When it comes to life's biggest events, you don't get much bigger than the birth of a baby. And so it follows that the shower leading up to this occasion should be appropriately meaningful. Happily, this does not require slaving over a fantastically elaborate spread. To truly honor these new beginnings (and elicit "oohs" and "aahs" from your guests), all you need is a little creative vision and a few personal touches!
Choose fun invitations
This is your guests first introduction to the theme of your baby shower - make it memorable! Make your baby shower invitation into a mock library slip for the mom-to-be's "Great Expectations". Write the party details on a vertical index card, stamp the book's (baby's) due date at the bottom, and mail the card in a coin envelope. Everything needed to make this invitation is sold at office supply stores. Check out our gallery below of a bunch of fun and cute invitations we love - hopefully they inspire you!
Decorations and set up
Long considered mere filler (and unwanted filler, at that!), baby's breath is strikingly lovely on it's own when gathered in a large, airy bunch. Sold at most florist shops, it's inexpensive and neutral enough to work in any setting. Drop a generous handful into a tall ceramic glass vase. Check out our gallery below for a fresh take on centerpieces for your baby shower!
If you don't have a dozen extra chairs lying around (or room to set them up), provide throw pills or ottomans for guests to sit on. And, if possible, limit the gift opening portion of the party to one hour or less. Any longer and all guests can start to get antsy.
Garnish a baby shower table with Champagne glasses, each filled with a perfect coupling of jelly-bean flavors (coconut with pineapple, lemon with lime and cherry with vanilla). Bonus: Is Mommy having specific sweet cravings? Use those candies or flavors instead of jelly-beans.
To give your shower a garden-party feel, buy small pots of thumb and slip a popsicle stick that identifies the herb (and, thanks to a play on words, announce the upcoming due-date). Bonus: These plans double a party favors. Visit our gallery below for other baby shower party favor ideas!
A successful shower game is easy to play, appeals to all ages, and does not overly embarrass the honoree. If you're throwing a baby shower, ask each guest to bring or send a photograph of themselves as an infant. String the pictures along a wall with a clothesline and pins, and have guests try to decipher one adorable face from the next. You can keep it casual and have guests point out their pictures as they walk down the line. Or, to make a true game out of it, number the clothespins and have guests write down guesses as to which pin is holding who's photo. Keep a master list and act as a judge. Added benefit: The clothesline doubles as a sweet decoration, and you can hang some of the cute shower loot - onesies, booties, bibs - on the line when the honoree is opening her gifts. Next week, we'll discuss more of our favorite baby shower games.
Stick the supplies the honoree will need under her chair so you won't have to part the sea of guests to fetch them in the middle of the party. Include scissors, large trash bags, a notebook and pen/pencil to record the gifts and gift givers, and sticky labels to help keep similar gifts straight.
Opening the presents is the easy part. Helping the honoree pack them back up (and doing it quickly and efficiently) is more challenging. Here are some tried and true methods to helping your honoree bring her gifts home:
•Group them: Arrange the gifts into labeled shopping bags or boxes according to type (baby clothes, tops, linens, kitchenware, etc.) When the honoree arrives home, she'll have an easier time unpacking the gifts.
•Carry them: When a shopping bag is stuffed with presents, it can be difficult to grasp both handles at once. Make it easier to carry the bag by fashioning a sturdy handle out of packing tape. Cut a 16-inch strip of tape and fold it in half lengthwise, adhesive sides in, so that it's still 16-inches long but half as wide (and not sticky to touch). Thread the strip through the bag's handles and tip the ends of the strip above the handle; seal them together with more tape. This loop is your new handle.
•Ship them: If the guest of honor lives in another town, have a supply of shipping boxes and labels on hand so the gifts can be sent directly from your house to hers. That way, she won't get stuck with excess baggage fees on her flight or a car too full of boxes to fit the people she's traveling with.
•Stuff them: Don't have an economy size carton of packing peanuts stashed in your garage? Then use the discarded wrapping and tissue paper from the opened presents to cushion fragile items before the guest of honor lugs from them. (Even if the breakables are nestled safely in individual boxes, stuff extra padding between boxes to safeguard against jostling.)
We hope you found these tips and tricks helpful! Do you have some go-to tips and tricks that you didn't see mentioned above? Share them with us on one of our social media sites!
Next week, we'll share some of our favorite baby shower games!
If you have an idea for a future blog post, send us an email or comment - we’d love to hear from you!
Bridal Shower Games
Hope everyone enjoyed the long holiday weekend! We spent our weekend with family, friends and loved ones going wine tasting and hosting BBQ's.
Since we're in the middle of wedding season, we thought this week we would focus on some of our favorite bridal shower games. Don't see your favorite game listed below? Share it with us in the comment section below or on one of our social media sites!
Let's get this party started...
Give each guest a blank bingo card when they arrive. Have the guests fill in the blank squares with wedding gifts they think the bride will receive that day. During gift opening, guests mark off their bingo cards as they are opened. The center swear is the free space. Give guests a small sheet of heart stickers or a pen to mark off the squares. The first guess with five in a row wins.
