How to host an EPIC virtual baby shower
If you know me, you know I REALLY enjoy hosting parties.
I love to treat the ones I love to fun events to celebrate the big occasions in their lives, be it birthdays, engagements, births, or even a particularly impressive fantasy football season.
Back in 2020 - most of those parties moved online. So, Rose & I wanted to create a way to shower the people we love with an fun event that felt extra special - while still being smart about social distancing.
And during the peak of the pandemic, we created an awesome Virtual Baby Shower Gift Set – the perfect gift to help you host the best virtual baby shower evvvaaaa.
It's no longer available on our site (hooray for in person baby showers!) but we do still have the digital goods available for download for FREEEEEE.)
But if you're still looking to host a virtual event - maybe you're have an office team that is scattered across the country or family/friends who can't make the trek out for a party - we wanted to share our handy DIY guide for all things virtual parties.
(We created this with baby showers in mind, but you can use the same guide to plan any big celebration that has been forced online.)
(Virtual) Party Planning 101:
Select a date and time.
Have the guest of honor give you a few viable dates, consult with their VIPs to determine which date works best, and get it on the calendar.
Pick a theme:
You don't need to be super themey. But creating a general color palette, or even working from an inspiration image, can really help things feel pulled together and more special. (Just make sure to consider the style and interests of the new parent first and foremost!)
Get the big pieces locked down:
Pick an invitation suite
I say 'suite' because this will save you time and, again, make the event feel more thoughtful and cohesive. You want something that comes with not just an invite, but also some baby shower game cards and even thank you cards the new parents can print and send out post-party.
One great spot for easy to customize (and free!) invitations is Canva - which launched the perfect set of Baby Shower templates that you can edit yourself + download in both web and print friendly formats.
Then you can choose to either send out the invites online, or have them printed and mailed out to your guests (I LOVE mailed invitations, as it gives the guests-of-honor a keepsake to put in their baby or memory books.)
You don't HAVE to do party games, some people don't like them. I'd say ask your guest-of-honor what they prefer, and do whatever they say. But I will note: a virtual party is already a challenge with people talking over one another, and it's hard for everyone to feel included, unless there is a game. The game makes everyone feel like they are part of the party, and if you select the right game - it will ensure each person has a moment to participate.
When selecting a game - you'll want something in a digital file format, so you can email it to all your guests a day or two before your party. You can also share the game card on your screen during the party itself so everyone can easily join in.
In terms of design - it's best if these game cards coordinate with your invitations and party theme.
Also make sure these are games that can easily be played online (so the candy-bar/baby poop game, or baby food taste tests, are out - but there are tons of game cards you can find on Etsy that will work virtually, like 'he said/she said'.)
Another fun 'activity' is to instruct everyone to bring their own on-theme photo props to the call, and coordinate a Zoom screen shot of everyone together. This would be a great keepsake for the parents to-be, and ensure no one is mid-convo when the pictures are taken.
Now let's get fancy: decor & libations
For the new parent:
- Send the new parents a box one week prior to the party. This box should include their shower gift from you + some party decor essentials (things like an 'OH Baby' banner, some drink cups and party plates, and maybe even on-theme beverages and treats to enjoy during the party. Just imagine what you would do if you were hosting in person and figure out an easily shippable version of that.)
- Want to go all-out? Check out one of these bakeries that ship across the country, or call a local businesses near their home and have a cake + drinks + food + decor delivered to their house the day of the party.
For the guests:
- Pick a specialty cocktail and send out the recipe (along with any digital game cards and event log-in reminders) to all the guests a couple days before the event. (Be sure to select a recipe that works well both with or without booze.)
- Instruct everyone to download and select a background for their Zoom call that feels 'on theme' to the party. Or if you're doing a birthday party Zoom - have everyone select a photo of their favorite memory with the guest of honor.
Et voila - party decorations done for everyone :)
Want another great way to upgrade your party? Mail out specialty treats or beverage kits to everyone on the party list. This could serve as both a party favor AND would be a REALLY exciting package to receive, helping to get your guests pumped up for the upcoming virtual event.
If you don't want to send everyone food+drink, or mail them each a gift (shipping costs would add up quickly on that!), I recommend you think of something printable you could send everyone (like photo booth props they can decorate in advance of the call and use mid call to spice things up). Or mail them something that easily fits in an envelope (hair ties, balloons, gift cards they could use to buy treats for the party, or maybe even a flat bottle opener with the statement 'poppin bottles & babies!')
PS: We designed a printable flower crown you can email to all your guests, that they can print, cut + tape at home and wear for the party. Check it out here!
At the end of the event:
- Ask everyone to take a photo of any game cards they filled out, or screen shots they took of the virtual event, and email them to the guest-of-honor with a personal note. This can serve as their entry in the guest book, and will be so fun for the new parents to read the next day when the high of the party is gone
Want the perfect gift to pair with your virtual baby shower? Our sleep sacks, crib sheets, swaddles and coordinating items are the PERFECT new parent gifts. They look cool, are exciting to receive, and are super useful and safe sleep promoting!