Last Updated on July 12, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas
Traditionally, the responsibility of hosting and paying for a baby shower falls to a close friend or family member of the expectant mother. These hosts typically take on the financial responsibilities associated with the baby shower, including venue rental, decorations, food and beverages, games, and gifts.
Below, we seek to answer other questions about baby showers and etiquette to help you plan accordingly. Read on!
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Who Pays For A Baby Shower?
When it comes to planning a baby shower, the question of who pays for the event often arises. Traditionally, it was customary for the expectant mother’s close friends or family members to take on financial responsibility. However, the dynamics of baby showers have evolved over time, and there are now various options for sharing the costs. Here are a few factors to consider when determining who pays:
- Hosted by a Friend or Family Member: In many cases, a friend or family member will take on the role of hosting the baby shower. This person is typically the one who pays for the event, including the venue, decorations, food, and any other expenses.
- Co-hosting: Friends or family members may choose to co-host the baby shower, splitting the costs among themselves. This can be a great way to share the financial burden and make the event more affordable for everyone involved.
- Group Contributions: Another option is to have multiple people contribute a set amount towards the baby shower. This can be done through a group gift or pooling of resources. Setting up a shared payment platform or collecting cash contributions can help streamline the process.
- Parent-to-Be Contribution: In some cases, the expectant parents may choose to contribute to the baby shower. This can be a way to show appreciation for the effort put into planning the event or to ensure that specific preferences or themes are incorporated.
- Workplace or Organization Sponsorship: For baby showers organized by colleagues or within a specific organization, it is common for the event to be sponsored by the workplace or organization. This can include covering the costs of the venue, decorations, and food.
Remember that the specific arrangement for paying for a baby shower may vary depending on cultural customs, regional practices, or personal preferences. It’s essential to have open communication and discuss expectations with all parties involved to ensure that everyone is comfortable with their level of contribution.
What to consider when making a baby shower budget
As the host, the baby shower budget falls on you, and you should plan how to finance it. You will have to cater for the cost of the venue, food and beverages, games, and decorations.
Always pick a venue that will host all the guests comfortably. And, if the guest list is long, ensure you have enough space and food. However, always limit the number of attendees as there is nothing worse than having a party where you can barely see who made it and who did not due to congestion.
Prepare food and beverages based on the number of guests you invite. You can get a catering company if it’s a large party. But, for smaller parties, do the cooking yourself to reduce the budget.
Check with the parents-to-be if they want to do a gender reveal during the party so you can do decorations according to the gender of the baby. Typically blue is used for a boy, and pink is for a girl. If you are unsure about the gender or the parents and do not want to reveal it, mix the two colors.
Use the internet to send invitations as it will save you on the cost. You can use emails, messages, or even phone calls. It is cheaper than using cards.
The gifts are not part of the baby shower budget, as each guest will bring presents. As the host, you should buy a present within your budget considering the other preparations’ costs.
Traditional etiquette rules of a Baby Shower
When it comes to hosting or attending a baby shower, there are some traditional etiquette rules to keep in mind. These rules not only add a touch of elegance to the event but also ensure that everyone feels included and respected. Here are some key etiquette rules to consider:
- Sending Invitations: Send out invitations at least six to eight weeks in advance to allow guests ample time to RSVP. Traditional invitations can be sent by mail, but digital invitations through email or online platforms are becoming more common.
- Hosting Responsibility: Traditionally, a close friend or family member of the expectant mother would host the baby shower. However, it is not uncommon for the expectant mother to be involved in the planning or even host the event herself.
- Gift Registry: It is considered courteous for the expectant parents to create a baby registry to help guests select appropriate gifts. Include the registry information in the invitations or share it through word of mouth. Guests can choose to purchase items from the registry or opt for more personalized gifts.
- Theme and Decorations: While it is not mandatory to have a specific theme, it can add an element of fun to the baby shower. Consider coordinating decorations, table settings, and favors to match the chosen theme. Additionally, consider the expectant mother’s preferences when selecting colors and decorations.
- Day and Time: Baby showers are usually held during the third trimester of pregnancy, around the 7th or 8th month. Weekends are generally preferred to accommodate guests’ schedules. Mid-morning or early afternoon time slots are most common, as they allow for a light meal or snacks.
- Menu and Refreshments: Plan a menu that includes a variety of refreshments such as finger foods, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Keep in mind any dietary restrictions or preferences of the expectant mother and her guests. Don’t forget to offer non-alcoholic beverages as well.
- Gift Opening: It is customary for the expectant mother to open the gifts during the baby shower. This allows guests to see the items she has received and express their excitement. However, it is important to consider the comfort level and preferences of the expectant mother. Some mothers may prefer to open gifts privately or after the event.
