It’s 2020. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, social distancing has become something we accept, because at least it’s some sort of human interaction and if you’re friends are anything like mine, EVERYONE is pregnant. Between now and the close of 2020 my close friend group will welcome four new babies (my daughter included), my sister-in-law is due a week after me, and adding in friends from church we easily reach double digits. Needless to say, figuring out how to celebrate these sweet, unborn angels and their mamas has been a whole new experience. Although, after hosting and planning a few, I have to say, I am officially a fan of the new drive-by baby showers.
So, you’re hosting a socially distanced baby shower but have no clue how to begin? Fear not, I’ve put together a list of things that have been super helpful for me as I plan and host showers for all my favorite mamas:
1. Get the nitty gritty out of the way first.
The most difficult part about hosting a shower (drive-by or not) is getting everyone on the same page. Start by getting a group conversation going to agree on some of the foundational things: date — have some dates in mind that you know the mom/parents-to-be are free), time — I’ve preferred early morning because it’s so dang hot right now, budget and theme. Once you all agree on these things the planning goes a whole lot smoother.
2. Get those creative juices flowing and see what needs to be done.
The fun part begins! I love searching the web (Pinterest is my favorite for party planning) to get inspired by the chosen theme. Sometimes we stick with a simple color scheme, but other times we choose a specific theme (an upcoming one is pink lemonade) and then decide what needs to be purchased, what can be used that hostesses already have, and how much you can fork over for decor and any other add ons based on the chosen budget.
Things I’ve discovered are must haves:
Cute folding or easily transportable chairs for mom-to-be and hostesses, pop-up canopy, folding tables, drinks for mom-to-be and hostesses, decor and party favors. Before you go out and purchase anything, ask around to see if you can borrow from friends. I haven’t had to purchase anything big yet because usually someone, if not one of the hostesses, has everything we need.
3. Divvy up jobs.
Make sure things that are time sensitive are taken care of first so you’re not scrambling last minute to figure it out. Choose a date to have invites sent out (Evites have been popular — especially with mamas having their second baby). If you choose to go with the digital option a cute way to make it special for the guest of honor is to print out a copy of the invite, slap it in a cute frame and gift it for the mama to display somewhere.
A popular party favor for drive-by showers has been decorated sugar cookies, but you have to make sure to book a cookie lady early because they get busy fast; especially as the holidays approach. Other easy favors are bagged kettle corn with personalized stickers, a fun beverage of choice based on the theme, etc.
Decide if you want to give a gift as a hostess group or purchase things individually. I usually prefer going in as a group to get a more expensive, big-ticket item that I know might not be purchased otherwise.
After that, divide and conquer…who’s in charge of tables and chairs, flowers, balloons, drinks, favors, and gifts. Letting each person take one specific job helps make it less burdensome for any one person.
4. Don’t shy away from the balloon garlands.
A balloon garland is an inexpensive way to really spice up a drive-by party. It can connect with any type of theme and be a great backdrop for pictures. Find your balloons on Amazon or Oriental Trading (a good balloon garland typically has 150-200 balloons), purchase some balloon garland tape and if you want to save a lot of time buy an electric pump. It’s helpful if you have two people to assemble (one to inflate and another to put them on the strip). Make sure to add some big round balloons and vary the sizes you inflate to give it a professional look.
5. Set Up and PAAARTY!
Most of the drive-by showers I’ve been to or hosted have been in front of the house of the mom-to-be. It’s super convenient for the guest of honor and setup can be quick since it’s just a few tables, chairs and a canopy. Hostesses arrive 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time to make sure everything’s squared away and the mama comes out just before the guests begin arriving. Have masks and hand sanitizer readily available for the hostesses and mama to wear as you’re passing out favors, taking gifts (you can always encourage attendees to mail these ahead of time) and interacting with guests. Enjoy your beverages, snap some photos and revel in the simplicity of a drive-by shower.
These are unprecedented times and it’s easy to think nothing can be normal. While these showers look a little different, you’ll see, they can still be a blast. So make it your own, add your unique flair and embrace the time you have to socialize, albeit a bit distanced, and celebrate someone you love with family and friends.