You’ve booked your venue for the baby shower, created a guest list, bought the cutest baby stationery for your invitations – now it’s time to write the invites. Seated at the computer, you stare at the blank screen in front of you…
Writing the perfect baby shower invitation doesn’t need to be difficult, but there are a few key pieces of information that you won’t want to leave out.
Selecting Quality Stationery
Choosing the right stationery for your baby shower invitations is important. You might choose pre-printed cards that require you to simply fill in the details to personalize the invitation. If you have access to a computer with a color printer, there is no reason you cannot design your own. However, many prefer the professional look and feel of ordered invitations, which may even come with matching envelopes.
Whichever route you choose, select stationery that suits the theme you have chosen for the shower. Make sure that you have enough time to address and mail the invitations at least three weeks before the shower. Include RSVP cards if you need to know how many will be attending. Always order a few extra invitations in case any are returned or damaged.
Penning the Perfect Announcement
We’re not all poets. Thankfully, a meaningful invitation does not need a poetic verse such as those found in greeting cards. The front of your invitation should have a direct and specific announcement to make; your guests should be able to tell within two seconds of picking up the card that they have been invited to a baby shower. For example:
“Join Us In Celebrating The Birth Of…” (for post-birth showers)
“Brad & Jane Are Expecting a Baby! Help Us Honor Them…”
“Baby Shower for Emma Jones”
Addressing Your Invitations – Remember Your Manners!
The manner in which you address your baby shower invitations depends on a few influencing factors:
- How well do you know the guests?
- How do they prefer to be addressed?
- What style of shower are you holding?
A casual, informal shower among friends allows for invitations to be addressed by first-name only. However, an office shower or community shower requires a more formal approach.
While it was once commonplace for married women to be addressed only by their husband’s name, it is now certainly acceptable for their own first name to be used. After all, you may not even the names of some of the guests’ husbands. Therefore, the invitation itself would read “To Mrs. Jones”, while the envelope would be addressed to “Mrs. Sally Jones”. The less-formal invitation might read, “To Sally” with the envelope still addressed to “Mrs. Sally Jones”.
A single woman’s envelope would read “Miss Andrea Martin”, while her invitation reads “To Andrea” or “To Miss Martin”, depending on the formality required.
If you are unsure if a guest is married, address the envelope to “Ms Her Name”, or simply by her first and last name.
Women who use hyphenated last names do so for a variety of reasons. Some are married but have chosen to use both their maiden and married names, while others are single and were given hyphenated names at birth. Always use their full, hyphenated name.
Don’t Miss a Detail
Your baby shower invitation must tell your guests each and every thing they need to know to get to the shower on time, in the right place and at the right time. The bare minimum of information you should provide is:
- Name of parents for whom the shower is held
- Name of and contact information for hostess
You may also wish to include:
- Instructions for RSVP
- What to bring (lawn chairs for an outdoor shower, towels for a pool party)
- Whether a meal is provided
- Name of stores the mother has registered with
- The theme of the shower, ie: diaper shower, money shower
Addressing Your Envelopes: Handle With Care!
Baby shower invitations are typically mailed out about three weeks before the shower. Some hostesses choose to mail “Save the Date” cards a few months in advance so guests can plan ahead and avoid making other plans.
Invitation envelopes must be addressed properly to prevent returned or lost invitations. Always print your own name and address on the top left corner of the envelope to indicate that if the invitation is undeliverable, it should be returned to you. This is the format for your return address:
Your House Number on Your Street
Your Town, Your State
Your ZIP Code
Your guest’s name is printed neatly, by hand or on your computer printer, in the middle of the front of the envelope. Use the following format:
Miss Marylou Jenkins
Apt #121 – 1659 4th Avenue East
New York, NY