How to Host the Perfect High Tea Baby Shower
A high tea baby shower is possibly the sweetest event you’ll ever plan!
If you’ve made your way to this post you’re probably on the cusp of diving head first into the world of pink and blue, whether you’re a grandma-to-be or you’re planning a high tea baby shower for your besties first born. We all know that sh*t is about to get real for for this lady so let’s make her last hurrah (for 12 months at least) a fabulous one.
Being an Event Manager by trade, the detail and planning that went into my own high tea baby shower was next level cray cray (much to the chagrin of my very last minute bestie who was hosting). Much like my wedding, there were running spreadsheets, to-do lists and budgets galore, but never fear as I don’t want you drowning in a sea of Google docs so I’ve simplified and bottled my own recipe for hosting a high tea baby shower to make even Queen of Mums Kate Middleton proud, so hold onto your hats ladies because we’re about to dive in!
12 weeks from due-date
Who’s hosting this shindig?
Well, most likely YOU if you’re reading my recipe, but are you really going to bear the weight of the entire baby shower or will you share the duties with the grandmother, sister or amongst other friends? Whoever they are, make sure they’re reliable and everyone is crystal clear on who is contributing what.
Write the guest list
You need to know what size high tea baby shower you’re planning before you can make a start on anything! Ask the mum-to-be to put this together as it’s her special event after all and if it’s a surprise, be sure to liaise with someone super close to her like her mum, sister or bestie. Be sure to ask for emails and postal addresses also depending on how you want to send your invites. The number of guests is going to help determine the budget and venue and everything else flows from there. Hot tip: as a rule of thumb, you can generally bank on 10% of the invited guests not being able to make it so consider this when budgeting.
Urghhhh! I know we all hate that word but unless you’re a Kardashian, there probs isn’t an endless supply of coin for the event so get real upfront. How much are you willing to spend on the high tea baby shower? Will the costs be shared evenly around the group? Will the chief host pay? Will the grandparents-to-be be paying? Or will you request guests pay their own way? There are so many ways you can do it but you’ve gotta get this sorted out early on so that you know what you can afford and what you might need to compromise on before you get into the fun stuff! And to make sure you don’t miss anything important (like the cake!), I’ve put together a handy-dandy spreadsheet that lists everything you should consider budgeting for the big day, which you can download here.
Set the date
Obviously you’re going to make sure your guest of honour is available on your nominated date so work around her, then the venue and key people like her mother/mother-in-law to make sure there are no noses out of joint (I’d stop at the mums though as there is always somebody who won’t be able to make it and you ideally want the shower to be held before the little cherub arrives, amiright?! 4-6 weeks out from the due date is generally a good time frame to hold the baby shower and if possible get a couple of ideal dates from the mum-to-be to make locking in the perfect venue a little easier.
Location Location Location
Where you going to hold the high tea? At somebody’s home? At a venue that takes care of everything or at a venue where you manage everything like a community hall or even in a park (don’t forget to check with the local council as some parks require bookings), the possibilities are endless but you must lock this in quickly once your budget is set as venue availability will also likely dictate your date especially in the spring and summer months when venues are also usually heavily booked with weddings.
8 Weeks out from Baby Shower
Theme it up
Here’s where the fun really starts! How do you want your high tea baby shower to look? Do you want a colour theme like pink, blue or neutral if the gender is a surprise? Do you want a traditional look, a romantic look or a modern look? Check out Pinterest for inspo but limit yourself to one hour max or else you’ll end up down a rabbit hole, get totally overwhelmed and somehow wind up with a disco themed baby shower and I’m not sure how well that would go down with your guest of honour! Lucky for you our stuff works with a huge variety of themes and palettes and I love bouncing ideas around with clients so if you get stuck just give us a call, we’d be delighted to help.
Call us! Book your high tea crockery and catering
Best to book in your high tea crockery as soon as possible (and also catering if baking is not your forte!) we do have A LOT of stock. However, we also supply to A LOT of events year-round so it’s first-in-first-serve with particular colours and pieces so check our website to see what you’d like and then drop us a line.
Draw on your inner designer
Your theme is going to help dictate your invites which is great as it will help to narrow down the million-and-one options that are out there. When planning an event I love to make sure every single touch point is tied in with the theme and the invites are a huge part of this as they are the first glimpse into the event that your guests will have and help to set the tone!
Be sure to include all of the important details including:
RSVP date (no later than 2 weeks out)
Dress code (if there is one)
Directions (if necessary)
Gift instructions (you can also include this on a separate insert or explain to the guests in person. Baby Bunting has a great registry if you decide to go down that road)
Order the cake
Event cakes are BIG business these days and the best cake makers are often booked out months in advance (especially during wedding season) so if you do plan on ordering a special cake for your high tea baby shower be sure to tick this off your list early.
6 Weeks out from Baby Shower
Fly my pretties…. Get those invites out
For any important event you generally want to send out your invites 6 weeks out. Any earlier and they may get lost in the chaos of people’s lives and any later you risk people making other plans and not being able to attend and after all your hard work, and that’s the last thing we want! Go that extra step further if budget allows and get your envelopes addressed by a calligrapher or simply buy some Avery labels and print them up yourself with a pretty (legible) font. Be sure to set up a tracker so that you can monitor RSVPs. Google docs is fab as all parties can keep track of numbers.
