This week I hit the 35 week pregnant mark! Eeeek! Yesterday, I turned over to Adam before bed and while examining my belly in the bedroom mirror said, “can you believe we’ve made it this far? I never pictured me in the tail-end, giant stage of the third trimester.” He responded a mystified no. We are both equally amazed by this journey as we are surprised.
I remember when we first got married, I had a semi walk in closet with a full-body mirror. I’d take one of our small, square bedroom throw pillows and stick it under my outfits when I had a little extra time. I wanted to see what I’d look like full blown pregnant. The pillow was always oddly shaped and made me look UNREALISTIC so I’d just shrug it off and think, “I’ll probably just look like super fat and not cute.” LOL. So mean to myself, but it’s honestly what I pictured. I am more in love with my pregnant body than I ever expected to be… and I’m SURPRISINGLY smaller than I thought I’d be. It’s nothing like those pillow under my shirt sessions I used to privately hold. It’s so much better.
One of the last things I wanted to do before baby was host my own baby shower. Adam and I knew we’d have a big group, so we definitely NEVER wanted to put hosting on anyone else. We invited close to 60 people so I knew I’d want to rent a space instead of ask someone to open up their home to all those shoes and… well, bodies. Hosting your own baby shower can be a toooon of fun, if you do it right! It took me about 6 weeks to plan, so I’m here to break it down for ya! How to plan your own baby shower. For anyone interested!
- Scout the venues
A lot of venues in our city wanted a catering fee. Heck no. We weren’t about to pay $20-35 dollars per head + an hourly rental fee of the place. I called SO many places and they’re mostly organized this way. If you’re going to opt out of having your baby shower in a friend’s home like us (for whatever reason), I recommend renting an AirBnB home. This would have been our second choice. We were able to book my friend’s business venue for an hourly fee, no catering costs included, which was awesome. So much cheaper and, as you can see from the photos, so cute! Other options are public parks or if you’ve got a friend that lives in an apartment community, their clubrooms or business lounges could work! You could also host a pool party baby shower or something fun themed. Who says it has to be traditional? Memorable is always best.
This one was tricky for us. We had so many family members trying to tell us WHEN to hold the baby shower due to graduations, bridal showers, family events. At first, I really tried to accommodate everyone but it made it hard to book a good date for us. After a few weeks of back and forth, I used my giant surge of pregnancy hormones to STOP THE MADNESS. I took everyone’s suggestions but ultimately stated we were going to have the baby shower when WE found a good date that worked for us. “I’d love it if you could make it. If you won’t be able to, we totally understand.” Which was “nice” speak for, “come or not… the date is final.” Set a date that works for you and do it early!
3. Get those invites out.
Maybe it’s just me but I cannnoottt stand being invited to something 2-3 days before. I need a good 7-14 days beforehand. I just feel like it’s proper etiquette. With a baby shower, I recommend you give people at least 3 weeks of a notice, if you can. Anything after a month might be a little too far out for most people’s schedules, so try to aim somewhere within 3-4 weeks. STAY CLASSY and send those invites out with plenty of time ahead. People will appreciate it. It will feel more thoroughly planned and intentional. We got our invites from minted.com. They have THE best selection. Seriously, no one tops them. I tried several sites but some were a little too cheesy or simple… either overdone or underdone. Minted.com. has so much selection… whether you’re like me and you like them just the right amount of cool-girl cheesy, or you like them full blown cheesy with all the bells and whistles. You’re bound to find what you like. Go give them a visit!
4. Food + Dranks
With 60 people invited, food and drinks can feel a little crazed. I want to feed everyone to their heart’s content but I also don’t want to break the bank. We opted to just have desserts, coffee, and water. Well… we had planned for pink lemonade as well, BUT it may or may not have spilled in the trunk of our car on the way over. *smiles proudly*. So coffee and water it is. I split the food responsibilities with my amazing mother-in-law. Shout out to my homie. She really hooked us up. We had cookies, brownies, puff pastries, fruit cups, cupcakes, cheesecake bites, biscotti’s, m&m’s, chocolate straws… I mean – we were super stocked. I went to 5-6 thrift stores the week before and bought some inexpensive decorative platters to put all these goodies in. I think I spent like $25 dollars on 7 or 8 platters, I already had the rest. Food cost US about $50 (thanks Aldi’s), not sure how much my MIL spent, but we had a ton of leftovers and everyone seemed very happy with the turnout. I’d say: keep it simple and keep it at one food group. Sweet or savory. People will understand if there’s no buffet. The important thing is that people feel cared for and planned for. That’s what good hosting boils down to.
I pinterested my little heart out for weeks for decorations. There were so many ideas I wanted to execute, but this part just comes down to what you envision for yourself. We bought a bear and hung some balloons off of his hand. We had balloons peppered around the venue, and I bought some flowers from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to spruce up the place and make it more homey. Being that our place already had some great background decor, I wanted to keep it simple and didn’t ultimately feel like I wanted to do 10 Pinterest projects for one 4-hour event, so I didn’t. My advice is: flowers and balloons go a LONG way! They have the cutest shaped balloons these days. Numbers, baby figurines, colors. I opted for beige balloons only, but if our place would have been a little less dressed, I would have gotten some number balloons and other figurines. Start with flowers and balloons and go from there! You’ll be surprised how much is not needed.
- BONUS: Party Favors.
Adam and I spent the night before putting together around 30-40 popcorn balls. I had little tags custom made from Minted.com. “Ready to pop” was sort of the theme for my party favors. It was fun to bake with Adam and get creative in the kitchen and it was such a good parting gesture for my guests. If you can, I totally recommend a party favor! As always, keep it simple. You can make tiny bars of soap, popcorn balls, poppuri bags, or even a poem on motherhood or gratitude with a little ribbon attached to it. There are so many ways to get creative with this and you don’t have to break the bank!
That’s it! This week is all about sending out thank-you cards and making sure people know how much we personally are so grateful for their support and…. well, gifts, hehe. It was so much fun to plan my own baby shower. I got to do everything I envisioned and now that it’s over, I can put my feet up and treasure those memories. This pregnancy journey has been so beautiful and challenging and ending it with an event that brought family and friends together was the best!
And now we wait for baby to get here. He’ll be here in no time 😉
*This post was sponsored by Minted.com. As always, all opinions and thoughts expressed are my very own! 🙂