It is a well-known truth: every occasion is a good opportunity to celebrate!
There’s no need to wait for those iconic moments of life when a party is definitely due. Whether you go for a big wow effect or a minimalist do, it won’t change the excitement and enthusiasm.
Here’re a few hints, to help you guess the occasion we’re talking about today.
Imagine a big long table full of colourful trays and nibbles, and a strange, slightly kitsch cake made of folded baby nappies, ribbons and balloons.
You might have guessed, or maybe you have no idea: we’re talking of the Baby Shower!
• At a glance:
Straight from USA, a wave of fun and excitement has recently spread in Europe – and in Sicily! This celebration is paving its way to become a new tradition, and a most sought-after occasion in the world of event planning.
Baby Showers are amazing opportunities to celebrate the soon-to-be mum and dad, and their bundle of joy.
The great pro of it is that, just as any other party, it’s pretty much all down to what’s fun for the family. It might be a friends-and-family-only outing, a big fat party with a live band and favours or a cozy get-together at home. It might be indoors or outdoors, themed or free, big or small.
Anything that floats your boat is a great idea, for a Baby Shower.
• Let’s get the party started.
Around the end of the term, parents-to-be are getting the house ready for the new member of the family and assembling new furniture with that slightly tense layer of anxiety surrounding the last couple of months.
It might seems strange if not impossible to find a good spot both in time and space that might fit a proper party.
Being stressed or tired, however, might actually prove to be very valid reasons to have a party, to unwind and have a bit of you-only time before the great arrival.
Sometimes the Baby Shower is organised by the future parents: this is often the case, when maybe relatives and friends fear they’d force the party on the growing family. It might also be a joined enterprise of everybody else around the soon-to-be parents.
Whichever the case, with a bit of planning and a few savvy tips your party is bound to be a huge success.
• Choose your date!
Usually, the Baby Shower takes place between the seventh and the eighth month as that’s when the mum-to-be is pretty tired already, but still energetic enough to have a good time and look forward to what’s coming next.
A word to the wise: as much as a nicely planned surprise party might sound a great idea, it is widely agreed on that you should leave the jump scare and startling effect aside for another occasion.
Parents-to-be have lots on their plates, lots going on on a daily basis and failing to involve them in the choice of date and place might result in an unwelcome outcome rather than a nice surprise.
This doesn’t mean that relatives and friends cannot plan something very special on their own. It just seems a much better idea to do so with the soon-to-be parents’ blessing and choice of where and when.
• Themed up!
If you’re familiar with our Blog, you should know by now how much we love themed parties.
Choosing a theme is lots of fun and it gives the opportunity to connect most aspects and details of the party: from location to favours, from food menus to decorations. It’s sure to transform a nice celebration into something unique and totally tailored on the personalities and taste of the guests of honour.
Although we’re talking about Baby Showers, let’s put storks and baby blue and pink aside for now.
Themes and colour palettes can include anything, and, you might find that the traditional choice of classic gender-related tones are sometimes considered outdated.
Be aware of the yay(s) and nay(s) of the parents-to-be is extremely useful: it surely helps choosing a theme that truly represents the celebrated family, and avoiding a more general theme.
In addition to more popular theme choices (Tropical, Silver and Gold, Boho), here’s a couple of ideas that might add the oomph of originality you’re looking for:
• Magic: whether they’re Harry Potter fans or simply into fantasy worlds, this would be a sure success;
• Music: it doesn’t matter whether the soon-to-be parents share the same music taste or not! If notes are a big deal in the house, this theme is sure to impress.
• Nature: from Savana to forest, and jungles and oceans, down to countryside scenarios and DIY beaches with modelling sand and lounge chairs, there’s no end to the range of combinations to recreate a corner of wild nature anywhere!
• DOs and DON’Ts: what to remember and what to avoid.
You got this! Everything is ready: food, location, decorations, that party feeling going on and all the guests are ready to celebrate – after all, it is a big moment anticipating a new beginning in a family!
While it’s great to let the enthusiasm flow in and to jump straight into the party groove, there might be you a few bumps on the way, either from involuntary negligence or distraction.
