Are you hosting a baby shower? It can be a big event for one of life’s biggest milestones. Here’s how to “shower” the mom-to-be with love … all while staying organized.

Set a budget.
Before you buy streamers or invitations, decide how much you’re willing to spend for the entire event. If you’re the only hostess, you can determine your budget fairly easily. If you’re working with others, decide together how much each person will contribute.

Nail down the details.
Once you have a budget, you can decide on the venue, date, and theme. Location often depends on the budget and time of year. A backyard might be a casual and convenient choice for spring or summer. Then again, hotels and restaurants offer all-weather plans and hold more guests. As for dates, most showers are held around the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, but coordinate this with the expecting mama (surprises are fun but often tricky for baby showers). Many showers these days have creative themes, but it’s not a requirement for fun!

Ask the mom-to-be for a guest list. You don’t want to accidentally exclude anyone near and dear to her. Send out invitations about six weeks in advance to allow guests time to mark their calendars and buy a gift.

Choose a menu.
Yum! This is the tastiest part of party planning. Menu selection depends on the theme, venue, and budget. If you’re throwing the party at a restaurant or hall, you may have limited food choices. If the party is in a private home, you may choose catering or DIY and play up your party theme. The menu will also depend on time of day. An afternoon shower typically features tasty appetizers, sweets, and lighter fare. Brunch is a popular option, too.

Create an agenda.
Your guest of honor will love seeing everyone – and opening presents – but you need a timeline. This will ensure the party flows smoothly. Determine the timing for games or other organized activities. Also, designate some folks to help write down gifts, tame the wrapping paper pile, and pack up the car.

Find a fantastic gift.
Even though you’re throwing the shower, don’t forget to buy a present. Oh, and remember to get a card – it’s the most important part!

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