At Celamony today we are looking at the ever-increasing popularity of holding a baby shower.
Are we becoming too American with the whole concept in the first place?
The modern baby shower started in North America in the late 1940s and the 1950s, as post-war women were expecting the Baby Boom generation. The shower served the function of providing the mother and her home with useful material goods.
So why not if we treat it for what it is. A way of giving the expectant mum presents as gifts for what she will need when the baby arrives. And now just like America baby showers are a great way of hosting a party with all the expectant mums family and friends before life changes for the better with the soon to be arrival of the first born – otherwise it would be a baby sprinkle if the party were for a second or third child. These tend to be much smaller affaire so let’s concentrate on the baby shower party.
Our advice would be to chose to hold the baby shower when mum to be is about 7 months pregnant- she is well into her pregnancy by then, but she is probably still comfortable. This time frame will also give her plenty of time to organize gifts after the shower and decide what she’ll still need to purchase before the little one arrives.
We think the comfort for the expectant mum should be the most important consideration at this time. This means the time of year you hold the baby shower will really be determined by the expected due date. This means the party location must have some thought. Obviously if its in winter you are really forced to choose an inside location but, in the summer, you have much more flexibility.
Hosting the party in your garden is intimate, and you will not have to pay a fee to reserve the space. In the summer we would always think about your home as the first choice but If the guest list is large or the season forces an inside venue or you have a bigger budget, consider a nearby hotel or restaurant. The setup, catering, and clean-up will be managed by their staff, so the host can sit and enjoy the event. A win win at every party.
When you have decided on the time and venue what else do you need to arrange plan and organise.
Plan on a budget and stick to it. We always say to our clients when planning a wedding ceremony, renewal of vows or naming ceremony our first and most important rule is to stick to the budget. Its always tip one and its always boring but its crucial. Do not overstretch and go wild on the budget when you are just about to have an expensive addition to the family. Focus on having a brilliant baby shower and If for example you have £1000 and 10 people, you can probably splurge a bit on the venue and food, Whereas If you have £1000 and 50 people, you might need to scale back – so just think about it and stick to whatever budget you have. This then lets us move to the more enjoyable parts – what’s going to happen before during and after the shower.
Once the mother-to-be has given decided on the complete guest list send out the invitations. Guests should receive their invites about six weeks before the shower. That way they’ll have plenty of time to reserve the date, RSVP, shop for gifts, find a babysitter if need be and plan their dress and wardrobe. Invitations can be by email if you want but we would always say if you are hosting a more formal shower, go with a paper invite.
Once everyone has confirmed their attendance start planning exactly what you want and move too,
Next up is planning a baby shower timeline. 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. We would always suggest giving guests 15 to 20 minutes to arrive and offer drinks to people as they come through the door. Once everyone is there, start an activity.
You might want to set up a bodysuit-designing station, for example, or have guests add photos and thoughts to a scrapbook for the guest of honour. Serve food while gifts are being opened, followed by dessert and coffee.
Then have your celebrant have your guests gather round while a short ceremony is conducted to welcome the baby and toast the health of the mum to be and the forthcoming baby.
Once you have your timetable for what’s happening on the day what else need to plan that goes into a great baby shower.
Chose the menu to sit with the guest of honour’s tastes. If she’s craving comfort food, try pizza and burgers or whatever else she wants. But do consider serving miniature portions to make it easier for guests to manage the food and take part in the event. If you are at a venue which supplies the food, ask for a taster menu beforehand so you know what guests will be getting on the day. Alternatively, if you have a choice there are some amazing outside caterers who will be willing come up with exactly the menu the host wants. These could be plant based or BBQ pit – the choice really is up to you. Have a look at @veganweddingsandevents on Instagram or @streetfoodfoodie for some ideas.
Baby Shower Favors
These are becoming increasingly more and more common. A parting gift is a simple way to thank your guests for attending. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but do try to stick to the overall theme of the baby shower. When choosing the favor think about your guests. You are all friends so chose a gift reflecting your common interests. Try and make it as humorous and meaningful as possible. Choose something you will think will be a crowd pleaser for everyone. They have all tried to come and support you so think about how you will say a small thank you back to them.
Have a great party and let the planning take care of itself because afterwards your whole world is going to change for the better.
With these tips in mind here is the Celamony baby shower checklist to help you on the way.
- 10 weeks in advance decide on the location and set the date. Book your celebrant.
- 7 weeks in advance chose the guest list and mail the invitations.
- 5 weeks in advance chose the menu book suppliers if using outside caterers.
- 3 weeks in advance collect any props you need for games or party favors.
- 2 weeks in advance confirm reservations and catering. Finalize the guest list. Check the celebrant’s script is exactly what the mum to be wants.
- 1 day in advance shop for any food and drink supplies you need to get- do not forget the champagne but not for the mum to be. Pick up any flowers and balloons. Set up the room and decorate who you want it.
- On the day put any finishing touches out. Pamper the mother to be. Celebrate with all your girlfriends.
We hope this helps all the mums to be out there make their baby shower exactly what you want it to be. Enjoy every minute because life is about to change.