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Planning Considerations For Hosting A Baby Shower

Apr 13, 2008
If you will be hosting a baby shower you will need six to eight weeks to prepare. The best idea is to get everything possible done at least a week in advance and save the last week for "surprises" that come up. You will need to decide what the makeup of guests will be (coworkers, family, friends, couples, combination of the above?), and what the date and time of the event will be. You will also need to set a budget, decide whether the affair will be formal or informal, choose menu items, and choose a location.

Coming Up With a Vision

The very first thing to be done is to imagine what you want the party to look like. Will it be an outside affair that is catered, or perhaps a gathering of young mothers with toddlers at noon time? Perhaps it will take place at work or in a restaurant or tea house. Will it be a formal or informal affair? In any case having a vision of how you want the baby shower to turn out will be of the utmost importance and it will direct most of the other decisions to be made in the planning phase.

Who Will Be Invited to the Shower?

Once your vision has been cemented, you can decide in general what the makeup of guests will be. Is it co-workers at the office, friends and family (this could depend on the proximity of immediate family to the mom-to-be), or perhaps you are planning a party for couples in which case you should consider the needs of not only the women who will attend but the men as well. The guest list will follow rather directly from your vision.

Date and Time- Not Always Obvious

Hopefully the new mom being showered can give you several options for dates in her final trimester. As stated earlier, you'll need a fair amount of time to plan and prepare for the party. Weekends normally are best if you want maximum attendance or if out-of-town guests are expected. If you host a shower during the week, many working people won't be able to attend. If your choice of location is at a hotel or restaurant, you should book as far in advance as possible to be sure the venue is available. Like most party planning, this is really just a matter of common sense, but doing things as early as possible keeps the options open and will prevent disappointments.

Setting Your Budget

The best approach is to make a list of everything that will need to be paid for and estimate how much the outlay will be for each item. Certainly food and beverages are a major factor, and this often takes half or more of the budget. If you are purchasing room decorations or a large centerpiece like a diaper cake, this will also be a major budget consideration. Other items on your list should include invitations and postage, party favors, the cost of a gift, costs of catering if applicable, any prizes that might be given for winning party games, and any costs for things like music or entertainment, cleanup, or rental charges. Once this is all added up you can calculate a cost per guest. You should hold onto this work sheet and record the actual costs of the separate items on your list and compare that with costs you estimated. This recording and tracking phase will be the most important thing you can do to stay on budget.

The considerations for choosing a location can be rather elaborate, and that will be the subject of a separate article. For all these decisions it would be good to enlist some help from others, especially someone who has experience hosting baby showers.
About the Author
Walt Ballenberger is webmaster for Baby Shower Favors. To find great party favors and other resources for your baby shower visit Baby Shower Favors.
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