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Coordinating Baby Shower Invitations
A baby shower is a special occasion and as such, it's proper to invite guests with an appropriate baby shower invitation. A written invitation is almost always the appropriate method to use. The only times when a written invitation may not be best are when the baby shower will be a surprise or when the baby shower has been rather quickly arranged. In either case, personally inviting guests via a phone call is acceptable. E-mailed invitations, although quick and convenient, should be avoided, if possible.
Baby Shower Invitation - What to Include
As with any type of party, the baby shower invitation that guests receive should detail the basic information including the purpose of the event (the person for whom the baby shower is being given), the full name of the host, the date and time of the baby shower, the location (and directions, if necessary), and a way and a date by which to RSVP. If children are not invited, or the men are, this should be included as well.
What Not to Include on the Invitation
There is a considerable difference of opinion as to whether information about the baby shower theme and/or the baby shower gift registry should actually be included on the invitation itself, or whether this information should be given when guests call to confirm whether or not they will be attending. Many people feel that including such information on the invitation can seem presumptuous and might put undue pressure on the guest. Many moms will want a copy of the baby shower invitation for the baby's scrapbook, so it may be better to put this additional information on a separate card or insert that can go with the shower invitation.
If it's determined that additional information about the baby shower will be provided when guests call to RSVP, the host needs to make sure she has this information available. Etiquette dictates that information regarding the baby shower registry should be given out only when a guest asks. If the baby shower will be a formal affair, a host will never go wrong by adhering to the rules of etiquette. If the shower (as well as the guests) will be more casual, then the host can decide how to proceed with these issues.
Baby Shower Invitations - Timeline
When inviting guests to a baby shower, the more advance notice they are given, the better. Try to mail the baby shower invitations 4 to 6 weeks prior to the shower date, especially if guests from out of town are being invited. At a minimum, every effort should be made to mail invitations at least 2 to 3 weeks before the event. Advance notice allows guests time to coordinate their personal schedules, RSVP, and shop for appropriate gifts.
It's also important that guests actually pick up the phone and let their intentions be known. With all the other tasks involved in coordinating the shower, it's not fair to make the host be the one to call to find out if a guest plans on attending. However, there will be guests who do not RSVP, so one week before the shower date, the host should make time to contact those people to find out their intentions. An accurate head count will help with the rest of the baby shower planning details.