Bridal and baby showers might be time-honored traditions, but they're getting an ultra-modern spin thanks to all the virtual celebrating. Below, we've put together everything you need to plan the perfect virtual shower for your guests of honor.
Planning a virtual bridal or baby shower
There are a few things to keep in mind regardless of whether your event is for a bride or baby.
First, pick a video platform, like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. Choose a tool that the majority of your guests will be comfortable using and do a test run before the big day.
If you were originally hosting an in-person shower, let your guests know about the change of plans as soon as possible. You can opt for a virtual invitation or go the traditional route and send them by mail, if time allows. On your invitations, be sure to provide:
- Updated gift-giving instructions (i.e. send all packages directly to the guest of honor's home)
- A guide for guests on how to log onto the video platform on the day
- Details about the theme or dress code, like if there is a certain color you want people to wear
Collect RSVPs so you know how many people to expect.
How to host a virtual wedding shower
1. Deliver decor
Make the bride feel special by sending her a gift package with decorations in advance of the event. Choose items she can hang in view of her web camera, like banners, balloons, lights, a sash, or a bridal backdrop. Ask guests at home to decorate as well, or to purchase photo-booth props to keep things interesting and fun.
2. Greet your guests
Create ambiance by playing light music in the background as guests begin to "arrive." On your screen, show a single slide that shares a message welcoming guests to the shower. Ask them to type words of encouragement or advice for the bride in the chat, like a guestbook.
3. Cheers to the couple
It's nice to include significant others as well, and you can do that by inviting partners to toast to the happy couple at some stage during the event. Encourage guests to don their best party attire and provide a recipe for a tasty make-at-home cocktail or mocktail they can toast with.
4. Take care of the food
Order the bride's favorite dish and have it dropped off at her front door. You can even surprise her by having a cake or other treats delivered. Invite guests to make a dish they can enjoy throughout the shower.
5. Get your game on
Playing games and sprinkling in surprises will bring lots of fun and laughter to the party. It's very easy to take many classic bridal shower games online, like Bride Bingo or a wedding-themed version of Mad Libs or Pictionary. Organize game materials that guests can download and print out at home. If you have a small group, you can do something even more personalized: Send a card in the mail, then have guests open them at the same time to reveal monogrammed jewelry or other keepsakes.
How to organize a virtual baby shower
1. Pick a theme
Going for a nautical vibe? Ask guests to show up in their best navy-and-white or striped outfit. Vintage-themed party? Choose your favorite lace top or sweet, feminine style.
Pro tip: Many online video platforms offer customizable virtual backgrounds, so you can have your guests match their backdrop to the baby shower theme.
2. Make it easy for the parents
Send ahead mocktails or a brunch kit for the parent(s) of honor. Take the guesswork out of getting ready by gifting them new clothes they can wear to look and feel their best.
3. Open gifts
Build time for opening presents into your shower schedule. If guests were able to ship their gifts ahead of time, the parents-to-be can unwrap those gifts on-camera for everyone to see.
4. Record it
A virtual baby shower comes with another major perk: You can record the event at the touch of a button. The video creates an amazing memory for the new parents to look back on. You can also create a virtual guestbook using a slide software. Guests can leave best wishes and words of wisdom for the parents-to-be.
5. Stage a parade
Consider getting out from behind the screen altogether. If you live nearby, you can organize a parade past your guests of honor's home instead. Get dressed up as you normally would for the baby shower, decorate your cars, and wave as you go by to help them and baby feel celebrated and loved.