invitation etiquette

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Baby Shower

  • Invitation Etiqutte

    First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby carriage! The arrival of a bundle of joy is one of the most exciting events in a parent's life. We want you to celebrate Mom, Dad and Baby (or babies) in style! Start the occasion off the right way with baby shower invitations that set the tone of the occasion.

    The below baby shower etiquette guide will help you choose the perfect invitation, give you advice on registry information, a mailing timeline for when to send out your invitations, advice on sending out thank you notes, suggestions for baby shower themes, games and more.

    It’s such an exciting time in life when you’re expecting! Pretty soon her family will be growing and she’ll have midnight feedings, diapers to change and teeny tiny baby clothes to wash. Help the mommy-to-be prepare for her upcoming bundle of joy with a baby shower in her honor! Set the scene for your baby shower with a perfectly worded baby shower invitation.

    Information to Include on your Party Invitations

    When writing a baby shower invitation, you will want to have the following information listed …

    purpose of your invitation
    name of the mommy-to-be
    date of the shower
    host name
    baby registry information

    Example of a formal baby shower invitation

    Please join us for a
    baby shower
    in honor of
    Amanda Harrison
    Wednesday, the eighth of March
    Two thousand and fifteen
    at one o’clock in the afternoon
    125 Stone Drive
    New York, New York
    Hosted by Kathryn Meeks
    Amanda is registered at Pottery Barn Kids

    Example of a casual baby shower invitation

    Bottles and booties and bibs and more,
    Let’s shower the baby with gifts galore!
    Please come to a Baby Shower for
    Amanda Harrison
    Wednesday, March 8th
    1:00 PM
    125 Stone Drive
    New York, New York
    Given with Love by Kathryn Meeks
    RSVP by March 1st to Kathryn@email.com
    Registered at Babies R Us & Target


    If you have more than one host, be sure to list each host alphabetically (by last name). If you have a large number of hosts, consider printing the hosts’ names on the back of the invitation, as you do not want to draw attention away from the purpose of the invitation – celebrating the mommy-to-be!

    Mailing & RSVP Timeline

    Baby shower invitations should be mailed about approximately 2-4 weeks before your shower date. If you will be including an RSVP date, set the RSVP date to 1-2 weeks prior to your event, based on your needs.

  • Registry Etiquette

    Listing the registry information of the mommy-to-be on the baby shower is acceptable in today’s modern times. If you are not comfortable listing the information on the baby shower invitation, you can always include a separate card with the registry information or spread it by word of mouth.

    Baby Shower Gift Ideas

    Themed baby showers can point guests in the right direction when they begin trying to find a baby gift for the expectant couple. If the gender of the baby is known, you may want to include this information on the baby shower invitation, as it will help guests purchase the appropriate gender related gifts.

    Themes / Wishing Wells

    If a mother already has almost everything she needs but will be on a tight budget once the baby is born, a diaper themed baby shower is a great idea. Each guest can be assigned a different diaper size so that the mother will have enough to last for a while. Alternatively, if the expecting parents have most furniture they need, you can have a wishing well at your shower and ask your guests to bring a small gift, (bottles, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, etc.) to include in the “well”.

    Gift Cards / Monetary Gifts

    It is never appropriate to demand a specific gift from your guests. Many times an expecting parent may prefer gift cards or monetary gifts, however this should never be expressed in writing. If this is the case, pass the information along by word of mouth only.

    Gift Wrapping

    Gift wrapping should be in tasteful wrapping paper with ribbon, high quality gift bags with tissue paper or a different creative option. Many people are now asking for gifts to remain unwrapped, in an effort to remain green or keep a social focus to the shower. If this is the case, try wrapping your gift in cellophane or use baskets, blankets or other types of bags to bring the gift in.

  • Mailing Timeline

    Baby shower invitations should be mailed approximately 2-4 weeks before the shower, in order to allow time for guests to purchase a gift. If you have out of town guests, consider sending your invitations out a bit ahead of this time, to allow for transit-time via the postal service, and in order to give guests time to make travel arrangements.

  • Thank You Notes

    Even though you've likely thanked everyone in person and opened the gifts in front of the gift-givers, it is still important to send a hand-written thank you note to the guests who bought gifts for you and your baby. If some guests have attended the event, but did not bring gifts, thank them verbally. It is also appropriate to send a note of thanks, as well as a small gift, to the host of the baby shower, to show appreciation for the host's efforts in organizing the event and inviting guests.

    It is best to specifically talk about the gift that was received in the thank you note. Notes should say things like, "Thank you so much for the stroller. I'm sure the baby and I will enjoy taking walks with it!" or "The set of blankets you purchased for the baby are beautiful. I can't wait to rock him/her to sleep in them.” The mother might also want to include words about the gift giver’s relationship with the mother or their very close friendship.

    Baby shower thank you notes should be sent out as soon as possible after your baby shower, preferably before the birth of the baby. If the expectant mother has not yet sent the notes to shower guests before she delivers her baby, it is acceptable to give out thank you notes up to two months after the baby is born.

