Just yesterday I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower for one of my best friends who is due in December! Another friend and I were excited and have been working on this event for weeks. The three of us (and our husbands) are part of a larger group of friends who have been best friends since our time at college (we are just the one’s still living locally in the area together). The pregnant friend is the one who recently moved back around March surprising us during Spring Break. Through this group we’d celebrated many bridal/bachelorette showers together, but only with our group of 5-6 so really, previously, we were just hanging out in a bridal theme fashion. This time we were responsible for throwing an awesome party for moms, aunts, and friends we didn’t know as well!
*Cue intense party planning* The party planning itself was really fun, thinking through tons of fun games to do, and developing a theme. My cohost and I think and approach things very differently which was a little difficult at first, but definitely made for planning the best party.
Our theme was “cute as a button” and this decorated the invitations, which were then lined with ribbon by my co-host and partner in party planning doom.
Games included: Taking Care of Your Baby (plastic egg game which lasted for the duration of the event, in which your baby could be adopted from you!), Guess Mom to Be’s Cravings, Give the Pacifier to the Baby (pin the tail on the donkey), Name the Baby Animal, and Gift Bingo.
Food included: Chicken salad and Ham sandwiches apple and caramel dip cups, vegetable and dip cups, cheese and crackers, and for dessert a very yummy chocolate cake Oreo cherry trifle!
To begin the party and help filter the guests as they arrived we developed these two “activity stations.” One of these was an Encouragement Station where guests would write the Guest of Honor a note which she could read over the next few months and once her baby was born. The second station I was ridiculously proud of and excited for. I’d seen fun “photo booths” at weddings and bridal showers so we made this one baby themed! We bought baby things like bottles, bibs, books, and toys to use as props for the pictures. We planned to purchase things that we could then give to the Mommy. We even purchased ring pops to be used as pacifiers and used an apron and balloon combo to help people look like they had a pregnant belly.
That morning bought actually present for Mommy of Honor, because I’d neglected that in the party planning process and then headed over to lovely co-host’s apartment to set up for the party! Her husband was lovingly slaving away helping with final preparations like printing, preparing/cooking food, and rearranging their furniture. It came down to the wire and we were still setting up a few more things as the time came for the party to begin. We chugged away wondering where the guests were at 10 past 2pm. Then, all of a sudden all 7 of them arrived with our Mommy as they’d met first at her house.
Cohost and I were not expecting that but ran with it. My co-host finished up preparing the trifle as the cake had just come out of the oven, while I helped to introduce the guests to how the party would run and acted like a hostess. I announced that they could eat food, and use the activity stations, and described the plastic egg game. Afterwards, they still just sat around in the main party area, a few of them grabbed the apple and caramel dip cups, but NO ONE moved to use the activity stations. I sort of felt like panicking as my cohost was still in the kitchen and I started worrying if I was failing horribly. However, I controlled these thoughts and just let everyone mingle, since they were comfortable.
Once cohost was done with the trifle she had the bright idea of enlisting one of the other party guests our age to take pictures with us to help get things moving. Only a few of the guests participated in the picture taking goofiness, but you could tell that they all enjoyed watching. I donned the ginormous pregnant balloon apron belly to pose with my best friend, and she did several poses with her guests. Even though this activity station was used less than I imaged, it still helped IMMENSELY for opening the guests up to the party. It really loosened everyone up watching and laughing at the goofy ones, and they were enchanted by the Mommy’s amazing giggle.
We then launched into the official structured part of the party with all of the games. These went really well. I think everyone really enjoyed the Give the Baby the Pacifier game, I mean how can you not like tying a bandanna around your friends, turning them around, and watch as they stumble towards a poster and stick a pacifier on the baby’s arm? After a few more games we announced dessert and present opening time. The Bingo Present Game is a really great one to help take the attention of of the Mommy if that would make her uncomfortable, but may loose its pace. This happened for us when the first few presents had like 10 baby outfits in them! Such a generous person, but we did enjoy awwwing over the cute clothes!
After the end of the gifts we thanked the guests for coming, and said that they were welcome to hang out for a while longer as they wished or were able to. At that point many of them congregated around the food bar and dug into the sandwiches and dip cups. I guess it makes more sense that they’d be hungrier around 5pm instead of 2pm. Interestingly, people didn’t get the food and go back to the couches, instead they picked at the different finger food cups and stood around the food chatting away.
It was such a fun event! Even if some of the things didn’t go as planned it was a successful because our friend and her baby were celebrated and it seemed like everyone really enjoyed themselves. After we helped move her hoard of presents to her car we returned to the apartment. I knew that I should begin the clean up process, but all I wanted to do was just sit down for a second and maybe eat some more. I knew that I should hurry up so that way she could enjoy the rest of her day with her husband, but that was all I was capable for a moment.
As a current Counseling major and a former Psychology major we ended up just sitting, eating, and processing the event for an hour or so afterwards! This really helped me just to talk though I think mislaid expectations of some aspects. A lot of it was just due to unpredictable things, and the fact that since everyone arrived as a group they were more hesitant to do things individually, instead of just sitting and talking. We realized too that maybe people would have participated more in the activities if we would have brought the things to them. For example, I could have just brought the bibs and bottles and gotten pictures of people posing while sitting on the couch. By starting there I could have moved them over to the window area where there was much better lighting.
After vegging clean up was really simple. I’d really recommend putting the vegetables and fruit in a cute plastic cup on top of whatever dip you are providing for them, it makes clean up SOO much easier! Once clean up was done we decided that we needed to take some photo booth baby pictures! I’ve since decided that I’ll leave the party planning to the event coordinators, but my cohost and I feel pretty proud of ourselves.