They are done at my home studio in St. Johns.
Believe or not, cake smashes are done best well before their 1st birthday; you can even do them at 10-11 months because the older they get, the more mobile they become. A lot of parents are surprised at how hard it can be to get them to sit; I use beds, little chairs and bowls to contain them when they can walk freely. That being said, it's up to you if you want to wait until their birthday month.
I always recommend parents decide on a look or theme. I can do something neutral or fancy, depending on outfits, colors, etc. Once you decide on a theme, we can talk whether we want to do a custom backdrop like the circus theme above or include a balloon garland. We can chat details.
Your session doesn't include the cake, so if you want to include a cake portion, I recommend picking up an 8 or 10 inch cake. I do have some outfits already, but if you want something specific, you should look online for something. I do have some vendors I work with that I can recommend to you if you want.
I would also recommend bringing snacks, a bottle, and a favorite toy. The name of the game is to distract the baby and get your them to smile!
I would always recommend scheduling your session around your baby; so before or after nap time.
My editing takes 1-2 weeks and once you pick your final images, another 5 days or so. That being said, book your session well within those time frames to make sure you get your photos in time to share.