Baby Bonanza! - A Co-ed Baby Shower

June 11th (yes, that's right! 6 months ago!) was the first official Baby Bonanza. Just what is a Baby Bonanza?  Well, I would like to explain by taking the description straight out of the program that was distributed to guests.  (That's right, there was a program.) 

The celebration known as "Baby Bonanza" originated in the Mighty Alleghenies, and dates to the earlier part of this month.  In defiance of the more traditional gender-segregationist celebrations, the Baby Bonanza incorporated both male and female members of the community, and typically had a greater focus on jubilant revelry and celebration, and a lesser focus on sitting politely for 3 hours. 

Anyway, true to form - for us at least - we decided that we wanted to do this baby shower thing our own way.  First of all, it would be coed.  DH is a part of this baby just as much as I am, and he should get to celebrate and be celebrated in much the same way.  Additionally, although we had offers by many family members to host showers outside of Pittsburgh, we wanted a way to bring our Pittsburgh friends together as well.  So, DH decided that he would throw the shower for me, although obviously we all know that I was integral in the planning as well.

So you think you want to throw a co-ed shower for yourself or a loved one?  Here are the integral pieces to a successful Baby Bonanza.

1. An Awesome Custom Invite

We designed our own invites and had them printed on magnets.  We went with the "Baby-Que" (bar-b-que) theme, which I enjoyed a great deal.  And of course, since we think that our faces should always grace everyone's refrigerators, we put our baby pictures on the invite.

2. Decorations

There's no reason to be afraid of having a few classical baby shower touches, even at a coed shower.  It's still a party after all, and it's fun to decorate!  We like to do traditional with a twist, so we still had baby themed balloons, a traditional gift table, and of course, a giant baby-shower duck sign stuck into the mulch at the front of our house.

This got us quite a few horn honks from cars driving by.  I loved it. 

3. Food

No dainty cucumber sandwiches or petite fours here.  We went with some classic party food.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, baked ziti, chips and salsa, and of course cake.  We also ordered an enormous tray of soft pretzels aka BEST IDEA EVER.  They were amazing.

We loosely ran with the duck theme, for a number of reasons, including 1. it was the theme at my first shower, 2. we had a lot of leftover ducks, 3. the giant yard sign just happened to have a duck on it, and 4. I loved ducks as a teenager.

4. Alcohol

And lots of it.  This was the hardest part of this type of shower for me.  Everyone else drinking and enjoying it while I just watched...Fortunately I was so busy most of the time I didn't really notice. 

Ugh. I look rather large in this photo.

We had a 1/2 keg of beer, which we put in the wheelbarrow when it started pouring 10 minutes after the part was supposed to start, and it remained there for the rest of the night.  Keg in wheelbarrow is a genius idea.  People don't need to bend over to fill their drinks, and the keg became highly mobile.  Anyway, it was kicked in less than 6 hours (and to think we didn't even think we'd finish it!). 

We also had lots of liquor for mixed drinks.  I made a drink menu, but after the rain-out I forgot to do things like pick mint for the mojitos so most people either just drank beer or made their own concoctions.

5. Games

This is where tradition really went to the wayside.  Traditional baby shower games are mostly no-fun.  They're fine for a traditional shower, but we had a very different crowd of people.  So we went with fun, all ages, skill-based outdoor games.  Think tail-gating activities.  Anyway, we created a full bracket, pre-matched all attendees with a partner that they didn't know, and then had rounds of games.  

The bracket, stuck to the hood of a car with invite magnets
Round 1 - Bean Bags/Corn Hole

Round 2 - Ladder Golf

Round 3 - Beer Pong (beer drinking optional)

You had to win each round in order to advance, so the only game that every played was corn hole.
The partnering thing worked out way better than we had originally thought it would.  Our idea was that some people were more experienced with playing one or all of these games, and we didn't want one particular power couple taking home all of the prizes.  By splitting up couples and giving everyone a new, random partner, talent was spread out and it really evened the playing field.  On top of that, our guests are really great about getting to know new people and no one seemed pissed to be paired up with someone other than the person they came with.  Even now, our friends still refer to people from our party as "the girl that was my partner at the baby shower" or something along those lines.  Love it. 

5. Awesome Prizes

If you want people to have fun and be competitive at your games, you have to give them incentive to do so.  My sister made amazing prizes, which were appropriately adult, coed, and barbque themed.  

6. Manly Gift Opening Time

For some reason, everyone thinks that the woman should open the baby shower gifts. Umm... why??? Again, the husband/man had just as much to do with this baby as the woman.  Why shouldn't they open gifts?

Want to get your man interested in opening baby shower gifts? First, give him a few drinks.  This always makes them more willing to do something they might ordinarily be self-conscious about.

Second, set him up in a manly location, such as the back of your garage.  Men like to be surrounded by their tools and handiwork.

Third, take turns on the gift opening, and if you want to make it really interesting, try to have him identify everything that he opens. 

And if you want to make it even more interesting than that, have everyone at the party "take a drink" everytime he identifies something as a "onesie," because that's what he'll always guess, and it's almost NEVER a onesie.


We love, LOVE, LOVED our Baby Bonanza co-ed shower.  It was a great way to celebrate Baby Hartman, bring all of our friends together in one place, and make it gender inclusive.  We've since had friends tell us that they used our baby shower as the inspiration for other showers that they were planning, or had people tell us that they want their future baby showers to be just like ours!  :o)  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I love it. 

We had two more baby showers later in the summer that also followed the Baby Bonanza theme, and I'll be sure to post about them as well! (Although you know, it will probably be another two or more months before I get around to that...)


photo baby shower invitations said...

Looks like a happy party baby shower.

HeatherB said...

this is amazing!

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