I love entertaining. I also have a lot of friends of reproductive age. As a result, I threw SIX baby showers last year.
You could say I'm a bit of an expert.
Here is the general process I go through when planning a shower.
1. Pick a theme. I know old school Southern showers don't have a theme beyond cake and flowers but I like a theme. It makes it easier to pick everything from invites to food. It doesn't have to be an object (airplanes, hot air balloons). It could be just a feel. Last year, I hosted a shower where the theme was frilly florals. You just want a general aesthetic to lend a sense of consistency to everything.
2. Invites. I spend a lot of time on invites because I think they set the stage well for theme and get people excited about coming. I usually make them myself. However, if I'm running low on time, I'll find a printable invite on etsy, which usually cost about $15, and then print them myself.
3. Pre-planning. Next, I sit down and sketch out how I want the table to look, any pendants I plan on hanging, favors, and games. After doing all that, I can figure out how much I can make beforehand and if I can make it before hand, I do. I like to have everything made up and ready to go at least a week before the shower so I can focus on the food.
4. Food. A few days before I get all my supplies so the morning of the shower everything is ready to go. Sometimes I make the cake the day before as well but it depends on what type of cake.
5. Party! The day of the event I try to finish everything up at least a half an hour before so I have time to take pictures of everything all set up. Rarely works out that way but once guests start arriving I want to be able to just relax and enjoy all my hard work!
~ Sarah Stewart Holland