How to plan a virtual baby shower!

How to plan a virtual baby shower!

If you haven’t already, I’d say it’s a good time to accept this lockdown isn’t ending soon. And if by some small miracle it does, life, as we know it isn’t going to be the same. So how do you make the most of staying indoors and still celebrating all those special moments in your pregnancy journey?
Take it from someone who’s spent the end of her second trimester and from the looks of it spending her whole third trimester in quarantine.
 In the first week of May I entered my 7th month – in pre-Covid times, I was to celebrate with a traditional Indian godhbharai (baby-shower). Everything had been planned – right from décor and catering to giveaways. But ofcourse after the nation wide lockdown was announced we knew that for the sake of everyone’s health, especially the little baby’s we needed to call everything off.
I was pretty upset I will not lie! Everyone at home knew this and decided that if we were going to be in lockdown, we might as well make the most of it.
The result? I ended up having not one but two little celebrations.
First my sister in law, threw me a western baby shower, this one was a surprise! She managed to get one of my favourite designers to design and deliver a dress for me; ordered cake and décor, and even managed to get some friends involved. It was such a wonderful evening and so great to finally get out of my PJs and put on some make-up.
A week later my in-laws decided they still wanted to have the godhbharai on the date we had originally decided upon. And so we began to plan that. We obviously couldn’t step out to buy anything for the rituals, so we DIY’d most things. Initially we weren’t planning to have our extended family or friends join in any of the celebrations, but my husband knew how much I would have wanted that. So he decided to host a zoom call and invite everyone.
And the icing on the cake – my parents made it! I hadn’t seen them in two months so it was very emotional to have them over.
There are so many of you in the same boat as me and I thought maybe this will inspire you too. And I must give credit where it’s due, I found myself easily slip into this ocean of self-pity, feeling upset at things that weren’t in my control, but my sister-in-law and husband saw that and sprung into action making my quarantine pregnancy a memorable one.

 

So here it is, a guide to planning a virtual baby shower! Take note.

 Set a Date: Pick a day of the week that you think will best suit all your guests. Keep in mind that since this is a virtual shower you have the liberty to include friends and family from around the world, which basically means multiple time zones. Weekends just always work better in my opinion (unless you wish to host this on an auspicious day and at particular time set by a pandit/priest). 

Save the dates and Invites: If you’re planning everything a little in advance, you can send out Save the Date invites, so that everyone blocks their calendars. Post that send out official invites. If you don’t wish to spend on getting e-invites made you can use Canva – there are multiple templates to choose from, edit text and voila! Paperlesspost is another one. If you want to go all out with your invites then get in touch with the team at papercrush (connect via Instagram DM) – they make the cutest digital invites, announcements and videos. Want to take the old school route – create an event on FB or a group on Whatsapp to co-ordinate with everyone.

How to gather: Decide how everyone is going to get together. Honestly the key thing to look out for here is going to be, finding a place in the house with the strongest WiFi. There’s Skype and Zoom, which work great for such events. Zoom allows upto 100 people to gather in a single meeting and Skype, about 50. In order to ensure the event goes on seamlessly, I’d suggest testing everything before hand – try doing a run through of the event mentally. Another tip, place one laptop/I pad/ phone exactly in front of you on a table and take another laptop/I pad/phone and have someone at home – a family member or the staff to move around with it. Essentially you will have one stationary camera and one moving. This is the bare minimum. You can add as many cameras as you like to cover different angles. Don’t forget to hit record on the day of the event so you can re-watch this little home video later.

Dress-code: This maybe a virtual event, but you want everyone to look their best. We were very particular we wanted everyone in their best looks. For my baby shower (western) we had an all white theme, while for my traditional godhbharai we had everyone dress in their traditional best. Trust me when I say the feeling of getting out of one’s pajamas is liberating. For my party, I wore a dress by designer, Rajnita Gupta. Check her out. For my traditional godhbharai, I wore a lehenga, by Anushree Reddy from one of my wedding events three years ago with a blouse from my sister-in-law. She was pregnant two years ago and luckily saved a lot of her outfits. I had to improvise and mix and match because, lockdown!

Décor: DIY! Hahah if there’s a specific time to show off your creativity, the time is now. Contact your local vendors – small businesses like Balloon Blush, Balloon Studio, Fiddlediddle virtual events, Balloon Basket, Party Panda, Party A La Carte – basically call all and see who can deliver in these times. For my traditional celebrations – we mixed Diwali décor lying at home along with all the Pooja things we had, take a pretty dupatta with work on it and use it as a replacement for your flower chaddar during the ceremony.

Food: I’d say try avoiding anything from outside. Our family lives in the same building so everyone celebrated and ate together. We had a fun menu at home for both events, even if we were the only one’s eating it. At one celebration we did a variety of dips (all home-made) and chips and chaat as the starters. Biriyani and Pav bhaji for main course and deserts to die for – which we had to order from out, because none of us can bake – ensure you are ordering from a trusted source and ask what their hygiene protocol is. For the traditional meal, we made a typical Gujarati meal, with puri, thepla, aamras (mango ras), chutti daal and aloo bhaji. If you know a Gujarati, you know about their sweet tooth. We had lapsi-mug (super yummy sweet and savory dish), jalebi and gathiya. As starters we had mini samosas. All homemade.
Cakes: Check out Cocoabean, Confetti cakes, Cake studio. I got mine from Cocoabean – it was divine.
Also we know mommy can’t drink, but that doesn’t mean the others can’t. Tell your friends and family to grab their favourite drinks and head on over to your virtual celebrations.

Music: Create a playlist of your favourite music and let it play softly in the background to set the mood.

Games: What’s a baby-shower without some fun games? Try creating a virtual bingo (see pinterest for inspiration) – email this or Whatsapp it to everyone, have them print out a copy before the party if they can or access it on their phones. Trivia games are also readily available online and you can download the same and send to everyone. 

Video messages: I think what really brought tears to my eyes was a video with messages from friends and family. It was like a time capsule almost, something I could show the baby later – it was filled with messages and advise and some predictions all directed to the baby. The love in these videos was evident and has truly made for some fabulous memories. Papercrush collated and put together the video for us. If you want to compile something similar – get in touch with them!

Thank you cards: Use the Canva app if you like or simply send out Whatsapp messages to all your loved one’s that were able to join in the celebrations and make this ‘quarantine pregnancy’ a little more bearable.

Have a super baby shower – and tell me how you celebrated yours!

 

- Veronna D

 

 

Cover image: rawpixel.com

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