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Who, What and Where

Step #1 of the 8-Step Planning Guide

By Sirena Van Schaik

Okay, so maybe we don’t need to explain the What to you, but we still need to look at the Who, and the Where.  It might seem that the Who encompasses the guests or even the expectant mother but before you start planning a baby shower, one really needs to determine who will be hosting it.

When it comes to the Who, there really is no wrong answer (unless you decide that the Who really is the band).  A baby shower can be hosted by a close family member like a mother, sister or close cousin, a close friend, a co-worker or in some cases the expecting father or grandfather.  Anyone interested in celebrating the new journey that an expecting mother is embarking upon can plan a shower, but make sure that before deciding on the who, everyone agrees and no one feels outclassed or left out.  This is a happy time and starting a party on the right foot is the best way to keep the event brimming with joy.  If you can’t decide on a Who, it’s time to figure out if you should be joining forces and co-hosting a party.  If you go with the latter, we strongly recommend reading The Art of Sharing: The Etiquette Surrounding a Co-Hosted Baby Shower.  An alternative to co-hosting a baby shower is to have several small luncheons for the mother-to-be that are hosted individually.  Things like brunch with the in-laws, tea with mom, and dinner with friends isn’t always the easiest but if you have too many chefs making the same meal, then it is time to order a few more things from the menu.

Hopefully, though, you can determine the Who and move on to the next step of figuring out the What.  I know, I know.  We already said we didn’t need to explain the What (It’s a Baby Shower, right?) but there are a few points that need to be reviewed.

First up on the list is determining what type of baby shower it is, and no we aren’t talking about theme, at least not yet.  Will it be a strictly girl’s event only or will it be a couple’s baby shower where everyone is invited?  What time of day will you be having the shower?  Will it be in the evening or in the morning?  Surprisingly, the time that you plan the event will depend on the type of baby shower that you will be hosting.  You are not going to be having an exciting but noisy party in the middle of the morning since many people just don’t have the nerves for that, but you may tone it down a bit and have a refined brunch with scones and tea.  Even though we are touching on a few points here, we will be looking at the What in other sections of our 8 step guide.

Lastly, the Where is a major point that can’t be left until the last minute.  Let’s face it, you need the where on the invitations and if you visit our timeline page, you will see that invitations should be sent out roughly 6 weeks before the actual party.  That means that all the venue decisions will need to be made at about 8 weeks before the baby shower at the very latest.

Having a shower at a home is a very traditional way of hosting a baby shower.  There is nothing to not like about it since people can relax and just be themselves in a comfy atmosphere.  Hosting a baby shower in your home has many advantages including the ability to easily take it from inside to out, or vice versa if the weather is not cooperating, and you have the privacy that you would not usually have in a restaurant.  There are some downsides as well such as decorating and clean up, which you will have to do yourself.  If you have no problems with doing not only the planning but also the set up and take down, then I would recommend a home baby shower.

Don’t feel that you have to keep it at home though.  Baby showers can be thrown at garden clubs, dining halls and even restaurants - really the sky is the limit when it comes to location, and it only needs to accommodate a handful of excited women and one very pregnant mom.  Many businesses are starting to offer packages to large groups, and they can be comparable in cost to what you would spend hosting the party at home (remember you don’t have to do the clean up!).  A downside to hosting a party at a restaurant is the lack of privacy and the inability to have games.  Many people feel self-conscious in a public setting and even if they could begin enjoying the games, it is very difficult to play any while sitting around a table.  If you do have a baby shower at a restaurant, don’t feel that it needs to be gameless since you can play many quiet games with a paper and pen such as Baby Tic Tac Toe.

If you have a large guest list, then renting a dining hall may be the best option.  Dining halls will offer you the privacy that you are looking for and give you the room to play some truly wonderful games, but like all the other venues there are some downsides.  Dining halls are not known for their comfortable furniture and depending on where you rent, you may have to decorate and cater the food yourself.

Now that we have looked at the Who, What and Where, it is time to start figuring out all the little things.

Go to Step #2 of the 8-Step Planning Guide >>





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