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Entertaining 101Party Planning Basics Preparing Your Party Menu
Ambiance and DécorFlower Arranging Centerpieces Tablescapes
Etiquette AdviceInvitations and RSVPs Saying Thanks Table Setting Being a Good Guest
A baby shower is one of life's happiest celebrations. It welcomes the addition of a new life, offers support to the mother-to-be, and helps the family prepare for the new arrival. The comfort and happiness of the mother-to-be should always be kept in mind as you plan the shower.
First you'll need to decide whether this party will be a surprise. Involve her husband in the planning of the date and time, unless it will be a baby shower for couples, which has become more popular in recent years. You should plan the shower toward the end of the pregnancy, but not so close that the mother could go into labor prior to the shower.
Next, select your location for the party. It could be your home, a favorite restaurant, or a rented hall. Just make sure the location is large enough to handle your party, the presents, and the happy noises coming from your group.
Send your invitations four to six weeks before the shower. If it's to be a surprise, be very clear about that on the invitation. If the mother-to-be has registered for gifts, that shouldn't be written on the invitation, but you can let guests know where the registry is as they call to RSVP.
The party can be held at any time of the day, and take the form of a brunch, a tea party, a luncheon, or a barbecue. But remember to keep the mother-to-be's needs in mind. The party shouldn't start too early in the day or end too late in consideration of the mother's pregnancy fatigue.
Some showers include a "wishing well". This could be a bassinet or other useful item for the new baby that has been decorated festively and where all the guests can drop small gifts such as rattles, pacifiers, a box of baby wipes, etc. You can also make one out of a large box that you've decorated. A large plastic tub will help transport the gifts home, and be useful for storage in the future.
Aside from food and conversation, the central activity of the shower will be opening the gifts. Make sure you leave enough time in the schedule so that this doesn't get rushed. Someone should help the mother as she opens each gift, making sure the gift card stays attached.
Very often there will be games at the shower so that guests will feel comfortable as they socialize with other guests whom they may not know well. Whatever form the game takes, make sure it doesn't embarrass the mother, such as a "guess how much weight the mother has gained" game.
It's often customary to send guests home with a small party favor. There are many online companies who will create customized party favors for your event. If you're crafty, it's also fun to create your own party favors for the event.
Finally, remember to assign someone as photographer for the party so that the future parents can look back and remember this special day.
These recipes can get jump start your menu planning for baby showers held at different times of the day:
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An easy appetizer than can be made a few days ahead of time.
A delicious and fruity new take on muffins!
This pasta dish features a simple pan sauce of sautéed onion and bacon.