Whether you’re planning a bridal shower or a baby shower, the guest of honor is already likely to be caught up in her own whirlwind of activities – and probably not likely to remember too many specifics from the shower once the flower petals are thrown/the baby arrives. Here are a few ideas to help her remember the fun a few months (and even years) down the road.
The Date Night Jar
Whether newly-wed or newly sleepless, the happy couple will be grateful for ideas of how to make time for themselves. You will need a pint-size Mason jar; craft sticks with the tips painted yellow, green or purple; and a handful of extra fine point markers or pens. At the shower entrance, set up a pretty tray on which you’ve placed the jar, sticks and markers. Next to them, place a printed sheet of instructions, asking guests to write an idea for a date night on one of the sticks, using the yellow-tipped sticks for a no-cost date, the green for a moderate cost, and the purple for a splurge evening. Each guest should write her name on the back of the stick and put the stick in the jar.
Cooking with Friends
Compile a set of recipes from shower guests as a keepsake cookbook for the bride/baby mama. If you want, you can specify the kinds of recipes you’re looking for: maybe kids’ favorites or super easy recipes for the novice bride (or groom) cook. One method is to send a note with the invitation, asking each guest to send one or two recipes in advance to your email. You edit them, organize them into cookbook sections, and print out a booklet for the guest of honor. The bonus for this method is that you can make duplicates of the cookbook to use as shower favors. Do an Internet search on “keepsake cookbooks” for more ideas ad templates. Another method which doesn’t take as much advance work is to use a scrapbook or photo album. Buy the scrapbook/album in advance so you know what size you’re working with! Based on the size you need, send one or two index cards with the invitations and ask guests to write their recipes in advance. Ask a friend to collect the cards as people arrive. That same friend can insert them into the scrapbook/album to be presented at shower’s end.
Our Best Advice
Many times, guests at a shower have years of experience with babies and/or husbands. Even the most inexperienced, however, can offer useful, occasionally hilarious advice about what to do with the new baby or husband. One method? Set up a table with index cards, pens, and clipboards. Ask each guests to take one of each and write a brief word of advice then sign her name. Collect the cards in a decorative box and present it to the guest of honor at the end of the shower. A different approach – and one which lets all the guests in on the fun – is to go around the circle of seated guests and ask each to offer her best advice. Recruit a volunteer to transcribe the guest’s name and advice in a pretty notebook to present to the honoree.
For a bridal shower, purchase blank notecards, one per guest. Ask each to write anniversary greetings and/or advice to the happy couple, to be opened on their first anniversary. You, as shower planner, collect the cards and assume responsibility for putting the cards in a gift-wrapped box and presenting it to the couple a year hence. For a baby shower, use a journal or other lined book. Ask each guest to write words of wisdom for the baby on his/her 12th, 16th or 18th birthday. For even more memories, use a scrapbook. Ask guests to write their words of wisdom on different pages. Take a quick photo of each shower guest, then, after the shower, print the pictures and paste them in the scrapbook next to the appropriate wisdom. You, as shower planner, then wrap the finished scrapbook and present it to the mom to hold onto until the birthday you’ve chosen for the gift.