When you are planning a baby shower, timing is the key to making it the perfect celebration of a forthcoming birth or adoption. From the moment you find out you are pregnant or may be welcoming a child that is not of your blood into your family the shower is the celebration that every parent looks forward to.
Once you decide to hold a baby shower, you have a few months to do preliminary planning. Once you get to the last half of your pregnancy, it is time to kick the party planning into high gear. Most baby shower websites recommend you plan to hold your party 8 weeks prior to your due date so that you have time to have everything in place before the birth.
The first few things you would need to ensure are your budget, a theme, and a venue. This is also the time when you should decide if you are going to have your shower catered, pot luck, or prepare the food yourself. This stage is called the set up stage and is often the hardest part of the whole process.
The next step is to set up your guest list. You have a little time to iron out the details here, but about 9 weeks prior to your party, you should be asking people for a list of guests that they would like to invite so you can have a general idea of how many people will be attending the actual event. Always count on cancellations and a modicum of flexibility is always required. You should also start pricing decorations and prizes so that you have a better idea of how to cut some pesky financial corners.
The next step is to finalize all guest lists. You really need to have this finished 8 weeks before your celebration. Don't be afraid to nail people down that are dragging their feet. Emphasize the importance of having the list finished to stragglers so that you can order invitations and have them sent out on time.
If you want to get baby shower favors, you should also do these at least 2-3 weeks before your event if possible. Many people forget this important step and ordering too late can result in packages not arriving in time. If you are unsure about how many guests you will have, just order a few extra. Favors generally cost less than a few dollars each.
The next two weeks you should be finished with the invitations and should start mailing them out to all of your friends and family. This will give them enough time to put in notices at work and clearing their schedule so they may attend. This is also the time to start ordering decorations and looking at caterers.
Let us forge on to the last two weeks before your big celebration. This is the time to finalize all of your plans and confirm every last detail. The last week should be reserved for delegating who will be picking up the final items on your list. Pick one person to pick up the cake and another to pick up the decorations if they are not being delivered to the venue. The last 24 hours should be dedicated to decorating your venue and placing the final touches on the celebration. Your celebration will go off without a hitch if you space out your planning over a few weeks so you don't have to rush last minute.