Checklist: How To Host the Perfect Baby Shower
So, the parents asked you to host their baby shower. Congratulations! While it’s a big honor, the occasion can also be stressful. After all, this day is building up a lot of expectations and excitement! You have to get it just right.
And with our straightforward guide, you will! So, set your worries about disappointing the parents-to-be aside for now. Anxiety will only stress you out more, not help you plan a better party. Without further ado, here is our checklist for hosting the perfect baby shower. We’ve organized the agenda by timeline to make your job a little easier.
Two Months Out
- Set your time, date, and budget.
- Select the location.
- Finalize the guest list.
- Decide on a catered or home-cooked menu.
- Select a theme or color scheme.
First, you must set the date, time, and budget. These details will inform whether you can splurge on an extra fancy cake or rent a tearoom on a particular day. Next, choose a location. If your home or backyard is large enough, you can host it at home. Alternatively, a restaurant, event space, or garden can make great location choices.
Sit down with the parents to determine who to add to the baby shower guest list. Getting a list of “absolutely must attend” and “would be nice if they attended” guests can help you finalize the guest list with respect to budget and location restrictions. Get phone numbers, addresses, and emails for each invitee.
If you are having the event catered, determine what restaurant you’ll be working with. If you are preparing the food yourself, consult with other guests and family members to delegate food items and determine who will be making what.
Finally, ask the parents if they have a theme or color scheme in mind. They may opt to do something based on the baby’s gender (i.e., “pretty in pink” for a baby girl), but many couples are opting to do something gender-neutral or related to their interests, such as a “woodland animals” or Lord of the Rings theme.
Six Weeks Out
- Order the invitations.
- Prep the invites for the mail.
Invitations are a great opportunity to let everyone know the event’s theme. Include all the relevant information: time, date, location, and dress code. Clarify whether you will serve food, and be sure to include a link for the baby registry!
Five Weeks Out
- Mail the invitations.
- Plan the menu.
- Order the cake.
- Design the decor.
- Plan the party games.
- Choose a photographer.
If you are having the food catered, plan the dishes and quantities that you will order. Place the order well in advance, and keep the budget in mind. If you’re preparing food, plan specific dishes and verify that everyone cooking is on the same page. Be sure to keep any food allergies in mind.
You will likely need to rent chairs, tables, and tableware to ensure you have enough seating for all your guests. Look into local rental options and have your guest count on hand.
Now that you have your theme, it’s time to start planning the decor. What will the space look like? Will you be ordering flowers? Do you need any table decor items? Planning all this will make things much easier. Feel free to search Pinterest for ideas, but keep your budget in mind, and don’t get carried away!
It’s a good idea to plan a couple of party games to play during the shower. Make a list of games you’ll play, which props you’ll need, and any winner prizes you’ll need. Run the games past the baby’s parents before you order anything.
If a professional photographer is within the budget, book them. If not, choose a friend or family member with some photo experience to take pictures during the event. It doesn’t have to be anything formal, but be sure they get at least some candid photos during the shower.
Three Weeks Out
- Order any flowers or balloons.
- Order decor items and party accessories.
- Package the party favors, if any.
Party favors are not essential, especially if you are on a tight budget. Many guests forget to bring them home anyway, so unless the parents are set on them, don’t feel bad about passing them up.
Two Weeks Out
- Confirm your venue reservation (if hosting at a restaurant or other location).
- Get your utensils and serving dishes together.
- If catering—confirm your order.
- If cooking—prepare your shopping list.
- Make a playlist.
There are few things worse than being unable to track down that one specific serving dish you had your heart set on the morning of the party. Pull all your special dishware from your highest cabinets now so that you know exactly where they are the morning of the shower. This also gives you time to replace anything that has gone missing.
Background music can work wonders when it comes to creating a party atmosphere. Put together a playlist perfect for the shower. This way, you won’t need to worry about flipping radio stations or skipping undesired songs during the party.
One Week Out
- Confirm the final headcount.
- Reconfirm with anyone else preparing food.
Now is the time to call anyone who hasn’t RSVPed yet. If you can’t get ahold of them, or they won’t give you a solid answer, mark them down as a “no.” It usually isn’t worth the stress.
Two Days Out
- Buy perishable items.
- Prepare dishes you can make in advance.
- Set up the tables and chairs.
Go ahead and buy any perishable items, such as fruit or ice. If you have space, set up the tables and other furniture in advance so that you have less to do the day of. Be sure to pick out the comfiest chair for the pregnant parent!
One Day Out
- Finish preparing the food.
- Pick up the cake, flowers, and catered foods.
- Clean the guest bathroom.
- Designate a space for baby gifts.
The Day of the Shower
- Pick up balloons.
- Chill any necessary refreshments.
- Set out the food.
- Have fun!
With this essential checklist, you can easily plan the perfect baby shower. If you’re looking for unique personalized baby boy gifts or baby girl gifts to give to the growing family, look no further than Bunnies by the Bay! We have all the cutest personalized items that the new parents and little one will love.