Throwing a Baby Shower in Houston

Whether you are a newly expecting momma who is starting to think about what you may want from your baby shower or a friend or family member tasked with hosting a baby shower or sprinkle, I am here to help!  I am not a party planner, designer, or expert on the topic {although I was an event planner many moons ago}.  I’m not very crafty and am no expert in the kitchen – I’m just your standard, busy mom who loves to **shower** my expecting friends with love from time to time {and I mean time to time to time to time as I’ve done this plenty of TIMES}!

This is my little checklist that resides in my head when I’m throwing a shower.  My motto is always to keep it simple!  If something becomes too stressful, cut it out.  I am not a DIY person, but if you are, there are lots of ways to use those skills too.

Baby Shower Planning Tips

Who Will Host?

The first item to address is who is hosting.  Is it just you or can you bring on a team?  I’ve hosted showers with one other “partner” which is super easy to divide and conquer tasks with, and I’ve also hosted with large groups.  Working with a group can sometimes be stressful if you like things to be done a certain way, but there are certainly financial benefits!  My advice if hosting with a large group is to learn your role.  Is the group counting on you to take the reigns or is someone else the boss?  In that case, just take your assignment and check in from time to time with your progress.

I’m a huge fan of a group email to keep everyone on track and run ideas by.

Numero Uno piece of advice when co-hosting is to always run costs by everyone before pulling the trigger.  You never know what others were planning on spending on the shower.  I have a friend recently who was co-hosting with a group of ladies and assumed she would end up spending around $100-$150 for her portion of the costs.  Turns out another host thought she would only owe $30.  You don’t want to be the girl who ends up spending triple on their assignment than everyone else.

Date & Venue

The next key item to get done as early as possible is the date.  Obviously you need to make sure it is ideal for the guest of honor, but make sure to poll other key guests like the other hostesses and parents of the mom-to-be.  I have no issues with shooting a quick email to these VIP guests to mark their calendars months before the actual invites will go out.

Venue is always the hardest factor in planning a shower and probably the biggest factor in what your budget will be.  Hosting at someone’s home tends to make things a little cheaper; however, it is A LOT more work – so depending on the size of the group, I usually prefer to have it hosted at a restaurant.

Chelsea’s Top Three Baby Shower Spots in Houston ::

Junior League of Houston Tea Room

Ouisie’s Table

Corner Table

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Honorable Mentions :: Tiny’s No. 5 & Backstreet Cafe

If you are going the home route, you need to think carefully about extra things like serving pieces, silverware, seating, tables, and parking.  You don’t want extra costs to creep up on you because you didn’t think it through – and trust me, I speak from experience!  Hopefully, if there is something you don’t have, you can just borrow it from a friend or other hostess.  I’ve gone both the homemade food route where each hostess brings a dish and the catered route.  My go-to caterer in Houston is TG’s To-Go – you won’t be disappointed!

Theme & Invites

The easiest way to pick a theme for the shower is to find out how the mommy-to-be is decorating the nursery.  This way all of the shower decorations can double as nursery decor!  Of course, run this by the mom-to-be to make sure she is happy with this idea.

For invites, it is nice to do a paper invitation so the honoree has a great keepsake for her baby book and that’s one more item you can use as decor at the shower!  Don’t forget to include where the honoree is registered either on the actual invitation or on an insert.  I’ve read before that it’s tacky to do this, but these days I’ve yet to see this info NOT included – so I say go for it.  It certainly makes it easier for the guests to not have to search for registry info.

Decor

I always turn to Etsy for my shower invitations, but our sponsor Crowning Details has some cute options in their shop too!  I look for something that fits the theme and then customize from there.  I opt for the digital file that you will print yourself.  My go-to place for printing is Office Depot/Max, and then I usually purchase envelopes at Michael’s.  Very affordable and lots of options!

If you prefer a local shop to order your invites through in Houston, I recommend Bering’s.  Both locations will help you every step of the way and offer a million and one options for you.

Decor

Try to pick a couple of cute elements you can focus on for your baby shower.  You do not need to decorate every inch of your house or restaurant.  Just a few fun pieces that the honoree and guests will get excited over and warm up the room.  Some ideas include a diaper cake, banner, floral arrangements, onesie banners, decorated cake or cupcakes, or stuffed animal display.  I love trying to think of a few pieces that will not only look good at the shower, but will look great in the nursery – like a wreath or framed piece of art.  Even a giant monogram of the baby’s name.

