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Throw a baby shower fit for royalty

She may not belong to the House of Windsor, but you can certainly make your expectant loved one feel like she does.
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Erin Henderson, July 14, 2013 6:00:07 PM

With Will and Kate’s bundle of joy ready to arrive any day now, baby fever has gripped the world as royal watchers wait anxiously for news of the little prince or princess.

Us mere mortals may not have armed guards on standby ready to rush the moms-to-be in our lives to the hospital, but that doesn’t mean we can’t throw expectant parents a party fit for a queen.

Here’s how to throw an elegant baby shower that would make any mom feel like a princess, or duchess for that matter.

Set the stage
The “wow” factor goes along way to making tired moms-to-be feel really special. Instead of picking standard pink or blue, decorate in the expectant mom’s favourite colour, blow up pictures of her pregnancy photos, her other kids, and sonograms of the newborn. Style the party space with floral arrangements and candles and pretty linens to line the buffet table.

The food
Ditch the silly games of making adults identify baby food. Instead, offer pretty tea sandwiches, bowls of cherries or strawberries, fresh salad with light vinaigrette, scones with jam and Devonshire cream and mini cupcakes. If you want to throw some whimsy into the mix, lay out charming twine-wrapped mason jars of homemade pickles, ice cream or sorbet (in frozen bowls to stop melting), or other strange cravings mom had during the last nine months.

The drinks
Homemade lemonades are always a hit at showers, but if you’d like to offer something a bit different, virgin sparkling cocktails are a sophisticated way to toast the new mama. Make a Baby Royal from sparkling grape juice or cider, with an ounce of cassis nectar and garnishing with blackberries. Imbibing guests can use sparkling wine for their cocktails.

Can we talk about those mind numbing games of give-me-your-clothes-pin-because-you-said-baby and identify the melted chocolate bar in the baby diaper?
If you really feel the need to provide entertainment beyond simple adult conversation, consider activities mom may be interested in (and remember, she may be feeling bloated, tired and not all that glamourous). Scrapbooking, rolling out home movies, or even hiring a professional photographer for a photo shoot of the day may all be fun ways to spend an afternoon.

Don’t forget about dad!
More and more these days, baby showers are going co-ed as proud papas are just as excited to welcome their bouncing bundles of joy into the world. Honour dad with party favours that are a bit more substantial: prime rib sliders with horseradish mayo, craft beers chilling in a galvanized bucket, maybe even a cigar station (outside) with “It’s a Girl” and “It’s a Boy” banners.

Gifts – For Mom-to-be and her guests
Don’t expect mom to open all the gifts at the party. It’s awkward for her, and dull for the guests. Allow her to open them up after the party has ended and trust she has enough grace to send a thoughtfully written thank you card.
As for the guests, they sacrificed a weekend afternoon to help celebrate the expectant arrival. Thank them for coming with gift bags that echo the buffet table: cellophane wrapped scones or jars of pickles and preserves and a recipe card for the signature cocktail are all nice ways of saying they’re appreciated, too.

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Erin Henderson

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