How-To Tuesday: Woodsy [Virtual] Baby Shower

What a time we’re living in. While some people feel comfortable gathering for celebrations (because boohoo they deserve a party too and pandemic be damned!), I – and most of my friends – are just not “there.” We’re not comfortable congregating in large groups and certainly not willing to do so as the temperatures drop and events move indoors. BUT that doesn’t mean important life milestones shouldn’t be celebrated! In fact, it may even be more important to rejoice in those moments since there’s a lot of sadness happening right now. The event may just look a little different, that’s all.

Rebekah is one gal who deserved some love and jubilee around her pregnancy. There was no way we could let the moment pass without a little shindig. As I learned from Danielle’s bridal shower, it’s definitely possible to have a fun virtual party so we got right to planning. If you’ve got a friend who’s expecting, here are my tips for throwing a virtual baby shower.

I should note that, yes, I went to the shower in person, but I was literally the only person in attendance. In addition to practicing serious social distancing and lots of handwashing, I wore a mask the entire time I was in Rebekah’s home unless I was at least 15 feet away.

  • We decided to go with a woodsy theme to really lean into fall vibes. The shower was set for October 25th so it was very seasonally appropriate and it was a theme we could keep sophisticated, which felt very Rebekah. We told guests to dress the part in their fave flammels (so, flannels, but their last name is Flamm…get it?!)
  • We suggested guests update their Zoom backgrounds to be on-theme.
  • Since we’d be guiding the guests through the shower/activities, we designed custom slides with a baby woodland animal background for anytime we’d be doing a screenshare.
  • The general color scheme was red, white, tan, black, and metallics, building off a buffalo check lumberjack look.
  • It was a must to set up a seating area for Rebekah because [unlike a traditional shower] she wouldn’t be walking around shmoozing – everyone would be tuning in to see her in a square on a Zoom screen so it was an opportunity to create a vignette.
    • A garland of burlap and buffalo check ribbons was nice and rustic
    • Just below the garland we hung a whimsy “oh baby” balloon
  • We set up another little scene around the table:
    • I found a very cheap ($8) buffalo check table runner and used it to set the table with cut timber looking paper plates and on-theme napkins. Since there were only 3 of us there in person, a themed tablescape is very doable on the cheap.
    • The table was the home for our food (appetizer style since the shower was at 5 pm), a cake, and a diaper cake. I found the most incredible diaper cake designer on Etsy. Never in my life did I think I’d get excited about diaper cakes, but these are truly adorable and very sophisticated.
  • A final area was set up to show off the gifts
    • I found a play tent on Amazon that matched the nursery’s color scheme and knew it would be a great place to house the gifts since we linked to Rebekah’s registry on the invitation. In addition to a tent feeling on-theme, kids loveeee these things so we knew her lil guy would enjoy it in a year or two.
    • We knew guests would send gifts from the registry, but we also asked that they send a onesie and to have fun with it! They could get crafty on a plain one or find something cute online. We laid them all out along the couch to extend the decor.
    • B – A – B – Y clear building block boxes were stacked next to the tent and filled with metallic balloons…just because it’s cute.
  • A lot of baby showers have silly games like guessing the melted candy bar in a diaper. That didn’t really feel like Rebekah and is pretty difficult in a virtual setting so we switched it up. Here’s the run-of-show for the event:
    1. Welcome (from co-host Hillary)
    2. Room Tour (since I went in-person to set up, I used my camera to show off the room and how we set it up)
    3. Activity #1 (Game)
    4. Activity #2 (Toasting the Mom-to-Be)
    5. Surprise Reveal
  • We did the room tour for a couple reasons: so people could feel like they were there and to pan to the registry gifts as a moment of acknowledgement so guests wouldn’t feel like they spent money and it was simply tossed in a corner. We didn’t do any gift opening since that’s dreadful, even in person. We ended the room tour by showing off the onesies. It wasn’t planned, but after seeing them displayed, the guests asked for close-ups of the cuteness. Since they were already opened, it was easy to have a little fashion show. And since we were only looking at onesies, nobody had to feel self conscious about not being the person who gave the fancy mamaroo or whatever the current “it” gift is – everyone was on an even playing field.
  • We may not have been doing lots of traditional shower games, but we wanted some activities to keep things moving. For the first, we asked guests to submit their baby photos in advance and made Rebekah guess who it was on the spot. (Activity #1 – Game)
  • It’s hard to maintain people’s attention for a long while on a Zoom. The idea was that this would be one hour, max. To avoid people hogging the mic, we asked each guest to come prepared with a one-sentence piece of advice and we would go around the room. It kept things short, sweet, and focused. (Activity #2 – Toasting the Mom-to-Be)
  • We ended the shower by gifting Rebekah with a little surprise baby book. We wanted the little guy to enter this world knowing he is surrounded by love so we made a book of his favorite people – us! We took inspo from this, but shifted gears for a less serious approach. We used Shutterfly and included all the advice people offered in the activity (which I wrote down while they were speaking) alongside funny pictures of each of us out having fun with Rebekah – let’s face it, it’s really a gift for her.
  • PS – We managed to fill up the time pretty well without a ton of games, but if you’re looking for more activities, these are great for a virtual shower and this site has some great ideas too.
  • Since the party took place at 5 pm – neither lunch nor dinner – it was just appetizer style for us. With only 3 attendees, it’s easy to use Seamless or Whole Foods as “caterer” and stay nice and cheap.
  • I asked Rebekah what her favorite cake combo was and she requested pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. As luck would have it, that’s the signature cake for the bakery I wanted to use…but then that bakery fell through and I decided to bake the cake on my own. (Yikes!) More on that in a separate post, but the important thing here is that I used fun sprinkles and a themed cake topper.