Wedding Catch Phrase
Guests will need to think quickly on their feet as they try to get through as many wedding words as possible before time runs out. The team with the most words at the end of two minutes wins.
What's in the Bag: Memory Game
Fill a purse with items that the bride might pack for her honeymoon (15 to 20 items). Make and print the "What's in the Bag" game cards for each guest. Have the hostess take out each item one at a time from the bag to show the guests. Once all items have been shown, quickly hand out a card and pen to each person and give them one minute to write down as many items as they remember. The guest with the most correct answers wins. Present the filled bag as a gift to the bride-to-be.
How old are you?
Assemble a dozen or so photographs of the bride, showing her at different ages. Mix them up so they're not in order. Give pencils and paper to everyone, pass the photos around or display them someplace where everyone can see, and have guests write down their guess as to how old the bride was in the picture (for example: "She has braces, so that must have been in Junior High."). A prize goes to the person who gets the most ages right.
Wedding Night Words
Here's a nice AND naughty game that'll take the bride and bridal shower guests by surprise! While the bride is opening her gifts, have a bridesmaid secretly write down everything that the bride-to-be says (make sure she doesn't notice). Once all the gifts have been opened, gather everyone tethered - with your best bedroom voice - read aloud the "ooh's" and "aah's" and exclamations ("Wow! That's tiny!") that the bride said - it's what the bride will be telling her groom on the wedding night!
This game is far from picture-perfect but that's half the fun! To get started, you'll need a large pad of paper or a dry erase board, markers, slips of paper and a bowl. Write down common wedding-related sayings on each slip of paper and place in the bowl. Here are some great examples: "going to the chapel", "wedded bliss" and "always a bridesmaid, never a bride". Then divide the guests into two teams. Each team - and team member - takes turns pulling a piece of paper from the bowl. The person who pulls must be the artist for that round. He or she draws the image (without writing words or letters) within a 60-second time limit. If the artist's team doesn't guess the correct answer the other team gets a shot. The team who guesses the most sayings correctly wins.
Toilet Paper Couture
What girl hasn't thought about designing her own wedding dress? This crazy bridal shower game gives your guests the chance to do so. To play, make sure you have plenty of toilet paper and a stop watch. You can either have guests play as teams or try to create their own wedding day ensemble. Set 15 minutes on the clock and let the madness begin! Once time is up, set up a catwalk and let the bride crown the winner.
Who said it?
Ask the bride and groom the same 15 questions. Repeat the question to the guests and have them hold up lips or a mustache depending on which lovebird they think said it! Guests with the most correctly answered questions wins a prize!
Next week, we'll be sharing some tips and tricks for baby showers and gender reveal parties!
We had so much fun picking out our favorite games this week! We hope you're inspired to try a few out at your bridal shower. Do you have a go-to game that wasn't featured here? Share it with us in the comment section below or on one of our social media sites:
Are you hosting a Bridal Shower for the firs time? Are you the guest of honor at a Bridal Shower and not sure what your role is? We get a lot of questions asking for advice on how to host Bridal Showers, for tips and tricks to pulling off the perfect Bridal Shower and even brides reaching out to us for advice on their role in the planning of the bridal shower and day of expectations.
We thought this week, we would share our personal do’s and don’ts for everything Bridal Shower related.
…Allow multiple people to throw a shower for you, if they want.
…Send paper invitations. This adds a classy, personal touch and gives a nod to the traditional.
…Set up an activity for guests. This allows everyone a chance to meet and mingle. In next week’s blog, we’ll share some of our favorite Bridal Shower games.
…Create a ribbon bouquet. We love this tradition! Ask a bridesmaid or another shower attendee to gather all of the ribbons from the gifts and create a bouquet for the bride to carry at the rehearsal.
…Thank everyone properly and promptly. Send handwritten notes to the attendees thanking them for their gifts and give a small gift to the hostess or hostesses. (Bonus tip: If you are hosting the Bridal Shower, a great gift to give the bride is a set of Thank You cards - in the color scheme or theme of the Bridal Shower - with pre-addressed and stamped envelopes. As a special touch, have a customized return address stamp made for the bride and groom that they can use for years to come!)
…Invite people who aren’t going to be invited to the wedding. There are only two exceptions to this rule: (1) if you are having an extremely small wedding (15-20 guests) and your guests know and understand this in advance and (2) if your co-workers are hosting a shower for you, not everyone you work with needs to be invited to the wedding.
…Host the shower yourself. This sends the message that you are asking for gifts. Usually, a bridesmaid, maid of honor or family member hosts the shower.
…Use the wedding decor as inspiration for the bridal shower. The bridal shower should have it’s own theme independent of the wedding.
…Expect guests who are invited to multiple showers to bring more than one gift. They only need to bring a gift to the first shower they attend.
…Include registry information on the actual shower invitation. A more appropriate way to communicate this information to your guests is to direct them to your wedding website or include registry information insert with the invitation.
Let us know what you think about these Do’s and Don’ts in the comment section below or on one of our social media pages.
Next week we’ll be sharing some of our favorite Bridal Shower games that are easy to set up and always memorable!
If you have an idea for a future blog post, send us an email or comment - we’d love to hear from you!