"I don't think there are those many rules anymore," celebrity event planner Yifat Oren shares. So, don't feel constrained by traditional notions or even the showers that you have gone to in the past. But do consult with the expectant mom (or parents, in the case of a co-ed shower) so that you can throw an event that will be as fun for her to attend as it will be for you to plan.
This is one of my all-time favorite baby shower ideas and a great way to start baby's library. Ask guests to bring their favorite baby book—either from their childhood or one they love reading with their own baby. As the host, gift the guest of honor with beautiful bookends or bookcase. Voila! Insta-library! Carry the literary theme from invitations (include quotes from a favorite baby book) to favors (mini-board books) to food (Peter Rabbit's Carrots & Dip; Goodnight, Moon Pies; Counting [Hershey] Kisses, etc.).
Your guest of honor has probably already been bit by the "nesting" bug. Her shower is the perfect time to mirror this sweet maternal instinct. Welcome guests with a wishing tree where they can leave a note or words of advice for the mom-to-be. Create centerpieces from small nests (found at a craft store) with Jordan almond "eggs" or any pretty decor: marbles, flowers, even baby blocks! Decorate with twigs and branches and create garlands with paper birds and raffia. If your shower is early spring, you have some extra resources. With a little modification, Easter decorations—and candy—can work perfectly with this theme.
Long gone are the days of moms alone in the delivery room while dads handed out cigars in the waiting room. With expectant dads more involved in the pregnancy process, more couples are celebrating with a shower honoring both expectant parents. A co-ed baby shower also opens up the guest list. The expectant mom can invite her male friends, co-workers, and relatives without them feeling like the odd man out (pun intended). Just remember to steer away from ultra-girlie decorations, nix finger foods in favor of heartier fare, and rethink any games that might make the men feel out of place.
Sometimes, you just want your guests to be able to kick back, relax, and enjoy. If you're looking to create a comfortable atmosphere that's still stylish, take inspiration from celebrity event planner Yifat Oren's bohemian chic shower. "We used beautiful kilim rugs and seagrass ottomans," reveals Oren about the co-ed event. Helping set the shower's casually elegant mood, Oren added "floor cushions made out of batik fabrics in pretty pinks and corals." Garden roses and peonies finished the look. Replicate this shower's laid back atmosphere with comfortable seating and decorative patterns.
Soon, her camera will be filled with pictures of her newborn, but today she can focus on her friends and family.
Decorations: Ask the grandparents-to-be for baby pictures of the expectant mom. Make copies and enlargements and use these as decorations.
Activity: Collect baby photos of your guests before the party, and play a matching game during the shower.
Party Gift for the Mom-to-Be: Take an instant picture of each guest with the expectant mom during the party. Then paste each photo into an album, and have each guest write a personal note next to their picture. It's a great visual memory book of the day!
It is a shower. So why not decorate as if it might rain? After all, umbrellas (or parasols) make fantastic décor. Decorative paper parasols are available in a rainbow of colors. Hang them upside down, or right side up—like a flower—in a vase. On light blue 'sky' tablecloths, use cotton stuffing as fluffy "clouds" and clear crystal beads or marbles as "rain." Oh, and don't forget the cocktail umbrellas.
Long popular with second babies, adoptive families, and even the superstitious, an arrival shower is a wonderful alternative to the traditional celebration during pregnancy. Try the southern version of this party: the Sip & See, an open house party where friends stop by for a bite and a "sip" to meet and "see" the new baby. Pay homage to the Sip & See's southern roots by creating a Dixie-styled affair. "Sip" mint juleps (offer a virgin version if the new mom is breastfeeding) and sweet tea, and choose your favorite southern-style appetizers. And don't forget to wrap things up with red velvet cake. It might be a ubiquitous flavor now, but it originated in the south!
The new mom-to-be is probably not getting on a plane anytime in the near future, so why not bring the world to her? Set up different buffet tables for different cuisines. These can be as simple as baguette sandwiches for France and sushi platters for Japan. Decorate with international flags or travel posters. Go a step further and create invitations that are "boarding passes" or "itineraries" for A Trip Around the World. And then send your worldly guests off with small travel journals!
Some pregnant women daydream about sour foods, while others crave something salty. And then there are those that just think about ice cream, cupcakes, and … anything sweet! Hostess with the Mostess, Jennifer Sbranti, put together a delectable 'Vintage Sweet Shoppe' shower to indulge those sweet cravings. Her decorations—including "ice cream scoops" made from yarn-wrapped Styrofoam balls and "ice cream sodas" with carnation flower froth—are so mouth-watering, you'll wish they were edible! Customized cupcake toppers, napkin rings, favor tags, and signs add to the charm. Jenn graciously offers this theme's party printables (available in two different color schemes) so you can create your own shower shoppe!
Flowers can turn any party into a full-on event! And you don't need to order $100 centerpieces, you can play florist yourself. While seasonal availability will affect what you can use, monochromatic bunches of any kind of flower can make elegant centerpieces. Already have centerpieces but still want to incorporate floral flair? Choose flowers with flat heads (like gerbera daisies or sunflowers), cut off the stems off, and scatter them on your table tops. If live flowers are too expensive or risky (wilted flowers can put a damper on your festivities), paper flowers won't let you down. Place them on tables, hang them, or create garlands.