Celebrating an impending birth is an exciting time in the life of an expectant mother as well as the people closest to her. A great way to express your joy for the expectant mother in your life is to host a baby shower in her honor, especially if she is a dear friend. Here is a complete checklist and planning guide to everything you will need to host the baby shower.
1. Choose the location. Baby showers are more intimate and personable if you host them at home. Depending on the size of your party, you can host the party in your living room or in your backyard. If you are having a small party, you can also host it at a restaurant.
2. Create the guest list. In the past, a baby shower was considered to be an event reserved only for women, but more and more hosts are choosing to invite both men and women to baby showers. If you are inviting men as well, it is an added touch to invite couples. Be sure to consult with the guest of honor before finalizing the gust list.
3. Once you have decided on the guest list, send out the invitations. You can either mail traditional invitations, or your can send evites. Whether you send invitations through the mail or electronically, send them at least 2-3 weeks in advance so that your guests will have enough time to make travel arrangements.
4. Choose a theme. If you already know the gender of the baby, you can stick to either a traditional pink or blue theme. If you do not know the gender of the baby, select gender-neutral colors such as pastel yellow or line green.
5. Select the décor. Decorations are important to the atmosphere of the party, so be sure to buy the following:
- Balloon bouquets
- Mylar and latex balloons
- Congratulations banners
- Table cloths
You can create your own centerpieces for the tables. Crystal bowls filled with candy make great centerpieces, as well as small bouquets of flowers.
6. Plan the menu. The menu of your party is dependent on the time of day of the party. For an early afternoon party, you can serve either tea and pastries or a light brunch including small sandwiches and fruit and vegetable platters. If the party is in the late afternoon and goes into the evening, you can serve heavier foods such as pasta, chicken wings, and skewers, as well as fruit and vegetable platters. Dessert can be either a cake or small sweets such as cookies or cupcakes. It is up to you whether or not you want to serve alcohol at the shower, but if you choose to, stick to wine. For non-alcohol showers, you can serve an assortment of soft drinks, as well as home made spritzers. Have plenty of water available for both the guests, as well as the mom to be.
7. Clean the house the day before. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will need to clean. Play it safe and clean at least one day ahead. Be sure to also clean the bathrooms and place new soap, tissues, and towels in the bathrooms.
8. Start decorating early. Give yourself plenty of time to set up the party area. By the time your guests arrive, everything should already be in its place, including the food. Make sure you also designate a table as the gift table.
9. Have some games prepared. Games are a traditional component of any baby shower. Plan some games you think both your guests as well as the guest of honor will enjoy, and buy the necessary materials. Don’t forget to also buy prizes for the winners of the games. The prizes can be very simple such as soaps and lotions from Bath & Body Works. Wrap the prizes ahead of time. You can either place them in the area where the games will be played, or you can hide them until the winners are established.
10. Put together goody bags. You can make your own party favors by using small gift bags, and you can fill them with candy or chocolate.
Tip #1: Take plenty of pictures. In a week or so following the party, you can develop a few of your favorite pictures from the party and either frame them for the guest of honor or bind them in an album.
Tip #2: Don’t try and do everything yourself. Planning any party can be overwhelming, and you might lose sight of some of the small details if you try and handle everything on your own. Reach out and ask your close friends who will be in attendance for help, whether it is with decorating or picking up the cake.
Tip #3: Have soft music such as jazz playing in the background throughout the party.