So you’re planning this baby shower…
Either you got totally suckered into it, or you nominated yourself to plan it and you have no idea wtf you’re doing (hi, we’re twins – nice to meet you). Either way, you want the shower to be absolutely epic, but where do you start?
Last month I planned a beautiful baby shower (if I do say so myself) for my gorgeous cousin and her boyfriend who are expecting my little Kody any day now! It was my first time planning anything, let alone a baby shower all on my own – and being the perfectionist, psycho Scorpio that I am – it had to be everything and then some and go off without a hitch.
Of course, a perfect party in your eyes as the planner is never going to happen. Something will go wrong or not completely how you had planned it. Regardless, for the person you are planning this special moment for, it will be absolutely perfect and the most important part to remember is that it is their day. Not yours. I know – I had to tell myself this a million times when I wanted to change the theme from “All Star Sports” to “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” – but now I have my own baby shower theme planned out 500 years in advance. I digress.
My cousin’s boyfriend, Mali plays professional basketball – so they wanted to do a sports themed shower, but because they’re both young parents-to-be, they wanted to keep the shower lively and fun. No sitting around opening gifts (no shade – it just dims the mood down a bit and they didn’t want that), no sobby speeches (I think they did that for my sake), and games that were actually fun to play as a party of 40+.
Here’s How I Did It:
First thing’s first. I planned way in advance. I’m currently living in NYC and the shower took place in Los Angeles, CA. Which means I was combating a 3 hour time difference, and the fact that I couldn’t actually just run by anywhere and check things out in advance. I started planning about a month and a half/two months prior to the date of the shower, created google docs with ideas and Excel spreadsheets with budgets. Extensive? Maybe. But to me, its definitely what made things run smoothly. I literally sat at SoHo House (which is basically my bougie office) and took a pen to paper, searched through Pinterest (MAKE THIS YOUR BEST FRIEND) and jotted down notes of what would be cool and special and also go along with the theme.
We needed a venue space that would allow for 40 people. I came across this space rental website called Peerspace and I absolutely loved their service. It’s basically like Air BNB without the sleepover. You can rent out homes, restaurants, lounges, etc. to throw your event in. I was able to book the space & a bartender through them and the bartender was SO awesome and super sweet – she came prepared and made our sports themed signature cocktail, “Daddy’s Gatorade” to perfection.
Lucky enough, my cousin’s best friend is into graphic design, so she ended up creating the invitations for us, which were so adorable. We sent them out via Paperless Post. I really love Paperless Post because it’s easy to use and even the pre-designed templates they have are really beautiful. I recommend using them directly or heading over to Etsy and searching for “(insert theme here) baby shower invitations”.
Have the mommy & daddy to-be decide on which stores they’d like to register with for their baby shower gifts. Emily & Malachi decided on Buy Buy Baby, Babies “R” Us and Target. We put their registry links on the invite as well as within the Paperless Post e-vite! I also recommend Nordstroms as an option. Don’t forget to include this – some guests like to pick their own gifts off-registry, but I personally feel like the best gift you can give new parents is the necessities that they’re actually asking for. Yes, a Burberry polo is cute and all – but you know what’s more beneficial to a baby? DIAPERS.
We wanted a catering service that wouldn’t break the bank, but had food items that everyone and their mama would like – so we went with Cheesecake Factory and it was a HIT. Because, who doesn’t love Cheesecake Factory? Also – they gave us like 10 loaves of bread. I mean, can you say heaven?
I used Oriental Trading Company for pretty much all of the decor for the space. I was a little apprehensive because I wasn’t sure what the quality would be like, but after searching through Pinterest and event planning blogs (endlessly) for ideas – I noticed that a lot of people use them for adorable party decorations for THE LOW LOW. I saved SO much money using them and the decorations were perfect and to my pleasant surprise – great quality. I also hit up Home Goods, Michaels & of course – Party City for a few additional items. But for the most part, Oriental Trading had everything I needed. Here’s what I got from them:
I also knew I wanted there to be a focal point, other than the gorgeous Hollywood Hills view we had at our venue, for photos. I contacted Props LA for a hedge wall that made a perfect backdrop for photos – all which were taken by the lovely Kara Nixon! Etsy became one of my new best girlfriends as I searched for a beautiful “Kody” name sign that could be used not only for the hedge wall, but for above Kody’s crib in his nursery! I had a custom sign created by The Gilded Line and it was beautiful.
For Balloons – I wanted something grand and extra just the way I like it 🙂 Balloon Celebrations made a gorgeous arrangement of 3-Foot, Large Round Balloons – confetti filled, and standard red and blue balloons to match the theme. They even came with weights that were made out of mini sand filled balloons which was SO impressive and an unexpected added touch. We also had “KODY” spelled out in gold balloons on a clear line to keep them from moving. They came and arranged everything for us in the space – it was perfect and seamless.
I made Instagram work for me on this one. I scanned IG pages of a bunch of different desert spots based out of Los Angeles & I follow Encore Events 90210 – who, if you’re not looking to plan an LA based event on your own, you should absolutely hire! They’re incredible and put on beautiful events. I saw that they used House of Pastry before for an event they threw, and knew if they loved them, I would too! After searching a few different sites and Etsy stores for sports themed chocolate covered strawberries and cake pops, I ended up getting the best deal with House of Pastry. They also made us a killer cake that the owner, Adam and I designed together over text messages. It was perfect and SO delicious. CLICK THROUGH THE GALLERY BELOW!
