A baby shower is one of the most celebrated occasions next to weddings. Everyone is excited to welcome a new life into the world. Over time, these events have become more elaborate with larger-than-life decorations and more guests, as most showers are now co-ed. Here are 7 tips for hosting a fabulous baby shower.

Step 1: Make Your Guest List and Set a Budget

All of your family and friends are welcome to attend, right? Well, if you come from a large family or you have a huge friend circle, this may be overwhelming and expensive. If this is the case, trim your guest list by only inviting adults. Divide your budget into three parts: Venue, decorations, and food. Once you have the number of guests in mind, search for a venue that will accommodate your party.

Step 2: Choose Your Venue

If you are renting a facility, it is important to reserve well in advance to ensure you get your preferred date. Visit in person to get an idea of how you want the event to flow as well as how to decorate. Check to see that the facilities are working properly and if there is adequate parking for your guests.

If you are entertaining at home, ask your guests to carpool to reduce traffic in your neighborhood. If entertaining outdoors, set up shaded areas and treat the grounds for bugs. Plan to have a tent or alternative location in case of inclement weather.

Step 3: Decide on a Theme or Color Scheme

YouTube and Pinterest are great resources for inspiration. Once you have a theme in mind, all purchases should correspond with the theme. Now the tone is set for what guests should expect; this may even help them with their gift selection.

Delight at your baby shower with a location, decorations, and food that speak to your heart and turn up the excitement for your baby’s arrival!

Step 4: Select the Menu

Now your venue is set and décor confirmed, it’s time to decide if you will cater or enlist family and friends to prepare dishes. Select a variety of satisfying foods that showcase your theme, meet all your guests’ needs, and don’t break the bank.

Step 5: Delegate

You will need help planning a baby shower. The people closest to you often love to assist and should be given specific tasks. If you are making DIY decorations or assembling party favors, invite your helpers over for dessert while you all prepare. These mini parties are also lots of fun as you anticipate the big event.

Step 6: Make a Gift Registry

Your registry should be at your favorite store or a collection of stores online; be sure that gift cards are an option. Your choices should range in price so that gifts are affordable for everyone. Don’t be afraid to put more expensive items like cribs and furniture on your registry since some people will purchase group gifts.

Finally, please remember to send personalized handwritten thank you cards to each guest whether they bought a gift or not. Expressing appreciation over text or social media does not replace the simple gesture of a thank you card. Good manners are never outdated.

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Steph Storm is an event planner, interior decorator and digital artist.

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