Become A Successful Hostess With Baby Shower Planning
This baby shower planning guide has a wealth of information to help you plan a successful baby shower.
Do you want to be a successful hostess? Then plan on it!
Proper planning is essential to your success as a savvy hostess.
A simple plan in mind will alleviate and simplify most hosting issues that people run into.
So, take a moment to read through our guide and you will soon be raising a glass to your success!
I will go over important things to cover and think about, along with budgeting tips to save your bottom dollar. This guide is a little big for a "quick read" so you can download a copy to read when you have a moment.
Let's start with the two most important things you will need to keep you on track.
1. Know Your Budget Upfront
This is so-o very important! A predetermined budget will help you keep from over spending on unnecessary items. Start with a budget in mind before you meet with the mom to be. Ask yourself a few questions... How big of a baby shower am I planning to host? Around what number of people can I afford to feed? By answering these questions, you will have an idea of the kind of shower you want to host.
2. Stay cool, calm and collected for the big day by using an organized, detailed checklist.
Keep your mind, and your nerves, at ease with a proper checklist. Not sure of everything that goes into it? Don't worry; we've already taken care of it. After you read our planning guide, you can download our planning checklist to help you stay on top of all the "little" details.
Baby Shower Planning Subjects:
Meeting with the mom-to-be:
The best way to start your planning is to meet with the mom-to-be to discuss some of the details. I like to meet with her in person so I can see from her reactions any likes and dislikes she has on my ideas. Ask her if there are any other showers being held in her honor. This way, you can make sure to keep the guest list is separate from each other.
The Guest List:
Have the mom to be start this as soon as possible. You will need a list of names, addresses and current phone numbers. This way you will have everything you need to send out the invitations and make any last minute calls for your rsvp list.
Let her know of any requirements you have at this time, such as limitations of budget or space. You can also let her know of any special requests you have (like inviting men).
***If it is a surprise baby shower, call 2 to 3 people who know the mother-to-be well enough to know the people she would like to come. The 3 types of people to call are a family member, a good friend, and a co-worker she associates with. This way you are less likely to forget someone.
Your Baby Shower Budget:
Use your budget to your advantage by knowing your limits. You can host a beautiful baby shower without needing extravagant funds. Even if you have money to burn, money in itself does not make a good shower...YOU DO! By choosing to spend your money in appropriate places, and a little creativity, you cannot fail! ;)
Baby Shower Items To Budget For:
- Rentals-chairs, tables
- Location Reservations-(if it is not held at home)
- Games and Prizes
- Favors (if they are normal for your area)
- Tableware-napkins, plates, utensils
- Table centerpiece-(cake, diaper cake)
Decide how much you are willing to spend for the baby shower.
1. To get a good idea of the general costs, assign each item a dollar amount of what you are willing to spend.
2. Select the most important things to you and use the majority of your funds there.
3. Then as you plan you can always re-adjust your baby shower budget by saving a little here and there.
For instance, if you hold the shower at home, you will save significant funds that can be used for something fun, like a diaper cake. Or if you score a killer deal on tableware, you have a little more spending room for something else.
Your greatest baby shower expenses will generally consist of the:
- Rentals for chairs and tables
Baby Shower Theme:
A common theme can help you with your baby shower planning. Our baby shower themes section can give you lots of ideas to use. When selecting your theme, it is best to think of the mother to be and her tastes.
Is there a theme for the nursery? Is the baby's gender known? Does she have a favorite animal? You can use colors as your theme, stuffed animals like a teddy bear, a specific theme like Noah's ark for twins, or a princess theme for a little girl. Perhaps you stumble upon a cute invitation and your theme stems from there. Keep your eye open for creative and cute things for inspiration.
Time and Place:
As you sit down with the mother-to-be, open up a calendar and discuss the best options for the baby shower. Baby showers are usually held on the weekend. If it is during the week, it is normal to hold it in the evening to accommodate as many people as possible.
Pick the best date for both of you and then have 1 or 2 back up dates just in case something conflicts with the date. Perhaps you are not able to get the location reserved for that date, or you find out that there is conflicting event that your guests are pre-obligated to.
