» baby shower: sara + george «
I’m 33. My husband and I don’t have children, but hope to sometime in the next 2 years. The majority of my friends are between 30 and 40 and most are either single, trying to get pregnant or have children who are less than two years old. In my very scientific and lengthy research (read: Googling “average age having baby in US”), I found the confirmation that what I suspected was true: we are a bit older than the average new parent. The average age to have a baby for developed nations is 26.8 years and in the US it is 24.8 years. The average age to have a baby for White/Europeans is 26.5 years. This is from the Average Age To Have A Baby Calculator, so it’s surely 100% accurate.
What I’m saying is, in addition to holiday parties, bachelorette weekends and weddings, I’ve been throwing and attending a decent number of baby showers as-of-late. In the past two years, I have helped to throw three fairly elaborate co-ed showers. The most recent one was for our friends Sara and George (who run Greater Good Studio) and was held at Michael’s and my home. Their daughter, Sophie, is about to celebrate her first birthday, so I thought it’d be fitting to feature their shower today.
I planned the party with Emily, our local culinary genius, and we decided to make it a girly party, despite it being co-ed, since Sophie was the first girl to be born among our group of friends. We decided that a tea party would be cute and appropriate—in part, because George is British.
The tea party theme was realized through sort of shabby chic, thrifted décor and objects. In the time leading up to the party, I found over 30 teacups and saucers at local thrift stores, as well as some mismatched serving pieces (like large plates, cake stands and pitchers). I used my Silhouette machine to cut out gift tags, wrote everyone’s name on one and attached them to the teacups, which I stacked haphazardly on our dining room and entryway tables. Guests were invited to take home their teacups at the end of the party. I had intended to send out to our guests a list of ideas for what to do with old teacups but I never did. Maybe I’ll post the ideas here on the blog.
Decorations at the party included:
- bunting made of twine and ribbon
- hanging crepe paper streamers, which looks better in photos I’ve seen online than it did at my house
- pink balloons
- grocery store flowers in pink, white and green
- burlap covering the table, leftover from Halloween
- table cloths borrowed from Emily
- tchotchkes from around our apartment, like ceramic birds and colored vases
- various signs made from cheapo white IKEA frames that I’ve had forever, scrapbook paper and Craig’s awesome handwriting
- drink stirs made with various pink ribbon knotted around broken-down skewers
In addition to tea we served coffee and Mimosas. Emily took care of all of the food, which included finger sandwiches, fruit and various desserts. Keeping up with the tea and coffee was a bit of a chore. Make sure you are set up to do hot beverages like this is the most efficient manner possible. Carafes and multiple teapots are helpful. And you can never have too much Champagne and orange juice. People drink mimosas like crazy.
Games and activities at showers are typically excruciating, especially at baby showers. I always think of the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory and Lorelai attend Christopher’s girlfriend Sherry’s baby shower—it’s so painful…
…but still, I struggle with having a themed party (like a shower or bachelorette) where there isn’t something “extra” to do. My friends and I get together all the time, so I like to be creative when we have a specific reason to celebrate.
I decided to do one of those Q&A type of “games” where the respective parents answer questions and the guests try and determine who said what, winner gets a prize. I designed a ballot-type of form that had questions like: What personal talent or skill do you hope to pass on to your daughter? (example answer, you had to guess if it came from Sara or George: A musical ear ([Spouse] can’t sing). Being a good speller and a clear communicator. Having empathy for other people.) I asked them both the same questions and then picked one answer to each, subbing in [Spouse] where I needed to. Some of the answers were fairly easy to guess (with George saying things like “balls” and whatnot), but it was fun. I think the winner only missed one.
Sara and George had asked for their guests to gift children’s books so we decided to make book plates for the guests to fill-out. Craig drew some up graphics and type and I laid it out and printed them on full-sheet 8.5 x 11 label paper.
The soon-to-be parents opened their gifts and books, passing the latter around for everyone to reminisce. The party was cute and fun. Everyone liked liked the theme and the food was simple but tasty. In addition to managing the drinks, the hardest thing was finding room for everyone to sit. The party started out without any space issues, but once we moved on to the game, it got crowded to all be gathered in the living room. It was also the first time we had young children running around our apartment. We have a lot of stuff for kids to get into.
All told, pretty successful. Watch in coming weeks as I’ll showcase Emily and Craig’s woodland-themed shower and April and Lucas’s carnival-like shower.
[image credits: photos by Michael Kiser; digital images grabbed by me]