Whether newly pregnant or close to your due date, you’ve likely thought about a baby shower at some point. Baby showers are a great way for the people you love to help you prepare for your little one. Throwing the shower, however, can be a touchy subject. Some ladies are very touchy about asking someone to host it. Others wait for someone volunteer and they’re scared to offend them.
Personally, I’m a control freak. I’m picky, hard to please, and don’t have many close friends. My family knows this and they still love me fortunately! So whether you plan it small or go all out, there are a few basics that apply to all. Some of these things are common knowledge while others make you realize how much truly goes into event planning.
Base your choices on your budget but still ensure you’re getting what you want. I was blessed enough that my mother wanted to pay for everything, as the host. However, I wasn’t opposed to helping out if they needed me based on my difficult nature.
Here are the essentials you’ll need to consider when planning a shower.
Baby Shower Planning Tips
I did 3 registries and I honestly feel like I wasted my time! People really buy you what they feel like you’ll need as a new mom or what is cute. Even if someone does actually take the time to look at your list, I had people buy things I wanted but not from the registry. Do you know how frustrating that is?
When people disregard your registries, you lose the value of them. Gifts purchased after seeing the list but not explicitly from the list do not count towards any bonuses for completion that you could receive. Read here for My Top 3 Baby Registries By Incentives.
Personal advice, don’t do multiple registries, choose one! They are too time consuming and guests seldom use them. The only way I find registries to be valuable is if you choose one and purchase everything you wanted yourself (or mostly yourself).
There are too many benefits of registries to not have at least one. Purchases count no matter who is buying, self included. It’s a great way to ensure you’re being compensated for getting items you already need and with programs like Ebates Cash Back you can double up on rewards. This is also a great way to put cash baby shower guests get you to good use!
Sign up for Ebates here or by clicking on the button below.
Location, Location, Location
Perhaps the most important step is choosing a venue. This is so complicated for no reason. Getting in touch with places is going to be your first big hurdle. Then you have to make sure they’re available on your given date, figure out how catering has to work, and get budget estimates.
This is one of the most costly selections and the most important. If you’re doing something with a lot of people the pricing goes up. If you’re blessed to have someone’s home that will fit the amount of people you’d like there, even better. Keep in mind you may still have to get pricing estimates for seating and if it’s outdoors, a tent.
You have the option to make or buy, mail or text, or use word of mouth. This decision is solely up to you and you can tailor it to the audience you’re inviting. Do not let anyone make you feel bad for whichever direction you go in.
I personally don’t keep cards. So why waste the paper, the postage, and the money. I also make flyers and invitations for various organizations I’m affiliate with. It was a no brainer that I would make my own invitations. And I definitely didn’t think twice about mailing them.
Mailing invites entails getting everyone to give you their addresses in a timely fashion and sending them out even further in advance than is already necessary. No thank you! I sent my invites via text message and Facebook event. No regrets about it.
Is your uncle a lot to handle? Does your grandma judge people when she first meets them? How close is your family to the father’s family?
These are all really important questions to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to do a seating arrangement. It also helps choose who sits where if you do decide to make one. There are tons of apps that will help you create a seating arrangement which is the route I chose to go.
Serve It Up
Have you thought about food? This can be based on family traditions, theme, or time of year. I wanted mine to have a fall feel since it was late October so I decided to go with a soul food spread.
Think about whether you or the host plans to prepare the meal or if it will be catered (or if your venue even allows outside food!). Bringing my own food was a big deal to me and so a lot of venues didn’t work out. Take into consideration your budget and the amount of guests you’re feeding because it isn’t always cost effective to DIY.
You can do a little or you can do a lot. This aspect is based solely on your budget and the availability of someone to do the things you desire. For me, I could not find anyone to do the balloon walls or special balloon arrangements. Everything I seen on Pinterest was about how to DIY and neither myself or my family are crafty people so we went without.
You can choose to DIY or you can pay someone, or you can go out and get the pre-made decorations. It’s up to you and your host to decide what you can afford.
Deciding what games to play is fun! Narrowing down the games, is not. I had about 8 games I really wanted to play at first and ended up taking it down to just 4 really good ones, plus a diaper raffle. Think about how long you want to be there and allow time for guests to eat as well as mingle. Also choose whether you want to do them all at once or break them up with mingling, eating, gift opening, and grabbing desserts.
One thing I didn’t think about until a couple weeks before the shower was game PRIZES. I knew we’d be playing the games themselves but also make sure you take the time to pick out prizes. This can get a little tough if you’re having a co-ed baby shower like I did. Take into consideration who plays what games and what a man would be happy to receive.
In each of my bags was a small candle along with 2 other items each. The other items for men ranged from picture frames to gloves to pedicure sets. While the co-ed game items included fuzzy socks and water bottles.
I’ve seen gift sets on the internet include liquor for men. The choice is yours, just make sure you get useful items you’d want to win at a baby shower.
For me this meant having guests bring and sign books that I will later read to my child, instead of cards. But this could be anything! Another good example is the guest book. Let your child know who was there either with a scrapbook or an ultrasound picture frame. There’s plenty of options to make your baby shower your own, they’re no longer one size fits all occasions.
Have you started planning your baby shower? What are some of your favorite games and unique ideas?
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