How To Plan A Baby Or Bridal Shower

Learn how to plan a perfect baby or bridal shower. When friends get married or become pregnant, part of the fun is planning a surprise shower for them.

Perhaps you're a maid of honor or bridesmaid. Or maybe you're a sister, in-law, mother, or just a close friend that wants to plan a fun surprise shower for someone you know. Bridal and baby showers have fast become part of the preparation process in becoming a wife or mother. But planning a picture-perfect shower filled with memories isn't as easy as hosting a basic evening get-together. You need to prepare and you want even want to inlist the help of other close friends and relatives.

The guest list

Every party needs a guest list. And creating one for a shower can be tricky. Perhaps you don't know everyone that should be included. How can you find out contact information? It's best to ask for assistance. If you're a bridesmaid, ask the bride's mother and future mother-in-law to create their own list of attendees - you create one that includes your mutual friends. If you're a friend planning a baby shower, ask the mom-to-be's husband for assistance. Try to pick invitations that are fitting for the event and possibly capture the guest-of-honor's personal taste, not just your own. If it's a bridal shower you're planning, think about using invitations that state "Fiancee of:" in order to assist the groom's family/friends with recognition if they don't know the bride yet personally.

The food

Traditionally, most showers have either a meal or hor 'dourves followed by a sheet cake and other finger-food desserts. Don't take on too much yourself - inlist the aid of other wedding party members for financial assistance or ask family members to contribute a small food item. You may choose to investigate caterers to create a meal (a baby shower might have a baby-themed meal: baby carrots, baby potatoes, etc). Sheet cakes can be decorated in numerous ways so be sure to ask for options when you choose your baker.

During the shower

Some may say that "party games" seem corny, but in truth, they can assist in getting everyone talking and allowing people to get to know one another. They also provide an activity that keeps everyone occupied between arrival, mealtime, and gift-opening. The Internet is a good source of games for showers; books are also available at many stores. Or, you can make up your own. For bridal showers, popular games include wedding bingo, where bingo cards are handed out to each guest - the cards have squares containing gift ideas in them and as the bride receives those gifts, the box is marked off. First person to get bingo gets a small prize, such as a box of candy or a plant. You can also do trivia - bridal trivia to see who knows the bride best by asking questions about her that the guests have to guess the answers to - or general trivia from the era the bride and groom grew up in. At baby showers, popular games again include baby bingo - but the cards contain popular baby gift items; baby's piggy bank where any woman found sitting with her legs crossed (a now uncomfortable position for the mom-to-be) must place a quarter in the bank; the toilet-paper game - a roll of toilet paper is passed around and each guest is supposed to take the amount they would "use." When everyone has their paper, the mom-to-be's stomach is measured using the remaining roll. Guest who took the closest amount wins. Another popular game is played using diaper pins. Each guest gets to wear a pin and no one is supposed to use the word "baby." Anytime a guest catches another guest using that word, she may take the pin. Person with the most pins at the end of the shower wins.

While opening gifts

It will be important for a designated person to keep a list of the received gifts. This can be done in a notebook or, commonly, each gift item is written on the back of the gift-giver's card. These cards also become a nice scrapbook type memory. While gifts are being opened, another option is to pass around a journal type book and allow each guest to write a brief note to the bride or mom-to-be. Guests can offer advice or give well-wishes. This makes a wonderful scrapbook of the day.

And don't forget to send each guest home with a favor - a small gift item such as a candle, picture frame, plant, floral arrangement, candy, or handmade craft item as a token of thanks for their attendance and support!

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