Let's Make It a PartyStep #5 of the 8-Step Planning Guide
Are you feeling a little worn out after sifting through guest lists, planning themes, and figuring out your budget. I know I am and I’m not even doing any of the work, but at least you can look forward to the next stage of planning a baby shower - the shopping!
That’s right, you need to start shopping now in order to take it from being a nicely planned out worksheet to an actual baby shower. This is the fun part when you get to rush out and chase down all the perfect items to make your theme a reality.
One of the very first things you will need to purchase are invitations. Generally, you want to order the invitations about 7 to 9 weeks before the actual date you have set. Don’t worry if you are a bit behind because there are many alternatives to the traditional invitation including e-invites and simply calling everyone on the telephone. If you are feeling extra industrious, make your own invitations by either printing them out or stamping them.
Invitations can be bought in a variety of styles and themes. You can have them custom printed or simply purchase blank ones from a retail store. If you can’t find the invitation that you are looking for, just go out and purchase party invitations for a kid’s birthday or blank cards with a picture that is close to your theme. We are celebrating children so no one is going to hold a kid invitation against you, and it might be perfect for the fun-loving theme you are creating. For more information about invitations, visit our baby shower invitations page.
Decorations - now those are the materials that really make a shower and you can’t really have a party without at least a few. You don’t need to stick with traditional decorations like balloons and streamers (although you can), but you should think of something that ties the baby shower space together.
When you choose your decorations, take into account the location that you are working with, whether it is a living room, an entire house, or a rental hall. Also look at whether you need to provide the decorations or, in the case of renting a venue or restaurant, if the place will be providing the decorations. Lastly, think about what effect you want. Do you want your baby shower space overflowing with happy colors and festivities or do you just want subtle accents that achieve a certain effect?
Once you have answered all the questions and know without a doubt what you need for implementation, it is time to start ordering and purchasing the materials. If you are ordering online, give yourself plenty of time for delivery (although most online stores are more than happy to ship a rush order out to you at the last minute), and if you are purchasing in your local shops, be realistic about the time you have available to spend driving from store to store and the gas cost involved with that.
If you have decided on a theme for the baby shower, try to find decorations that match it but I also suggest that you purchase a few that compliment the theme but aren’t theme based. Sometimes a theme can become overpowering and a nice break from the theme can give the eyes a rest. Things like adding a hint of green to a pink and white themed party or adding an unprinted balloon or accessory to a Winnie the Pooh theme can keep those themed items from overpowering your party space. For more information on decorating, visit our baby shower decorations page.
No baby shower, or party for that matter, is complete without games. This is what puts the fun and friendly competition into a party and keeps people from idling in corners. Games have been played at baby showers for decades, and there is no limit to the type of games you can play, whether you are sitting down and quietly filling out sheets or jumping up and down shouting out answers. There are hundreds of games to choose from. Depending on the length of each game, plan between 2 to 8 games even though you might not get to all of them depending on the flow of the party and how long it lasts. Sometimes there are many mini games running in the background while other games are more suitable as the center of the party's focus for everyone to do at once. Some games will only last a couple minutes while others may take up a large portion of the allocated game time. Play it by ear and have some backup games ready to go, and then you'll be prepared for either situation. See our baby shower games page for great ideas.
Games should be chosen before the shower since most of them will need some type of prep work like materials purchased or worksheets printed out. Doing the prep work before the shower will help in a number of ways: first, you won’t have as much stress the day of the shower; second, you won’t forget anything; and third, there won’t be any delays when you start playing the game. This keeps the shower moving along without a slow transition period between games, conversation and opening presents.
Now that you have the invitations and decorations purchased and the games planned, you have the beginnings of an excellent baby shower. The next step is to plan the menu - which we cover in the next section on planning the perfect menu.
Go to Step #6 of the 8-Step Planning Guide >>