To help you make the occasion special and see it through the end with as little trouble as possible, we’ve designed a list of dos and don’ts – things you shouldn’t forget, and things you should definitely try to avoid.
DO: regardless of your budget, handmade or otherwise personalised invitations are always a good idea and sometimes very simple to create. You should include information about where and when, the chosen theme if there’s one, and whether there’s a gift list with details about it.
DON’T: whether it’s your party or you’re throwing one for someone you love, don’t feel compelled to invite everybody the parents-to-be know. Ask them who they’d like to invite and stick to their instructions, it’s their party after all. Stepping up from a nice gathering to an extra large-sized party might be frustrating, stressful and overall unwelcome.
DO: it’s a nice and sensible idea to include in the invitation a little corner where guests might specify if they’ve dietary requirements. You can then plan your menus accordingly. As the guest of honour is someone who’s probably avoiding lots of food and drinks, do a bit of research and ask the mum-to-be directly what she’d like to include. Alcohol-free drinks and a few savoury and sweet nibbles choices will probably do the trick – and your thoughtfulness will be rewarded.
DON’T: if you are the future parents and you’re organising the party, avoid taking the task of cooking upon yourself. You might think it a smart move to honour a less generous budget or entertain your guests with your amazing cooking skills, but a party menu can be tricky. You’ll definitely have a lot to juggle around as it is. If a catering company is out of the question, enrol friends and family to lend a hand, don’t be frightened to ask for help: it’s a lovely teamwork opportunity, and you’ll be surprised of how many people will be more than happy to chip in.
DO: especially when it’s a Baby Shower for baby no. 1, it is usually tradition – and expected – for guests to bring presents. You can choose to create a gift list and give details to the guests beforehand. Many will be very happy to have guidance towards something handy and useful, whether is something out of an online shop or out a selection of goods from a local retailer.
Around me: if you’re looking for a gift that unites originality, top quality and amazing features look no further – check out this Sicilian textile artisan! Rossella from Once Upon a Time Lab in Catania has a keen eye for details and her creations are 100% handmade using great quality materials. Her most sought-after gift ideas include nursery items, customisable newborn sets or school sets, and mum-daughter matching headsets. This great local artisan is located in Sicily: check out her website and drop a line: Rossella is always happy to help you choose the perfect gift.
DON’T: a gift list must include things that are nice, but useful too. It’s a one shot opportunity to get what you’ll need for the baby without breaking the bank, or to get those things that you missed, or meant to buy and you couldn’t. Don’t be unreasonable with your list, and where possible try to throw in a couple of eco-friendly options. Reusable nappies or recycled plastic changing bags are good examples.
DO: whoever is in charge of setting up for the party should choose the location keeping a few important things in mind. A good example is the list of games and activities you’re going to entertain your guests with. Some may need a reasonable amount of space, and that needs to be considered when selecting a place. Food and gifts also have an important role in deciding what makes a location perfect, for you. Here’s a very good example of a dream-like location in sight of the beautiful scenery of Sicily: it is great for themed parties and with plenty of room both indoors and outdoors.
DON’T: appearance is important, but don’t let yourself be caught in the choice of a place that, despite being beautiful, cannot suit your needs, or your guests’, adequately. A Baby Shower is a party for a person who might not be at ease with stairs, or long walks from one spot to another. Find a place that’s comfortable and beautiful, and think about your theme to avoid choosing somewhere completely out of tune compared to the party you have in mind.
– After the party?
DO: favours are a great way to thank your guests for their love and attendance, and you’re sure to please. A small budget is no obstacle to this: a simple handmade card or a snapshot of the party taken with a borrowed Polaroid, a packet of flower seeds or an handmade cake are inexpensive alternatives that are set to impress.
DON’T: don’t overdo it. Think about the length of your party, always taking into account the fact that the guest of honour is very likely to be easily tired. A couple of hours is plenty of time to have fun and relax, while a longer do might result in unnecessary stress.
Now it’s up to you to get started! We have thrown a handful of ideas your way, for your next great party. If you like the prospect of organising a Baby Shower, either for yourself or a friend or family member, feel free to contact our staff at Petralonga – we’ll be more than happy to help you create a memorable occasion.