Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest Post: How to Throw an Unforgettable Baby Shower

The arrival of a new life into the world is an event worthy of celebration, and a baby shower is such a celebration. A well planned baby shower celebrates the life about to arrive by treating the mom-to-be to a fun afternoon full of games, food and presents. Read below for some useful tips to employ when planning an unforgettable baby shower:

Location, Location, Location:

When you begin the planning process of a baby shower, the first step is choosing an ideal location. Of course, the choice of locations will greatly depend on the party budget and the size of the guest list.
Common locations for baby showers are family members or friends' homes, church fellowship halls, voting precincts, or office meeting rooms. If you want to think outside-the-box, consider a restaurant, spa or outdoor garden for the shower location.
Be sure to keep in mind how many people will be attending. You don't want to jam 30 people into someone's living room, yet you don't want more room than you need either or the party will seem poorly attended. Therefore, you must strike a fine balance, keeping in mind the amount of guests at all times.

Theme:

After choosing a location and finalizing the guest list, your next crucial step in planning a baby shower is selecting a theme. Of course, traditionally, baby showers are themed with either blue or pink colors and decor featuring diapers, pacifiers, baby bottles, storks or other animals such as giraffes. However, if you want to go outside the box, consider one of the following ideas:
Team Themed: This is perfect for the mom-to-be who is a big fan of a certain team. Utilize the team's colors and the school mascot.
Shower Themed: Use clouds, rain drops and umbrellas in the party d├ęcor. Paper clouds with rain drops hanging down or umbrellas for place mats are all ideas to use with this theme. It is perfect for a boy because you can use blue clouds and such. However, you can easily alter this for a girl by using pink for umbrellas.
Bird Themed: Bird everything is hot right now. You can do this in pink or blue, utilizing all types of birds including the popular owl.
Rustic Themed: Bark, leaves and nature, think cameo or western depending on the style preferences of the mom-to-be.
Rubber Duck Themed: This is a twist on the standard animal themes. You can use rubber ducks for place settings along with wash tubs. To make a great centerpiece, use clear plastic balls for fake "bubbles" in your tub along with a few rubber ducks.
White Themed: For a modern look, decorate using only white. White balloons, streamers, place settings, cake and everything. This is a clean minimalist look for the modern mom-to-be.
Bumblebee Themed: This super cute theme utilizing bees is a great shower idea when the gender of the baby is unknown. Decorate using yellow and black with "what will it bee" script written on various items.
Time Themed: This is also a great way to reveal the gender of the baby. Decorate using antique clocks and anything else related to time. On a framed photo, have the saying, "It's time. Boy or girl, which will it be? When the clock strikes 1:00, we all will see" printed to tie the theme to the baby's gender reveal.
Nautical Themed: This is a classic theme for decorating rooms, but it's not often used as decor for a baby shower. However, it is a great idea for outdoor parties or a baby shower welcoming a boy, thanks to its blue and yellow color scheme. Incorporate sail boat replicas, anchors galore and even sails or netting to complete the look.

Games:

The next step in ensuring a great baby shower experience is coming up with a few games or forms of entertainment for guests to participate in while attending the shower. Most of us know about the popular shower game that prohibits the utterance of the word "baby." If the word slips out, you lose your pin, and whoever keeps their pin and gathers a few more wins a prize. We also know about the ever-present shower game where guests attempt to guess the circumference of a mom-to-be's belly with yarn. However, the following ideas are some not-so-common ideas for party entertainment:
Guess the Baby Photo: In the invitation, ask guests to bring along a baby photo of themselves. Pass around the photos at some point during the party and have each guest try to guess which baby photo belongs to which guest. This is a simple ice-breaker type of game that wont take too long and isn't difficult to understand.
Guess that Song: Make a mixed CD of songs that include the word baby. Have guests guess who sings the song and its title. This CD can double as a party gift if you make enough copies for everyone to take one home. Be sure to label the CD with the mom-to-be's name and the date. You can utilize a label maker that will allow you to easily personalize these CDs.
Share the Wisdom: In many cases, women attending a baby shower will already have experience being a mom. Purchase a well-made book with blank pages and write on the top of each sheet, "What I wish I had known about motherhood." Pass the book around throughout the shower and ask the experienced moms to share their wisdom. At the end of the party, the mom-to-be will have a keepsake she will treasure for years to come.

Samantha Hunt works at eInvite, an online retailer of wedding invitations, stationery, bar and bat mitzvah invitations, save-the-dates, birthday party invitations, and other custom paper goods.

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