Turning one: a whimsical teepee party
A sacred pounamu gifting and a whimsical teepee party to celebrate this little one’s first turn around the sun.
Ria Rawiri lives in Tauranga’s coastal suburb of Papamoa with her husband, Aaron, and their three children, Luka aged 10, Lola, aged five, and the birthday girl Talulah, who has just turned one. Talulah is very shy and sweet and loves to be around her family, so a small intimate party was just the thing!
Talulah is also quite adventurous and just loves to be outdoors so the Rawiri whānau decided to celebrate her first birthday at the beautiful McLaren Falls, which is just ten minutes’ drive from Tauranga. In keeping with Māori tradition, the Rawiris presented Talulah with a beautiful pounamu necklace at an intimate ceremony. As part of the ceremony, Aaron washed the pounamu in fresh water and said a little karakia to bless the carving before gifting it to his daughter. “Traditionally this is done by an elder, but we have our own traditions within our little whānau,” Ria explains. “It was a special moment having our sweet girl out in the ngahere listening to the birds and the streams!”
The family had planned to continue their celebrations at the nearby Marshall’s Animal Farm later that day, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. Sadly, the weather packed in meaning that part of the celebration had to take a rain check!
Having recently started her own photography business, capturing the day was high on Ria’s agenda. Extra special attention was given to the styling: the floral arrangement that adorns the teepee was made by a local mum, who also happens to be a party stylist for Joy Co Tauranga, a nationwide party-planning business. Their combined skills meant whipping up this picture-perfect party was relatively easy, Ria laughs. They went foraging in their local neighbourhood, and were amazed at what they found just by searching along the roadside. They discovered the dramatic protea flowers in a neighbour’s garden, showing that high-impact decorations don’t have to cost the earth, just some time and, of course, the neighbour’s permission!
Ria’s advice to other would-be party planners is to make sure you take the time to capture at least some parts of your child’s special day! “It can be such a mad rush that it’s easy to forget to grab your camera and take photos,” she says. “The day will fly by so quickly as you’re talking to guests and trying to keep the food circulating.” So if you’re the type to get distracted (and let’s face it, at a kids’ party, who doesn’t get distracted?) perhaps consider assigning someone else to the task of taking photos, whether it’s aunty, uncle or someone else a little more removed from the ‘party epicentre’!
Photography: Ria Rawiri, La Vie en Rose; Styling: Renee Currie, Joy Co Tauranga; Cake: The Cake Fairy.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 47 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW