Hostess with the "Mostest"
Hosting a baby shower doesn’t have to be a lot of work, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It should, however, be fun to plan. As with any job, the same results can be achieved with many different tools. You may find that a binder or BlackBerry suits your needs, or perhaps Post-its on your refrigerator work best. Those idiosyncrasies will define your record-keeping style and may also define the style of the shower. Use what works for you to your advantage. Don’t fight it, celebrate it!
Entertaining is the marriage of your party vision with the needs of your guests. Before you begin organizing and selecting the details, stop for a moment and create a mental picture of the shower in your head. Is it a confection of gossamer-clad women with parasols at high tea on the veranda, high-heeled fashionistas sipping nonalcoholic Appletinis at a trendy restaurant, or dear old Grandma and all the cousins reminiscing on Aunt Betty’s patio? There is no wrong answer—all of theses showers can be successful and fun. But you need to have an idea to shoot for, so think, think, think.
Three “Ds” of Decision Making
There are three things you should keep in mind when planning any party:
Demographics of guest group. The demographics of the guest group or groups (coworkers, relatives, age group, gender mix) will help you narrow down the venue location and size, as well as the time of day and possibly the degree of formality.
Degree of formality. For baby showers, this ranges from jeans at a barbeque to high tea at the Ritz. It is highly unusual to have a formal, black-tie baby shower. This factor may also be influenced by the location. A shower at work might be business casual, whereas a shower in your backyard might be jeans casual.
Day of week/Time of day/Time of year. Most baby showers are held in the last trimester, generally about six to eight weeks before the baby’s due date. This factor obviously will determine any seasonal influence on your event, such as having it indoors or outside, using specific colors, and so on.
If you are inviting work friends and social friends, you may choose an after-work or weekend time. If it’s other young mothers, morning coffee with toddlers may be more appropriate. These time factors will influence several decisions, such as guest list and menu.
These three “Ds” can be assessed in a matter of minutes, but they are the cornerstones for the balance of the detail decisions. They should be part of the initial discussion when you are cohosting a shower with another person or with a group.