Soon-to-be-parents know the feeling. You're bursting to tell friends and family whether you're expecting a boy or a girl, building on months of anticipation for that perfect, exciting, memorable reveal.
Yet you're curious about gender reveal party etiquette: What to do, whom to invite, where to host it and how to keep folks entertained up until the big moment.
In other words, you're looking for how to plan a gender reveal party — without knowing quite how.
We're diving into the checklist of gender-reveal party 101 so you can plan a party as exciting as having your baby. (Okay, maybe not that exciting. But close.)
1. Take Care of Logistics
The first step in how to host a gender reveal party is intuitive: Determining the who, what, where and when of the whole bash.
- Date: Gender-reveal parties typically happen between week 20 and week 25. At this point in the pregnancy, an ultrasound technician will be able to confirm your baby's gender, setting you up to begin the definitive party-planning process.
- Theme: Gender reveal party themes are entirely up to you and your partner. Often, they're a reflection of your personality and the type of party you want to throw, veering from classic and elegant to goofy and interactive.
- Location: The most common venue for gender-reveal parties is one you know well — your home! Expecting parents may find it easier to host everyone in the convenience of their own house. However, other suitable venues could be favorite restaurants, coffee shops or a relative's home.
- Guestlist: Given the intimacy and importance of the moment, most gender reveal parties stay reserved for close family and friends. The guest list may expand to people like coworkers, business associates and a wider acquaintance circle, though, depending on your tastes. You set the rules!
Note that more and more couples are throwing parties similar to baby gender reveals without knowing their baby's sex.
Partners wishing to preserve the element of surprise until birth don't have to sacrifice a special day with family and friends. Instead, they simply celebrate their pregnancy and have guests guess the gender, keeping the energy and anticipation high.
2. Send Invitations
Send your gender reveal invitations to your completed guest list a minimum of one month before the day. The timing sweet spot is closer to one-and-a-half to two months, though, giving guests plenty of time to pencil you into their calendars.
There are several other reasons to mail your invites one to two months early, as well. Be sure to include on them if guests should:
- Bring a gift: Clarify gift-giving for your guests, especially if you aren't planning on having a baby shower when gifts are traditionally presented.
- Bring food: Potlucks or backyard barbecues where everyone contributes a dish takes some of the hosting burden off your shoulders.
- Dress in theme: Apparel and even the invitations themselves can also match your theme, if you've picked one.
Essential decorations for your gender-reveal party lighten and brighten the atmosphere, turning it into the festive environment you envisioned.
The best gender-reveal decorations will fit your theme, if you've selected one. However, that doesn't rule out a few party decor staples, including:
- Tabletoppers: Decorate your serving and seating tables with colorful tablecloths, party tableware and appropriate cutlery. For bonus points, you can create table centerpieces matching your party theme, the current season or the expected due date of your baby. For example, a May due date could play off the "March winds and April showers bring May flowers" saying with fitting floral centerpieces.
- Balloons: Balloons add height and depth to your decorations. Available in a range of colors, shapes and sizes, balloons are must-have baby reveal decor.
- Banners: Hang banners welcoming guests into your home or venue — just as you're welcoming a little one into your life. Use banners to relay guest greetings, well-wishes, jokes or any other festive message.
- Hanging ornaments: Think ornamental pompoms, streamers, ribbons, string lights and hanging or floating lanterns. Each makes your rooms or yard pop, creating a true party ambiance for guests to feel as soon as they step through the door.
- Photo backdrop: Set up a step-and-repeat banner or stage a cute backdrop for guests to take fun photos and selfies. Friends and family will have a blast snapping pictures in front of the decorated backdrop, which is as easy as hanging an old patterned bed sheet, duvet, canvas or burlap fabric then having goofy props on-hand for the finishing touch.
4. Games and Activities
Next on your list of gender reveal party ideas? How about games and activities to entertain your friends — plus allowing you, the host, to let your hair down.
Select from any number of upbeat gender-reveal party games, such as those below.
- Guessing games: A signature activity for any gender-reveal bash, have guests guess before the big reveal whether it's a boy or girl. Go one step further by having them guess the baby's name, time of birth and who he or she will look more like. Provide small party favors to anyone who guesses the gender right.
- Name that baby food: Blindfold contestants, then have them taste test various flavors of baby foods to see whose palate is most refined — or, perhaps more fittingly, still in its infancy.
- Lawn games: Corn hole, ladder toss, giant Jenga and more are fan favorites during backyard bashes. Set up and embellish each according to your party's theme, then watch guests have a good time.
- Motivational time capsule: After your reveal, let guests write small hopes, wishes, affirmations and life advice for your baby, or record them on a camera. Seal these notes in a box, then show them to your child on a suitable birthday down the road.
5. Gender Reveal Party Ideas
Last but certainly not least, it's time to determine how you'll make your big reveal.
Once you've determined when to have a gender reveal party, your climactic moment calls for an equally climactic method — one engaging guests and also providing a picture-worthy snapshot to remember the reveal forever.
From the classic to the creative, here are time-tested gender reveal ideas transcending dates or themes:
- Cut the cake: The quintessential gender-reveal method is delightful and delicious. Not a fan of traditional cake? No worries, the same concept crosses over into cake pops, cupcakes, candy, pie and more sweet treats.
- Smoky reveal: Use dyed smoke powder for a show-stopping reveal. Smoke powder remains stored in small, convenient capsules that pop open easily when you're ready for the big moment.
- Confetti cannons: Distribute confetti cannons or poppers to every guest at your party. Make sure everyone has theirs primed and ready when the countdown starts, then fill the space with pink or blue confetti for the full effect.
- Balloon pop: This idea combines your decorative balloons with powder smoke or confetti cannons to create the ultimate sensory reveal. Balloons are stuffed with appropriately colored smoke powder or confetti, then ceremonially handed out for guests to pop simultaneously.
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