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Years ago, the most common practice was to hold a baby shower to celebrate the new life. This gave friends and family members the opportunity to give gifts the expecting parents could use for their upcoming bundle of joy.
Nowadays, gender reveal parties are becoming the norm for folks wanting to celebrate their new arrival. Which should you choose? Baby shower? Gender reveal? Both?
That’s where we come in. We’ve created with this guide to baby showers and gender reveals to help you figure out which event suits your needs best and how to throw it successfully. We’ll include tips on finding baby shower venues as well.
How to hold a baby shower or gender reveal party
You might think a baby shower is just about giving gifts to the mother-to-be. The truth is, they can be a much bigger affair than that. Meanwhile, gender reveals are more like a family party. This guide will help you choose the type of event you want to hold, which one to hold, or how to hold both.
Deciding which event to host
You’ve probably wondered, “Can you hold a baby shower and a gender reveal party?” The answer is yes, of course. Many parents often host both a gender reveal and a baby shower. However, if cost is a factor, you may find yourself forced to choose between the two.
The way we celebrate these events is also changing. For starters, it is now more common to have a baby shower or gender reveal for second and subsequent children. In the past, it was only acceptable to have a baby shower for your first-born child, and never for babies that were the same gender.
Many people still opt to have two separate events. A baby shower is a more general celebration of the baby. A gender reveal, on the other hand, is usually reserved for close family and friends.
That being said, deciding on what order to have your celebrations or whether to combine them is a big decision.
Planning a baby shower
It is customary for a relative or friend of the mother to host the baby shower. Planning a baby shower for an expectant mother is all about catering to her needs and tastes.
A baby shower is typically held between 28 and 35 weeks of pregnancy. This way, there is time before the baby is due and the mother is more comfortable. The later the shower is held, the more uncomfortable the mother may be. It is always advised to hold the shower earlier rather than later.
The guest list can include anyone that the mother (and father) chooses. In some cases, it is a female affair. In others, it is a family affair.
Registering for gifts should be done as early as possible so that guests can bring things the mother-to-be will need for the baby.
When it comes to baby shower venues, you’re spoiled for choice. Select a space that caters to the mother’s tastes and has enough space for everyone on the guest list. Before booking a venue, confirm whether catering is available on-site and whether you’re allowed to bring in your own vendors. You may also want to choose a space that lets you decorate.
For invitations, it is customary to send the invites four weeks before the date of the shower. This means the planning process for a baby shower needs to begin extremely early, perhaps soon after the pregnancy is announced.
Planning a gender reveal party
A gender reveal party is different than a baby shower. It functions much more like a traditional party, with some key elements related to the reveal portion of the event.
The most important consideration of a gender reveal party is that the gender of the baby is known by the person hosting the party. Many times, parents will give the sealed ultrasound results to the person planning the party so that everyone, even the parents, is kept unaware of the gender until the big reveal.
The next part of the party is picking a theme. The possibilities are virtually endless. People tend to get super creative with gender reveal parties. You can usually consult with the parents for ideas.
Third and most important is your reveal method. Again, you have countless options to choose from — popping balloons filled with dye, cutting a reveal cake, and opening an envelope with colored paper are just a few ideas. If you’re hosting a gender reveal party at a venue, let the staff know your method to ensure it doesn’t break any rules.
Speaking of the venue, the location can be anything, from a personal residence to a formal venue. You’ll want to include food and beverages for the party as well.
Gender reveals are more laid-back affairs than bridal showers and mostly include family and close friends.
Combining the two
Many people are now combining the two events into one. The major difference is that guests bring gifts for the baby and the parents, and the reveal is planned at some point during the shower. These combined events are typically not as formal as some traditional baby showers, and men are usually included for at least part of the celebration.
The planning can be a mix of the two events: one part formal baby shower, with a gift registry and formal invitations, and one part standard gender reveal party, with themes, games, and refreshments.
This has been our guide on choosing between a baby shower and gender reveal party, as well as how to combine the two. Once you’ve figured out how you’d like to celebrate, start searching for baby shower venues and gender reveal locations to get the ball rolling.