Hosting a shower for a friend sounds like such a fun idea…at first. You’ve seen the cute ideas all over Pinterest, and you can’t wait to shower your friend with love!
Then reality sets in. How are you going to pay for a cascading floral arrangement or an over-the-top photobooth backdrop? How do you even start tackling the ever-growing to-do list?
In the last couple of years, I’ve helped host over ten bridal and baby showers. The team of ladies who I usually team up with to bring these events to life have “shower-throwing” down to an exact science. And because I remember how stressful those first few showers were, here are a few tips we’ve gathered to help you throw a memorable shower!
1. Gather a team
Don’t go it alone! Call on a few friends who want to help out. Gather ideas and opinions, but don’t be afraid to make decisions or to step aside and let someone else make decisions. Often times people want to help, but just don’t know how or what to do. Allow people the joy of helping by delegating out the to-do list.
2. Write the to-do list down and put it into sections
Breaking it all down into sections will help your shower team get things done effectively. It also prevents you from getting to the day of the party and realizing a key part has been forgotten (been there, done that). Don’t overlook the part about writing it down. This can even be as simple as a group text message.
I don’t know what it is about fresh flowers, but they always make a huge impact. If you’re blessed with a big budget, save brain power and time and hire a local florist. If you are needing to save money, head to Trader Joe’s. You’ll find beautiful blooms there for the most reasonable prices. If you’re not feeling very creative, stick with just one or two types of flowers or greenery.
4. Give Thoughtfully
Include where the honoree is registered on the invitations (whether that be paper, email or even text invites). I highly suggest doing a diaper raffle for baby showers. Tell guests they can be entered into a drawing for a great prize if they bring a pack of diapers or wipes. Don’t forget to actually provide that “great prize” though (a Target gift card perhaps). For brides, you could do a date-night raffle where guests can bring a small gift card to a favorite restaurant. Another gift to the bride or mother-to-be is to have guests write their name and address on the envelopes of a cute thank-you note set. This saves the honoree so much time afterward.
5. Double Purpose
If your venue is lacking in décor, try thinking outside the box. Do you have items around your house that would work? Or, buy a couple great signs that the bride or mother-to-be could repurpose for their house/nursery. Have all the hostesses sign the back of the sign with a meaningful message for an extra touch.
6. Command Hooks
Most likely you’ll be in a venue that doesn’t want extra holes in the walls from your signage and décor. Command Hooks will be your best friend here! If you haven’t given these things a try, do it!
In this time of social media, what’s a party without a photo booth? A “photo booth” can be as simple as a designated area with a few balloons or streamers to set it apart. Go a step further and create/display a hashtag for the event. This way, you can collect all the guests’ photos for the honoree.
8. Designate a Photographer
Have that endless budget? Awesome! Hire a photographer. Need to save money here? Look at your shower team and see who has photography experience or even just a good eye. Your bride or mother-to-be probably won’t even be thinking about saving this memory of her shower on camera at the time. Do that for her, then send her a link to all the digital photos afterward.
9. Don’t Stress Out About the Food
Guests typically don’t expect to get a full meal at a shower, so don’t worry yourself over supplying one. All you really need is something sweet and something to drink. Anything beyond that is a bonus!
There’s nothing more awkward than being hugely pregnant with 25 sets of eyes staring at you open a breast pump in a quiet room. Avoid this scenario by having music playing in the background. If no one on your shower team has a commercial-free streaming account, sign up for a free trial on Pandora. Our favorite shower stations there are Baby Lullaby Radio and Love Songs Radio.
Have you hosted a shower before? What did you find that worked well?