Snap! Book a photographer
This is not to say that you necessarily neeeed a photographer as it will depend on your budget. If one of the guests is a keen photog then delegate to them. You can also find photography students and hobbyists on Airtasker who are wanting to add to their portfolio who will often do it for free or for just a small charge. A baby shower is such a special moment in a girl’s life that it’s nice to have lovely, good quality photos for her to look back on so we personally recommend the gorgeous Shyani & Simon at Moments Photography
Order your flowers
It’s not a high tea baby shower without flowers! If you have a favourite florist, have a chat with them early to book in your date and let them know what you’re after… table arrangements, a trailing display over the buffet or even flower crowns for the guests. If you’re feeling creative, head on down to the Sydney Flower Markets the day before or morning of the event to buy wholesale – you must be there early though as they close at 11am!
4 weeks out from event
Start dreaming of food
What delicious treats do you want to serve up at this high tea baby shower of yours?
If you’re hiring a caterer they will have menus and packages for you to select from. However, if you plan to get your Nigella on, the possibilities are endless! Does the mum-to-be have any favourites you know she’d love? Are there any special family recipes that absolutely must make an appearance? Don’t forget that poor preggo women can’t eat some foods like some fish, particular cheeses, undercooked meat, deli meats etc. Your best source of info for foods to steer clear of is the NSW Food Authority website.
Traditionally a high tea will consist of finger sandwiches, scones and petit fours, but you know what? We’re not stuck back in 1903 so go for broke I say! I had a Krispy Kreme tower among other things at my high tea baby shower and if you sit down to high tea at the famous Hydro Majestic in the Blue Mountains, they serve up SPRING ROLLS as part of theirs so there really are no rules.
If you are catering yourself just try to make as much in advance as possible and freeze so that you’re not up until 3am the night before cursing the day you ever agreed to be host!
Get your gift on
Are you going to gift the guests with something special to say thank you? There are just soooooo many options and again Pinterest is a great place to find inspo and they don’t have to be expensive. For my high tea baby shower we did a mix of cute little pots of homemade jam that my mum is famous for and homemade cookies which all tied into the high tea baby shower theme perfectly. It’s best to sort these early if you plan to purchase any elements online to allow time for delivery and construction (if you’re feeling crafty!)
Delve into the decorations
If there are any additional decorations that you’re planning, best to order them now to avoid any postage delays (Pink Frosting are great for all sorts of cheap bits and bobs) or come see us as we have lots of gorgeous props to help bring your theme to life!
3 Weeks out from the Baby Shower
Plan the fun!
There are so many baby shower games out there so I won’t bore you with a long list as what you plan will depend on the mum-to-be and her sense of humour but I do recommend one thing when planning your games… Please consider that your guest of honour will be at the pointy end of the pregnancy and probs feeling like a beached whale (even though we all think she looks radiant) and can’t even drown herself in champagne to make herself feel better so best not to have her running around like a lunatic or doing anything too humiliating!
Don’t forget to stock up on any games related supplies like cardboard, pens and prizes prior to the big day too.
2 Weeks out from the Baby Shower
Start hustling late RSVPs
One of my main gripes in life…. People who don’t RSVP by the due date! Even worse, people who completely ignore all correspondence leaving you to assume that they will in fact not be attending and then show up anyway leaving you fumbling around for an extra place setting when you’d actually gladly set their place out in the garage! No, no, no, we do not want that happening at your event so start hustling stragglers a couple of days before the due date as “a friendly reminder” until they get the hint. If they fail to reply to an email or text give them a call. If you’re having the event catered you’ll usually need to confirm minimum numbers 7-10 days out so don’t leave RSVPs until the last minute.
1 Week out from the Baby Shower
If your party favours need any sort of construction you’re best off not leaving it until the last minute to avoid any right royal disasters. Better yet, make an evening of it with girlfriends and wine to knock it over quickly.
Transport fit for a queen
Make sure your Queen Bee’s transportation is locked and loaded if necessary. Ideally you want her arriving once everything is set up and consider whether you want her to arrive before the other guests allowing her to welcome everyone or if she’ll walk into a room filled with her nearest and dearest. Don’t forget transport home as there will also be a boot load of gifts she’ll need assistance with.
Choose the tunes
Music is so important at an event as it helps to set the scene. Pull together a playlist of your guest of honour’s fave tunes or get creative and just play songs with “Baby” in the title. Don’t forget to add a playlist for songs relevant to your games if need be!
3 Days out from Baby Shower
Final check ins
If you are having the event catered give them a call to make sure all is on track and that you’ve provided them final numbers, dietary requirements and seating plans (if necessary), triple confirm delivery time and instructions and if you’re doing it yourself (may the force be with you), finish of the last of your food shopping.
Plan it out
This is where my inner control freak comes shining through. My wedding run sheet was 8 pages long and gave our bridal party and MC heart palpitations just to give you an idea of what a control freak I am, but guess what? Everything went off without a hitch on the day. As the saying goes… “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. I’m not saying that you need a crazy long run sheet but at least try to jot down the order of events to make sure nothing is forgotten about on the day. Include things like:
High tea served
Presentation of gifts etc
1 Day out from Baby Shower
Bump in Baby
“Bump in” is just a fancy industry term for set up. Start throwing it around and grab yourself a clip board and your guests will think you’ve been doing this all your life!
Ideally you want to be setting everything up the day before if the venue/home allows as you’ll be surprised how fast time flies by when you’re in the thick of it. If not, try to get access as early as possible the morning of, in which case make sure you also have a team of minions to assist you!
High-five sister! You’ve done it! If you’ve followed my recipe for the ultimate high tea baby shower – well done, you get a gold star and will be able to relax a little now knowing that everything has been taken care of, so pour yourself a glass of bubbles, take a moment to take in what you’ve created and prepare yourself for the gorgeous day you’ve planned..
She’s going to love it!