Baby Shower Planning – Make A Beautiful Event To Remember
~~~My daughter is having a daughter!~~~
As we watch her belly grow and we know there is a little person joining our family we anticipate the arrival of our new baby. We want to create a baby shower experience where friends and family can gather to celebrate this occasion, and shower Jasmyn with love. As with any event, there is some thought and planning that makes it a memorable and special day.
Hosting two parties a month apart gave me some perspective, and incentive to keep the house up to par! Having just had a party, and many of the same people came to both, I wanted a different mood all together.
First pick a theme: We picked pink elephants.
When my daughter said this was what she wanted I had never seen any theme along these lines before and I had no vision. I had to do a lot of playing on the Internet and talking to my girls for some inspiration. I quickly found Pinterest, amazon, and other sites offering tons of photos and option for buying.
Location: Who is coming? How much space do you need? What is a central and convenient location for those coming? Consider your party needs and chose the option most suitable.
Since we just had a graduation bash last month, we decided to use: my house
We chose this because we recently had a graduation party so the house was already kind of in party mode. All the “stuff” you do before having people over was already done!
Once you choose a location - do a quick assessment of what you have and what you need.
Do you have tables? Chairs? Create a vision of how the party lay out will look and design what you want to happen.
As we have had many home parties before, I knew my space would work for about 30 people, we were planning to be inside (as opposed to outside when we had the graduation) as July in Florida is HOT! We didn't want to sizzle and bake, we wanted air conditioning and family time.
I also knew I could borrow some table cloths and platters, as I don't keep those typically.
I looked through my cabinet storage area and realized I have a LOT of glassware and decided to pull it out and use it all.
Invitations – can you make something personal? Merge photos and your theme together to create the first look into how this event will be!
I created these in Canva, and added a QR code linking to her registry. I downloaded my design, then uploaded it to Walgreens to print. I use Walgreens often to create cards and such, I just couldn't get the picture template I wanted for the design I'd envisioned. We added to the registry after, at this point we we just had a link connecting.
In this day and age, it seemed appropriate to have an electronic version to use to invite friends and send through text or social media. I created this in Canva (you would also use a word document):
Once those were mailed out and shared we had a month to work on the rest of the details!
2. Food -Make a menu
This is a biggie, but if you know the times your event is taking place you can base your menu around your needs.
Morning showers – go well with mimosas and crepes.
Lunch showers – go well with mimosas and sandwiches or wraps
Afternoon Showers – Go well with iced tea, pasta salads and finger foods
Evening Showers - Go well dinner and wine
*We planned 1 – 4 and served the following:
Mac n cheese
Italian pasta salad
Baked buttered Hawaiian rolls
Of course - Cake
Pink elephant Rice Krispy treats
Circus peanut candy
Nutter butter cookies decorated
Circus animal cracker trail mix (animal crackers, pop corn, marshmellows, m+ms)
3. Decorations- Make everything pretty!
Thing to consider:
Plates/cups/plasticware - color or theme oriented
Table coverings - table cloths, wraps, runners
Balloons - balloon arch adds a great touch, and are easy to assemble.
Back drop- what will cover the walls? Photo area?
Center pieces - A great way to accent an area and "make it pretty"
I ordered the following items from Amazon for display/ decoration:
* Yes I ordered 2 balloon arches. I wasn't sure if 1 would be enough (it was).
*The baby boxes will stick around, my daughter wants to keep them for the baby's nursery. They are not super durable, but they are decorative and fun. Putting a few balloons in side gives depth and color.
* It's a Girl backdrop was huge, I needed to put it in a place other than I'd visualized because of it's size. Was glad it worked out how it did. We spent some time steaming it to work out the wrinkles of being packaged.
*Rose Gold metallic tinsel went under the balloon arch. I created a gift opening nook that set the stage.
*Table skirt was easy to use. It stuck right on the white table cloth with Velcro stickers and made the front table with all of the snacks festive.
4. Cake - Yuuuuuum Another big category! While local bakeries offer many styles and varieties what is important here is that the cake matches your theme and tastes amazing. The cake can pull your event together because it’s a gathering point. Typically when you cut the cake everyone is around the same table. When you order know about how many you are serving (estimate over rather than under) and what color scheme as well as any words you’d like written. This about your message. “Showering Jasmyn with love “ was our message.
We ordered from Publix. While the cake tasted delicious, they spelled my daughter's name wrong and also I'd ordered one half vanilla, one half chocolate and instead they did a top and bottom layer. Because I felt who ever made the order did not read the directions on the order form, I did go up and speak to a manager. They refunded me the cost of the cake after the fact.
5. Serving dishes/ platters - Think of this as how you display you’re featured items. It’s actually a lot of fun to set up a beautiful display. With the help of goodwill I have invested in some cake platters and even a cupcake tier that gives a bit of elevation to the table.
6. Raffle/ prize - every person who brings a pack of diapers is entered into a raffle. I wanted the winner to have something really cool so I decided to hand paint an elephant themed flower pot and stuff it with some goodies!
*We drew the winner at the end.
*Many forgot to bring the raffle coupons (I'd put them in the invitations)
*I had a pile and as we opened gifts I added the diaper bringer's names into the bowl.
