gross. And that’s all I’ll say about that, lol! I also suggest avoiding cakes with a lot of red icing.
- Buttercream or whipped icing is going to be the smoothest, making it easiest to smash.
- Fondant is beautiful but you’ll need to keep an extra close eye on baby during the smash because fondant is difficult to chew and could present a choking hazard. (This also goes for any decorative details on the cake, including things like toothpicks and wooden dowels.)
- Be prepared to participate! Some babies don’t quite get the hang of the smash right away so you may need to get your hands into the cake to help them get started.
- This is going to be messy. Really messy. So be sure to bring an extra outfit for baby and possibly for yourself!
- I do have some baby soaps at the studio to help you clean baby up after the cake smash has finished but if there is a soap or body wash that you prefer to use please feel free to bring that with you. Icing can be very greasy so soap is almost always a necessity!
Because there are so many different food allergies out there these days (dairy, wheat, sugar, etc) I always ask that my clients provide the cake. This gives you full control over what’s inside of the cake, as well as the design! I highly, highly recommend getting a smash cake from a professional bakery. Homemade cakes can be beautiful but they’re often very dry and the icing is hard. My absolute favorite is Buttercream Cakes & Catering! Ann does amazing work and can create almost any design you can think of. She’ll also deliver your smash cake right to my studio so you don’t have to worry about traveling with it! You can also check out Coccadotts Cake Shop and Publix.
The biggest tip I can give to any Mom planning a cake smash session is to relax. Little ones can sense stress and we want them to come into a happy, positive environment! It’s totally normal to go Pinterest-crazy and have a lot of grand ideas for your session but remember that baby is the one who is really running the show. Some one year olds really love digging in and getting covered in icing, and some just don’t like getting messy. If it’s their first time having something sweet like cake they may dislike the taste. It’s totally normal and every baby is different! Don’t get discouraged if we’re not getting the reaction you hoped for… we’re still going to get really beautiful images that capture this huge milestone and show your baby’s personality. 🙂
If you’d like to learn more or schedule a cake smash session for your little one’s first birthday, head on over to the baby page! Feel free to scroll around, look at some more adorable portraits and then message me to start the conversation. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