Are you in the midst of planning a baby shower for a close friend or family member? Between food, location, invitations, games, and decorations, planning all the little details of this exciting occasion can get stressful, and the best way to pull this event off just right is to focus on a couple of key things. There is no right way to throw a great baby shower, and years down the line people will remember the good time spent together, rather than the color of balloons you worried so much about. So make people your first priority: if the new mommy and her guests are comfortable, excited, and happy to be celebrating the coming of the newest member of the family, your shower will be a blast!
Here are 5 easy tips that will help you focus your efforts in the right direction.
1. Take cues from the new mommy.
If you are throwing a baby shower for a close friend or family member, chances are you already know her personality and preferences. If you are not sure about something, do not shy away from asking advice from other people who know her well. Use this information to your advantage to figure out what would be most delightful to her on this special day. When you make decisions about location, guest list, food, and activities, consider whether she would really enjoy your choices. Perhaps you are planning to pull out all the stops, rent a big space, invite 50 people, and have a marathon of games with prizes, and she would prefer a low key house party, laughing and chatting with a few closest friends and relatives. If you take her cue on the major stuff, there will still be plenty of room to show your creativity, love and care for the new mommy.
2. Stay organized.
A baby shower is an important event, so for everything to turn out just right, it is a good idea to start planning a few months in advance, and keep yourself organized throughout the process. Starting early will be especially critical if you are planning to invite a lot of people. This will require more coordination and advanced planning to send out invitations, find and book a larger space, as well as plan out the catering or restaurant food menu. In case a venue or caterer that you want are not available, you should leave yourself enough time to find another great option. Having a running checklist is a really easy and helpful way to stay on top of everything.
3. Set the Date
Set the date for the baby shower early and let the guests know in advance, so that more people will be likely to attend. Timing is especially important if the baby shower happens to be around major holidays, when more people are likely to travel. If you have guests coming out of town, it will also make their lives easier if they can get a head start planning the trip to attend the baby shower. Find out if and when the new mommy will have other baby showers hosted by another family member or friend, so that no conflicts of interest arise.
Setting your budget early in the planning process will help all the other pieces fall into place. Your budget will help you determine the amount of people you can realistically invite, as well as your food, location, and decoration options. You can throw a wonderful baby shower, even on a small budget. Food and location are usually the biggest cost, which means that you could stay within budget by hosting the shower at home, as well as cooking and buying food yourself, instead of ordering catering. If you have a really big guest list, consider co-hosting the shower with a family member or friend, who would also be willing to contribute to the budget.
5. Guest list and Invitations
One of the first steps to planning and hosting a successful baby shower is to create the guest list. The guest list will give you an idea how many people will ultimately be at the shower, which will play a key role in figuring out your budget. Make sure you have emails, up-to-date addresses and phone numbers for everyone on the list. You can also use the guest list to keep track of RSVPs, and hen give it to the mommy-to-be so she has everyone’s correct contact information to send Thank You cards to.
On the invitations, include the event’s location, map and directions to the location, the event’s date, time, your phone number and the RSVP date. Send invitations five or six weeks before the event.
Having a theme for the baby shower can be both fun for the guests, and helpful to you as the organizer. The theme will set the tone for the party, and can be a source of enjoyment and surprises for the guests. Having a theme will make it easier for you to think about decorations, games, prizes, and anything else you may want to include. You can choose from a wide variety of baby shower themes & ideas online, or invent one that will have personal special meaning to the new mommy.