- Thank You Notes: After the baby shower, it is essential to send handwritten thank you notes to express gratitude for the gifts and presence of the guests. Send these notes within a few weeks of the event to show appreciation.
What is expected of the parents-to-be for a baby shower?
A baby shower is done to celebrate the parents and the baby they are about to have. The expectations from them are typically minute. If you are a parent-to-be, all you have to do is show up to the party at the specified time, accept the gifts, and be a gracious guest at your party.
How many baby showers can one have?
One party was enough back in the day, but recently, as the parents-to-be, this decision is completely out of your hands; people will throw you more than one baby shower. However, if you feel overwhelmed, you can politely ask your close friends and family to come together and have one party.
As an adult, you may have different friend groups. The inner circles and outer circles can decide to hold parties at different times. If you find mixing all their friends a tiring task you can opt for several small parties.
Also, if it is your first child, you may end up with multiple showers as everyone is excited to welcome you into parenthood. However, the excitement might not be on the same level as the first for subsequent pregnancies. There could be one party or even none in some cases. This is not to say that you cannot have more baby showers than you did with the first pregnancy.
Baby showers for subsequent pregnancies have only become popular in recent times. More parties equal more gifts.
Can I throw my baby shower?
It is not customary for the parents-to-be to throw a baby shower party. However, we are in the 21st century, and anything is possible.
Throwing yourself a baby shower can come off as greedy, and people might think all you are interested in is what presents they bring you. So for this reason, it is only right that you let other people close to you prepare the party for you.
Who can I invite to a baby shower?
Baby showers are an intimate thing, you can invite whoever you want, but the priority should be people who have a close relationship with the parents-to-be. You can invite close relatives like grandparents, uncles, aunties, workmates, cousins, friends, and neighbors.
You can hold a baby shower at someone’s home, in hotels, in parks, or even in restaurants. Depending on the space available, you can send many or a few invites. However, you should avoid inviting too many people to the party. Overcrowding in small areas is not encouraged, especially with covid19 pandemic, plus the parents-to-be might feel unease. Always consult them if they are comfortable with the number you intend to host.
Virtual baby showers are also something to consider. In this coronavirus era, a pregnant mom should be kept safe and far away from any dangers. Hosting a virtual party can be a good idea to eliminate the threat.
How long should a baby shower be?
There is no set time limit for the shower, unlike formal meetings or parties, but you should be mindful of the mother-to-be.
A short period is enough to ensure that the mom has enough time to go and rest afterward. Also, if the party is long, you can ensure that it is held in a comfortable environment that will not be exhausting to the mother.
At least 2 to 3 hours is a good period to cover all scheduled activities and present gifts to the parent. Virtual baby showers can be shorter; half an hour to one-hour maximum is enough to have everything done.
Is it okay to register for baby shower gifts?
Registering for gifts is a good way to direct the guests on what to get the parents to be and reduce the chances of getting redundant presents. It is very okay to create a registry for the gifts you would want to get. However, you have to be considerate to your guests. Pick reasonably priced gifts or stores for the guests to shop at, be modest about the presents you request, and give them enough time to buy.
Some guests might want to go beyond what you have asked for; this is okay because it will be their own decision.
However, give the guest some room to decide what they need to buy since not everyone might be comfortable purchasing the gifts you specify on your registry. So, be flexible with your expectation. You can even decide to collect the money that everyone can offer and then do the shopping yourself.
Should I send thank you notes after the party?
Appreciating people who came to your baby shower and gifted you a present is a small but good gesture. After the party, write down a short and meaningful thank you note to the guests and let them know you are happy to have them in your life.
Send the thank you notes before your child is born. Free time will be limited once the baby comes, so it might be harder to send them out at that time.
Is there a specific theme for all baby showers?
There is no specific theme for baby showers. But since you can only host if you are close to the parents-to-be, you should know the expectations of the parents. It won’t hurt to consult the parents on what is acceptable to them. Otherwise, if the party is a surprise, go for what you love and think is right.
Baby showers are personal and often private parties; the host should not be a stranger to the parents-to-be. Close friends and relatives can host and pay for the party. Most times, the host will bring the guests together and ask for contributions towards the party, or if they are capable, they will foot the bill. As the parent, all you have to do is come in as an honorable guest.
Emma is a graduate of Domestic Science or Family and Consumer Sciences (Home Economics) from the University of Wisconsin. She has 7 years of experience Working with the strategic section of BestBuy and now writing full-time for Homeeon.
From Managing the Home, Interiors, Cleaning, and Exteriors to Gardening and everything about Making A Home Liveable – is her passion and this Homeeon is the result of this.
Emma loves decorating her home with the best stuff found online. She cares about quality over anything and writes reviews about them here in Homeeon. Get in touch with her over Pinterest.
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