Depending on the culture you grew up in, your perspective of baby showers will vary. It may be:
(a) I don’t desire to have one at all.
(b) Members of a particular religious organization, family or friends plan and execute the event on your behalf.
(c) Co-workers surprise or plan a baby shower to celebrate your little one on the way.
(d) A mixture of a-d.
As a first-time mom, organizer and lover of events, I decided to take the road less traveled and plan my baby shower from beginning to end.
As I sat on the couch at my late grandmother’s house December 28, 2020, I downloaded the idea to search Pinterest to see what theme or even starting point for the shower I wanted. Although, my twin sister, Whitney, and best friend, Kayla, had volunteered to plan/assist I deemed it helpful to at minimum share my requests.
After a few scrolls on one of the world’s most visited sites, I came to a Royal Teddy Bear theme I instantly fell in love with. Here’s what sucked me in:
I was glued to my iPhone for the next few hours and below is a step-by-step guide to how I took a vision, built a team around it and experienced one of the most momentous moments of my life:
PLANNING: I created a shareable iPhone Note that included:
- the desired location of the event
- guest list
- baby registry link
- decoration ideas
- food menu
- digital invitation to send to guests
- photographer options
- shower favors and activities
It was important to me to stay in constant communication with my sister and friend about the progress we were making as time progressed. Note: I started planning 4 months in advance and it flew by.
COMMUNICATION: With the fluctuations of the United States Postal Service, I did not want to risk attendees not receiving their invitations or delayed arrivals. I used a free digital invitation website, Greetings Island, to create a beautiful link to send out and manage RSVPs for me. Invitations were texted to guests one month in advance. This gave attendees time to plan to come and find a babysitter as no children were allowed. It was the best decision! Simply texting flyers or posting on social media doesn’t give a clear count of who plans to show up or not.
FINANCIAL: I didn’t start with a firm budget in mind. However, as I assessed what I wanted I compared different vendors to each other. All of the associated costs for the baby shower were complied on a Google Sheet to track and keep a total of final costs. Categories included: Venue and Hired Help, Material Costs and Gifts for Guests. Sheets has an awesome feature that allows you to use a checkbox once an item is complete. This document can also be used in the future to refer other moms to local decorators, caterers and photographers.
ACTIVITIES: What’s a baby shower without games? I’m a competitor by nature so this was my favorite part of preparing. Because our guest list included men and women of a varied range, I wanted to choose games that were fun, engaging and relatable. The three winners were: Family Feud (baby shower edition), The Price is Right with baby items and a Prayer Tree for guests to write prayers for our son. Each activity was amazing and can be found on Etsy.com.
TEAM MEETINGS: For a smooth event, it’s best to have a planning session or two before the actual day. Because three of the people were traveling from another state, we used a Zoom call to discuss the baby shower day and desired outcomes. The night before, we all met for a final time to review the agenda and welcome the day with organization. I intentionally asked for help from people who were dependable, organized and had personalities to lead the activities. This is essential to remember because you don’t want to demand help from people in areas that may not be their strengths.
DAY OF THE EVENT: I checked in with the (1) caterer (2) decorator (3) pastry chef and (4) photographer to ensure each professional had what they needed and the correct location. Before I knew it, it was 1:30 pm and time to head to the hotel conference room. As I walked in, I was in awe of how every little detail came together.
WRAP UP: Pregnancy is a beautiful time of growth for you and your baby. Honor what you want and be willing to communicate those requests to others. Maintain healthy relationships with people in your life so when you need to call on them they don’t feel as if you only reach out when you’re asking for something. Enjoy your moments and envision big! You’ve grown and carried a child for the past 6-7 months so celebrate in a way that adds to your journey.
If I had to describe my experience in one word, it would be magical. I’m grateful for every soul who assisted, supported and showed up. It will forever be a proud mama moment I look forward to sharing with Cameron Jr. one day.