We were some of the first of our close friends to have a baby. My mom was really excited to throw us a baby shower (etiquette be damned, when you are totally independant adults I think it's fine for family to throw you a shower!) but we had a hard time conceiving (pun intended!) of a shower that would be fun for us and our friends. We knew we didn't want to play the usual games, and we definitely didn't want a ladies-only function since my husband was obviously about to become a parent as much as I was. Here's how we had a baby shower that left all our friends saying "I haven't been to a baby shower before, but this was awesome!" (Photos by the incomparable Katrick Photography, per usual.)
1) Even though mom-to-be can't drink, that doesn't mean other people can't. We had plenty of beer and wine for our guests. The idea of growing up and having babies can be uncomfortable for people who aren't at that point in their lives quite yet, and it seemed like the drinks helped people loosen up a bit and enjoy the celebration.
2) We came up with our own games, instead of trotting out the old weird melted candy bars in diapers game (yes, this is a thing!) We also only had two formal games:
Scrabble Name Scramble: My husband made up a really fun game where we had people break up into groups, and each group received jumbled Scrabble tiles with only the letters needed to spell our son's first and middle name, which hadn't been revealed yet. The first group to unscramble wins! A fun unintended consequence was the other options people came up with. Maybe we should have named him Romeo Norbert....
Beer Bottle Race: Baby bottles aren't meant to dispense liquid quickly, which made for a hilarious drinking contest. We filled baby bottles with beer and had our friends race to see who could finish theirs first. I don't think anyone anticipated how hard it would be to drink half a beer!
3) We kept everything low key. No strict schedule, no big formal gift opening time, easy snacks just out on a table to take whenever, and the party was at my parents (admittedly lovely) home. Keeping everything low key kept people feeling relaxed, and having not strict schedule meant that people came in waves and we could really enjoy everyone's company.
4) We gave people a lot of notice, and we mailed formal invitations. Invites went out eight weeks before the party, giving people plenty of time to plan ahead and clear their schedule. Also in the days of Facebook invites for everything, I think mailing the invitations made the event feel more special, and people RSVP'd directly to my mom, instead of to a faceless button, so the RSVPs held a little more weight. There's nothing like planning a big party and then being totally bummed out because the reminders got lost in a sea of facebook notifications. We had friends and family come from out of state and even across the country to be with us, and it was such a warm and precious gathering to remind us of the support and love that we had going into parenthood.
5) We revealed the sex of the baby at the shower. We had found out months before and kept it a secret, but it made for a fun reveal moment, and it kept people from buying us a bunch of adorable but gendered clothing that we didn't really need. I loved that because our registry was gender neutral, we were able to pass on pretty much everything to our friends who had a girl the following year. We didn't do any elaborate reveal things like a cake or balloons, we just had my sister open a card in front of everyone that said "it's a boy", sort of like the Oscars.
Did you have a baby shower? Was it fun, or not so much? I would love to hear about it! Also, check out my post on our Secular Baby Blessing!