  • Baby Shower Theme Ideas

    So you're in charge of throwing the baby shower? What a wonderful experience it will be! It may be overwhelming at first to choose a theme for the baby shower. A good place to start is speaking with the mom-to-be. She may have a few ideas of her own, or she may have a nursery theme for the baby that she wants to carry into her baby shower. We've included some endearing ideas that can be used for girl showers, boy showers and gender-neutral showers.

    It's Easy As… Throw an ABC-themed baby shower that shows your tot is going to be quite the little Einstein! This is a chance to reveal your baby's name by using the letter of her first name as a guide. Feel free to put it on everything – from the invites to the cake and favors. Everyone is familiar with the standard wooden alphabet building blocks. Modernize it a little bit by moving away from the primary color scheme theme and add colors like teal, lilac and fuchsia.

    D?cor can easily be bought by creating customized baby blocks and using monogrammed tableware and d?cor in your signature colors. Don't have time to create blocks? Purchase a self-inking stamp with the letter on it in a font of your choice. Have a cake made in the shape of an ABC building block and get clever with serving table signs that say: "A is for Appetizer," "B is for Beverage" and "C is for Cake."

    For an extra creative thought, designate a specific letter of the alphabet to each guest and tell them to bring a gift that starts with that letter.

    Baby in the City – If you're throwing a baby shower for a city-slicking couple, we've got just the theme for you. A chic soon-to-be mom and dad will love a sophisticated shower that reflects her personality. It may be easier to use this theme if the mom is having a girl, but may be a special treat if she's getting ready to have a boy! If the parents-to-be are big fans of going out to dinner, give them a special treat with a modern baby shower at a restaurant. It will be a long time before they're able to go out on their own again!

    For a twist, skip the pastels and decorate with sophisticated bold colors like black, pink, red and white. For a city-themed shower at someone's home, it may be easy to serve simple, yet sophisticated, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. A nice lunch or dinner at a restaurant gives everyone a break with decorating, preparing the food and cleanup! For gift ideas for the parents-to-be, have guests bring gifts based big cities in the world. For example, a guest who was assigned NYC could bring a onesie decorated with apples ("the Big Apple"). With leprechauns and the Blarney stone in mind, a shamrock rattle could easily be given by a guest who was assigned Dublin. What a lucky baby!

    Go Wild for Animals! Animals are always an easy choice as they can be used for boy baby showers, girl baby showers and baby showers for couples. If you're celebrating a little girl, you can use more gender-specific creatures like birds and butterflies in pinks and purples, while zoo or jungle animals can easily be geared toward a baby boy shower. Decorate your home like a jungle with zebra and leopard prints and green streamers and balloons.

    Create games around the theme and make sure the food follows the animal theme too. Sweets like cookies, cupcakes and cakes can easily be decorated like certain animals, while beverages and appetizers may be a bit more difficult. Make "jungle juice" that includes a fruity assortment of juices.

    What perfect baby shower will you host? Shop for adorable baby shower invitations at InvitationBox.com and set the scene for an unforgettable event for the mommy-to-be!

  • Party Games

    Baby shower games are an absolute necessity for the upcoming celebration you're hosting. They break the ice among guests and get the mother-to-be and everyone else excited for the new arrival. Play these after everyone has eaten and settled in, but right before the gift opening. They will loosen everyone up and get guests talking baby talk…just make sure they’re fun and inclusive, rather than cheesy!

    Guess that Baby! – In the baby shower invitation or through a follow-up email, request that each guest bring their favorite baby picture with them. As each guest arrives, have them turn in their photo, which you will mark with a number. Make sure no one else sees while you number each photo. Hang up the pictures and distribute paper and pens so guests can guess who each baby is. Have them number their paper and write their best guess next to it. The person that gets the most guesses right wins a prize.

    Baby Bingo – This is an all-time favorite and is very simple to play. Hand out blank bingo cards and have guests fill each square with a gift that they think the mother will receive. As the mother opens each present, each player gets to cross out what's opened. First to get BINGO wins! If no one wins, then whoever has crossed off the most squares (or guessed the most correctly) wins.

    Who's the Star Baby? Much like the Guess that Baby! game, this game has you guessing the babies of famous celebrities. And it requires less work on the guests' side. Go through pop culture magazines and cut out pictures of famous babies (not with their parents, obviously) as well as pictures of the celebrities and pin them up. Number the baby pictures. Have guests write down the number and the famous celebrity parent. Player with the most correct guesses wins!

    Guess the Tummy Size – Give each player a roll of yarn or string and scissors and have them cut the length that they think will fit the mother's stomach. Then help the mom measure her own stomach and cut a piece of yarn or string that fits around it. Compare it to the guests' pieces. Whoever is closest wins a prize.

    What’s In That Dirty Diaper? – Ready to make your guests laugh? An all-time shower favorite is to put pieces of melted candy into a baby diaper and pass it around to each guest. The person who guesses the most correct candy wins a prize!

    Baby Shower Prize Ideas:
    Sometimes it's difficult to come up with inexpensive prize ideas as many attendees will be in different stages of their life. Some ideal gifts to give out that are personal and will be prized for a long time can be similar to the baby shower favors. Personalized prizes will also be a hit. Ideas: candles, candy, mint tins, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, spreader knives, notepads and bath soaps/lotions. These can even use your baby shower colors, if you prefer to have everything match.