I’m not quite sure when one is to plan or even have a baby shower, but they all seem so inviting, filled with love and excitement, and most of all, a bond and sisterhood that is formed through shared experiences of parenthood. I’ve only been to a couple baby showers myself, one for my sister and another for a friend, and now I can’t believe it’s my turn to take the coveted mama seat and celebrate the little one that is to come in the next few months.
When daydreaming about the type of baby shower I would like to have I’ve been presented with many options (thanks again, Pinterest!). However, there’s one theme that has always stood out to me and that’s a storybook themed shower. I suppose it’s a bit of the teacher in me that’s excited about early literacy and sharing my favorite books with my son and the love of reading right out the gate! Here, I’ve cultivated some of my favorite inspirations for a storybook themed baby shower. Enjoy!
Storybook Themed Food & Favors // via Hostess With The Mostess Blog
I adore foods that resemble or are inspired by favorite children’s stories! People are so creative and it was fun looking around at all of the different snacks.
Some of my favorites are:
THREE LITTLE PIGS: Pigs In a Blanket
GOODNIGHT MOON: Moon Pies
PETER RABBIT: Veggie Platter
HUMPTY DUMPTY: Deviled Eggs
Also, I loved the party favors being cookies, which were inspired by the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Adorable (and who doesn’t like cookies?)!
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes Bunting // via DecoratorandCrafts Etsy Shop
One of my favorite types of decorations are bunting. Of any kind. They’re effortless to make yourself (or purchase) and you can seriously use them for every occasion. I love this idea of taking favorite illustrations from storybooks and turning them into decorations that fit the theme! Instant party piece and better yet, it can be achieved on a budget!
Instax Instant Camera // via Rinse, Repeat Blog
I need to invest in one of these little guys because they’re just so darn cute, but also it gives you an opportunity to snap some lovely pictures without the hassle of figuring out a DSLR or relying on your smartphone. I instantly fell in love with this idea for guests to snap a picture of themselves or with friends at the shower and write a note to either the baby or mama (being me). Not only would I love to save these notes from friends and family as a keepsake, but they make for a wonderful way to gain parenting advice or reminders of love and support during those tough days.
Baby’s First Library Book Inserts // via CreativeUnionDesign Etsy Shop
With my shower being centered around the storybook theme, my little boy will have entire library of books just waiting for him to dive into by the end of it. These little sticker inserts are perfect for use as a guest book by having guests write a little note to baby to include with their book. That way when I read to him each day I can share the generosity of family and friends and he’ll be reminded of the love that he is surrounded by. This also makes for a perfect gift for guests who live out of town or otherwise couldn’t make it to the shower!
About To Pop Favors // via Evermine Occasions
Even though baby showers are typically parties just for women, I love the idea of including my husband and the other men of our families in the celebration. Although baby showers tend to be very girly, I’ve loved poking around and finding fun activities and favors that men can enjoy right along with everyone else. I just love these “About To Pop!” party favors! Now, the original idea uses natural soda as the gift, but knowing my husband and family I would swap those out for beer 😉
Floral Shower Invitations // via My Fabuless Life Blog
No party is complete without baby shower invitations and these floral storybook themed invites are beyond adorable. These invitations in particular come with a note inviting guests to bring a favorite children’s book for the mama-to-be and even include an old school book plate that allows for guests to write sweet notes for the baby. This idea doubles as both the invite and guest book (see sticker idea above) and I think it’s a fabulous way to share the love with mama and baby.
Due Date Prediction Calendar // via Unknown (anyone know the original owner of this photo?)
Another fun activity for guests is to predict when the little bundle of joy is due. I love this idea of having a calendar printed and use a little baby footprint stamp for guests to make their predictions and sign their names. It’s fun to see who will be correct and it can later be a cute addition to any nursery once the baby arrives. P.S. those footprint stamps are super cute!
Before I head off I did want to share some insight into hosting baby showers that are for out-of-town guests or honorees. In my situation my husband and I live in California, his parents live in Texas, and mine are in Virginia. Whether or not we have a baby shower here, in Texas or Virginia, we leave a good portion of our families out of luck. So, how does one host a shower and make sure no ones feelings are hurt or gets offended? This is a tricky subject as one can’t possibly please everyone, but here are some helpful hints I found to those looking to invite out-of-town guests to a baby shower.
TO SEND AN INVITE OR NOT TO SEND AN INVITE?
I believe it’s important that all guests, even those who are out-of-town or state, receive an invite to a shower. It’s thoughtful and you never know who will surprise you! Sometimes the gift of someones presence is enough of a gift and you’d be surprised how many people make the effort to make it to your shower. Even if they can’t make it, the thought is what counts and you want to make sure everyone feels included in the festivities.
TO INCLUDE THE REGISTRY INFO OR NOT?
There’s a big debate on whether or not to include a link to your baby registry on your invitations. So, I’ll leave this up for you to decide. Some believe it’s too forward to suggest an invitee must give a gift regardless of if they are able to attend where others think it’s a great resource to share. However, this is where you need to know your audience and gauge whether or not your recipients would be offended by this or not. Everyone everywhere differs, but you know your friends and family best.
*If you have a theme, such as the storybook idea, it may be helpful to include a note that suggests guests bring a themed gift such as a children’s book for baby. It’s a budget friendly gift that everyone can bring even if they decided to ship your bigger gift directly to your home. That way no one feels left out and everyone brought something to share with the mama-to-be!
SHIPPING YOUR OWN GIFTS
Shipping is a cost that a mama-to-be should include when attending a shower that is out-of-state for either her or her guests. Asking for guests to ship their gifts fit into the rude category and it’s a good rule of thumb to never assume your guests won’t have a problem doing that. Simply look up shipping costs for each size item you receive and ship them home yourself. Try traveling with one checked bag or carry-on luggage that will fit smaller gifts to help cut down on shipping costs. Keep in mind that the purpose of showers is to simply “shower” one with love and opening gifts is a major part of the celebration.
SUGGEST DON’T TELL
It is a huge no-no to tell your guests what to bring to your baby shower in regards to gifts…even if you’re the traveling mama. The fun part about showers is that gifts take all sorts of forms from actual registry items, to family heirlooms or keepsakes, handmade items, or even the surprise visit from friends and family you thought couldn’t make it. So, never tell your guests: ONLY GIFT CARDS or PICTURES OF BOUGHT ITEMS (that are shipped). It’s rude and takes away from the fun of having a baby shower in the first place. Minor suggestions (such as the baby book idea) is okay as long as you leave the option for guests to bring whatever gift they deem appropriate and want to bring.
At the end of the day, these invite etiquette ideas are simply suggestions that one should consider when inviting out-of-town/state guests. Remember that you’ll never please everyone, but the goal is to minimize as much tension or hurt feelings as humanly possible. If you’re up front with your guests that you’ll be traveling for the occasion it’s pretty common sense for your family and friends to understand and plan accordingly. You know your guests best and at the end of the day it should be a day of celebrating you and your little one on the way!
Do you have any invite etiquette suggestions that should be added to this list? What do you personally find rude when receiving an invite, especially if you live out-of-town/state?
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