22 answers

How to Word Baby Shower Invitation

My sister-in-law is pregnant with her second child (her first girl), and I want to throw her a baby shower. Due to the economy, and that this shower is going to be family-only, I have decided to have it at a local tea room. My intention is that people will pay for their own food. How do I word the invitation so they know that I am not going to be picking up the tab? Any suggestions???

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I agree with everyone saying A)the word hostess implies that you are doing more than organizing, you are hosting (paying)B) skip the invites and just call folks and say everyone was thinking about getting out to celebrate the new baby girl C) just have it at someone's house...it's not her first, she's already had all the big hooplah showers, so she won't be cheated out of that experience.

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I like the phrase "Dutch treat" or "come join us for the baby shower, The Tea room offers great teas and dessert for reasonable prices" or something like that :) have fun!

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I don't think it is appropriate to expect guests to pay for their own food. Have it in your home instead and have finger sandwiches, cake, and punch. It will be inexpensive and spare your sister of the heartache.

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Generally the hostess of the party provides the food, so you are right that this is a difficult task. In my opinion, asking people to pay their way at a party could open up a large can of worms. I would be upset if I had to pay 15-20 for myself to go to a party as well as provide a suitable gift for the event. All of the tea houses I have been to have not been inexpensive (20 per person) and I'm wondering if this is really a good choice with the economy as you stated. Is there a way to host it at your home or someone else's home and just serve chips, dip, cake and drinks? Asking people to pay their way and provide a gift as well is asking a lot right now. It would make me send the gift with someone else, because honestly just the gift would be enough of an extra expense, yet alone the cost of food/tea. I know I didn't help with the wording and I am not trying to be rude, just giving you my thoughts so that you can throw a shower where everyone feels welcome and your sister-in-law doesn't get put in any awkward situations later. Families love to gossip and complain about each other, and I would hate to have you or her on the receiving end. If you think your families would be ok with paying their way, you could always make the invitation state the cost per person under the where and when sections. Good luck with everything and take care!

1 mom found this helpful

Just MHO . . . personally, I think it's a little much to expect each 'guest' (AKA 'giver') to buy a gift for the mom-to-be AND pay for their own lunch (or whatever meal it is) unless it's a bunch of folks who normally go out to eat together in smaller numbers. I think the more sociable and thoughtful thing to do 'in this economy' is to utilize a home, church fellowship hall, library, city/municipal building, or some low- or no-cost place like that at an after-dinner time (7:00 p.m. on a weekday or 1-2:00 p.m. on a weekend) and provide 'refreshments' (something wet and something dry -- not a meal. Chips, cake, nuts and punch; or tea, sandwiches, chips & veggies, or whatever) and ask some of the others to donate the food (or contribute to the cost of it) if you need them to.

1 mom found this helpful

I hosted a tea party at my house for a friend- it was actually pretty easy, since we got the men to take care of all the children! It would definitely be economical- homemade scones, tea both hot and iced (it turned out to be 90 degrees that day), cucumber sandwiches, cheese and crackers, fruit, cookies, etc. We had mismatched cups and plates and had a ton of fun! I think the whole thing cost about $50 for food and tea.

1 mom found this helpful

I think if you are asking for gifts, then the food should be free. Sorry!!! Anything less is tacky, even among family, unless it is just immediate. If your intent is for people to give gifts, and I assume it is since you mention it is the first girl, then I suggest changing plans to have a small cake and brunch reception at a free venue, like a church basement.

If you want to go through with the tea room idea, then I suggest you CALL family members(not send an invitation) and tell the family that some of you would like to have a 'get to gether' (not a shower) for SIL at the local tea shop. Tell them 'everybody' thinks this is such a great way to show support for SIL and ask them if they would like to come. I'd tell them casually what is on the menu and comment that, "you can get all that for $10, so it is not very expensive". (You may even ask the tea room for a group discount). If people come with gifts, then great, if not, then I wouldn't worry about it.

