If you know me well, you’d know just how much I hate being the center of attention. Sure, I can get up and speak to a room full of people or make a high-pressure presentation to a client, but when it comes to things like birthdays, wedding, showers, or any event that is solely based on all eyes being on me… forget about it!
So when my sisters insisted they throw me a baby shower, I was a little hesitant. A traditional baby shower was something I could never see myself doing… the games, the circle of introductions, the opening of gifts in front of an audience…. don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to plenty of traditional showers and quite enjoyed myself, but if I was going to be attending a party in my honour, I wanted it to be a bit more casual.
So you can imagine how thrilled (re: relieved!!) I was when we all agreed on a casual baby shower! Rather than rallying the girls for a half-day full of games, food, presents and baby talk, we opted for an”open-house” style shower where everyone was invited – male and female! I very much appreciated having John by my side as we celebrated our baby girl with close family and friends.
At the end of the day, both John and I agreed the shower exceeded our expectations (we weren’t too sure how some of our family would respond to this new format, but they loved it!). It was so nice to be able to mix-and-mingle freely with everyone and not be tied to a schedule! It was a format that, while not very traditional, worked for us!
If you’re interested in all the little details you can find my recap and a few tips below!
My sister, Nikki, and her husband, Tyler, were very kind to open their home up to host the shower. We tossed around the idea of renting a hall or larger space, but because we opted for the “open-house” we figured guests would filter through at a quicker pace than what they do at a traditional baby shower… plus there is something more inviting and relaxing about having a shower at someone’s house. It did get pretty crowded at one point, but everyone was having such a lovely time chatting and enjoying the food I don’t think anyone really noticed.
It’s funny, Nikki decided one a theme for my shower before she even knew I was having a girl. I think her exact words to me before my 18-week ultrasound were “you better be having a girl because I’ve got a pretty sweet “tropical” themed baby shower Pinterest board going.” She handmade the most impressive tropical balloon arch, decorated the most delicious pineapple and cactus sugar cookies, and really nailed all the little details – from the flamingo and pineapple bunting to the tropical-infused water – it was all so beautifully done!
It was very important to me that John also be present at the shower, which is why we extended the invite to all of our friends and family – male and female! Having all our friends and family gathered in one place for the afternoon made it feel more like a celebration. From great-grandmas to 7-week old babies, it was so nice to see everyone!
Registry & Gifts
The main thing I loved about the open-house style format was that I didn’t have to open gifts in front of everyone! With that in mind, we also made sure that 90% of the gifts on our registry were well under $50. We just didn’t feel right asking friends and family to buy us big-ticket items like furniture, monitors, strollers or car seats if they only had plans to stay for an hour! The only thing I requested from guests was that they brought a baby book rather than a card. I think it will be such a special moment when I sit down with baby girl and can tell her who bought her the book and why! All my guests wrote her such wonderful messages, and I know we’ll both cherish these well into the future!
Food & Drink
What would a baby shower be without food! From simple cheese & crackers and hand-decorated sugar cookies to chicken-pineapple wonton cups and creamy mac n’ cheese (courtesy of my best friend’s husband) guests had LOTS to snack on! And let’s not forget the piece de resistance… a stunning lemon and raspberry cake from Bon ApaTreat Bakery in Kitchener!
My favours were probably the most “traditional” thing at my shower! I wanted to make sure every guest went home with something that was practical and useful. Nikki reached out to Rina at Buck Naked Soap Company and commissioned the most adorable and fragrant mini bars of soap! To our surprise and delight, they even packaged each individual soap in an adorable drawstring bag with a tag that said: “From my shower to yours!” We ended up having a handful leftover, and believe me, they have not gone to waste!
So there you have it! I just want to take a minute to send a heartfelt “thank you” to our friends and family for coming out to celebrate us and baby girl. We are very lucky to have you in our lives! And a very big thank you to my sister for insisting everything be perfect and special for us.
Photos by Nicole Gingrich Photography