I’m not always a rule follower; you might even say I intentionally go against the grain at times. My husband calls me hard headed, but he also says I’m ambitious and entrepreneurial… those attributes just might go hand in hand now that I think about it.
We live in a small town and although we have local friends, many others live one or two towns, even states away. A sprawling friend base means you’ve always got somewhere to stay on road trips, but it sure makes getting together with everyone difficult. When we started to think about a baby shower, the answer was quite simple – skip the traditional girlfriends and family girls routine, and throw a party. After all, a new baby isn’t just about the woman; a new baby is a celebration of new life and the addition that the little one will be to your entire friend and support base.
Over the next several posts, I’ve decided to detail the ins and outs of planning our own baby shower. Not that we have all the right answers, because we don’t; let’s face it most of us are making it up as we go. Hopefully the next several posts will give you some ideas should you or someone you know decide to plan your own baby shower and hopefully they will inspire or help our readers feel more comfortable going against the grain.
For us, step one was both the easiest and hardest step… set a date, time and book your location.
Set A Date What’s a party without people? That’s why this part is so difficult. If you’re super savvy you could always send out a doodle (www.doodle.com) and find out what works best for all of your potentially invitees. But let’s face it, the easiest way to get an idea of when people are available is to talk to them in person or on the phone. It’s nice to think about planning several months out, but let’s get real… I was 6 months pregnant when we started planning, have a full-time business to run, laundry to do, vacations to go on and food to cook – let’s not forget about extra chores that consume every other minute of the day. We started talking about the bigger details several months out, and we even got invitations in the mail 4 weeks prior to our date, but the real planning came about a week prior, right as we got back from vacation. So, a few phone calls, a few visits with friends and our date was set – July 16th was going to be the day. Seriously though, sooner is probably better. I don’t recommend planning all the details the week before the event! Looking back, I can’t believe we pulled it off with a week to plan decorations and food. If it weren’t for my husband and his genius kitchen skills, I’d be lost.
Time What time would you prefer to have the party? We chose 2:00pm in the afternoon but we made sure to express on our invitations that light appetizers would be provided that way people didn't show up with a full stomach from lunch! This time worked out perfect for us instead of an evening time (especially for the parents with kiddos).
Book Your Location This is nearly as big of a deal as setting the date. If you’re inviting lots of people, you want to have lots of space, but keep in mind you don’t want your space to feel empty and you don’t want your space to feel full. Just enough room to get around, but close enough so you still feel cozy. Sometimes a kitchen and dining room is plenty of room, other times you might want to book your local community event center. We ended up inviting somewhere in the ballpark of 100+ guests with a turnout of around 50; not a bad turnout. Thankfully, our loft-home is just big enough to cater to a group that size.
Until next time...