Your best friend is having a baby! Just think of all the cute onesies, blankets and bows (or bowties!) you’ll get to shop for over the next nine months. Oh, and as the resident best friend you can’t forget one important “to do” list item: plan the baby shower.
Don’t panic. It’ll be easy, trust us. Just follow these 31 essential steps to plan the perfect baby shower.
Opting for a virtual baby shower via Web Baby Shower rather than the traditional in-person shower? Good news! Much of this checklist will keep you equally organized when planning this your virtual shower celebration, too. But if your looking for a guide specifically for planning an online baby shower we’ve got you covered.
Week by Week – Baby Shower Checklist
Twelve Weeks Out
Your mama-to-be may feel like her due date is still eons away, but it will be here before you both know it. Now is a good time to determine the key logistics to keep in your back pocket for later.
1. Pick a Date
If anyone needs to be available for shower day it’s the guest of honor. Determine what date(s) work best for her, keeping in mind that baby showers are typically hosted around the 7-month mark, for more details on this check out when to have a baby shower.
2. Pick a Location
Discuss where the mama-to-be would like to have her shower – an event venue, restaurant or someone’s home? For your virtual shower, will you host it live via Skype or Facetime or over the course of a day or two as a Facebook event?
3. Brainstorm Themes
You probably already know her taste, but it’s worth discussing what themes your friend may (or may not) be open to at her shower. You can pick the winning theme a little later on.
4. Draft Initial Attendee List
Again, you probably have a near-perfect idea of who should be invited, but err on the side of caution and discuss the guest list with the mama-to-be.
Eight Weeks Out
5. Confirm Logistics, Again
You can blame pregnancy brain, but mama-to-be has a lot on her mind these days, and understandably so! Before you move forward, give her a quick call to re-confirm that the date and time still work.
If the shower is being hosted in someone’s home, re-confirm with the host that she is still on board.
If you are looking to host the shower at a public venue or restaurant, now’s the time to call and book! Make sure you have one or two venue back-ups in case your first choice is already reserved. It helps to have a general idea how long you are looking for the baby shower to last.
6. Finalize Guest List
Confirm any additions to the initial invite list as well as all mailing addresses.
7. Determine Budget
Your imagination will run wild on your wallet if you let it, so it is crucial to set a budget from the beginning. Determine what you want to spend and where you want to spend it, not to mention who pays for the baby shower.
8. Choose Theme
Pick the theme you think fits your mama-to-be best based on the list you two brainstormed early on. All of your décor, food and favor decisions will be influenced by the shower’s theme.
9. Determine Rental & Catering Needs
Will you need tables and chairs? What about linens and drapery? Your rental needs will be primarily based on venue and guest count. Will you have food catered or will you make it yourself? Make these decisions early on.
10. Rally the Troops
You don’t necessarily need a planning team, but if you want one then now is the perfect time. Gauge interest from close friends or family, and divvy up tasks accordingly.
11. Order Invitations
There are a lot of places to look, but if you want printed invites, it’s hard to beat these two options for great design. Postable carries many great baby shower designs and lets you send real mail via online if you want. They carry some styles from our other favorite, Rifle Paper Co.
*Note: *If you’re inviting out-of-town guests, it is a nice gesture to send them a quick “save the date” (via email is perfectly fine). This gives them ample time to book flights and coordinate travel plans.
Six Weeks Out
12. Prepare & Mail Invitations
Check with the mama-to-be to ensure you have all of the correct information and links to her registry page(s) before filling out the invitations. For a virtual shower, feel free to send an e-card invitation via popular greeting card sites like our favorite Paperless Post or Evite.
13. Place Catering Order (if applicable)
It may be early, but this is a good time to place your food order if you’re using a caterer.
Three to Four Weeks Out
14. Plan/Order/Create Décor
Visualize how you want the shower to look, plan out what items you’ll need to get this done, and start shopping – or crafting! This step is equally important if you are hosting your virtual baby shower live via Skype. Make sure the backdrop surrounding the mama-to-be is decorated for all to enjoy!
If you’re looking for some YouTube baby shower Crafting inspiration, here you go!
15. Order Favors
Determine what party favors and/or prizes you want to give out at the shower and order them now. I can’t imagine needing 60 different ones for girls, but in case you need some ideas there you go.
16. Determine & Test Menu
If you’re going the homemade route for food, take time to plan out your menu, and test any new recipes to ensure they make the cut.
17. Consult with Planning Team
Check in with your planning team to make sure everyone is on track. You’ll want to connect with the team about once a week until the week of the shower.
18. Order Cake
Be sure to confirm order details as well as a pick up date and time.
19. Venue Walkthrough
If you are hosting the shower at a public venue, ask the event coordinator if you can do a final walk through. This will help you determine any final décor or rental needs.
Two Weeks Out
20. Confirm Vendor Details
Follow up with all of your vendors to confirm orders, pick up times, payment, special requests, etc.
21. Set Staging Area
Start gathering all of your shower items – décor, favors, serving ware, chairs, etc. – in one spot in your house for easy organization and accessibility.
One Week Out
22. RSVP Follow Up
Follow up with any invitees who have not yet RSVP’d so you can have a more accurate head count.
23. Assign Day-Of Tasks for Planning Team
Who’s responsible for picking up the balloons the morning of the shower? What about keeping a running list of the gifts the mama-to-be receives? Make a day-of run-of-show with team assignments to make the day go smoothly.
24. Go Grocery Shopping & Begin Food Prep
Make your grocery list, and head to the supermarket. Then, start making any non-perishable food items that won’t spoil or that can be frozen until the day of the shower.
25. Purchase Perishables & Last Minute Items
Buy ice, beverages and any other item you may have missed.
Day Of !!
26. Arrive Early & Set Up
You be the judge of how early is too early, but allow yourself plenty of time to set up the décor, put out the food and, oh yeah, get ready for the party yourself!
27. Set Out Food
This should be one of the last things you do before the shower begins as to not let the food get cold or spoil.
28. Take Photos Pre-Guest Arrival
With the hustle and bustle of planning, take a moment to actually see your masterpiece. Snap a few photos of the venue in its final state.
29. Get the Mama-to-Be Settled
First and foremost, today is about the guest of honor. Make sure she is settled and comfortable upon arrival and throughout the party. For a virtual shower, make sure your internet connection is strong and the mama-to-be’s backdrop is perfect.
30. Greet Guests, Collect Gifts, Offer Food & Drink
Be the “hostess with the mostest” – you know the drill.
31. Maintain Flow of Shower & Enjoy!
Maintain a seamless flow of the shower from food and games to gifts and party favors. And finally, enjoy yourself!
We get it. Planning a baby shower can be overwhelming, especially when you want the day to go perfectly for the expectant mother in your life. Simplify your frenzy into these 31 simple steps and you’ll enjoy the shower just as much – if not more – than all of your guests!
Let us know how our list worked for you in the comments below.
Other Sources You Might Find Helpful:
Parents.com Baby Shower Checklist
Baby-Chick Shower Checklist