As the calendar turns to spring and baby shower season unofficially kicks off, new parents-to-be are embracing the latest celebration trend: gender-reveal parties. Be it baby boy or girl, these events help ramp up the couple’s excitement as they share the news of their impending arrival with family and friends.
To help make the festivities memorable for party goers and the guests of honor, event planners share their suggestions for invitations and favors, refreshments and party games and, of course, the big reveal moment.
It’s My Party
When inviting guests, consider the easiest way to get the word out. Alli Smith of An Alli Event (www.anallievent.com) recommends paperless e-vites for a fast and effective method. “I suggest picking a theme and finding coordinating invites,” she says. Free party invitations can be found online, and Etsy and Pinterest offer plenty of inspiration. Popular picks include Little Miss or Little Man, He or She and Bun in the Oven.
On the day of the party, games and activities that carry over the theme are a fun ice breaker. Sally Arnold of Celebrations by Sally (www.celebrationsbysally.com) likes a simple themed poster board for people to guess the gender once they arrive. For a recent Disney-themed reveal party, she created Mickey Mouse ears for each attendee. “Guests would write their name on the ears and if they thought it was a girl, then they would add a pink bow to the ears,” she shared.
For another gender-reveal bash—featuring a music “Sweet Child o’ Mine” theme—Arnold used pink and blue music notes, guitars and microphones on which guests wrote their names. “Make a simple backdrop or frame for photos and selfies,” she offers. “Have a fun welcome sign: ‘We’re here for the sex!’”
Tasty Treats; Magical Moment
Keeping guests satiated with plenty to eat and drink is a party must. Smith recommends a burger bar with all the trimmings as a popular choice when serving a meal. Festive treats that play into the gender-reveal theme include blue and pink cupcakes, Rice Krispie treat pops dipped in blue and pink-tinted chocolate and the gender reveal cake. “Don’t forget to add a charcuterie board, fruit and/or veggie trays to balance out all the sweets,” she adds.
If the cake won’t be the star attraction for revealing the gender, consider how to incorporate the mom-to-be’s personality into this special moment. For the party that incorporated a Disney theme, Arnold paid close attention to the couples’ wishes. “Mom did not want the traditional pink/blue reveal, so I created a Mickey/Minnie theme,” she says. “The actual reveal was a very large red, black and white box and inside was a Minnie Mouse (it was a girl) with Minnie Mouse ears for her to wear.” For the Sweet Child o’ Mine party, the reveal was a small pink guitar inside a guitar case, wrapped in music note gift wrap.
Given some of the recent gender-reveal blunders that have gone viral, experts agree that when in doubt, stick to the basics. “Simple is really best, so you don’t have to worry about a margin of error,” advises Arnold. Stay away from anything that is potentially dangerous or could be adversely affected by the weather.
As the party winds down and the last piece of cake has been eaten, thank your guests for sharing your happy news with a special treat. “Homemade favors are the way to go,” says Smith. “Think homemade cookies iced in blue and pink. White chocolate-covered popcorn with pecans and pretzels is perfect for an ‘about to pop’ theme.”
And to keep party goers celebrating even after event is offer, Arnold recommends sending them home with a split of champagne with a tag that reads ‘Enjoy a toast when the baby arrives.’