Martha Stewart Hosts Granddaughter Jude’s First Birthday

09/19/2012 at 03:30 PM ET
Francesco Lagnese/Martha Stewart Living

Who better than to throw the perfect party than Martha Stewart?

In March, the doting grandma put her superb taste to the test as the host of her granddaughter Jude‘s first birthday, held at Perry St. in Manhattan.

Owned by family friend Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the modern eatery set the scene for the whimsical celebration that toyed with a stuffed animal theme stretching from the adorable centerpieces to the personalized placemats.

Outfitted in a beige silk skirt and a gray jersey tank top, the birthday girl arrived with mom Alexis, who dressed the part in her own beige satin number.

“Mother and daughter beamed as they entered the restaurant and saw the decorations for the first time,” Stewart recalls in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Francesco Lagnese/Martha Stewart Living

“Both clear and white balloons were inflated with helium, and they added a very festive but unobtrusive touch to the dining table and the dessert table.”

Guests — who were all adults that played a major role in Jude’s first year including the designer of her Arctic-themed nursery, her first photographer, and the co-author of Stewart’s children’s books — found their seats around the long row of tables that had been adorned with custom-made menus and embellished square pine blocks that served as name plates.

“We picked a theme — animals — and most everything was created around the idea with Steiff stuffed toys, wooden cut-outs, printed images and sculpted marzipan,” Stewart shares. 

Francesco Lagnese/Martha Stewart Living

“We pushed all the tables-for-two together and created one long luncheon table. With the modern lamps overhead and clear balloons and cut-out animals, the party was beautifully framed and remained contained in that area.”

For lunch, the group indulged in butternut squash soup with Mimolette cheese and pumpkin seeds, asparagus with mesclun, enoki mushrooms, avocado and black-truffle vinaigrette and ricotta ravioli with herbs and tomato sauce.

The focal point of the party proved to be the cake table, featuring three delicious masterpieces — a jungle-themed, a polar-themed and a woodland cake all topped off with handcrafted edible animals — encased under large glass domes and surrounded by more friendly stuffed critters.

Francesco Lagnese/Martha Stewart Living

“Each slice of brown sugar layered cake was accompanied by a marzipan animal,” Stewart says.

Before the afternoon wound down — the party was kept short for the sake of Jude’s schedule — beautifully decorated animal sugar cookies from Sweet Dani B were handed out as party favors.

And although the chic birthday bash was a huge success, Stewart is already looking forward to next year.

“All we could think of was, ‘What will we do next year?'” she says. “Keep in mind, [my grandsonTruman will be one two days before Jude will be two!”

Francesco Lagnese/Martha Stewart Living
Francesco Lagnese/Martha Stewart Living

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Babies , Birthdays , News , Parties

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Showing 22 comments

Minami86 on

Although I’m not a fan of neutral colors & huge children’s parties, this looks very nice! I loved the cookies & animal decor!

Mama on

Perfectly set for a photo shoot — a meal only an adult would love! I wonder how much fun little Jude had?

celebsarah on

I hope nobody sitting on the bench side had to use the bathroom or leaned back and knocked the animals down off the back. The set up looks nice for pics, but not so real-world friendly.

Jill on

Nice, clean, white. Beautiful party for adults. I’m sure they enjoyed it.

Deb on

This party was last March and it’s just being published now?! The baby’s now 1/2 a year older!

Deb on

This party was last March and it’s just being published?! The baby’s now 1/2 a year older!

Kristen on

Mama- why are you assuming that Jude wouldn’t have enjoyed the food? Not all of us are feeding our kids Happy Meals and Lunchables. Some of our kids are eating real food and seem to be enjoying it just fine.

Leslie on

Beautiful decor! Of course the party was more for adults… It was for the people who were there supporting judes first year. One year olds don’t have a very long attention span and a big party just for them would be over stimulating and pointless.

SmiaVS on

The kid’s one. Either she likes being around lots of people or she doesn’t. The concept of a party is lost on children that young. You can have an elegant affair or you can rent a bounce house; it doesn’t matter. Either way you look at it, you’re doing it for yourself, your kid won’t remember it. If she’s comfortable around the people who were there and she had her nap that day, slept well the night before and wasn’t cutting new teeth, she was probably fine. She wasn’t traumatized because the party wasn’t baby proofed.

KikiLou on

@Kristen- Wow, you sure know how to jump to conclusions. Mama, like most other comments, is referring to the formal feel of the event. Too much for a child’s party. How does that translate to Happy meals and Lunchables? Get over sanctimonious self!!

KikiLou on

Was this a party for adults or kids?

Angela on

This is a very fortunate little girl, perhaps a bit too fortunate. I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for her because the bar has been set so high at such a young age. It’s unlikely that she’ll find anyone who can match these standards being established for her as she gets older.

Kristen on

Hey Kiki, how is ” a meal only an adult would love!” in reference to the formal setting of the party? How is that jumping to conclusions? What I can conclude from Mama’s “”a meal only an adult would love!” comment is that children can’t appreciate “adult” type food.

My comment still stands; no most kids can’t when they’ve only been exposed to mac and cheese, neon colored gogurt and a toy with every crappy burger/nugget meal. But not all of us choose to feed that “kid food” garbage to our kids and our kids are better off because of that. If that makes me sanctimonious then so be it.

Sandy on

wow so Martha! Nice spread for her magazine I’m sure and it was obviously for the adults!! I doubt baby Jude got to dig her hands into the cake or make a mess or fuss. But still a nice gesture from Grandma and I’m sure some nice photo’s for memories of her first birthday.

Sandy on

I’d LOVE to see what kind of party she could throw for Honey Boo Boo and her family!! 🙂

Brianne on

If you are going to paraphrase then GET IT RIGHT prior to publishing. It is like there is no fact check before your columns get published!

“Keep in mind, [my grandson] Truman will be one two days before Jude will be two!”

GRAND-DAUGHTER! not grandson.

Maggie on

Uh, try again Brianne. The story is completely correct.

lola on

brianne what are you talking about? alexis has two children, a girl Jude whom this article is about and a boy truman who is a year younger. the quote from martha about her grandson is correct. maybe you should check your facts…. 🙂

auroramia on

I think it’s gorgeous and Alexis, for once, looks very happy. Let them enjoy their day. At a year, my son was eating squash soup, tomato bisque and avocados. We all mother in different ways. I am sure Jude was a very happy birthday girl.

Tee Tee on

Wow, this is just sad! What a lousy birthday party for a child.

jas on

gah. sorry, but this is one of the most pretentious and ridiculous “children’s” birthday parties I’ve seen. Where is the fun and color? It was obviously catered solely to adults, so maybe little Jude had her own more child-friendly party some other time. I know babies don’t remember their first birthday, so it really is more for the adults, but to me a party for a baby should include some playtime with other little children and a more relaxed, colorful set-up. The description of Jude’s outfit, “a beige silk skirt and a gray jersey tank top” was just too much. I wear more interesting clothes to work! I’m sure both of Martha Stewart’s grandchildren have colorful wardrobes and playthings, I just wanted to vent about this party! So silly.

meghan on

You’re kidding right? The first birthday isn’t for the kid! They don’t give a crap.