As the host/hostess of a baby shower, it’s critical to keep in mind the guest of honor’s style and preferences. After all, this is likely to be the last party before getting swept up in the world of new parenthood. With so many generic baby shower guides available, try to focus on creating customized elements. Jennifer Grove, president and creative director of Sky Blue Events in Maryland and New York City, shares five tips to create a memorable shower.
Sky Blue Events
801 Key Highway, Sutie 264
Baltimore, Md. 21230
Focus on the location
Baby showers are often hosted in a friend or family member’s home. A restaurant or country club can provide the space needed for a larger guest list and make menu planning and clean-up a breeze. Choose a destination with a comfortable atmosphere that makes guests feel welcome so the conversation flows freely and present-opening and sharing is easy to view and engage in. A midday venue rental with a special view like the Sky Lounge at Silo Point (1200 Steuart St.) is centrally located and convenient for travelers.
Develop a theme
From the invitations and decor to menus and favors, a theme ties everything together. A clear theme also makes planning and decision-making a breeze for the time-pressed hostess. Choose a concept that reflects the personality of the parents-to-be and do away with the cliche pink and blue. Do the parents have a sweet tooth? Shower them with an evening dessert party instead of a traditional luncheon. Are they passionate about reading? Invite each guest to bring a favorite baby book or fairy tale with a personal inscription to kick-start the baby library. The Children’s Book Store in Roland Park (737 Deepdene Road) offers the most comprehensive assortment of childhood favorites.
Remember that the gift opening is the main activity
The biggest activity at a baby shower obviously focuses on the opening and showcasing of the shower gifts. Extend the theme and custom elements all the way through to the guests’ gifts. If your parents-to-be appreciate a certain design aesthetic, ask all the guests to bring their baby gifts in the same color of wrapping paper and keep the style factor high. If the parents-to-be have elected not to register for traditional baby gifts because they already have a child in the family, invite guests to bring pampering at-home spa presents, gift certificates for babysitting or a favorite restaurant to be used in the future. If you’re hosting an outdoor barbecue, encourage guests to select outdoor play equipment, jogging strollers, outdoor playpens, baby swings, baby bike seats or riding toys off the parents’ registry list.
Remember that decor isn’t the star of the show
Baby showers typically span two to three hours, so decor doesn’t need to be over-the-top. What works best? Simple, elegant and personalized. Create custom table accents and centerpieces to add style, celebrate the parents-to-be and serve double-duty as party favors. For example, an alphabet block theme for a baby could have table centerpieces with blocks and personalized colorful beach pails with the alphabet with a candle inside as favors.
Consider hiring a photographer to capture the day
In order to truly make the shower memorable for the guests of honor, make sure to capture the spirit of the occasion by hiring a photographer. Don’t rely on a party guest to handle this responsibility; they were invited to help shower the parents-to-be with presents and joy, not work the event. People make the party, so whether you hire a professional or ask a local college student to volunteer their services, be confident knowing you have at least one photo of each guest and the candids that can make showers so much fun. The post-shower album can be shared online or printed into a keepsake album the parents-to-be will cherish for years to come.
Additionally, giving a memorable gift is a great way to enhance a shower. Enlist the work of a local artist to create a portrait of the parents-to-be (and family, including pets) to uniquely mark the occasion. Jolly Edition in Ellicott City does beautiful custom work at very reasonable prices.