How To Host A Modern, Heartfelt Baby Shower
When my daughter, Meg and her husband, Adam joyfully announced to my husband and myself in January of this year that they were expecting, I immediately started a Pinterest board to plan a baby shower for them. This was the exciting news I was hoping for!
I have helped plan baby showers for our other four grandchildren; however, this was different for me in a number of ways. First of all, we now had four little ones "wanting to help", the shower would be at our home and Meg is our only girl! First things first, I recruited help: I have a wonderful daughter in law, Emily, who cheerfully agreed to help and reel me in if I got carried away. After reading this post, you'll soon see I did get carried away but Emily was right there with me making things perfect for her sister.
Secondly, I began a Pinterest board collaborating with Emily on all of our wonderful ideas. Here are some of the things we first decided:
Color and theme of shower. Meg likes more modern, less traditional things and since it would be held outside at our home in Colorado in August, we wanted the shower to reflect that vibe. I knew Meg liked pink; however, didn’t want a whole shower of pink and cutesy decorations. So we thought some different shades of pink, burgundy, sage would work well.
Meg and Adam wanted a co-ed baby shower so that Adam could join in on the fun.
Guest list - figure out how many invitations to be sent out and order those as soon as possible.
Pick a date - you want to have the shower at least 4-6 weeks before their due date. This way, they will have plenty of time to borrow or buy any necessities for their baby and there's less of a chance the mama-to-be will go into labor before the party.
Pick out invitations based on your color scheme. Our daughter's invitations were designed by Hollis Callas. She did a wonderful job designing them just as we envisioned and even made additional signage as inserts for the invitation as well as signs to be used throughout the shower: a welcome sign, Mom-osa Sign, Baby Sock game, etc. Be sure to have your guest of honor register on a baby registry. My daughter used babylist.com. Their guests will truly want to get them what they like and can use for their little one. Here is a list of Baby Registry Must Haves for 2022.
As far as decorations are concerned, I knew I wanted a beautiful backdrop for my daughter and her hubby to open their gifts. My son and husband built this wood backdrop for me (yes, they are pretty spectacular), which was 6' x 8' wide and I had a loveseat in my bedroom that was going to be the perfect seat for opening shower presents. To make it complete, I wanted my granddaughter's name behind them. I first spoke to my daughter and asked her how she felt about me using it at the shower (some moms like to keep it as a surprise until the baby's birth) and if they would like to use it in her nursery. If they didn’t, I wouldn't have purchased it as a decoration due to the cost. I found this one on Etsy and was so pleased on how it turned out. There are many font options as well as color options. We ordered it natural and then my son-in-law painted it one of the colors in her nursery.
Balloons make a party fun and festive and if you have not tried to make a balloon arch, which was on the backdrop, try it. It is super easy to do; however, I would recommend an electric balloon pump and some hands to help tie the balloons. The electric balloon pump made blowing up 102 balloons quick and easy. I had three of my sweet grandchildren blowing up the balloons with their Gigi and my two sons tie them so it definitely was a family effort. Emily arranged the balloons on the tape the next morning and my husband and her hung it up. Super, super cute and so affordable. I will never buy balloons from the store again. 102 balloons, tying tools, dot glue and tape strip for $15.99 from Amazon. They have so many color combinations to choose from and seriously the hardest part is to tie them but I had great help with that.
This beautiful peony and cherry blossom wreath was lovingly made by Lala Malana for the baby shower and the welcome signage again created by Hollis Callas.
For the grandparents to be, uncles, cousins, aunts and dad to be, I wanted something special for each one of them but because there were a lot to buy for, I wanted to keep it cute but not costly. Again, I found these personalized buttons on Etsy and there are many color options to choose from. For the mama-to-be, I ordered a classic wrist corsage from my local florist. I didn't want anything to take away from her beautiful baby bump.
Speaking of flowers, my daughter-in-law found that we could order bulk flowers from Costco. You can click here to see the flowers that are sold in bulk. This was exactly what we wanted and it was very reasonable. I pre-ordered the flowers to be delivered a couple of days prior to the shower and it was sent fed-ex to my home. A couple of nights before, we cut the flowers and arranged them in vases that I found on Amazon. The vase on the left can be found here and the one on the right, here. We placed these flowers on each of the tables, by the drink station, the cake and throughout my home. This floral order went a long way and it was a great price.
