Who else is looking for inspo on how to throw the perfect baby shower? Or any special event really (bridal, engagement, birthday, gender reveal, summer soiree, etc)? We’re so excited to share some photos and ALL the juicy details from Baby H’s shower this past weekend.
Between us, we have tons of experience in throwing a good party, and we LOVE doing it. From bridal showers for all of our besties to birthdays, and now babies, there is nothing we love more than celebrating the beautiful moments and monumental events in each of our lives. With all the events we’ve thrown, we’ve gotten it down to a science, and wanted to share with you how these events come to life.
There are so many components that make a truly special, unique, and fun event so let’s break them down. We’re also thinking of doing more in the event space so we will be talking more about these “beautiful moments” and what you would look for, as you plan for your events. So, stay tuned there and ask us any questions you have in the comments below!
PICKING THE RIGHT VENUE
First and foremost, the key to throwing a great event is finding the right venue. Note that we did not say most expensive, or biggest, or most ornate. It’s about deciding on the right venue for your specific event based on all of the variables. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a venue.
- Guest Count
- Size of Space
- Ambiance and Scenery (think about this in combo with the theme)
First, make a Google Doc of possible venues in your area. You can use this for MANY of your events to come. We like to ensure our doc includes venue, room type, guest capacity, food/beverage cost (fee, minimum, tax, tip, total), time available, contact, email, notes. See the screenshot of our Google Sheet below, and for those of you in NYC here are some great venue recommendations.
CHOOSING A THEME
While you are looking at venues, begin to think of a theme. Do you want a tropical bridal shower or a neutral dreamy garden-inspired baby shower? Decide, broadly, on what you want and do not want. For instance, for the baby shower, we wanted soft neutrals mixed with greys, eucalyptus greens, and silvers, and dreamy elements like stars and a few moons. We did not want bright blues or tons of animal decor.
For bridal showers, we’ve themed things like “pretty in pink”, “nudes and neutrals” and “tropical barbie”. Having this clearly defined helps streamline for all of your planners, and is MAJOR in the next step of sourcing your inspiration.
Once you have an idea of the theme, it’s time to start gathering your inspo. We love using Pinterest for this. We create shared boards for all of the planners and start pinning all elements of the party based on the looks and aesthetics you’re hoping to bring to life at your event. Things to pin include decor, flowers, balloons, activities, invites, takeaways, keepsakes for the guest of honor, tablescapes, photo areas, and more. Now that you know your theme you can easily search these keywords on Pinterest.
So for Baby H’s shower, we searched Dreamy Baby Shower, Garden Baby Shower, Silver/Neutral Baby Shower Decor, and let Pinterest suggest some other fun options based on our pins! We also love pinning directly from places like Etsy, where we actually will end up purchasing decor.
Once you’ve created a solid board, narrow it down to one or two images for your tablescape (head table and display table), florals, dessert table, activity table, and photo booth area. Keep these images at the forefront of your mind and keep resorting back to them as you continue sourcing all of your supplies. We find this to be crucial during the research phase as you can definitely start to feel overwhelmed when you’re looking at so many cute things/ideas!
If this is for a major event, we suggest creating a final powerpoint or Google Slides of what you’ve actually purchased. This helps to map out how everything will look together and how the layout will look on the day of. This also saves TONS of time when it comes to set up and ensures you don’t forget anything!
Time to start purchasing items! Here’s how we like to group the decor items to make it more manageable and ensure we’re remembering all of the elements we’ve pinned.
- Welcome sign (We used this Zazzle template and frame)
- Photos (framed with photos of your guest of honor)
- Table Cloths (white linen + blue chiffon)
- Floral Arrangements
- Candles (votives)
We love shopping on Etsy for these pieces as you can often customize what you need through each shop.
- Backdrop (if the venue doesn’t provide one):
- Balloons: We used PomTree on Etsy for the Moon and Star balloons. We ended up ordering a couple of additional stars to use as additional decor for the main side table- just messaged the shop owner and she created a custom order for us!
- Banner: Having a custom banner is such a cute and easy way to personalize any event! We have used UrEnvitedToo on Etsy SO many times now! Cassandra, the shop owner, is super responsive and will be quick to fix any mishaps! (We ordered the “Oh Baby” Banner in Pearl thinking it was white and came in totally pink! She sent out a new one two days later and made sure it got to me in time for the event- Thank you, Cassandra!)
- Props: We love to order props for the photo booth on Etsy. These are a fun way for the guests to take photos incorporating the theme. This is also where it’s fun to print photos of the bride/groom, or mama/daddy as babies and laminate them.
No shocker here, florals end up being the most expensive part of any party we throw. However, we have become increasingly better at creating our own floral arrangements which definitely helped to decrease the cost. For Baby H’s Shower, we all met at Kim’s house 90 minutes before we needed to be at the venue, and started cutting and bundling arrangements. The more hands-on-deck to help with this the better- it’s definitely the most time-consuming part of set-up (Thank you to our besties for their help in setup and flowers!).
First, let us start by saying this takes practice! Don’t overthink it and don’t be afraid to let things look a little wild at first. After you start bundling flowers together, you’ll get a better idea of what each arrangement needs and can play it with from there- add greenery, take some flowers out, add some in, move them around.
