From the moment she announced her pregnancy, my best friend and I were dreaming up plans for her baby shower. As her due date was approaching, concerns grew for hosting an in-person celebration. A few of my friends had thrown some really adorable ‘drive-by’ showers, but as a friend — putting my 9-month pregnant friend outside in the Louisiana heat didn’t feel like the nicest thing to do.
I could hear the disappointment in her voice every time we talked, so I was determined to make this as special as possible…given the circumstances. We decided throwing a virtual baby shower was the safest, most comfortable option. Of course, I had never thrown a shower of any kind through a screen so I went to the holy grail of unique ideas: Pinterest, and got to planning.
I will be completely honest, I was so. dang. nervous. leading up to the event.
Would participants feel like time was dragging on?
Would there be too many awkward, silent moments?
Would anyone even log on?
To my delight, it went better than we could have ever expected!
The internet provides an endless number of ideas when it comes to throwing a virtual shower, but here is what I found helped make mine a success:
TECHNOLOGY – I created a Facebook event with her “theme.” The theme I chose was actually based on the most adorable little PJ set I found for my daughter at Little Hometown. After looking at a few options, Zoom seemed to be the most user friendly for the range of guests we were expecting. The Facebook event description included the zoom meeting link and *obviously* her registry. Zoom also has the unique option of letting you stream live directly into the Facebook event.
RSVPs – In the dog days of COVID, it’s hard to keep track of a scheduled event when every day is Montwedhursday. So the week leading up to the shower, I made sure to post in the Facebook event each day in order to keep attendees engaged. Each post included the links to the zoom meeting and registry. These were things like posting a photo of the mama-to-be or an image with questions people could comment with their response.
SNACKS – We wanted everyone to feel like we were sharing and celebrating together, so guests were encouraged to grab our Mama-to-be’s top food cravings for us all to snack on during the shower. It was so cute seeing everyone’s spread! As the hostess, I made sure mama had plenty of her favorites to enjoy (virtually) with her guests. You could also include a tasty (mock)tail recipe!
INTRODUCTIONS & WELL WISHES – Like the typical in-person shower, many guests were strangers to one another. To make things feel more personal, we started off with each person introducing themselves and saying how they knew the expecting couple. We also asked everyone to add a little tidbit about what they were most excited about regarding the baby’s arrival. It was amazing hearing the memories of how so many friendships started, and the “excited” responses really helped keep everyone’s attention.
*Disclosure: Depending on how many guests attend, this will take up a pretty decent amount of time. From long-winded Aunts to asking for COVID updates, be prepared to actively keep things on track and stay focused on the joyful parents.
NURSERY TOUR – One of the more adorable moments of the shower was the virtual tour of the nursery. This was a treat for participants since the likelihood of visitors once the baby is here is slim to none. Our Mama-to-be went around the room, proudly showing off the decor with all of the special touches she included.
*This was one of the few instances we utilized the “mute” option so that everyone could see what was being shown.
SHOWER GAMES – Up until this point, guests had been staring at the same screen. We knew we needed to shake things up a bit and get participants up and out of their seats, so the first game we played was a scavenger hunt. We shared an image with a list of household items each worth a certain number of points. Guests had 3 minutes (time was kept by the host) to grab as many items from the list as possible. Let me tell you, it was a HOOT watching these ladies scramble! Once the 3 minutes were up, we utilized Zoom’s chat feature and had everyone post their total number of points to select a winner.
And what would a shower game be without a prize? The winner received an email with an Amazon gift card. Because honestly – who wouldn’t want that?
The second game was less involved, but equally, as fun — The parents-to-be were each given two index cards: “MOM” & “DAD”. They were asked a series of questions containing different traits (for example: sense of humor) and then each held up the card of the parent they hoped the baby would inherit the said trait from. Some were very heartfelt and sweet, while others were just downright hilarious!
OPENING GIFTS – To wrap things up, we chose a few gifts for Mama to open on camera. It wouldn’t be a baby shower without ogling over adorable baby clothes. There is just something so sweet about seeing a teeny-tiny outfit! Then we of course had the enthusiastic nodding from the more experienced moms as any essential items were unwrapped. We chose only a few presents so guests weren’t spending too much time just ‘watching.’
BIG, HEARTFELT APPRECIATION – The guests of honor made sure to talk about how excited they were for their upcoming adventure and to thank everyone for attending, despite the circumstance. They were truly grateful, and you could feel the love and warmth coming from their words.
*Another wonderful aspect of Zoom is that it allows you to record meetings. This was great for two reasons: 1. We were able to send the recording to those who weren’t able to attend, and 2. The parents-to-be have a wonderful memory they are able to look back on whenever they want.
FAVORS: The decision to send favors is completely optional, as I doubt anyone would ‘expect’ a favor from a virtual shower. Personally, I went with something very simple and inexpensive to ship. Sticking with the idea of new life ‘growing’, participants were sent a thank you card with an individual packet of seeds.
All in all, it turned out to be a really successful, really special event. If your celebration plans need adjusting, you just need to start thinking outside the box. You can make lemonade out of 19 COVID lemons with the help of all the amazing technology we have available today.