No matter what the theme or location – I always try to do a few small floral arrangements for the occasion.  You can make them yourself or hire a professional.  Either way works.  If possible, it’s a nice gesture to give the arrangements to the honoree and her family to take home at the end of the shower.  My go-to florist is Allison of Swish Productions {pictured below}.

JL3

Woodland

Sara Shower 400

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Food & Drink

Food and drink are often the hardest decision for me, and it depends mostly on the size of the shower, time of day, and your budget.  If you do not have a large budget, do not worry!  You can have a wonderful shower without spending a lot.  I would recommend having it at someone’s home so you don’t have to pay minimums and room fees.  You can have a “brunch” shower with lots of yummy breakfast foods and juices that tend to be less expensive {think pastries} or do it in the afternoon between lunch and dinner and just serves snack or dessert foods.

JL7

Serving alcohol will drastically up your spend, so if you are tight on your budget, I say skip it.  It’s a nice touch if you can afford it, but it’s not like the honoree will be partaking in it!  Punch or lemonade, tea, and water are perfectly acceptable.  If I’m hosting at a home rather than a restaurant, I like to do customized water bottle labels.  Function that doubles as decor {see a theme here}.  Ask the person who designed your invites to make these for you.

WaterBottles

If you are having it at a restaurant, you can do a set menu so you can control what is ordered and spent.  Have the restaurant do a printed menu or you can create one yourself to make it easy on you and your guests.  Communicate ahead of time with the staff on what you are willing to pay for.  The biggest question being alcohol or no alcohol.  It honestly does not matter – just make the decision and communicate it with everyone working with the event that day so there is no confusion or awkward situations.

Houston Baby Shower 071

Games & Gifts

I’m probably the wrong girl to ask about shower games because I actually don’t like them.  I’ve done them all though, so if you love them – do them!  There are the classics like the baby food guessing game, poopy diaper candy bar game, and guessing the size of the mom-to-be’s growing belly {proceed with caution on this one}.  If you are in a group of close friends, I’ve found that they would rather just talk to each other than stop and play a game.  If you are attending the shower with strangers, a game can sometimes be awkward.  One thing I don’t mind is taking time to write something special for the baby or new mommy.  We recently did a “Baby Wishes” card at a small shower I hosted.  Since it was a more intimate group, we each read the card to the group after our gift was opened.  Hello waterworks!

Wishes

Regarding gifts, keep in mind when planning that most people like to see their gift opened at the shower.  This always takes more time than you expect, and I like to be respectful of people’s time – so I prefer for the gift-opening to be the main event.

For your gift, if you are planning the baby shower with several hostesses, consider pulling your money together and going in on a group gift.  This is a great way for the mom-to-be to get something “larger” on her registry that she is less likely to receive as a gift, like a stroller or infant seat.  You can also assign this task to one of the hostesses, giving you {or them} more time to focus on planning!

Favors

There are a million things you can do for a nice baby shower favor to thank your guests for coming, but let me make it super simple for you – cookies!  Just take this worry off your list and order enough cookies for 1 per guest with a few extras {for you} and to give to the honoree to take to her hubby and such.  The best part is that these can be placed at each place setting or on your table scape to double as party decor!  I usually order from Paulie’s – they are known in Houston for the best cookies that will coordinate with any theme.  Just buy clear bags from Michael’s and tie with a matching ribbon and favor tag {usually customized by the same vendor who does your invites}.

Houston Baby Shower 029

Cookies

If you are super opposed to cookies {how dare you} another great idea that has worked for a shower I helped with was giving each guest a lavender sachet.

Sara Shower 414

I hope this helps next time you are hosting a baby shower in the Houston area!  My biggest tip is just to have fun with it!  And don’t miss my Tips for Throwing a First Birthday Party in Houston or Jessica and Sarah’s Tips for Throwing a Sprinkle!

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2 Responses to Throwing a Baby Shower in Houston

  1. Avatar
    Mandi Roach @ All My Happy Endings March 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    Great suggestions and beautiful photos! I love hosting these types of gatherings, and I always welcome some fresh insight into party planning.

  2. Avatar
    Brinn June 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Any venues you know of for an indoor/outdoor co-ed potluck type shower? Our host’s new house may not be finished in time! (Mid-Sept date, so it might still be warm outside – meaning park pavilions would need an indoor area to cool off in)

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