GOOD LOOKS - School/Office Baby Shower

Monday, November 14, 2011

as easy as abc

If you work in an office, there is often the "task" of throwing a party for a bridal or baby shower. I always put up my hand for such occasions as I will jump at any opportunity to plan a party, but as with the case with my twin sister Christine (she usually used to be able to delegate it to me) now finds herself in a bit of a pickle. How do you throw a baby shower that is sweet and simple when there is little time and no real budget? Here are a few tips that I put into action the other day when I helped out with one of school's mom's baby sprinkle.

The idea behind such a shindig is that it is just a little thoughtful gesture to your colleague to celebrate their soon-to-be new status as a Mrs. or Mom. 
 - You most likely know these details anyway, but chat informally to your colleague to find out the salient details: when is the wedding or the baby due and more importantly when are they "leaving" the office. The last thing you want to do is plan for a day and then find out that they are actually already on leave or the baby has come. As a good measure plan for 2 to 4 weeks before the big day.
- As it is a fairly "quick" event, the best time is to schedule it during the late morning (so normal tea time) or early afternoon when most people are in the office and on a day that is usually quieter than most. So give Monday mornings and Friday afternoon's a miss. Planning for 45 minutes  to 1 hour is more than enough time.
- Make it a surprise! This is one event that I would strongly advocate for not telling the guest of honour.
TOP TIP When I worked at Anglo, my colleagues hosted me a baby shower and it really was a HUGE surprise as they scheduled it right when we used have these horrible and dreaded status project updates. So instead of us having one of those "tough" meetings we all chatted and had cake!
- Run it by the boss, and have him or his secretary (provided she is not the guest of honour of course!) schedule it in everyone's diary in one of the office's meeting rooms.

- For this type of "event" the food and drinks is really easy, and the idea is to have one or two "bites" of something and something "bubbly" per perosn. For the baby shower I arranged we had a cake (topped with a little zero candle), strawberry cupcakes, macaroons and sugar biscuits (packaged in little white bags for people to take with them). To drink, there was the normal tea and coffee, plus a bottle or two of still/sparking water and some fruit juice. There is no need to go overboard, as it really is just a quick snack.

- For decorations, I can not suggest something better than our printable parties! What could be easier than buying a perfectly themed party for R50. Plus, you most likely have a colour printer right next to you that you can use "free of charge". You can print out bunting and thread onto string saying something like SOON TO BE MRS, or CELEBRATE or BABY GIRL (name) or BABY BOY (name) etc. Use the party circle tags to decorate the cupcakes and cake. Use the place cards to "label" the food or print a stack and ask guests to write wishes or advice on these for the bride or mom to be.

- Buy a bunch of flowers or a potted plant and decorate with a printable flag or tag. Not only does this make for a pretty addition to the party decorations but the guest of honour can take this home afterwards.
TOP TIP You may even choose to spend some of the gift budget on the decorations - so buy for example a really fancy vase or string up baby gros and baby socks on a clothesline that they can then take home. 
- For gifts, buy a card and get everyone to write in a message, and contribute to a money pool what they would like to give and then one person can go out and buy the gift(s). 
TOP TIP Buy from the wedding or baby registry, that way you are actually getting gifts that the guest of honour wants and most likely they will wrap for free!


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