How to Plan a Baby Shower
If you’ve been called upon to plan a baby shower but you’ve never done one before, you might be a little nervous when you start thinking about how to proceed. But in truth, you’ll probably find it to be a lot more fun than you expect, especially if you’re kind of crafty. Between getting the invitations, setting up the décor, planning the menu, creating games, and finding the perfect gift for the friend or family member who asked you to host her shower, you’ll get to use every creative bone in your body. But if you’re not quite sure where to start, here’s a basic checklist to get you going.
- Select the theme. You can really go wild here, but make sure to select a theme that the honoree will appreciate. Is Disneyland her favorite place on Earth? Then go with a Disney theme. Or if she’s really into marine life, make it an “under the sea” theme. You could even make everything eco-friendly if she’s totally into green living. The point is to choose a theme she’ll love to create a special day she’ll never forget.
- Set a date. You should probably set the date about two months out so that you have plenty of time to get everything in order. And make sure it doesn’t fall to close to holidays or a day that would be important to the mother-to-be (such as her birthday or anniversary).
- Decide if it’s a surprise. While many women are asked by the expectant mother to throw the shower, there are an equal number who opt to do so on their own (or are elected by a group of friends). In this case, you’ll need to consider whether you want the new mom in on it, or if you’re going to surprise her. Think long and hard about the woman the party is for and whether or not she’ll appreciate a surprise or if she would prefer advance notice. This is, after all, for her.
- Send out invitations. The baby shower invitations should be sent about a month in advance (whether they go through snail mail or you opt for Evites) and they should include information on where the mother is registered.
- Arrange decorations. Again, it’s up to you how elaborate you want to get. Traditionally, a few balloons and flower arrangements should do the trick. But if you have a theme in mind, you could do plates and napkins, streamers, or any number of other elements to really make the atmosphere pop.
- Prep the food. Finger foods are traditional, and you should always serve something that is relatively healthy and nutritious. Be aware of any food restrictions the mother might have (is she on a gestational diabetes diet or does she prefer vegetarian or vegan?) and never, never serve alcohol.
- Select games. Choosing the right games could make or break your party, so spend a little time on the prep here. Look online for a wealth of game ideas and choose a variety that seem like they will appeal to a large group.
- Send out thank you notes. This is your last task as hostess, so don’t neglect it. Notes like this are becoming a lost art, but etiquette demands that you do it and honestly, every woman who gets a thank you note from you will feel honored to have been invited and touched by your continuing thoughtfulness.
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