If you really want a shower and want something different and cheap, how about a 'bruch'? You can skip the cake, get muffins, frenchtoast sticks and fresh fruit. Skip the favors (who really wants them) and have it someplace free.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, like you said about "in this economy", I don't think I would have it at a tea room and expect others to pay unless you know they are going to be willing to pay without feeling pressured about attending. It could cause a lot of hard feelings. Believe it or not, some would hold it against your sister, not the person planning it.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with everyone saying A)the word hostess implies that you are doing more than organizing, you are hosting (paying)B) skip the invites and just call folks and say everyone was thinking about getting out to celebrate the new baby girl C) just have it at someone's house...it's not her first, she's already had all the big hooplah showers, so she won't be cheated out of that experience.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.!
I just gave a shower like this last week at a Tea Room. We did the "High Tea" menu, so we included that menu in the invitation with the price on the bottom. Our invitation had "Dutch Treat" on it also. I have also seen wording like "We are treating the mother to lunch, please come treat yourself!". No one had a problem paying for themselves and everyone brought gifts.
You know your friends and family better than anyone, so you will know if they will be offended.
Good luck!

Ps- we found some very cute tea bags online as party favors that said "A Baby is Brewing".

1 mom found this helpful

I got put in the uncomfortable position of sending invitations to a party for my mother-in-law were everyone was expected to pay for themselves. Although it was mostly family, I felt it was just plain rude and I was embarrassed to do it (I was not planning the party- just helping with some of the to-dos). It's a little much in my opinion to expect people to bring a gift AND pay for their food, even if they are family. I wouldn't even bother sending an invite- instead just call each one up and tell them to meet you for lunch at the tea room. If you feel like you have to send invites, make sure that you work it something like "meet us for lunch to honor Jane as she welcomes her new baby..." or something to effect. The problem is that some people won't even get that they are supposed to pay for themselves. In the case of my MIL- people walked out without paying and we had to foot some of the bill anyway. It was very uncomfortable at any rate. Anyway, hope this helps...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,

How close is your family or families to each other? If they are close, I don't think there's anything wrong with asking them to pay for their own dinner, especially if the place isn't very expensive. I understand the previous poster thinking that it's not appropriate to expect "guests" to pay their own way, but "family" isn't the same. Many people still go out to eat for special occasions, even in recessionary times.

Have you discussed it with family members yet? Perhaps checking with them to make sure they are okay with the idea would be good, especially if you can give them a ballpark on how much the evening might cost. With a certain number of people, sometimes a restaurant can give discounts based on a select menu, etc.

I think you'll be better able to figure out how to word the invite once you've felt things out with the family.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

I think what to say if you want to make sure they know they will be responsible for their own bill, would be to state that it will be "Dutch Treat".

However, you say that you are considering holding it at a restaurant due to the state of the economy... I would think it would be more affordable all the way around to host it at your home (or someone else's, it is all family, right?) and ask each guest to bring a dish (or salad, or appetizer, or dessert - whichever direction you plan to go with this) to share. You could be providing plates, cups napkins, utensils and drinks, for example. To me that is a lot more fun and more affordable for everyone.

I'm not sure how long before her due month you are holding this event (an dhow much room the expectant mom has in her freezer), but you could also suggest guests bring one dish to share and one dish to freeze, that can be used by the family for quick, easy and nutritious dinners after the baby is born...

Just some thoughts... Whatever you end up doing, have fun, and best wishes to your sister-in-law for her labor and birth.

1 mom found this helpful

Since it is mostly family, I would not send an invitation, but would call everyone and ask if they would like to meet you and the SIL for tea to celebrate the new baby. Ivitations make people assume they are going to be served.
This way, it is kept simple and you can communicate clearly to people where and when, and then you'll even have your responses all taken care of for the most part! Have fun!

You can offer a choice of three menu items with the price on the invitations and then you provide the drinks and dessert.

