How to choose the perfect theme for your baby's birthday Cake Smash

With many years experience designing beautiful, bespoke Cake Smashes for 1st and 2nd birthday photo shoots, I am often asked what makes a good choice of theme for your baby's session. There are so many possibilities! When you book your baby's Cake Smash session with me, I will work with you to help you narrow down your ideas and decide on the perfect theme. Then I'll take your idea and turn it into reality, creating a gorgeous backdrop for your little one's special birthday celebration. Keep reading for my top 10 cake smash theme ideas!

Rustic 1st birthday cake smash in Wiltshire

As one of Wiltshire's leading Cake Smash photographers, my Salisbury studio is full of props and quirky items to help create a truly unique theme for your baby's session. When you book for your baby's birthday photo shoot you will receive an initial questionnaire to complete which asks if you have any ideas for the theme/ style of your cake smash. Please don't worry if your ideas are vague at this stage - it is just a starting point! We'll then arrange a time to chat on the phone and together we will plan your theme and all the details.


Our Cake Smash sessions include a bespoke themed set and a beautiful professionally made cake by the amazing Sharon at Sugar Wish Cakes to match, so everything co-ordinates perfectly. You don't have to worry about a thing! You can even borrow an outfit from our baby studio wardrobe if you wish.


So, where do we start when choosing a theme? Here are 10 top ideas to help you think about the kind of theme you might choose for your baby's birthday.


1. Choose a favourite colour and take it from there. You might go for the traditional pink and blue colours or a favourite colour of your own. Maybe your house has lots of sunny yellows or leafy greens - this is a good starting point if you would like your final images to co-ordinate well with your décor when you hang them on your walls. Once you have chosen a colour we can think about what elements we can use to style your session in that colour e.g. florals, balloons etc.

Sparkly pink cake smash photo shoot in Salisbury
Sweet cake smash theme for baby boy photo shoot
Beautiful hot air balloon and clouds cake smash photo shoot in Hampshire
Pretty rainbow balloon cake smash photography session in Wiltshire
1st birthday photo shoot ideas; lemon cake smash

2. Pure, Simple and timeless. Although cake smash sessions are often all about the colour, they can work brilliantly in a minimalist, timeless style. Our pure white studio is perfect for this! Team with some white balloons and a simple, semi-naked cake for a classic look.

Pure white cake smash session in Wiltshire

3. Balloons! Balloon garlands are one of my favourite looks for cake smash sessions. They can be made in such a huge variety of colours from rainbow brights to nudes and pastels. I make my own balloon arches and garlands for sessions so they will always be exactly how you envisage them. Add flowers, foliage or stars for an added wow factor!

Boho rainbow cake smash session
Baby boy blue and gold cake smash photo shoot in Wiltshire
Flowers and balloon garland cake smash ideas
Baby boy cake smash photo shoot with balloon garland in Hampshire
Pastel rainbow balloon garland for cake smash photo shoot in Dorset

4. Favourite character. If your child has a favourite story book or children's cartoon character, this can make a lovely theme for your session. Particularly if they are excited to see it! Or perhaps it is you who are a fan of a classic cartoon character and would like to design a theme around that. The possibilities are endless!

Cake smash session based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar
1st  birthday cake smash session in Wiltshire

Baby boy train cake smash phtoography

5. Floral. Flowers and floral designs are classic and very popular. Variations can include woodland and rustic themes and of course, there is an endless choice of colours! A semi-naked cake finished with flowers and foliage is perfect to complement a floral cake smash theme.

Pretty floral cake smash session in Wiltshire
Baby girl cake smash photography shabby floral

6. Interests. Not all babies have a particular interest by their 1st birthday, but many do. Perhaps your little one loves ladybirds, trains, cars or dinosaurs! This can be a lovely way to decide on a theme because your baby will enjoy the props and when they are older it will be a reminder of what they loved when they were turning one. As our cakes are made to match your theme, your baby can enjoy tucking into a cake with their favourite things on too!

Ladybird themed 1st birthday photoshoot
Stars themed 1st birthday photo shoot
Pirate themed cake smash photo shoot in Wiltshire

7. Seasonal. It's a great idea to take inspiration from the season in which your baby's birthday falls. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter cake smash sets are all huge fun to design and it's lovely to reflect the season on their birth. Think Spring foliage, tulips and daffodils; Summer flowers or the seaside; Autumn leaves, pumpkins or even Halloween; Winter sparkle with snowflakes or Christmas trees.

Autumn cake smash photography
Unique cake smash photo shoots in Salisbury
Winter woodland cake smash photo shoot
Winter wonderland cake smash photography

8. Favourite food. If your baby has a favourite food, this could work well as a theme for their cake smash. Perhaps they love a particular fruit - lemons, strawberries, blueberries - or spaghetti or cookies! Cakes can either include or be decorated with some of the food, or resemble it.

Strawberry themed cake smash for 2nd birthday

9. A place or environment. Places such as the seaside, under the sea, in the jungle, on the farm and outer space can make spectacular cake smash themes. There are some many possibilities and you can really have some fun with the props and the cake! Again, it may stem from your child's interests or just something that is fun and colourful.

Fun seaside themed cake smash photo shoot in Winchester
Little explorer jungle themed cake smash photo shoot

10. Consider a play on words. The words ONE and TWO lend themselves to all sorts of play on words possibilities which you could use for your baby's cake smash theme. For example, 'Wild ONE', 'Mr/ Miss ONEderful', 'ONE in a melon', or 'TWO for tea'. 'DONUT grown up!' is huge fun and will work for any age. I'm sure you can think of some more!

Wild one play on words cake smash theme

I hope that you find these ideas useful when it comes to planning a theme for your baby's Cake Smash Session! If you would like to find out more about our Cake Smash sessions in the Wiltshire area, you can find all the details on our website or get in touch via our contact page for a brochure and availability.