I rented tables and chairs from a local party shop. I found it to be the least expensive if you can pick up the table and chairs. Gas prices are outrageous these days and they charge accordingly for delivery. Because I went with white tablecloths, I added some color with sage and burgundy chiffon. I ordered this white tent off of the Home Depot website which was tons less expensive than renting a tent as well.
Games - as far as games are concerned, Emily did a great job with making them fun, but not traditional. She did a baby sock hunt where the guest who found the most socks, won a prize. So, we purchased 10 pairs of socks, in different sizes and placed them around the shower. It’s a win-win - the new bundle of joy gets socks and the winner received a prize as well.
The other game that was played was a baby trivia question. She researched some fun facts about babies; i.e., when do babies smile, when do they normally take their first step, etc. The guests seemed to really like that game as well and were so engaging.
Because we hosted the shower at 10:30 in the morning, I wanted to serve Mom-Osas. I found this tasty non-alcoholic champagne for the mama-to-be as well as other guests. I personally can't drink that early in the morning so it was for Gigi, too. Great taste and we added juice and fruit - it was perfect. We also served lemonade, water and ice tea.
To make it extra special, my daughter requested that we use the silver fountain that her grandparents used at their wedding in 1960, our wedding in 1982 and my first two granddaughter's baby shower in 2017. If you can, incorporate special dishes, glassware, fountains, etc. into the shower. No one sees the beauty or remembers generations past unless you use these family heirlooms.
What's a shower without a diaper cake? My granddaughter and I made this simple diaper cake and topped it off with a knit mermaid. I have bought knit animals for my other granddaughters from Bla Bla Kids; however, this one was made from Cuddle & Kind and it arrived quickly because I ordered it off of Amazon.
What I love about the Cuddle & Kind company for every hand-knit doll purchased, 10 meals are provided to children in need. What you also might consider if you receive a lot of gifts from out of towners, ask the guest of honor if she would like to open those separately so the opening of presents doesn't take too long. Everyone, of course, loves to see what the mama to be will receive for her new bundle, but it doesn't need to drag on for hours. My daughter and her husband opened gifts from people who couldn't make the shower later that day with the immediate families.
What to serve for food? Whether you decide to cater it or make it yourself, plan ahead. One word of advice: before using a caterer, no matter how nice they seem, get references. On the subject of food, we decided to have a beautiful shower cake made instead of making it ourselves. Emily is a wonderful pastry chef, but I didn't want her in the kitchen stressing about it while caring for two children of her own. We loved the simplicity, elegance and fresh florals of this cake. The baker put strawberry filling and lemon curd between the eight layers. I requested citrus because my daughter had been craving citrus. I would suggest checking in with the mama- to- be to see if she's really craving something in particular. It was absolutely delicious and so beautiful to look at.
Last, but not least, we wanted a take home gift that would go along with the theme of the shower "Baby in Bloom". So, I took terracotta pots and whitewashed them. It's super easy to do and to me softens the look of the terracotta pots and went with the vibe we wanted to create.
Here is a video on how to whitewash. Once they were all painted, I ordered succulents off of Amazon. Yes, you heard me right - Amazon delivers succulents and at a great price. I was amazed and very impressed with myself that I was able to keep the plants alive for 4 weeks prior to the baby shower.
No matter what kind of venue, what food is served and how much you spend on the shower, at the end of the day those things do not matter. The most important thing at the end of the day was that my daughter and son-in-law both felt all the love and support from friends and family near and far! I couldn't have asked for a better day for them! Thank you to all who showered them with so much love and beautiful gifts.
If you missed some of our blog posts on babies, check these out:
Affordable Baby Gear For Grandma's House That You'll Want and Love
Meg, I cannot wait to share this wonderful journey called motherhood with you. You will be an awesome role model for your sweet little girl, Thalia Pauline. I will be right there along side of you loving on sweet T as well as all her cousins, aunts, uncles and her other family members. Her Great Grandma Pauline is sure to be smiling down on her from heaven and bragging to all her angel friends about all of her great grandchildren!
I found this sweet poem and it just made me smile.
See you soon, Thalia!
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