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Your baby shower questions answered – all you need to know

A baby shower is the ultimate party – celebrating new beginnings and helping the parents get ready for the new addition to their family.

An opportunity for friends and family to celebrate the impending arrival of a new baby, talk about parenting and help the new parents with the baby essentials they’ll need once the new baby arrives.

It’s the perfect time to give clothing, nursery equipment and the myriad of essentials that are needed for the new arrival.

Most new parents already have some of the things they’ll need – cocoon for the car, pram or stroller, crib and highchair. They’ll know best just what they want to complete their equipment range – so a gift card is the ideal present for the new parents.

With a prepaid Mastercard through Gift Card Registry, they can buy just what they need for the new baby. No duplicate gifts and things they don’t want or need. With Gift Card Registry, they can buy the essentials now and keep some value on the card for later purchases as the child grows to crawler then toddler and their needs change.

If you’re planning a baby shower for a friend or relative, here’s everything you need to know!

  1. When is the best time to host a baby shower?

When the mother to be is about 28 to 35 weeks pregnant so she has time to purchase baby equipment and organise the nursery with all the new (or borrowed) gear.

  1. Where should you hold a baby shower?

Your own home might be the best place, but if you are planning to invite more guests than your lounge can comfortably accommodate, think of alternative venues. Will your guests include other parents with young children? Depending on the season, the local park or playground could be an ideal venue. Consider a private function room in a café or restaurant, community centres, even the local bowling club. Avoid holding the celebration at the home of the expectant mother – she is the guest of honour, not the host!

  1. Who’s on the invitation list?

Talk to the mum-to-be before you make up a guest list. Think about numbers if you have a limit on the size of the venue. And check out the next question before you start thinking about who will be there. If you are compiling a list to send invitations, get email addresses as well. Never publicly post an invitation on social media, you could end up with unwanted guests!

  1. What sort of party will it be?

Choose a theme or just go casual with the guests providing the entertainment. If it’s casual, you can ask the guests to ‘bring a plate’ or have a barbecue. Anything goes with a baby shower – you can decide on a dress up occasion, or even suggest the guests come in fancy dress. The main thing is not to lose sight of the reason for the party – to help the parents celebrate a new baby.

  1. Does the party need a theme?

You could celebrate like a celebrity and roll out the red carpet with the expectant mum as the star! If she prefers something more traditional, try one of these ideas for inspiration:

  • Colour: Many parents already know what’s coming and may want to celebrate with a theme of blue or pink. Think outside the traditional colours for an individual theme.
  • Classic children’s books: Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland. If your theme is based on a book, consider asking guests to bring a children’s book as a gift for the newborn with a personal message inside.
  • Nature themes: Flowers, farmyard, butterflies. If you are having an outdoor party at the beach or park, the venue could provide some inspiration.
  • Popular film themes: Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse are always popular. Kids’ films like Frozen or Beauty and the Beast can be a fun theme.
  • A hobby or passion: Music or travel provide endless possibilities.

Before you decide on a theme, go online and search for ‘baby shower decorations’ or ‘celebrity baby showers’ for inspiration.

  1. Does the party need games?

It’s up to you and the mum to be. The main event is usually eating, drinking and opening gifts (or skp the gifts if you are having a Gift Card Registry) but for a fun event, you can have a few activities or games that can tie in with the theme. If the new parents haven’t told anyone whether the baby is a boy or a girl, they can have some fun with a gender-reveal surprise package. For the latest ideas, go online and search for ‘baby shower games’.

  1. A shower, a sprinkle or a sip and see?

If the baby party is for a second or third child, it may be called a baby ‘sprinkle’ and celebrated as a ‘mini’ baby shower. If the mother is already well stocked with baby gear from her first child, a scaled down baby sprinkle is always appreciated, especially if she’s having a baby of a different gender this time and has different needs. And if the celebration is delayed until after the baby arrives, it can be called a ‘sip and see’ – drop in for a cup of tea or coffee and see the baby – but don’t stay too long!

No more toasters – ask for what you want with Gift Card Registry

Organising a wedding is a major logistics operation that calls for short cuts and time saving tips to make the planning as smooth as possible. You’ll save both time and stress with a Gift Card Registry!

More secure than a wishing well

Compared with a store-based Wedding Registry or a Wishing Well at the reception, a Gift Card Registry is the superior way to give and receive because it is secure, convenient, easy to use and saves everyone time. You are not locked into preselecting gifts like traditional registries.

No unwanted gifts

Traditional gift giving has been turned on its head with cutting edge technology and the advantage of a prepaid Mastercard. Setting up a Gift Card Registry means no unwanted gifts and it is more secure than wishing wells and money trees.

Research recommends saying what you want

Research shows that inviting guests to contribute to a wedding fund is preferred by the recipients of the gifts. Studies by Harvard and Stanford researchers and published in Experimental Social Psychology, showed that gift recipients most appreciated receiving money more than receiving a specific gift.^

No surprises, thanks!

Surprises may be exciting but can be a disappointment when you get unwanted presents. With a Gift Card registry, you are sure of getting what you want because you are going to be choosing the gifts.

All the money received on the Registry is transferred to a prepaid Mastercard, ready for you to go on your honeymoon or complete your shopping after the wedding. You can spend it anywhere in the world or online where Mastercard is accepted, a versatile and easy option.

Once your registry has closed, you will be sent the card for you to buy exactly what you both want.

Understanding the gift exchange

The studies on the benefits of explicitness in gift exchange showed that there is a vast difference in perception between gift givers and recipients.

Gift recipients:

  • Appreciated receiving money more than receiving a specific gift.
  • Were more appreciative of gifts they explicitly request.
  • Regarded givers who gave what they had asked for as being more thoughtful.