*The prize was a hand painted elephant flower pot, filled with soap, luffa, and candle.
*I did another raffle to go with our elephant theme - estimate how many peanuts. Winner got the jar. This was a fun was to involve the guests and get a little more engagement with friends :-)
7. Book instead of a card - I see many people say sign a book to give rather than a card. Here is where you need to know your audience. If you’re crowd is not going to bring diapers, a book, and a gift, it may be best not to go this route at all. But it’s a beautiful plan to have people bring a book to begin your new babies library as we all know reading is the key difference in life. A love of reading is an amazing gift to give. We chose not to go that route as this was the first baby in the family and she really needed supplies and everything. Plus I have been collecting books for a library long before the grandbaby was on the way! Some of her friends still bought books. 📚
8. Games/ Prizes
Ahhhh the beloved baby shower games! No I did not want to do the baby shower clip game, and really I rolled my eyes at the thought of shower games... but it's part of the fun. Here is what we chose to do.
~ Who knows mommy best? Before the shower, my daughter recorded all of her answers. Each person filled out the paper, we read this out loud and the person with the most correct answers won the prize - a hand painted elephant pot with spa soap and tea light.
~ Nursery Rhyme fill in the blank: This we read aloud too, people corrected their own.
~ What's in your phone? Get points for having different things and the person with the most points wins!!
~ How round is her belly? Each person cut the string to match her belly size. Then the preggo mamma walks around and each person measures. I gave 2 prizes to the winners who were closest, they were right on!
Prizes.... I wanted to give people something that would remind them of the special day, and wanted to find something elephant related. Then I decided to paint these pots to pack with some goodies.
These are what the prizes looked like - hand painted terracotta pots stuffed with love.
Something unique. Because I paint pots I thought this was a great personalization.
I also sell organic natural soaps so I added a sample of those in each gift pot, along with a candle.
This is how I made it feel more authentic to us. I'd never painted elephants on pots before, and enjoyed making each one a little different. I think anyone can do this.
Links below for these games:
9. Favors - Goodie bags with a variety of candy and nuts for each guest to take as they leave the party.
We bought the silk draw string bags from the craft section in Walmart and grabbed some things to fill in each.
The basket is empty because they were all claimed!
I know not everyone likes candy, not everyone likes nuts - so the variety gave our guests options.
Schedule of events:
1:00 as guests arrive, mingle, eat, have fun!
*for us a lot of guests were coming late.
2:30 - start games, give prizes
3:00 - Gifts
3:30 - Cake
3:50 - Raffles
Our event stretched until about 5:00, with many close friends staying later.
Everyone who came was considerate and celebrating with love.
** The day before the party:
Double check all of your ingredients/ last minute shopping or items
Premake anything you can
Build your balloon arch
All decorating and set up done
Balloon arch 101 - read directions. Blow up a good selection of balloons and start your arch in the middle of the strip. Build down on both sides in similar pattern. Decide where to hang. Don't hang until you are done building as movement will cause balloons to pop or fall. When done, attach with some fishing string and tacks.
The Day of the Party:
Cook/ Prepare items on menu
Add ice to drink coolers
Helium balloons filled
Pick up cake
Get pretty! Ready, Set, GO!
The little things:
I painted a few mason jars I had hanging around to match the theme. I got some flowers to match from dollar tree and made some table settings.
Lollipops in vases, also purchased from dollar tree! (Lollipops found at Walmart)
Bucket for peanuts, yup you guessed it - Dollar Tree! I painted it and since I'd already painted the pots the elephant shape got easier to do each time.
Plate set from Amazon, came with straws purchased here I like this one because it serves 32.
Our event was a success!
Joy and happiness for all especially the mamma and daddy to be!
Congrats to Jasmyn & Patrick
The best part for me was seeing my daughter so happy, and beautiful. Pregnancy can feel so exhausting and this day gave something to look forward to and an opportunity for all to gather and shower love. My daughter was very appreciative and has thanked me over and over for setting up and making everything beautiful.
Directions for painting pots:
1st - white wash pots with some white base paint to make the terracotta more porous. I added a little water to some white house paint, and quickly brushed it on.
2nd - chose some elephant pictures. You can actually use a piece of carbon to copy your selected design if you like, or eye ball it a
nd free draw the picture on.
3. Paint. Use your color scene.
4. Semi Gloss for additional protection, and a glossy finish.
Party Planning Tips:
As with any party, the people make it special.
Who you invite will be able to set the tone for your occasion.
Start your vision early. For me, I'd say "where am I going to put this?" and work through it.
You tube is your friend. There is a video for everything, from making food to building the balloon arch.
Only 3 people actually rsvp'd but about 30 people came. This makes it tricky, but I figured if worse came to worse (no one showed up) we would eat well and have a small gathering and enjoy ourselves. Mindset is everything!!
An old saying: Hope for the best but plan for the worst is a helpful perspective. Once the people come you can not control everything and everyone. You set the tone and stay positive and keep the schedule of events going - you may need to be flexible.
*At one point, about 4 of the friends who came together were about to leave and I said "oh please wait we are cutting the cake now". They waited. I hate to have a lot of left over cake. Everyone sharing that cake made me happy.