If you’ve been tasked with planning a baby shower, you may be feeling the pressure of all the things you’ll need to do to make it successful, especially with the amount of work that we see going into such events these days. The truth is, planning a baby shower is only as difficult as you make it. Simply planning ahead and asking others for help can be enough to make the whole job a breeze. Here are some of my best tips for organizing a great baby shower.
Write a Checklist
Probably the first step you should take when planning your baby shower is writing out a checklist of everything that needs that you need to organize, and when it needs to be taken care of. Some things to include are who will host it, the budget you’ll have, where and when you’ll have the party, the guest list, your invitations, menu, theme and so on. Make sure you’re leaving enough time for setting up the area, shopping, cooking and so on. You’re probably going to spend a lot on food, so work out a budget for this first and try to choose companies that will give you some wiggling room. For example, Safeway Bakery cakes are priced flexibly, and cover orders for any size of the baby shower. You don’t want to have to find a home for a lot of excess food after clearing the shower away!
Decide on a Guest List
Next, you need to think about the guest list. If you’re throwing the shower for a close friend, this will probably be a piece of cake (pun intended). Having said that, it’s always good to talk to the woman who’s expecting and find out who she would and wouldn’t like to see at her party. She’s got enough on her plate without being pushed into any awkward situations! It may be worth making plans for Skype or Facetime conversations for those guests who want to be there in person, but can’t make it.
Create or Choose the Invitations
This is one of the more fun parts of the job. Get creative and make invitations that are perfect for the event you’re planning. There are countless fun ideas out there you can look at for inspiration, but the finished product should ultimately be something the mother-to-be is happy with. Whether you want to go soppy and sentimental, or you want to cordially invite guests to “buy (name’s) baby some stuff,” there are all kinds of templates and variables you can play around with. If you want to go super-cheap, you can get everything you need for pretty and personal invitations at a good office supply store. However, printing the invitations won’t be all that expensive provided you take the time to shop around.
Unless you can pass off the shower itself as your gift, you’ll probably be expected to bring something just like everyone else! For my money, the best way that you can shop for items is to keep your shopping online. You’ll have a lot more selection than you would simply go into town and look around at different stores.
Get Creative With your Decorations
Crepe paper ribbons and pink or blue balloons may set the right mood to some degree, but if you want to make the event truly memorable, I recommend branching out and using other kinds of decorations. You could create a diaper-shaped cake, tissue paper pom-poms, or fill some champagne glasses with colorful candy. Everyone will take note of the effort you put in, and being creative with the decorations will ensure you don’t wind up throwing the same baby shower everyone’s been to a million times!
Be Prepared with a Clean-up Pack
Finally, do yourself a favor by preparing a clean-up pack well in advance. Baby showers are often messy, but you can minimize the effort it takes to clean it up by getting a clean-up pack together. This should include everything that you or the expectant mother will need to keep the area tidy. Trash bags, scissors, sticky labels to use on gifts, and, if there’s a lot of people coming, a pen and pad to note down who gave what so they can send your thank-you notes out later. Even if you’ve organized it all as a one-man band, be sure to ask for help from at least one other guest if you think you’ll need it. It should be a happy occasion, not just another one of life’s stress-fests!