I know this may be a little different, but when my youngest child was born, my Sunday school class wanted to give me a shower and we called it a "Women's Night Out and Baby Shower" We met at a local restaurant and everyone was expected to pay their own way. May be you could word it that way and then everyone will know that they must pay their own way. Especially since you say it is all family.

When my friend had her 3rd child we had a shower just like that for her. Because it was her third we wanted to do something but kept it really informal. We didn't even send out invitations. Just word of mouth. Nobody had a problem paying their own way. We were all just happy to be out together ooing and ahing over cute baby clothes. :) Don't sweat it. If this is what you want to do do it there is nothing wrong with it.
Have fun!

Maybe something to the effect of "Tea provided. Meals available for purchase." at the bottom of the invitation. If you're inviting people you need to provide at least something to drink. Maybe include the website under address of the tearoom, so they can look up the menu before coming.Also have it at an odd time, so people can eat before coming.

Another option to consider might be a "pot Luck" baby shower.

It is way more economical for everyone and it is more personal and fun!

You can even challenge people to create theme related dishes.

P : )

I like the phrase "Dutch treat" or "come join us for the baby shower, The Tea room offers great teas and dessert for reasonable prices" or something like that :) have fun!

You have to pay for hers and yours, so, why don't you have a pot luck? Have everyone bring a dish, assign a menu and ask what each will bring, along with something to freeze for the family. Since it is family, have the husbands and kids come and make it a party. You could even ask a relative to host it at their home. You could include the kids in on the games. The kids would love it. Not everything has to be done in the same way. Ask the kids to tell the new mom and Dad, their wish for the new baby, what they love most that their mom and dad do with them etc.

I am not sure how you would ask that ppl pick up their own tab but maybe you could lighten it up a bit. I would suggest not having it at lunch time and then no one should expect lunch. Have it at 10am in the morning or at 2p in the afternoon. You can just have very little finger foods and maybe a cake. I would either call the tea room and ask what the bare minimum would be that you could serve. I would maybe do a dessert only with coffee or tea on your tab. You can write on the invitation that it is coffee and dessert. You could probably buy two cakes and have them cut small enough so each person gets a piece. Or I would decide to have this shower somewhere else, like someone's home or a church. Where it is free. You can then go to Sam's or Costco and for less than $30 you can buy apps/finger foods and just make a punch and have sprite and tea that you make yourself. You can also consider having just sandwiches that are cut into 1/4s and then just cookies, cupcakes, etc You and family that is helping can make all of these items and cupcakes are cuter and easier than a cake. It is really easy to have a nice but elegant shower. If you need ideas you can email me.
Lastly, for my second child I did not want a shower b/c I had one for my first. What I did instead is have a "sip and see" where I had guests over AFTER my daughter was born. I wanted to be able to control when guests visited her so I was not bombarded as soon as we got home. I had a champagne brunch and people were invited to stop by any time between 10am and 12pm or whatever time is best for you. I had brunch type food that I prepared myself. Muffins, donuts, bagels and cream cheese, egg casserole, and then OJ, champagne, tea, coffee. It was a blast and so casual and on one just sat and ate b/c it was a drop in and go type atmosphere.
You might even consider having it at a park if there is a shaded area. I just went to a baby shower that was at a wine vineyard. Such a neat idea! They had only a cheese tray, veggie tray, and a cake. Each person was expected to buy their own bottle of wine....they did not put it in the invite, they just didn't have anything for us to drink other than water! Have this at a time that no one is expected to eat and have as little as possible and if they are still hungry, they can order something. Have the waitress say, "the hostess has purchased coffee or tea and dessert but if you would like anything else, I would love to bring you a menu"....talk to her in advance. I used to waitress and this was done a lot.

Have fun! Email me with anything you need. W.

Dutch treat for tea and celebration!!!!!

Depending on the agreement with the tea room, let them know the low and high cost of lunch there, cost of dessert, and if they can purchase only tea, the cost of that as well. Most people understand that when the cost is on the invitation that they will be paying for their own.

I hope it turns out well. Tea rooms are so nice!

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