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There are four important steps you must take to lock in a baby shower. First, find a venue, then set a date, draw up your guest list – and send the invitations.
But before you rush to send out invitations, there are some important decisions to be made.
Who will host the baby shower? Will it be a traditional all-female party – or a unisex affair? How many guests will be invited? Will there be a theme? Are you planning to surprise the mum-to-be – or get her involved in the plans? Will the mother-to-be use a gift registry? Will you be arranging any baby shower games that need the guests to bring anything or dress in a certain way?
Ideally, baby shower invitations are sent between four and six weeks before the date of the baby shower. Most baby showers are held on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and they will commonly run for between two and four hours.
The best time to hold a baby shower is in the third trimester. The most common time for a baby to be born is between 37 and 42 weeks, so an ideal time for the party to be held is when the mother-to-be is between 28 and 36 weeks pregnant.
If you’re struggling to pay for a baby shower, or if the hosts are short on time and energy, there’s nothing wrong with asking guests to chip in to help cover costs or help organise the event.
Perhaps you can ask everyone to contribute a little bit; or you might try to spread the load among five or six of the mother-to-be’s close friends.
If you ask people to bring some food or drink, it will make the whole event run more smoothly by giving each guest a category and an expected quantity , for example ‘sandwiches for 12 people’ or ‘around 2 dozen cupcakes.’ The more information you give the guests, the less likely you are to end up with six cheesecakes and no sandwiches.
There’s nothing wrong with sending baby shower invitations by email – and if you’re on a tight budget, that’s a great way to cut costs. However, it’s exciting to get an invitation in the post, so many people who plan a baby shower will go the extra mile and send a printed invitation.
Visit the Huggies Photo Centre for ideas on incorporating photos on your invitations.
There are plenty of online greeting cards sites which supply printed baby shower invitations; or you can choose from a range of printed invitations from a card shop, or print your own.
As with most of the planning for the baby shower, another deciding factor about whether to email the baby shower invitations will be the sort of people on your guest list. If several older relatives are on the guest list, you might want to send them a personal handwritten invitation by post. But check first; plenty of grandmothers access their email daily.
Baby showers are usually hosted by a colleague, close friend or relative of the mother-to-be. Make sure that invitees see the name of the guest of honour (the mother-to-be) displayed prominently. It’s also important to let guests know the name of the host or hosts too, so that they feel more comfortable and welcomed.
Don’t forget to include the critical details: the date, start time, finish time and address of the baby shower. Before you send the invitations off, double-check the details. It’s surprisingly easy to get it wrong!
You should also include an RSVP section, where you let people know a date by which you expect responses and a contact name and phone number for the hosts.
If there is a theme for the baby shower, include details on the invitation. You might set a teddy bear theme, or a farmyard theme, or a pink theme. It’s also important to let guests know if the baby shower is a surprise (so that no-one lets the secret out inadvertently!)
Some baby showers are quite lavish affairs, with the mother-to-be placing a wish-list with a guest registry. Do make sure the correct information is supplied with the invitations if that’s the case.