Today I hosted a baby shower for a friend in my ward. I was really pleased with how it turned out, so I thought I'd show off what went well.
First, there were several of us that threw the shower together. Having help really made the shower a stress-free experience. Well, I felt that way, at least. Of course, it wasn't at my house, so maybe Emily would disagree. Here is a picture of everyone that helped throw the shower and the mom-to-be (middle, white shirt).
Several people working together made the food easy. Basically, everyone brought one thing. So, Theresa brought chicken salad on croissants, Julie brought dessert (and went way above and beyond by bringing lemon bars and three kinds of cookies!). I brought a strawberry spinach salad with raspberry poppy seed dressing. Emily brought drinks--iced passion herbal tea and lemonade--and a fruit tray.
The biggest advantage to having lots of help was during the shower. Theresa greeted people at the door and gave them a game shower booklet and a favor. Emily focused on keeping the food full and moving. Julie focused on gifts - passing them to the mother-to-be, helping stow gifts and trash, and writing down gifts. And I spent the entire shower just taking pictures. I got a picture of every person at the shower with the mom-to-be. Taking pictures of everyone with Melissa had a side benefit I hadn't considered. Everyone got a few one-on-one moments with her. We just had people slide onto the couch next to her while she opened their gift.
Check out these adorable favors that Kathleen made:
The shower was an open house and so we decided to keep games really low key. We handed out game booklets that people could work on at their own pace, answers were at the bottom. Just two short games and a bio on the back page. I printed it booklet style, so it was four pages printed on one double-sided sheet of paper.
Game Booklet Cover:
Game Booklet Page 2:
Game Booklet Page 3:Game Booklet Page 4:
I was really proud of the invitations, I designed them and then printed them as photos at Costco.
We had a great turnout - 27 women (we sent out 35 invitations). Of course they all came to see the mom-to-be, but I do think there were a few things I did with the invitations that helped boost the turnout. First, I mailed them to people's houses. Second, I got them out two full weeks before the shower. Third, it was announced in Relief Society for two weeks prior to the shower. Finally, I included a picture of Melissa and Ryan on the invitation. I'm amazed at how many people in our ward know each other by face but not by name.
There were two things I wish had gone better. Anyone have suggestions? The first is the advice book. Emily put together this adorable advice book for people to write down tips and hints for the mom-to-be. Only one person (other than me) wrote in it, though.
I'm not really sure why this didn't work out better. On the back of the map insert, we included some information like where Melissa is registered. The top line said: "Please come prepared to share some advice with Melissa. We will have materials at the shower for you to write down your advice."
The second thing is that the guests didn't eat very much at the shower. Two reasons I've thought of: (1) the food was back in the kitchen and I'm not sure everyone got back to it and (2) the shower was 1 to 3 so maybe everyone had already eaten. Maybe next time we should include on the invitation that a light luncheon will be served.
All in all, I thought everything turned out great! I have two other ward showers I'm hosting this summer, and I hope they turn out as well.