Oh no. Not another baby shower.
When I first started Vintage Twee over 8 and half years ago, I was introduced to the concept of a baby shower. It was all about the storks, the pink and blue balloons and sickly sweet cupcakes. You were frowned upon if you didn’t stroke the mum to be’s bump or pretend you liked her list of potential baby names. My honest opinion back then of the traditional baby shower hasn’t changed much now either. I was in a restaurant the other day and watched a table of 12 women buried beneath giant ‘A B C’ blocks and balloons in the shape of a baby’s head. They were quite scary. (the balloons and the women). Enter: The Alternative Baby Shower.
So what’s the alternative?
A baby shower doesn’t have to be about confetti filled baby bottles and giggly games. Most women just want an excuse to be with their friends, relax and have a good time. And getting a little help towards the expenses that comes with having a new arrival is always appreciated. Life can be so serious . So many negative things happen from day to day so why not celebrate some good news? We should embrace the happy things, such as new life. And we should also recognise that if mum to be doesn’t want to see a hint of pink/blue/stork (think Miranda, Sex and the City – love that episode!) then why should she? Plan her the most amazing alternative baby shower that is all about HER. Because those days are limited and she will literally love you forever.
Step 1: Pick a theme.
The mum to be is most likely going to be someone close to you if you are going to the trouble of organising a baby shower for her. It could be your best friend, sister or even work colleague. You know them well so what do they like? Whatever theme you choose for an alternative baby shower, it should reflect mum to be perfectly. Not only will she enjoy herself much more, so will her guests which is equally as important when hosting a successful event.
Here are some great ideas for alterative baby shower themes:
– 1950’s inspired – think diner style food, retro sweets and cherry topped cupcakes. Hire a jukebox. Treat mum to be and arrange for her hair and make up to be done vintage style. You could even do a photoshoot.
– Music – perhaps mum to be is a musician or music teacher. Music themed decorations such as our Baby Shower Rosettes are a fabulous, alternative accessory for all of the guests to wear!
– Afternoon Tea – if your friend is anything like me and lives for tea and cake – then this is the perfect theme for her alternative baby shower. Serve a civilised afternoon tea over fine china cups and pretty cake stands filled with tempting treats. It doesn’t even have to be summer to sit outside – you can find lots of lovely places that serve afternoon tea indoors such as hotels and spas. And maybe book her in for a pedicure while she’s there…
– Rustic chic – this is genius if mum to be isn’t a girly girl. And even better if she doesn’t know the sex of the baby. Think neutral colours and lots of hessian, burlap (and lace if you can get away with it!). Go for a woodland feel if she likes spending time outdoors or an industrial vibe if she’s more of a city girl. Either way, keep it simple – and stay away from the storks.
Step 2: Pick a venue.
This will ultimately depend on what theme you choose for the alternative baby shower. For example, if you are going 1950’s, then you may want to host it in an American style diner. For afternoon tea lovers, you might decide on a country hotel and spa. For rustic chic, you could hold it in a beautiful outdoor space for spring/summer showers. Or mum to be’s favourite trendy haunt for an urban, industrial vibe. Just make sure that it is somewhere that mum to be will be happy and comfortable spending time and you won’t go far wrong. Venue choice will also depend on factors such as who you are inviting. Is it going to be an adult only affair or are the children of guests welcome? This brings me nicely to Step No 3: The Guestlist.
Step 3: The Guest List
Possibly one of the most important steps in organising any event. You need to get together a decent guest list, filled with people who mum wants there. And more importantly, the people who actually want to come. Because those who roll their eyes at the mere mention of a party that’s not about them, don’t deserve an invite. That’s a very important point of an alternative baby shower. Only invite the people you care about and who care about you. As we get older, we start to realise how precious time is. And more so when you don’t have a lot of it due to our insanely busy, modern day lifestyles. So don’t waste time or money on those people who haven’t been there for mum.
If you’re organising the alternative baby shower as a surprise for your friend, use Facebook to contact those people who you know she would want there. Set up a Whatsapp group message with the guests so everyone knows the details or be a traditionalist (like me!) and send them a themed invitation. Everyone loves receiving something through the post.
Step 4: The Gift List
The idea of a baby shower is to give mum lots of gifts that will help her out once the baby is born. That’s great and I’m sure she’ll use them. However, the point of an alternative baby shower is to do things differently. And since it’s all about mum, why not buy her things for herself that she will love/want/need?? Whenever I see my sister who has 2 kids under 5, I always make sure I take her a gift, as well as the children. Because most of the time, she doesn’t have the energy to pick herself something new to wear. I’ve taken her all sorts of much appreciated gifts in the past but here’s a few ideas for totally selfish mum only gifts!
– Some luxury bubble bath and moisturiser
– A new diary or notepad – who doesn’t love stationery?!
– A supply of every day essentials – those things that you always run out of and have to organise a last minute shopping trip to stock up: deodorant, make up, make up remover, cotton wool, hand cream. And hair grips – I’m always losing them…
Step 5: Transport
Depending on at what stage you host the alternative baby shower, mum to be may be carrying a hefty weight around. You don’t want her feeling hot, sweaty and grumpy by the time she arrives at the venue. Plan an alternative form of transport to take her that fits in with your theme. Perhaps a vintage car, limousine or even a camper van! And make sure she gets a ride home and it’s not a one way ticket…
So there you have it! 5 steps to hosting an alternative baby shower Vintage Twee style! It doesn’t have to be all storks and ‘Pin the Sperm on the Egg’. You know your friend better than anyone. Put those years of knowledge into practice and throw her an alternative baby shower that she will remember forever – for all the right reasons.