Baby showers are a time to gather family and friends in celebration of the upcoming birth of your child. Whether you are planning a large or small shower, one with or without a theme, sending invitations is one of the most important parts of the shower planning process.
Invitation etiquette is just as important. A sloppy invitation or one that is not worded correctly could omit vital information and send the message that this shower is not an important event. Proper wording will ensure the shower appears planned, not impromptu.
General Baby Shower Invitation Etiquette
There are several items that need to be included on every invitation, no matter the theme or whether the shower will be casual or formal, all girls or co-ed.
The invitations must include: the name of the honoree; the date; the time and shower location; and the RSVP date with contact information. The name of the host should also be stated on the invitation. If there are multiple hosts, the host whose home the shower will be in should be listed first, followed by the co-host or remaining co-hosts in alphabetical order. Also in the case of multiple hosts, it is common to place an asterisk by the name of the host who guests will be calling or emailing RSVP information.
Baby Shower Invitations should be mailed at least six weeks prior to the shower and no later than three weeks before. Typically, guests need one to two weeks to RSVP before the shower and should be given adequate time to do so.
Baby Shower Gift Etiquette
In past generations, it was not proper to include gift ideas or gift registries directly on the invitation because soliciting gifts was considered bad manners. Today, the “rudeness” of this practice largely depends on who you ask.
If you feel it is necessary, include the information on a separate card with the invitation instead of directly on the invitation itself. If your shower requires gifts for a specific theme, it is still best to include this information separately (but in the same envelope as the invitation). Many times, if this information is not included, guests will ask the host about the registry when responding to the invitation for ideas.
Couples Shower Invitation Etiquette
When deciding to include men in your baby shower, it is still important to use proper etiquette in your invitations, despite the non-traditional theme. Usually couples showers are less formal and less frilly so the men will feel comfortable. It is therefore important to make sure guests know that both men and women are invited by incorporating your theme into your invitation wording.
Also, discuss the guest list with the father-to-be to ensure that his friends get invited, and he won’t end up being the only man present.
Baby Boy Shower Invitation Etiquette
Today it is common to find out the gender of the baby before it is born to take the guess work out of planning, decorating and shopping. If you have confirmed that your baby is a boy, your shower can be dedicated to outfitting him with all he will need once he is born.
To ensure your guests don’t get confused, it is essential that you tie in little boys with your theme. If you choose a frilly pink invitation, even after stating the baby is a boy, guests might miss this fact and arrive with gifts suitable for a little girl. Therefore, choose a fun theme that clearly highlights your future son, perhaps even including a little verse or rhyme so guests will get it right.
Baby Girl Shower Invitation Etiquette
When the shower will be centered around a baby girl, again it is essential to tie this into your theme, even if it is a simple one. If your theme will be Pretty in Pink or Tickled Pink and you want the guests to participate by wearing pink, then state this on your baby shower invitation and incorporate the theme’s title into the invitation. After the time, date and location, request that your guests come dressed in pink to celebrate the arrival of a little girl.
If you simply want the gifts to incorporate the pink theme, then list this information separately from the invitation. Remember that all gifts, whether they adhere to your theme or not, should be accepted with gratitude and a smile.
Shower Invitation Etiquette for Twins
If you are expecting twins, it is important to make this clear on the invitation. Often, your theme will center on pairs, and your party could have titles such as Double Trouble, Two Peas in a Pod, or Twice as Nice. If your invitations don’t state your theme’s title or somehow echo your theme, guests will be unprepared, especially those who might not keep in close touch.
In addition to the main elements of the invitation, you could precede them with a baby rhyme related to the twin theme you are using, such as: Double the trouble, double the fun. Liz Jones is having two, not one! This way, no guest will miss the name of the mother or the fact that twins will soon arrive.
Themed Shower Invitation Etiquette
There are almost as many themes as there are babies born, so when one is chosen, it is important to incorporate this into your invitation, both to set the tone and let guests know if anything specific is required of them. Although choosing an invitation featuring your theme is the first step, it is not the only one. For instance, if your theme is Winnie-the-Pooh and you choose invitations with Pooh’s face on a honey jar, but never state that your shower will have a Pooh theme, guests are likely to assume that the invitations are simply reflective of a general baby shower. However, if you use the title, “You’re Invited to a Precious Pooh Baby Shower Celebrating All Things Pooh,” your guests won’t miss the theme. Also, be sure to include information for any props the guests should bring for shower games, for example a baby picture for a game of Guess Who.
Etiquette is a crucial component to creating a baby shower invitation that informs and entices guests to venture out and celebrate the upcoming birth of your little bundle of joy.