Whether you are the mama-to-be or the baby shower hostess, one of the first big tasks you will accomplish together is the shower invitations.
Are you working on your guest list, choosing your theme and other fun details for your baby shower? How about your invites?
You might not think twice about shower invites. However, invites are one of the most important aspects of a shower. They set the stage for the whole affair and dictate all further planning. Not to mention how time consuming they can be depending on what approach you take.
With the perfect invite, you can convey a lot of information in a beautiful format. In addition to basic info, your guests can get a sense of the theme, where you’re registered, what the vibe of the baby shower will be, and who they can expect to be there.
Here, I explain why you want to put time and emphasis on your invites through these 7 lessons I have learned myself. With these lessons, you’ll know your invitations include all the necessary information, will be sent on time, and are well-coordinated for the perfect baby shower.
Disclosure: I am really happy to work with our sponsor, Basic Invite, today to share this information with you!
7 Tips on Baby Shower Invitation Etiquette
1. What to put on your baby shower invite?
Most of you can guess that this should include the who, what, when, where, the registry and the RSVP. However, if you haven’t fully planned out your shower at this point, you might miss a key point.
The who: This can be any combination of mama-to-be, baby, and dad-to-be. Dad-to-be is usually included if the baby shower will be a co-ed shower. When baby is included, it is common to add baby’s last name if the first name isn’t known or isn’t being shared. You should add in baby’s full name if you want to share that or want monogrammed gifts.
Some examples to help you with the who for your invitation wording:
- Please Join us for a baby shower in honor of [mama to be and/or dad to be]
- Please join [hostess’ name] for a baby shower in honor of [mama to be and/or dad to be]
- Help us celebrate the upcoming arrival of [baby’s full name]
- Any of these might be followed by, Hosted by [hostess’ name]
An advantage to ordering invitations that are designed specifically for a baby shower, is that the guess work of wording is taken out of the equation. Simply choose a design or format that includes everyone you want featured on your invite or that best fits the baby shower vibe you desire.
The what: Simply put, the what is a shower. However, if you plan to have a specific theme or a specific request, add it to the title such as a Bring-a-book baby shower.
The when and where: Baby showers are usually held in the third trimester. More specifically, during weeks 30-32 of pregnancy, which is the end of your 7th month. Invites should go out 8-10 weeks before the shower date. If your guest list is mostly local, you can get away with sending them closer to the 6-8 week window.
The registry: Most people prefer you add a registry because they want to get you items you want and need. Your guests can always choose to not utilize it so remember to include one. Additionally, you should try to group all of your registries in one place, so you don’t have to list more than one registry.
Be sure to have where you are registered printed on your actual invitation. A friend of mine had her registry info on a slip of paper inside of the invite and more than half the guests never saw the information because it got stuck in the envelope.
The RSVP: Remember to use the hostess’ address, email or phone number for RSVP. If you need guests to send something in such as a baby photo for a shower game, be sure to include this piece of directions with the RSVP directions.
2. Should I send printed invites or email invites?
While electronic invitations are becoming quite popular, they are best left for more informal get togethers and parties. Remember, your invitation sets the stage for your whole shower and it is so much nicer to receive an invite in the mail rather than just another email.
Baby showers are parties where you will have multiple generations and personally, I don’t like inviting my grandparents to an event by email. You also risk having email go to spam as your hostess, not you, would be emailing out the invites.
On printed cards, it is less tacky to add your registry, you can be very clear who is invited such as spouses and/or children. You also reduce the risk of someone sharing it on Facebook and having people see it on feeds that weren’t invited.
3. Should I include dad-to-be?
Having a couples shower is becoming more and more popular. If you go this route, be sure to use co ed baby shower invitations. This will make it very clear that men are also invited. A popular cute theme is “a baby is brewing” to make the party less girly. Try adding in games that would create some fun and good laughs, such as diapering or swaddling a baby doll while blind folded.
Other options include only having the dad-to-be attend, which could be nice if the shower will include a lot of his family members or if you don’t want all the attention on you while opening gifts. Another option is to have the guys go do their own thing and meet up with the baby shower party at some point. Decide what fits your group best and be sure to make it clear on the invitations.
4. What should my shower theme be?
While you can pick any theme, a really popular trend is to have your shower theme match your nursery theme, and for good reason. The first reason is that all the decorations you buy for your shower can now double as decorations for your nursery. A big win because decorations can be expensive.
The second reason is even if you have a registry, a lot of people want to pick out their own gifts for baby. By making the shower the same theme as the nursery and letting people know this, you increase the likelihood of liking the gifts.
A simple way of making it clear is to state it on the invitations such as “help us fill Baby Erickson’s safari nursery.” You then would send out cute safari invitations for the baby shower.
5. What should the color scheme of my invitations be?
If you decide to match the shower theme to the nursery theme, then while you are at it match the color scheme of your invitations to match your nursery as well. Everyone’s first impression of the shower and what you like is the invite. For example, if you are doing a safari theme but really want a lot of pink, then make the shower invite pink safari themed.
In order to do this you need to utilize a card company that will allow you ultimate choice in color on every card. One fantastic option is Basic Invite because you have unlimited color options on every element on every card. So, once you know what you want, sit down with your hostess and create the card together.
6. How to collect addresses for baby shower invitations?
Make this easy on yourself. So many card companies make you manually input addresses. This will take so much time. Not to mention the time spent trying to acquire everyone’s addresses. You want to utilize a card company that has an address capturing service. This basically means the you can create a link to share on all social media to request addresses. The person can fill out their address and they are automatically stored for you and are ready to be selected when you design your card.
Another tip for making this easy is to pick a card company that has easy peel and seal envelopes.
7. What is a perfect hostess gift for the mama to be?
If you are the hostess and are paying for the shower yourself, then you probably don’t need to get the mama-to-be a gift. You could get mama-to-be some cute little baby items in a basket. The gift that I really loved from my hostess was getting me a set of matching thank you cards. At the end of my shower, I was able to fill out my thank you cards that night while I still remembered everything that we had received.
What will your baby shower invites be?
Now that I have told you the 7 biggest lessons I learned about creating the perfect shower invite, you are ready to begin. A lot goes into planning a shower, but you must start with the invitations.
Remember, you set the stage by the type of invitation you send out and while electronic invites are easy, they are nothing compared to the fun of receiving something in the mail.
Save money by doing your shower theme as the nursery theme and hopefully increase the likelihood that you like the gifts you receive.
Most importantly, go with a card company such as Basic Invite that allows you to have many color and design choices along with ease in addressing your cards.
Share in the comments what your biggest lessons are from making shower invites or what theme you’re going with, or went with, for your baby shower!
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Dr. Trina Fitzpatrick is a wife, mom, blogger, and a breastfeeding advocate. She is the co-author of the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook. She attributes her success at breastfeeding her own children into toddlerhood with working with lactation consultants in the hospital in the early stages and on a weekly basis afterwards. By writing at MomSmartNotHard, she educates mamas-to-be on all things pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Read more about Trina.