What you’ll need:
- Vases- We all actually just pulled from our personal inventories here! We’ve purchased many of them from Michael’s before and have used for several events since! BD Pro Tip: Largest vases for the head table, Medium Vases for the display table and side tables, and smallest vases for added floral accents in the room.
- Gardening Sheers– these worked so well! We also bought this kit to have an extra pair of sheers on hand and loved that it came with wire and tape to bundle arrangements with.
Our flower list for the baby shower was as follows:
- Larger-Medium arrangements:
- Main flower: Long Stem White Roses
- Filler Flower: Hydrangeas (great filler that’s reasonably priced)
- Accent: Seeded Eucalyptus (for head table centerpieces)
- Smaller arrangements
- 1 White spring rose
- 1 White long stem rose
- Seeded Eucalyptus
- Silver Dollar Eucalyptus: We used these along the center of head tables and along the display table. We also added these twinkle lights at the head table intertwined with the silver dollar eucalyptus which gave a little bit of a romantic feel to the table.
While dessert tables make for a great Instagrammable moment, we found desserts in our group to be a total waste of money! When we first started throwing Bridal showers and engagement parties, we’d go all out on the dessert table- think cakes and cupcakes (+ cute little toppers), macaroons, cookies, and donuts. To be honest, by the time all the eating is done, the drinks continue, and the boys have arrived, there’s so much excitement and comradery happening no one is really even thinking about dessert! With that said, we DO think it’s important to have at least a little something for the guests with a sweet tooth (like Kim :p). Our easiest go-to’s? A donut tower of cupcakes- either top them with cupcake toppers or remove the stems from a couple of flowers and place throughout the arrangement (or on top of the cake if that’s the route you want to go!)
GAMES + ACTIVITIES
Next up, games and activities. So, who agrees? There is nothing worse than a boring event. You know, the ones where you go, say hello, eat, and leave. So we’re big on finding fun activities to engage the group. First, always have music playing and create a playlist ahead of time so the music does not become someone’s full-time job on the day of.
Second, think about printed games. We always like to do one game that is advice based for showers. The advice can then be placed in a photobook for the guest of honor to keep and treasure forever. We also always love to do 1-2 games where the guest of honor will provide answers and the guests at the event all will guess. It’s always fun to get to know more about the guest of honor and figure out how well you actually know them! We create cute gift bags for the winners, which everyone also loves!
KEEPSAKES + TAKEAWAYS
We love finding a few special keepsakes for the Guest of Honor to bring home, and remember her/his special day for years to come. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Guestbook (to use with polaroid photos, corner stickers, and metallic pens)
- Thumbprint framed photo (each guest puts a stamped fingerprint on the photo!)
- Advice cards in a keepsake book
Lauren loved Sivan Ayla’s Sage station at her baby shower so we thought, “How can we use this as inspiration and make it our own?” When throwing an event at a restaurant or venue other than a home, time constraints definitely help to shape the type of party you’re going to throw. While we loved the idea of a station where everyone could make their own bundles, we knew it wasn’t quite realistic with all we had planned, and let’s be honest, our rowdy bunch was not going to stand around a table making their own bundles! Instead, we decided to make our own Palo Santo bundles as takeaways for the guests. We had these as part of the display table and paired them with a little sign to tie in the “bundle” takeaway with the shower.
Below is a list of what you’ll need to create your own! Once you’ve got your supplies, start with 2 Palo Santo sticks as the base, take three lavender branches (space them out at different heights), smoosh the lavender with the matchbox (don’t be afraid to squeeze everything tight together, the tighter the bundle you have the better), and lastly wrap the twine around in an “X” two times and tie in a knot at the back!
- Palo Santo (We bought 3 orders of these to have 2 sticks in each bundle for a total of 25 bundles.)
- Dried Lavender (Only needed 1 box.)
- Twine (Only needed 1).
- Personalized Starry Match Boxes
- Tray/platter (we went with a wood one like this, but you can obvi place on anything that goes along with your theme! The one we actually used was from TJMaxx- so much cheaper!)
- Frame with signage (we used this template off Zazzle and had them insert the text)
INCORPORATING THE BOYS
Another thing we always do at our showers, or parties alike, is encouraging the boys to get together while we get together, and join us at the end for some fun and games! They love to come by and we oftentimes get super cute pictures and lots of laughs when the boys join.
For the Baby Shower, we decided on a cute baby bottle chugging relay race which, in their competitive nature, the boys loved. For Bridal Showers, we typically do a game where the Bride and Groom both have to answer a list of pre-determined questions from the games in front of the group. The attendees tally up their scores as the answers are read.
Also, for Baby H’s shower, we had a surprise guest, our BFF Andy, who dressed up in a baby costume and came into the shower as a last-minute guest for some photos, and again LOTS of laughs.
We’ll keep this last part short and sweet! We can do a full post on Bridal and Baby registries if it would be helpful for you guys to see what we registered for?! For Baby, we used Babylist which has a browser extension for you to add from stores across the internet and aggregate them into one place. For Bridal, we LOVED Zola, Amazon, and Crate + Barrel.
Whether you’re throwing your own event or are throwing it for someone else, we hope you find this post helpful, informative, and inspirational! Let us know if you have any questions or if we’re missing anything in the comments below!
Want more info on our pregnancy journey? Check out the full post here!
All things beautiful,