I am beyond excited these days.
2020 will be the year that both of my daughters will have their first babies!
Such happy and weird times.
However, in these days of social distancing, it poses a dilemma in celebrating.
After a great deal of discussion, my oldest daughter and her husband, who have a large circle of close friends and family, decided a virtual baby shower was the way to go.
Once decided, her very pregnant sister and I knew we needed to figure out how to hold the celebration that didn’t feel like an awkward work Zoom meeting.
The mom and dad-to-be are major book lovers, so a book-themed shower was something we had always had in mind for them.
Making the switch to virtual would be our challenge.
I thought I’d share some ideas (seven actually) of what worked for us. 🙂
Our Invitations were sent out virtually, embracing technology from the start.
We used Paperless Post for our correspondence and loved how easy it was.
We also decided to use Zoom as our platform (as I already have the premium plan), allowing us to plan for an hour or so without interruption.
With the invites out our next step was to figure out to make this virtual baby shower feel more inclusive and interactive.
After a great deal of discussion, we landed on mailing each guest a party pack in advance, hoping guests would feel more engaged.
In our package, we included the shower game boards we would be playing, a bookmark shower favor, as well as bags filled with some of the pregnant couple’s favorite treats.
We chose games that were simple to follow and followed our book theme.
We played a game called Storybook quotes and one of the mama-to-be’s favorites, Scattergories.
A third game was played that had guests voting from their computers on such questions as “who was potty trained first mom or dad”, “who walked first” and “who weighed more at birth,” which everyone seemed to enjoy (along with the cut-out baby pics of the couple uses to indicate their answers).
Amazon gift cards were sent to the guest who won the games in real-time via email for game-winners.
In-person showers usually have an activity that also serves as a keepsake somehow, and we wanted to recreate something as close to that as possible.
In the end, we asked our guests to hand-make books in advance for the baby (this idea would also work for decorating a onesie, blocks, etc.) and then asked them to mail them back so the mom and dad could have them open on the shower day.
For these book lovers, we knew it would be something they’d cherish.
We included detailed instructions and all the supplies they might need to make a book in the party packs we mailed.
Included in the packets were these colorful blank books, which we also self-addressed with postage paid to make it as convenient as possible.
Gift tags that matched our theme to personalize the books.
And boxes of Colored pencils to get them started.
It was so exciting reading the books as they started arriving before the shower.
So many of the guests showed off their creative skills by coming up with their own take on a book.
We were so excited that so many were getting behind this book-themed baby shower!
My daughter wrote to the guests several times to give them opportunities to ask questions, offer assistance if they were struggling with Zoom or the book instructions, gently remind them about sending in their books, and garner excitement (all sent via paperless post).
We even made a contest with a prize for the first person to send in their book.
During one of the check-ins, we sent over a recipe in advance so that guests could all experience the same cocktail as the parents to be.
It was fun to see all the different takes on the Bellini recipe we shared.
This was a big one.
Test out before the shower!
We had Mom and Dad on one computer, and my daughter hosted from another.
The guests were shown on the TV screen so mom and dad could see their friends and family.
My daughter was obsessive and checked all the microphones and timed how long each game would take.
On the actual shower day, we had a few slight blips (we couldn’t play the playlist as planned), our guests didn’t spend time waiting for any issues to be cleared up.
We encouraged guests to use the chatbox during games, which was so much better than everyone talking over each other.
6. Decorate the space
Even though we were virtual, we wanted to decorate with our book theme, so we added a few baby onesies with book titles and a few other elements.
You can keep it simple but don’t skip.
You want it to feel festive for everyone involved.
I decorated the space where the mom and dad would be sitting and a little area off-screen where we served a small breakfast before we got started.
We made a baby shower playlist on Spotify for background music to set the mood and included many beloved songs from my daughters’ childhood.
We kept the music low, and our virtual guests could not hear it except during our 10-minute break.
Here it is if you’d like to listen.
After settling in and saying hello, we played a game, then toasted the parents-to-be.
Next, the couple opened the handmade books, which were a huge hit.
I loved how creative everyone was!
My daughter and son-in-law read a few of them aloud for the guests.
The books covered many personal stories and ranged from sweet to hilarious and even included a beautifully illustrated watercolored book.
I am sure these books will become treasured keepsakes.
We made sure to schedule a 10-minute break so everyone (especially the mamas-to-be) could refill their drinks or take a bathroom break.
The Parents-to-be then opened gifts and cards even though most arrived unwrapped.
It was still fun, and who doesn’t enjoy seeing a tiny onesie??
It ended up being a day that was fun and celebratory, and in the end, that’s what we were going for.
The parents felt supported and connected during this special time, and although they missed hugs, they felt loved.
My shower gift to the couple was a large basket filled with many of my favorite baby books to help get his library started!
If you’d like to peek at my choices, you can see them here.
That is it for today!
Thanks for taking a peek at our virtual book-themed baby shower.
We are still awaiting this baby’s arrival, but we have had some very happy news.
My daughter Alyssa and her husband Anthony welcomed Luca Remy just two weeks ago, and we can’t wait to meet his cousin soon!
And baby boy number two is here!! Anders Kent arrived on 10/2/20.
Both he and mama are perfect!
We are beyond blessed.
Until next time,
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