A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of co-hosting my best friend’s Baby Shower here in Melbourne. The shower was a very special occasion for my BFF and it was a chance for my co-host and I to repay her for the amazing showers she had thrown for the two of us.
When I started planning, I quickly discovered that there were a million different ways to celebrate a mum-to-be and finding the resources needed to get the event in motion was not going to be as easy or quick as I first thought.
Firstly, a host needs to be organised. Super-organised! You’ll need be get the ball rolling a few months prior to the baby’s due date. Secondly, where to start? What needs to get initiated immediately and where should we host the party?
The third, fourth, fifth, sixth… (and so on) questions all came streaming one after the other, so I have put our game plan into the below checklist to help you with planning the perfect baby shower.
Ten Weeks before
Who will host?
Well obviously it will be you… But will it just be you, or will you share the duties with a co-host? I hosted this baby shower with my bestie’s sister. She is a dynamo when it comes to being organised, so most of the event planning accolades for our shower are a credit to her.
Set a budget.
A question to keep in mind – are you paying for it all, or are others contributing? Setting a budget will help you maintain a balanced planning schedule and ensure you don’t go to over the top.
Where to have the shower?
Your home, a cafe, function space or outside at a park? If you need to book a venue, you’ll have to scout around and get it locked in early. We hosted our baby shower at the Westfield Doncaster Styling Suite.
Pick a date.
Consult with the mum-to-be to set the date. Obviously she is the guest of honour and it needs to work around her – be sure to keep it a month or two before the due date, so that there’s no chance of the baby beating the shower!
Set the guest list.
Ask the honouree to pull together a guest list. Or if the shower is a surprise, have a chat with her closest family members/friends for a list of people they think should be invited. Request their phone numbers and mailing addresses, as well as email addresses if you’ll be sending a save-the-date.
Six Weeks before
Choose a theme (if you’d like one).
Before you decide on a theme, be sure to ask yourself if the expecting mother would like one? It can be traditional (baby-related), a garden theme, a colour theme (such as pink or blue) or even just a beautiful modern setting like ours. We used flowers, pastel colours and rose gold to create the perfect atmosphere.
Send out invitations.
I organised the shower invites through the online stationery store, minted. With 1000’s of designs from independent designers, their templates come equiped with all the essential information including a map for directions and an RSVP deadline (of no later than a week before the date).
Your shopping list will most likely include decorations, tableware and bonbonniere (gifts given by hosts to their guests on special occasions).
I suggest you do as much of the leg work and research online (even shop online where you can) to keep your time-management intact.
Plan the menu.
A traditional baby shower usually caters for a brunch or afternoon tea scenario. These days, nearly everyone makes a feature of the sweets table and we certainly jumped on that bandwagon.
For our baby shower, we booked the services of Pinwheel & Co who served up the most amazing range of gourmet canapés and sandwiches, as well as some antipasto/cheese platters for the guests to graze on.
If you’ll be doing the cooking for your event, try to choose dishes that can be made a week ahead and frozen, or at the latest, prepare them the day before the baby shower.
A Month Before
Get your Blair Waldorf on and organise some minions.
For all the Gossip Girl fans out there like me, this one’s for you! I love how Blair trained her minions to obey her commands; doing anything from buying presents to help ruin an enemy’s reputation.
For the purpose of a baby shower, let’s keep things friendly (LOL) – all I’m suggesting is that you ask for some help when it comes to cooking, cleaning, serving, bartending or entertainment/music set up. After all, many hands make light work, as they say.
Order the cake.
Also, the flowers, rental chairs + tables, etc. Anything that needs to be booked in should be done asap.
Prepare some games.
I’m not big fan of those really ‘lame’ baby shower games. When you are pregnant and feeling rather uncomfortable, why would you want to do embarrassing things when you can’t even wash down the cringe with some wine? I suggest you keep any games on a personal level of appropriateness.
We had a hanging wall for ‘Messages of Love’ and one quick (PG) game to bring the group together and have some laughs.
Babies Against Parenthood (a free printable by Amanda Hearn) is a funny, multiplayer parody game of Cards Against Humanity. This version is perfect for baby showers and you can pick and choose which cards to include (pending on the level of fear you wish to evoke on the mum-to-be).
Don’t forget to stock up on whatever materials are needed to play your games, such as pencils, props, paper, prizes etc.
A Week Before
Follow up on RSVP stragglers.
Yes. There is always that group of people who fail to reply on time.
Give them a quick call to see if they can make it?
Put together the bonbonniere.
A bag of lollies? A take home macaron? Perhaps a personalised candle?
Whichever bonbonniere direction you decided to go, get them all finalised and in a box ready for the shower day.
Designate someone to drive the honree.
It’s a special occasion and she deserves some good company to kick-start the celebration. That, and she’ll need a hand to get gifts home while you (and your co-host and minions) pack up.
Assign a photographer.
Sounds extreme, but seriously – do it! You’ll want someone else to take the photos/videos so that all guests can enjoy the occasion without the worry of having to capture the happenings.
If the party is at your home, give it a thorough cleaning. It will make your life heaps easier come set-up time.
Shop and cook, or follow up on catering.
It’s time to get your cook on if you’re self-catering. Buy all the nonperishables, and prepare as much freezable food as possible.
If you’ve booked a caterer like us – give them a quick call to ensure everything is on track.
Three Days Before
Complete the shopping.
Run back through this checklist and ensure all is in order.
Buy all the remaining food products you need based on final RSVP numbers and ensure you have all the bits and pieces which will ensure the shower comes together to perfection.
The Day Before
Do a quick, last-minute clean.
After the big clean last week, give your house a once-over to help it sparkle.
If you can, start the shower set-up the day before. Arrange the furniture. Put out the bonbonniere and games.
Most importantly, check to ensure you have everything you need – it’s time to get your decorating on!
Day of the Baby Shower
Pick up the cake.
Also the balloons, flowers,and last minute items which need to stay ‘fresh’.
Have a notebook handy.
You’ll need to record all the beautiful gifts for the honree.
Enjoy the Party.
As a host, it’s important you celebrate the occasion with the mum-to-be and all the guests.
The above checklist all leads to this point, so put on your favourite dress and get ready to sip a champagne in the honour of another beautiful life which will soon be with us!
Happy Showering everyone x
Baby Shower Gift Ideas
Gift Ideas for the Mother-to-be