The Event Planners at DNA Affairs are sharing our party-planning basics to help you ensure that a baby shower is a memorable moment. It no longer means stocking up on clothespins for the “Can’t Say Baby” game or buying a bunch of nuts or those dinner mints that no one really likes! Baby showers have taken on a life of their own and often rival wedding receptions with their scope of detail and decor. The role of baby shower hostess has also evolved and can include pretty much anyone in the expectant mom’s life; including friends, relatives, and spouses.
The Pinterest Trap
When planning a shower for someone, please don’t get caught in the Pinterest trap! It is so easy to create board after board of trends. However, showers should have a personal flair. Please take time to think about the couple you are honoring and come up with a theme that is unique to them. Never in a million years did we think we would ever plan a Kicking Ninja Baby Shower! We realized that had to be the theme after learning the parents call their unborn child, “Ninja Baby Jesus”. Yep, you read that right. “Ninja Baby Jesus” was the fierce nickname they came up with to refer to a baby whose gender will be a secret until he or she is born next month. From Japanese cupcake stands, cherry blossoms to lanterns and ninjas hiding in the KitchenAid, their shower took a life of its own thanks to an inside joke the couple shared with friends and family .
The Tradition Trap
We knew from day one the mom behind our Queen City baby shower was unlike any mom to be! In her initial consultation she stressed that she wanted her baby shower to be FUN. Her request to have a baby shower with a “club atmosphere” left us scratching our heads. It was definitely not a request we had ever gotten before. However, when she went on to explain herself she made it perfectly clear that she wanted her shower to truly be a celebration. It should celebrate the love she and her husband shared for each other and for their unborn baby girl! She stuck to her guns…creating the foundation for the Queen City Baby shower. Sure it was elegant with lots of gold and glitz. Yes, crowns adorned with DNA flower arrangements graced the tables, but guest partied the night away. They clowned at our photo booth, pigged out at a special made dessert buffet and kept the dance floor hot as DJ Infinite played the happy mama’s favorite songs. We must say we have never witnessed a pregnant woman dance as long or as good as she did! It’s a lesson to all parents to be. Your shower can be whatever you want it to be. When friends and family ask for your suggestions or ask if you have any special requests, don’t be afraid to be open and honest with them. Your feedback will always be well received if it isn’t too over the top! You never know the surprises that will come your way. In this mommy’s case she never imagined her fairy god mothers (event planners) would get our master craftsman to make her a baby carriage out of cardboard or that we would make sure the baby girl on her welcome sign would have on bunny slippers to match the bunny themed nursery she planned for her little princess.
Here are some other tricks of the trade for hosts:
Select a date and time. Consult with the guest of honor to come up with a date and time for her party. Most baby showers are held when the expectant mom is about seven months pregnant — she’s safely into her pregnancy by then but she’s probably still pretty comfortable. This time frame will also give her and her partner plenty of time to organize their gifts after the shower and decide what they still need to purchase before their little one arrives.
Determine the guest list and budget. Once the guest of honor has given you the complete guest list (be sure she gives you addresses, too!), come up with your budget so that you can choose a venue and start thinking about the food you’d like to serve.
Choose a venue. Consider the time of year, number of guests, and budget. Hosting a shower in your backyard or living room is intimate, and you won’t have to pay a fee to reserve the space. If the guest list is large, or you have a bigger budget, consider a nearby hotel or restaurant.
Send the invitations. Guests should receive their invites about six weeks before the shower to give them time to RSVP.
Plan the menu and decor. Nail down these details about three weeks before the shower.
Come up with an agenda. Most showers include games, gift opening, eating, and drinking. The key is organizing these activities to create a fun flow that keeps guests entertained and engaged. Give guests 15 to 20 minutes to arrive and offer drinks to people as they come through the door. Don’t forget to create a keepsake for the guest of honor. Keepsakes include signed photos, scrapbooks etc.