Gift givers thought:

  • Recipients did not appreciate receiving money as much as receiving a specific gift.
  • Whatever they gave would be equally appreciated.
  • A surprise gift would be appreciated just as much as if it had been chosen by the recipient.
  • Money wouldn’t be appreciated as much as an asked-for gift.

Please give us what we want!

Gift givers failed to realise that people prefer receiving what they want. However, when recipients specified the gift they would like, givers became more willing to purchase the requested gift.

The studies showed that gift recipients were more thankful when receiving a gift they had asked for, rather than one that had been chosen for them by the giver.

Gift Card Registry is the answer to gift giving

Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy and everyone can be assured that the recipient will get just what they want and it will be appreciated.

It gives the opportunity to give the best possible gift for a wedding, birthday or special occasion because the giver knows that the recipient will be able to buy exactly what they want or need.

Give the gift of choice

Friends and family of the couple to be married can rest assured that they will not need to wonder whether to purchase another toaster or slow cooker, crystal glasses or cushions in the hope the newlyweds will need and like what they have chosen.

The ultimate gift is one of choice for the recipient! Gift givers don’t need to spend days looking for the perfect gift.

Guests will save time and stress by connecting with your Gift Card Registry. Let them know that you appreciate being able to purchase just what you want.

Express appreciation

After the honeymoon when you have had an opportunity to buy what you want using the Gift Card Registry funds, let your guests know how you used the prepaid Mastercard and thank them for their contribution. They like to be appreciated too!

 

Reference:

^Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange. Francesca Ginoa (Harvard Business), Francis J.Flynn (Stanford Business),  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2011.

 

A symbol of love – the enduring promise of a wedding ring

A symbol of eternity over generations, the ring remains a beautiful icon of enduring love, a promise of togetherness.

As Elvis sang in the classic wedding ballad ‘She wears my ring to show the world that she belongs to me, to show the world she’s mine eternally’.

Band of gold

The band of gold on the third finger of your left hand not only indicates your marital status and your lifetime commitment to your partner, it links you to the ancient history of the ring as a symbol of perpetual love.

Ancient tradition

Spanning generations, cultures and ancient civilisations, the sentiments symbolised by your ring are steeped in tradition and imbued with promise.

The giving and wearing of a ring is a custom that can be traced as far back as 5000 years. Egyptians regarded the ring as a powerful symbol representing eternal life and love. Papyrus scrolls and ancient relics show evidence of the exchange of braided ‘rings of love’ made of hemp, leather or woven reeds.

The fable of the third finger

Wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand is a custom that dates back to the time of the building of the pyramids, as the Egyptians believed that finger had a special vein connected directly to the heart – the vena amoris or the vein of love. Many people still believe this, but it is more myth than fact as all the fingers in the hand have a similar vein structure.

Partner rings

The exchanging of rings is a relatively recent custom. The single ring worn by the woman was originally a symbol of ‘ownership’, derived from the customs of Europe in the Middle Ages. In the United States, wedding rings were initially only worn by wives, but became customary for both partners during the 20th century. Encouraged by the jewellery industry, the double ring tradition coincided with changes in gender ideology and the women’s movement.

Engagement rings

In the tradition of romantic symbolism, an engagement ring is a sign of affection and intention to take the next step and marry. Often bought by one partner and given to the other – sometimes as a surprise, tends to reflect the style and dreams of the one who purchased it.

Engagement rings have a history independent of the wedding ring, showing the wearer is betrothed and being associated with ownership. Archaeological findings have indicated that cavemen tied braided grass around their partner’s ankles and wrists to keep control of her.

Today, the engagement ring is universally recognised as a symbol of love, a promise of an enduring relationship.

Family rings

The tradition of ‘something old’ is not just a whimsical wedding tradition, but part of an ancient ritual that has endured to symbolise the power of love. Some couples may inherit a family heirloom ring that makes it particularly special to the giver and the recipient.

Choosing a ring

As you plan your wedding, choosing a ring will be added to your To Do List.  Think about your lifestyle. Do you want to wear your rings all day whatever you are doing? Or are you happy to take off your engagement ring because it is too elaborate for day-to-day activities and just wear it for special occasions? Some questions to answer when you are thinking about the ring:

  • Start with a budget. What do you want to spend? One ring or two?
  • What sort of style and design can both of you agree on? Do you want the rings to make a statement or be subtle? The wedding band should complement the engagement ring.
  • What will the rings be made from? Gold (white, rose, yellow), platinum, or mixed metals such as silver. You can even choose silicone.

Lifestyle rings

If you are planning matching rings, consider your partner’s work and regular activities. Some gold or platinum rings may be inappropriate for sportsmen or tradesmen such as a plumber, builder, bricklayer or cabinetmaker. But science has the answer for those who prefer something more practical for their lifestyle – there are now rings made of non-conductive silicone, polished wood or durable tungsten which is stronger than gold.

The gift of a lifetime memory of your wedding day

The one thing from your wedding day that will remind you of that special day and endure for the rest of your life will be your ring. So, your exchange of rings is an enduring gift to each other.

Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy

While you are both involved in choosing your engagement and wedding rings, think about your family and friends who you are inviting to share the occasion with you. They will want to give you both a gift that will enhance your life together, so suggest they contribute to Gift Card Registry.  Set up a registry for guests that is secure and easy for everyone to use. After the wedding, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard for you to buy the gifts you really want. For details, go to giftcardregistry.com.au, or phone 1300 354 632.

Plan B for the wedding day

Keep the ring safe with either the best man or a ring bearer, but have a Plan B.  Slip a cheap ring (even a curtain ring) in the pocket of another groomsman in case there are any hitches during the ceremony, such as the ring not being found at the right moment – it has happened!