When thinking of a location for your baby shower; think about how many people you can comfortably accommodate in that space. If you have a large amount of people, reserving a community center, church or banquet hall might be the best solution for you. If budget is an issue, think about hosting it at home or outside if the weather cooperates.
If it is a work party, you might want to look at holding it after work or during the lunch hour to make it convenient. If there is not a close location to the office, you might want to hold it at a restaurant.
Selecting your invitations will be a lot easier once you have a theme in mind. This will be the first glimpse your guests have of the baby shower so it is important to make it a good one. There are many cute and affordable options for you to choose from when looking at invitations. You can make your own, which can add a special touch, buy it from a local party supply store or order it pre-printed online.
If you are making it yourself, make sure to take into account the paper, ink, other supplies and time it takes to put it together. Sometimes it is more cost effective and cheaper to buy it.
The kind of decorations you will need will depend on your location. Some locations (such as restaurants) have restrictions on what kinds of decorations you can use. Look at your location choice to decide what kinds of decorations are best. Sometimes less is better. You can put together a simple and elegant party room if you use existing items to your benefit.
Tableware can help add a finishing touch to your decorations. There are so many cute baby shower designs that can complement your other decorations. Napkins, plates and forks are the "hot" items at a baby shower that disappear the quickest.
I usually times my average number of guests by 3 for these items. If you only plan on one for each guest you might find yourself "empty handed". Of course, I just saved you from making that mistake! :-)
Your table centerpiece will be the focal point of the food table and the room. Typical centerpieces could be an edible cake, diaper cake, creative display of favors, flowers, edible tier, or a decoration that matches your theme. Design the other food items around it.
Use your creativity to pick the best item to use. These items can be hand crafted or ordered ahead of time. Your budget and the amount of free time you have will determine the best route. Hand crafted items can be very rewarding to display, but can also take a lot of your time to put together.
Activities and Games:
Games and Activities can create a fun and relaxing environment if they are used correctly. The mixture of people at a baby shower who do not know each other very well could lead to uncomfortable conversations and silence. Plan on an activity to use as guests arrive and 2-3 games to use during the shower.
You can use a mix of active and non-active games for your guests. Homemade baby shower games can take some time to put together, so make sure you set aside the time in your baby shower planning to do so. You can also buy printable games for your baby showers. Most printable games are quick and easy to use.
Double check to make sure you have all the supplies needed for your games, including paper and pencils if necessary. Also, go through the games before hand to make sure you are familiar with them enough to play them correctly.
There are so many fun and entertaining games and activities to use. Just cater the games and activities to the interests of your guests and you cannot go wrong. See our games section to see your options available.
Your food will generally be one of your greatest expenses for hosting the baby shower. Planning your party menu can be a little overwhelming, but we have some great recipes in our food section that might help. If you decide to use a restaurant or caterer, they will have selections provided for you to make the menu easier. Decide how much cooking you will do yourself and if you want to order some of your food.
***If you are worried about time, you can select items that can be made and frozen ahead of time.
Your Own Special Touches:
Ah...my favorite part of hosting. Adding that special touch can add excitement and wonder to your celebration. It is what makes all of the baby shower planning and hard work worth it. Diaper cakes are one of the most well-known creative elements that people use for baby showers. But there are so many other creative things you can do to make it your own.
Catching Those Special Moments:
One of the best gifts that you can give as hostess is to capture the special moments you have given her. Plan on having a camera available to take plenty of pictures. You can ask a guest to help out by taking pictures once the baby shower has started so you can stay focused on hosting the party.
If you are on a budget...here is some baby shower planning ideas that can help you to save money.
- Host the baby shower at your house instead of renting a location.
- Cut your expenses and/or duties in half by selecting a co-host to help you.
- Minimize your decorations.
- Elect to make the food items and cake by yourself.
- Keep It Simple. Simplify the shower, cutting out any unnecessary expense.
Keep on top of your baby shower planning with our hostess checklist. Review and download it here.
Have an etiquette question? Read our Survival Guide To Hostess Etiquette to brush up on etiquette rules.