The celebration of an upcoming addition
to a family has not always been cause for celebration. In fact,
it is a rather recent phenomenon, beginning after World War II,
when young families needed help purchasing all the items the new
baby would need. Today, over sixty years after the end of WWII,
the tradition of throwing a baby shower lives on, growing and changing
with the times and the creativity of the women (and men!) who organize
them. But no matter who is throwing the shower, or who the shower
is for, it is meant to be a celebration, and that means ensuring
that the setting of the event is as attractive as possible, and
keeping the guests entertained.
Before getting too far ahead, it is important for the host to sit
down with the mom-to-be and decide on some basic, vital things.
First is the budget. From there, the number of guests and the location
of the event. The next important decision is the “tone”
of the event – will it be elegant or informal? Will it have
a theme? The mom-to-be might let the host surprise her with the
choice of theme, though the overall feel – formal or casual
– should be determined beforehand.
If your shower is going to take place outside of a home, such as
a restaurant, private club, or other space, be sure to ask well
in advance what kind of decorations can and cannot be used –
and get this in writing. It’s also worthwhile to inquire if
the place has any of their own decorations that they would be willing
to lend or rent to you. Also, make sure you visit the designated
space beforehand, getting an idea of the distribution and dimension
of the space, where guests will enter and be seated, access to bathrooms,
The following are guidelines on what decorations you can include,
and where to place them. Keep in mind that a few items, carefully
chosen and placed, will go a long way toward brightening the festivities.
You don’t necessarily have to jam every available space with
decorations, as this is not only costly for you, but may also go
unnoticed by the guests.
First, make it as easy as possible for your guests to find the event.
If you are in a banquet room in a restaurant or other location,
be sure the host or maitre’d knows which event is yours and
can direct arrivals to it. Also consider (if allowed), placing an
arrowed sign in the library and balloons at the entry and above
the tables. If held at a home, attach a bundle of balloons to the
mailbox or a pretty sign depicting a stork.
In terms of the decorations, balloons have already been mentioned
and are, of course, a great way to make the space feel festive –
but do be careful of overusing them, as you don’t want your
guests bumping their heads into them at every turn. Helium balloons
should only be picked up on the day of the event, so they don’t
deflate. You can also consider streamers, banners, and crepe paper
as wall decoration.
When you decorate the tables, the most important thing is to make
sure the tableware is color-coordinated – thematic is great,
but not necessary. Besides the plates, cups, utensils, and napkins,
you can also choose a color-coordinated tablecloth, or go ahead
with your theme. The centerpieces can be elaborate and baby-centered
– or simply consist of arrangements of fresh flowers or candles.
Consider carefully if you want to use placecards at your event,
even if it is formal – friends and family seated at a distance
from the mom-to-be might feel hurt. It is probably better just to
set aside the “main table” – with seats for the
mom-to-be, the grandmothers, aunts, and yourself (as the host!),
and let the rest of the guests figure themselves out as they arrive.
Whatever baby shower decoration ideas you choose, just be sure to
start the decoration process a few hours ahead of the event, so
you have time to run out for any small item you might discover you
need. With just a bit of planning, and a dash of creativity, you
can throw a baby shower that will delight both the mom-to-be and