MISSING OUT ON NORTH AMERICAN TRADITIONS
When I was planning for my wedding, I was a little sad knowing that no one would throw me a bachelorette party. None of my relatively new Italian girlfriends had ever been married nor had they ever organized a bachelorette party before and I definitely wasn’t going to ask them to organize one for me. On the contrary, I ended up having one and it was epic! But, that story is for another blog post.
Four years later I felt that same sadness when I had a friend from home ask if I was planning to have a baby shower. It was highly unlikely that my Italian friends would throw a baby shower for me because they simply didn’t know what it was. It was also unlikely that my Canadian friends would fly over to Italy and be able to organize the baby shower without knowing Italian.
I decided to have an unconventional baby shower. It was unconventional for three reasons: I would be the one to organize and execute it; I would be inviting my girlfriends but also my husband and our guy friends; Instead of pampering the mother-to-be, the purpose of this party would be to thank all my friends and family for the gifts received (hopefully from the gift registry).
I had to explain to the Italians that a baby shower did not involve an actual shower nor anything to do with self-hygiene. Luckily, I didn’t have to explain the concept of a baby registry since it is quite common in Italy to set them up before the baby comes. It turns out that everyone invited was curious and excited to attend their first baby shower! To top it off, a few days before the party, my entire baby registry was bought out! The store manager was so surprised. She explained to me that usually baby registries take months to be bought out and usually people are still buying things months after the baby is born.
I saw my baby shower as a win-win situation. Friends and family get you the things you need from your registry BEFORE the baby is born and you throw them a party thanking them for their generosity.
MY ITALIAN BABY SHOWER
I had a mustache-themed party. Yeah, I know, not so original if you’ve ever searched ‘baby boy shower’ on Pinterest. But the Italians don’t know that!
I had a lot of fun planning the party, making the signs and instructions for the games, cutting out the mustaches, making all the pastries, food and cake. I was a little too ambitious to think that I could handle it by myself especially with my optimistic views on time constraints. Luckily, my husband, my cousins, mother-in-law and my husband’s aunt all helped me with last minute things-to-do.
Here are some pictures of my unconventional DIY Italian baby shower and a description of the games, food and decorations I prepared:
With the help of my cousin and my husband’s aunt, we prepared ham and cheese rollups, chips, focaccia, pizza, mini sandwiches and salad.
This baby shower was all about the sweets table. I started prepping for four days before and I still needed help finishing everything. The things I bought were the blue almond and chocolate confetti, baci di dama and marshmallows. I made the rice krispie squares, mini blueberry pavlova, mustache cookies, cake pops and the mustache cake. We also stuck skewers into the cake pops and rice krispie squares and put blue polka-dotted washi tape on the ends.
I had three games set up:
- Dirty Diaper Challenge – Melt chocolate bars in diapers and have guests guess the names of the chocolate bars in each diaper. Their guesses are written down on a form and submitted into the ballot box. Whoever guesses them all right, wins!
- Guess my Waistline – Guests write down how big my waistline is in cm. next to their name. The closest measurement wins.
- Diaper Changing Challenge – Guests are timed while changing the diaper on a baby doll and putting on its sleeper. Whoever makes the best time, wins!
I had helium filled balloons ordered to place on each table and paid a pretty penny for them. When my husband came to pick them up, he said he could have done them himself. I have to admit that they were quite simple: white and blue balloons tied down with blue string and held down with a little water-filled balloon. If you can find a helium tank, you should definitely opt to DIY these balloons.
My husband’s cousin made these beautiful centerpieces that consisted of long branches held down by blue putty in square glass tea light holders. The branches had curly blue ribbons hanging down from them which added an elegant touch to the whole party.
I knew I wouldn’t have time to take a lot of pictures of everyone that attended. Instead, I set up a sort of photo booth with a tripod, my camera and a blue backdrop. My cousin and I also cut out various mustaches and taped them to skewers so guests could use them as props when they took pictures of themselves. I also set up a whiteboard with some pens so that guests could write down a message to my baby or to my husband and I. I would advise either to use a really thick marker if you are using a whiteboard or to use a chalkboard so the messages show up clearer in the pictures.
If you are on a budget and looking to have a DIY baby shower, I’ve created a checklist of the things I needed to prepare. Feel free to pin it or save it for your own baby shower.
Did you organize your own baby shower? What did you do differently?