Baby Shower Etiquette
Here are a few tips to help you out on Baby Shower Etiquette from Ms. Manners Party Planners Book.
Who Should Host the Baby Shower?
The baby shower should be hosted by a good friend or family member. Please keep in mind these can be quite costly, so donít be afraid to ask for some help. Generally, the hostess is the best friend, sister, or close relative of the mother-to-be. The Mother and Mother-in-Law should never host the baby shower. This is considered bad taste. However, it is not rude for the mother or mother-in-law to offer financial help to the hostess.
When should the Invitations go Out?
A time and place should be decided upon and reserved at least 1 month prior to the baby shower. Remember, people have busy schedules. Give everyone time to plan and purchase gifts. Anything less than 3 weeks is considered in bad taste.
Who Should Get Invitations?
The mother-to-be should make the guest lists. Make sure you check with her before inviting people that may not be wanted.
This is generally not a good idea. What if the mother-to-be goes out of town unexpectedly? Are you prepared to entertain 40 guests you donít know? Donít do it.
It is always a good idea to send a printed map or directions with the invitations. Not everyone knows where all those out-of-the-way neighborhoods are.
Make sure you secure ample parking for the amount of guests you are inviting. If you are having it at someoneís home, make sure you let the neighbors know a few days ahead of time, as they may have cars parked in front of their homes. You donít want your guests getting towed!
If you are one of those Hostesses that everything has to start on the dot.......get real! People are traveling, finding the place, parking. Donít expect for everyone to be prompt. Plan at least a 15 minute greet-the-guests period and give them a drink and refreshment time before any activity is started. This may be a time also, where the mother-to-be may be meeting new relatives. Give her plenty of time to say hello to everyone before you start your activities. Some of the relatives may have not seen each other in a while - they would think it inappropriate if you demanded they sit down and play a game immediately.
However.......if you are having a luncheon shower at a restaurant where time may be of the essence, please make sure you put this on the invitation so everyone knows ahead of time.
Food, Drinks, Snacks
Make sure you have enough food and drinks for everyone. If you are serving alcohol, make sure you plenty of non-alcohol beverages for guests who donít drink and children.
There should never be more than 3 games played at a shower. Remember, although this is ďyourĒ day, itís not everyone elseís. They have lives.......things to do.....keep the games to a minimum. Remember, some games can be played while everything else is going on. Like the game ďSay BabyĒ - if you say the word baby, then you have to give up your clothes pin. This game is going on with everything else, so itís not taking up special time.
Make sure someone sits beside the mother-to-be and writes down who gave her what. Sometime things can get mixed up; the mother-to-be should never think she can always remember.
Thank You Notes
Thank you notes should be mailed by 10-days after the shower. Even if someone says ďthey donít expect a thank you noteĒ - you still should send them one. These people spent their hard earned money on you. The least you can do is send them a 50 cent card. Email is also acceptable.
Even if you donít have a lot of money to spend on decorations and favors, some small party favor should be given to your guests. There are lots of ďDollarĒ stores around where even a small candle can be purchased for $1 or make up your own thank you bags with home-made cookies or candy for them to take home. This DOES NOT take the place of a thank you note. Again, your guests probably spent a lot of money on your baby gift......it doesn't hurt to show your appreciation.
Ending the Party
When guests are leaving, the mother-to-be should always thank the guests for coming. It is also appropriate for the Mother or Mother-in-Law to walk the guests to the door and thank them also. This thank you does not replace a thank you card.
The hostess should always be given a nice gift (minimum $25.00) for her time and money spent to throw the baby shower. This gift can be given by the mother-to-be, mother or mother-inlaw. It should be presented after the other guests have left.