THE LITTLE THINGS:
I believe the biggest impact you can make when planning any event is in the smallest of details. Little things you can get on a dime can make a huge difference in the final look of your event space. For the dessert table decor, I picked up a few things at the 99 Cent Store and made cute sh*t happen. I bought three or four bags of Ring Pop’s ($1 for a bag of 10) and put them in a basketball print bucket (Also $1 – my favorite price ??♀️). It was almost Easter so they had buckets and baskets galore! I also got the mini popcorn boxes from Oriental Trading and filled them with Skinny Pop (my fave). I bought a cupcake tier from Home Goods for like $16 and arranged the boxes on each tier. We used the foam fingers as decoration for the table, but since the order came with a dozen pieces, we used a few as fun props for the hedge wall! The golden trophies made a nice touch in addition to the mini sports themed stress balls that we scattered around the table and in the cake pop display. Pop a few into the tops of the trophies and boom! Perfection.
For the cake pop display, I went to Michael’s and bought a sheet of green styrofoam and a few grass mats by Ashland (ON SALE!! YAYY!) to create a turf looking appearance. Adam from House of Pastry & I plugged the cake pops into all the missing spaces and it made for a really adorable display.
I was able to find an amazing cookie spot on Etsy, Olivia’s Cookies – they made us the most adorable custom cookie assortment with onesie jersey’s, sports ball designs and rattles with sports ball ends. AND THEY WERE SO FREAKING YUMMY! They came individually wrapped so that people could take them home, in case you’re looking for a little party favor for your guests – this is a great option! I told them what I wanted and they made it happen, & not one cookie was broken during shipping to LA! I was afraid we would have a ton of left over treats – but there wasn’t a crumb left in sight! Note to yourself: People LOVE DESSERT. Get enough for everyone to enjoy!
Get creative and come up with a special signature cocktail! Check out Pinterest for different drink ideas. Because Baby Kody’s dad, Malachi plays professional basketball (GO RAPTORS!) – I wanted to play off of that. I knew I wanted to name the signature cocktail “Daddy’s Gatorade” and I also know that he loves lemonade – and so does my cousin, even though she couldn’t enjoy the libations with us 😉 So I wanted the drink to incorporate something they both love. I started looking up drinks that would be a similar color to gatorade drinks (yellows, blues, reds, etc) and came across this recipe for the Blue Lagoon drink – which has lemonade, vodka & blue curaçao. I bought a glass beverage dispenser from Home Goods & our bartender Darcelle cut a few lemons for decoration and tossed them inside. It made for a beautiful display!
We also had a “Mom-Osa” bar which was perfect for our guests that didn’t want to commit to the much stronger, Daddy’s Gatorade. All of the champagne was deliciously sponsored by Belaire – NBD just DJ Khaled’s fave champs 🙂 WE DA BESTTTT! – I digress. I put little football yard line cups filled with diced berries for added decoration and a yummy taste to go along with the bubbles.
In addition to the signature drinks, we had a bottle of brown liquor, a bottle of vodka, several juices and sodas for mixers and of course – water. I’d say 99% of our guests chose the signature drink options over anything else! They were a HUGE hit.
As I said before, it was very important to Kody’s mommy & daddy that the shower remained lively. I sent them a few game options and they chose which ones we would play during the shower.
Here are the games we played & what you’ll need to play too:
DON’T SAY BABY!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Sports Whistles – Normally this came is played with a ribbon necklace that has a mini acrylic pacifier or a plastic safety pin at the end of it, but since the shower was a sports theme, I decided to go with little basketball whistles instead!
Mum’s the word when it comes to saying ‘baby’! Get this great icebreaker started the moment your guests walk through the door. As you greet each guest, give each a whistle necklace to wear. Once all of your guests have arrived, tell everyone that they can’t say ‘baby’ for the duration of the shower (or until it’s time to open presents). If anyone hears someone else saying the forbidden word, he or she can steal the rule breaker’s whistle. At the end of the game, the person with the most whistles wins a gift!
GUESS MOMMY’S MEASUREMENTS
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Yarn, Scissors
Pass around a ball of yarn and a pair of scissors. Tell each guest to cut off a length of string that they think corresponds to the size of the honoree’s belly (make sure no one is cheating by measuring their own or a friend’s waist!). When everyone has a piece of string, invite each person up to try his or her luck measuring the mom-to-be’s belly. Whoever has a string that comes closest to being a perfect measurement, wins.
DRINK UP BABY!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Baby Bottles & An alcoholic drink. We used the Daddy’s Gatorade for this & I got the baby bottles at the 99 Cent Store! It was absolutely hilarious to watch.
Must be 21+. Fill baby bottles with the beverage of your choice-beer for the guys at a grown-ups’ party and apple juice for the kids at a family baby shower. Then, give everyone a bottle and on the count of three they must suck the bottles dry as quickly as possible. The first person to down the contents of his or her bottle wins.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Print Outs & Answers, Pens
Before the shower, make a list of the most common baby items like diapers, wipes, soaps, etc. Create print outs (I made my own) or buy a pre-made template like this to hand out to your guests. Have your guests write down what they think each item costs . At the bottom have them fill in the total of all the costs combined. Once they are finished you can go through to check answers and tell them the actual price of each individual item. Give them your grand total and the guest who got the closest without going over WINS!
Print Outs & Signage:
I made my own signage and print outs on Adobe InDesign to save money, although Etsy had some really beautiful options for downloadable’s, and created a “Championship Rings” sign that I put on a little place card holder from Party City. I got the print outs, championship rings and concessions signage printed on a thicker card stock at Staples, and I had the “Don’t Say Baby” & maternity photo of my cousin printed on poster boards at SLB Printing Inc. in LA. They printed everything for me same-day and they looked beautiful.
CLICK THROUGH THE GALLERY BELOW!
Good luck to all you DIY planners out there! I know how stressful it can be trying to put on the perfect event for your loved ones. Just know that the final result will be worth it and I’m with ya! Should I post my print outs for download? Leave a comment under my post re: this blog and let me know!