Showered with Love | A Practical Guide to Throwing a Memorable Shower
We’ve all been there—the shower of an acquaintance where chartreuse-colored punch is in abundance and strangers comply with group games. Guess the belly size of the mother-to-be! What’s in the diaper? Quick, wrap the bride-to-be in toilet paper!
Showers, for all of their good intentions and merriment, can sometimes be, well, awkward. When social circles from various corners of a person’s life come together, it can be a challenge to unite the group—even when their sole purpose is celebrating the guest of honor. The good news? Showers can be intentional, thoughtful, memorable and, dare we say it? Fun.
Make merry before they’re married
A prewedding shower is all about celebrating the journey two people are taking as a couple. It’s a time to ease any prewedding jitters, to pamper the guest of honor (or guests of honor if both partners will be at the shower), and send them off toward wedded bliss with gifts and words of wisdom that they’ll value for years to come.
A memorable shower can be achieved by checking off three primary boxes: venue, food and entertainment. All three should aim to be a reflection of the couple in some way.
For example, if the couple is outdoorsy, what better way to honor their relationship than with a shower by a lake or at a winery with picturesque mountains as a backdrop? If they are creative, a pottery studio or art gallery could set the perfect tone. If they’re more inclined to stay close to home, an in-home shower or a cozy coffee shop will do the trick. Aim for a venue that fits the couple’s personality and creates a comfortable environment for guests. And remember, you may have guests of all ages in attendance, so accessibility for older guests plus safe play areas for the youngest guests should be considered.
After you’ve picked a venue, the food will naturally follow. The venue may offer catering, so your job will be even easier. Curate a menu of your guest of honor’s favorite foods, or find a theme that you know they’ll love. Better yet, find a theme that they’ll love plus one that coordinates with the venue.
Remember the shower for the outdoorsy couple? Their gorgeous shower in the mountains would be complete with a sprawling grazing table and charcuterie—plus wine from the winery. A cozy coffee-shop shower calls for pastries and doughnuts galore.
Next comes the entertainment and the dilemma: games or no games? Games and activities can serve as wonderful icebreakers for guests who don’t know each other as well, and they intentionally fill time between eating and gift opening. Rather than working to make games fit into the shower, first consider the guests who will be in attendance. If they’re more outgoing, social people, interactive games like a scavenger hunt, vow Mad Libs, or newlywed trivia will help guests mingle. Alternatively, consider nixing the games altogether and opting for an activity instead. Group wine tastings, pottery painting, or even something as simple as filling out date-night idea cards are intentional activities that will leave an impression.
Prep parents and celebrate baby
Whether someone is having a baby, adopting a child, or starting the foster care journey, one thing is certain: Growing a family is an occasion worth commemorating and celebrating. A party for new parents is all about equipping them with the tools they need (and some they may not know they need!) and showering them with love and support.
Similar to wedding showers, baby showers are all about reflecting the parents’ personalities with the venue, food and activity choices, but with one key twist: If they are having their first child, their third child, or will be fostering a number of children, their needs will be slightly different. Those needs should play into the overall theme of the baby shower.
First child? The shower should be filled to the brim with first-time-parent gear, children’s books, and advice from other parents. Second or third child? The shower (sometimes called a “sprinkle”) may not need to cover the basics—stroller, changing table, diaper pail—so it can instead focus on the everyday necessities like diapers, adorable clothes, and gifts that pamper the parents. Foster care? Parents may not know the gender or age of their child until the last minute, so these showers can run the gamut of covering basic needs, everyday necessities, and feel-good items that will help a child feel at ease in a new space.
One rule is universal, though, when it comes to a baby shower: No expectant mother wants their guests to guess the circumference of their belly. Nix that game idea and instead invite guests to guess due dates and birth weights, or to write words of wisdom for parents to refer to during late-night feedings or moments when they need a little extra support.
No matter what type of shower you’re hosting, remember to plan with intention, plan with the guest of honor in mind, and plan to have lots of fun. ✦