Baby showers… usually you either love them or hate them. Showers in general, be it a baby or wedding shower, have received the reputation of being awkward, boring, and cheesy. Now, with the ever evolving world of technology, we can see that there are overly creative and ambitious people (with obviously too much time on their hands) hosting such elaborate showers that will surely put your platter of frozen cream puffs to shame. Have no fear! You don’t need to stress over hosting ever again! Okay, I can’t promise that but I will let you in on a secret.
The secret to a successful baby shower.
The secret is…
I have thrown my fair share of showers and have narrowed it down to just a few simple steps:
- Pick a theme—This can be as simple as a color scheme (Tiffany Blue&Coral, Pink&Gray) or more specific like, Dr. Suess or nautical. You can always use Pinterest to get inspired. This is usually where you start to feel the pressure from those overachievers. Don’t let it get to you, just pick 2 or 3 of the ideas you want to recreate, keep it simple. You don’t want the work you put into it to put a damper on the fun (yes, they are supposed to be fun!) If you want to decorate while sticking to your theme and your budget, try some of these easy and budget-friendly ideas:
Paint chips—I know some people aren’t on board with paint chips but I love them. For my daughter’s purple-themed birthday party I just grabbed 4 or 5 different shades of purple paint chips and strategically scattered them on the table and there you go, instant FREE center pieces that I didn’t care if the kids took home with them. These are great for those hard to find colors. You can go with all white plates/cups/napkins and scatter some paint chips in your theme color.Fresh flowers—my baby shower partner in crime recently started using fresh tulips for center pieces. So easy and everyone loves them. It’s also fun to send the mom-to-be home with them.
Paper crafts—If you have a fancy craft machine like a Silhouette or a Cricut then it can be a piece of cake to throw out some cute and cheap decorations. My recent favorite is cutting out varying sizes of circles in theme-coordinating paper and using my sewing machine to hook them together into bunting. Of course, any shape will work. It’s so fast to sew them and makes them pretty durable.
Dollar store items—You can find some great items to use for a dollar or less. Those cheap plastic tablecloths in the party section? Use them for more than just the tables!
- Plan the Food—This really is the most important part of the shower, good food brings everyone together. Plus, I’ve heard some people comment that the only reason to go to showers is for the food. You don’t need to hire a caterer or slave away in the kitchen. In fact, most of the food you can just buy already made. With the more-than-I-can-count amount of showers I’ve throw I have come to the conclusion that the only thing you shouldn’t buy already made are veggie or fruit trays. They are overpriced and low quality. If there is one thing you take from this article it’s this: take the time to cut your own fresh fruits and veggies. I promise you that it’s worth it. Buy cupcakes and dips if you want to save time but don’t waste your money on the store-bought fruit or veggie trays. I always like to take into consideration the different food restrictions that the guests may have so I break it down to a few different categories. Sweet, savory, healthy, and produce. Unless your theme is candy (done that!) then try not to overload with sweets. One or two items are plenty. A cupcake or a piece of cake is usually all people can handle in one setting so find a balance that will make everyone happy.
- Shower the Guest of Honor—As a host, it’s your job to make the mom (or bride) the center of attention. Give her a designated seat that turns the attention and conversation towards her (if it’s a baby shower, make sure it’s a comfortable seat!) It’s important that she feels comfortable and not just where she’s sitting. When it comes to party games, I usually consider the personality of the guest of honor. Are they someone that would rather relax and enjoy conversation with friends or is she someone that would feel ripped off if the party goers didn’t try to guess her weight? If you don’t know, just ask! I usually do and there are some that say “Please, no games!” and there are some that say, “Yes! There must be games!” There are few that I have come to love that aren’t hard to put together. The Purse game—just make a list of things that women might have in their purse and have a bag of fun sized candy bars. Read the list and the first lady to hold up the item gets a piece of candy! Easy and fun! Be sure to add a prize for the person with the most interesting thing. Another good one is to gather 10-15 small baby items and lay them out on a tray. Let everyone have 30 seconds to study what is on there and then take it away. Have everyone right down the items they remember. The person with the most correct gets a prize. Send the mom home with the loot. If the mom-to-be is having a girl, a fun idea is to make it a bow making party. Ask the guests to bring items that they can use to make hair bows. There are so many ideas online. Last but not least, present time! Be sure to write a list to give to the mom of who brought what to make it easier for her to write Thank You notes.
- Delegate!—I never plan a shower alone. It can get overwhelming to try and do everything yourself. Most of the time when someone hears you are planning a shower for a friend, they’ll ask how they can help. And guess what? Most people that ask you if they can help genuinely like, and want, to help. Let them! If you can get 4 or 5 people to bring a food item, everything else will come together so much easier and faster. You don’t have to try and be Wonder Women, besides, don’t most super heroes have a sidekick?
Good luck on your next hosting adventure!