Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hosting a Baby Shower Across the Country

I recently had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower with my sister-in-law for our cousin and her wife. However, this wasn't your typical baby shower; it took place in Boston, with most of the planning happening in New Hampshire and Florida. The theme of this baby shower was "easy going decor that travels well."

The mothers to be decided wait to find out the baby's gender, so we went with fall purple and green. I couldn't help myself so I threw in a bit of champagne glitter as well. Considering only one part of the shower was glittery, I think I showed great restraint. I doubt the carpet where all the excess glitter landed agrees.

Since the shower was being held in our cousin's apartment in Boston (which was actually quite spacious!), I knew space would be more limited than what I am used to when planning showers. I decided to stick to a festive food table and a paper banner for where the gifts would be opened. I didn't want to deal with buying craft supplies in Boston so everything had to fit into checked luggage without breaking.

The flowers were sent by a wonderful friend who couldn't make it, considering she had recently moved to Australia. I can't take credit for how beautiful the arrangement looks as my only contribution was sharing the color scheme of the table.

The cakes, chargers, napkins, forks, and plates traveled with me in my suitcase. My sister-in-law provided the brownies and the serving bowl and platter were part of our cousin's collection. I added in grapes at the last minute in case people wanted something slightly less sugary.

My sister-in-law organized the onesie decorating as a way to entertain the guests. She provided onesies of various sizes, paint pens, and cardboard rectangles to keep the paint from bleeding through. She also framed a cute sign explaining the project, but I forgot to get a picture of it! The was actually very popular with most of the guests, so I definitely recommend this idea for anyone hosting a shower with men and women.

The banner turned out really cute, if I do say so myself. It doesn't exactly go with the table decor, but the colors are complimentary and the rooms were somewhat separate. I almost went with a peacock feather and sparkly purple theme but changed my mind at the last minute. The nursery has a western theme and I wanted the banner to coordinate in case they wanted to keep it.

I have a few tips for anyone who finds themselves hosting an event across the country. First, ask for help! I could not have done it without my sister-in-law. She was able to take care of all the heavy beverages since she lives within driving distance of the city. And it made a huge difference in the planning that I could count on her to figure out all the details for the onesie decorating activity.

It is also more economical to host the event at someone's home; I don't think anyone thought our choice of location was odd or tacky due to out of town hosts. However, this is not the time to leave who is hosting off the invitation. The invitation clearly stated that we were hosting so nobody thought the mothers to be were having their own party.

I am so happy I decided to keep the decor and menu simple. I was able to do all the DIY in Florida, which made set up super easy. I think I worked for maybe three hours total setting everything up over the course of two days. That left a lot of time for visiting, which is far more important than Pinterest worthy tablescapes. Not having to place food orders over the phone and then either relying on delivery or trying to pick up the order in an unfamiliar location also kept the event low stress. And everyone loves homemade desserts! The theme of the week is baby shower, so stay tuned for more info.