Your best friend just called you and told you the good news – she is pregnant! After you get over the initial shock and excitement, your next move is probably to begin planning a shower for her. There are many things to think about when planning a shower for someone – the guest list, decorations, games, refreshments – the list goes on and on.
Although most everyone loves a surprise party, you want to consider asking the mom-to-be’s opinion when planning her shower. There may be certain people she would like to invite and certain things she wants (such as a certain theme for the shower). Plus, at this point in her pregnancy, the mom-to-be may be freaking out about the baby’s impending birth, so another surprise might not be what she needs a the moment.
Find out a good date and time for the shower as well as where she would like to have it. The location of the shower may depend on the size of the guest list. If you are only inviting a few friends, you should volunteer to have it at your house if possible. Some people who have larger showers may need to find another location such as a church, a conference room at work, a restaurant (in a closed off area), or a country club. If you are having the shower during months with pretty weather, you might even consider having it outside, although you should always consider the comfort of the mom-to-be.
The guest list for a shower is very important. You want to include all the important people in your friend’s life. A great way to decide on the list is to ask your friend to meet you somewhere nice for a relaxing lunch and while there, you can go over the list. Or, maybe treat her to having a pedicure and you can talk about it while you have your nails done. Just be sure to have her bring her address book so you can get the addresses you need. You should let her decide whether it is going to be a girl’s only shower or a shower for everyone. If she would like the father-to-be there, he may be more comfortable with other men around, so consider inviting her brothers, father, stepfather, uncles and any other men she would like to have there. Since she probably has a lot of her mind, try and help her think of people she would like to invite from places such as work, high school, college, or church.
The mom-to-be may already be registered somewhere, but if not, try to encourage her to do so. She can register online at many places such as Wal-Mart and Target, so she doesn’t even have to leave home to do it. This will give the guests a good idea of what she needs and prevent her from getting three strollers. Be sure to include her registry information in the invitations for guests.
Once you get the guest list set, you will need to choose invitations. Again, these depend on the size of the shower. If you are only having a few people, you may want to purchase invitations at a local party store and hand address each envelope. However, if you are having a larger shower, you may want to order engraved invitations from somewhere that will do all the addressing for you. No matter what you decide, be sure to involve the mom-to-be in the process of choosing.
Once the invitations go out, you need to plan the actual shower. Again, consult the mom-to-be on this. Do you want to do a theme for the party decorations? If you know if it is going to be a boy or a girl, this is a great idea. If you don’t know what it is going to be, you can always go with a generic theme like Disney or Blues Clues. Some people like showers that include games and some do not, so you will need to ask her about this. You will also need to decide what type of food to serve. You may want to serve a full meal, appetizers or just cake and desserts. Again, take the mom-to-be into consideration. If she has been having awful heartburn, you may not want to serve spicy entrees. Also, some pregnant women develop gestational diabetes and may be on strict diets. And don’t forget drinks – do you want punch, soda, or tea?
Miscellaneous things to think about include keeping tabs on how many people plan to attend, photography (if you have a digital camera, this works great), assigning someone to write down gifts and names, and cleaning up afterwards. Don’t forget to figure out how the mom-to-be will get all her gifts home. If the father-to-be is there, he can load and unload stuff, but if not, you may want to assign someone to follow her home with the gifts or volunteer to bring them over later yourself.
There is a lot of planning to a baby shower, but in the end, your friend will enjoy it and love you for having one for her.