Updated: Apr 9, 2021
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It is a major letdown, especially for new moms, that baby shower gatherings aren't possible for many during the current pandemic.
A virtual shower is actually a great option. The expecting mom can still be showered with gifts, socialize with guests and have some precious mementos for baby to be. And, not everything has to be digital! It can be mixed with some traditional aspects as well.
I love printed invitations. So for my sister's virtual shower, the other hosts and I sent invitations designed on etsy. Its a nice keepsake and people love getting mail right? The invitation included the time for a live zoom shower and a website address. The website can be set up with games and other information like links to the new mom's registry and the zoom or Skype meeting. (More on that below.)
This is the invitation I chose, and you can see the wording I used for a virtual shower.
I found it on this etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EllesPaperEverAfter?ref=yr_purchases. Amazon has some cute ones as well designed for virtual showers here.
However, digital invitations also have their advantages. First, they may be included with a virtual shower website. (See more on that below.) So, they can be cheaper if you are already going to use a virtual shower site. Second, if you email invitations, that means you can also easily send email reminders. This is an important advantage because I think people tend to forget these type of events more than in person events.
There are various websites where you can easily create a baby shower page that will include things like a guest book, games, links, photos of the new family, etc.
We used webbabyshower.com
One reason we also went with printed invitations was that we mailed favors along with it. We chose to send a lion king trail mix that my mom made. They were really cute and yummy. However, this turned out to be fairly expensive to ship due to the size of the box we chose. (On the other hand, we didn't have to rent tables, linens, feed 50 people etc. So, it may be in your budget, especially if you have multiple hosts.) But there are a lot of great favors you can send with the invitations that will not increase the cost of postage much if at all. Check out these ideas.
Games and Prizes
There are two types of games we came up with for this virtual shower. The first are games that can be played on the virtual site on or before the shower. I chose some basic, but relevant to our theme, trivia games like animal baby names. I also had a picture of African animals in a bottle included so guests could guess how many animals inside. I actually had a video of my oldest dragon explaining the game to add a little variety. Finally, there was a guess the birthdate game.
Of course, you can also play games during the shower. In our case, we mailed bingo cards with the invitation and guests could play gift bingo while my sister opened gifts.
Winners of these games received emailed gift cards for places like Amazon, Starbucks and Kohls.
A major purpose of a shower is to shower a new mom with gifts for new baby. The mom can still register for gifts to be shipped right to her house. For the rare few who don't want to order their gifts online, they can arrange gift drop offs.
The Actual Virtual Shower
First choose a host. Do the new parents want to be the zoom host or the baby shower hosts? This should be a conversation between the hosts and parents. The zoom host has to let people into the meeting and will be the default screen. The only reason I would not have the mom as host is if they are really uncomfortable with the technology or uncomfortable being center stage. Of course, if the hosts are at the home with the parents, it can be done together.
Luckily, my sister and her husband are more tech savvy than I and more outgoing. They were excellent hosts. They greeted all their guests when they signed on and were comfortable explaining games and opening their gifts in front of everyone. A few times, my mom or I chimed in to announce prize winners.
My mom made the couple a lunch and my Aunt made cute animal cupcakes. You could even have takeout delivered from the parent(s) favorite restaurant!
I found this backdrop to use behind the couch while the expecting opened gifts. I just had it shipped straight to my sister's house and her husband put it up for her. Find it here https://amzn.to/3nVUyx7
(Check out my second choice... I really liked this one too)
If you threw a virtual baby shower put your tips in the comments, I would love to hear them.
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