Everyone knows that 2020 has been one strange year, to say the least, and it hasn’t been any easier trying to navigate it while expecting your first baby. All of the normal fears and anxieties that come with anticipating parenthood have now been heightened, added to the fear of the unknown during a pandemic. As many other expecting mommas out there have experienced so far this year, I have had to make tough decisions, including making sacrifices that would normally be joyous occasions to look forward to. I’m talking about the missed doctors appointments with the spouse, family members getting to participate in the hospital visits after delivery, belly rubs from family and friends, maternity photos, and last of all, the celebration of a baby shower.
And while a baby shower could be one more occasion robbing us of celebrating our new bundle, we refused to cancel the event all together. With a lot planning, research, and trial and error, I am excited to share how throwing a virtual baby shower can not only be a success, but can have more benefits than having a typical in-person shower.
Minimal Guest Restrictions
The first and most obvious advantage of having a virtual shower is the friends and family that can participate from all over the world who normally wouldn’t be able to attend. We had family members spanned from the west to the east coast, including relatives I have never had the pleasure of meeting on my husband’s side. I honestly believe we had more participation in our shower. My newborn mama friends were able to pop in and out without worrying about a sitter while still partaking in our virtual festivities. And all guests didn’t have to worry about dressing for the occasion while enjoying the comfort of their own living rooms. Who doesn’t love that?
The biggest blessing of all was having my husband participate. If the shower was not mostly virtual, he most likely would not have attended due to the female only guests present. But because he had so many family members online that we never get to see, we both enjoyed this sweet opportunity to visit with them and share the moment together.
We hosted the shower at my house, which would normally come with a lot of stress requiring the house to be cleaned top to bottom and every inch decorated in some form or fashion. But because we streamed from the nursery, we added a few statement pieces throughout the room and a sign on the front porch for photos. In addition, because the shower was taking place in my home, there was no need to load and tote the room full of gifts to the car and back home! Packages had already been delivered to my house through the registry. During the shower, my hostesses recycled about 6 gift sacks and tissue paper to dress up each gift so I could reveal them on camera and share what was given. And although this is stating the obvious, there was hardly ANY trash for anyone to pick up afterwards.
Theme and Decorations
As stated above, with a virtual shower, there is no need to excessively decorate every room and cater with food. But if you are like me and look forward to the decorations, this can still be done while saving a few dollars. We went with the “Adventure Awaits” theme that my hostesses were able to incorporate into the shower website and decor throughout the nursery. I love that this themed decor can be incorporated year round into his already neutral nursery like the vintage suitcases, map banner, globes, and this precious blanket.
In Person Option
While most guests were only on a screen, we decided to have a small get-together with close family immediately after the virtual part ended. My mother and grandmother treated about 8 of us to homemade treats like fruit dip, cookies, and sparking cider. It was also nice to have my brother present to take photos since he is handy with the camera.
Finding a platform to send shower details that is familiar for your guests was important since we did not send out physical invitations. As for many, we found that most of our guests already had a Facebook so we created a Facebook Event to initially invite guests where they can RSVP virtually, and and all of the details were posted for easy access. For my event page, our hosts included the time, date, registry link, streaming service link, and an actual baby shower website link. I also like how any guests can post reminders and countdowns leading up to the event.
There are so many great sites that have versatile features for bringing a web shower to life. Many websites are free, but my sister went with a paid site called WebBabyShower . This site has an online guestbook, registry page, games where guests can participate while live streaming during the shower, photo albums and videos. After the shower ended, the site even sent out a summary of guest game results, well wishes posted, and photos.
The most crucial feature that needs to be selected in advance is the streaming service. A few familiar and user friendly options include Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangout. The majority of us were the most comfortable with Zoom and one of my guests has a pro account so we could stream with unlimited time restrictions but, Zoom also has a free version if you are needing a low budget option.
Even though the idea of a virtual shower seems much simpler, I can safely say that there is the same if not more thought and planning required to pull off a shower with many technical and physical challenges. That being said, nice hostess gifts were definitely a necessity! I got my sister a gift card to one of her favorite online boutiques and my friend a caddy full of ingredients including mint and limes to make one of my favorite summer cocktails. Cheers!
And that’s about it, friends! Although I can take absolutely zero credit for this shower, I hope this post gives you some hope and inspiration on how you can hopefully create your own virtual shower success.