As soon as Drew and I found out we were expecting, (one of) my first questions to him was “Do we want to know the gender?” He said “Yes. Absolutely.” So I immediately started planning how I would announce it. I didn’t just want to say “It’s a ______!” on Facebook. I needed something more dramatic and much more over the top than that. Gender reveal photo shoots are becoming very popular as are gender reveal parties. I love a good party, so a Gender Reveal Party it was. I had no idea what I was in for…
First we found out the gender almost a week and half before the party. I wanted to have and hold this secret with Drew. Any pregnant woman (who is telling the truth) will tell you that the first trimester is rough. Not only on your body but also on your relationship (especially if this is your first pregnancy.) There are so many changes happening and no matter how amaze your partner is, you can’t help but feel alone on the journey. Since coming out of the horrific first trimester, Drew and I found ourselves back in each other’s arms and feeling all warm and fuzzy about each other again. So this special secret that we shared was just a way to hone in on that and drag out the ooey gooey love feeling that we had going on. But it was freaking HARD not to spill the beans!!!! I didn’t even tell my mother. Which I don’t think I’ve EVER kept a major secret from her for that long.
Second…let’s talk about these mothers. Because my mom and MIL did everything for me. If I mentioned it…they did it. If I dreamed it…they did it. This party wouldn’t have happened with out them. My Mother-In-Law made allllll of the food. My mom made alllll of the decor. They only thing I did was create the invites, order cupcakes and organize the actual reveal. So here are the things that I suggest you do (and don’t do) if you’re looking to throw a Gender Reveal Party.
- Decide on a theme and color scheme. I really don’t like the typical baby blue and baby pink theme. So I chose to focus on black/gray and white with teal and raspberry accents. After looking on Pinterest and seeing lots of cute sayings to base the invite on, I decided to go with “He or She What Will It Be?” (I felt a little guilty about the “it” part but got over it because the saying was so dang cute.)
- Design your invites! This was my favorite part. (Always is) There are tons of templates and easy-to-make DIY invites on Pinterest. I did our own design and created it in Photoshop and came up with this. I printed on heavy card stock and layered it on patterned scrap book paper. I like a heavy feel to my paper, but do what suites you.
- Choose your menu. I didn’t want this to be a backyard BBQ, bring a dish to pass, or BYOB. This party was having invites….it was going to be classy. (Or as classy as we get around here.) So we went with homemade mini finger sandwiches with chicken salad, egg salad and herbed goat cheese with cucumbers. (Please don’t judge me for the misspelling of “goat cheese” on the food card. The day was high pressure.) Ummm…yummmmmmmy. Jo Lynn also (home)made 3 cheese Italian fondu, spinach dip, fruit dip with strawberries and roast beef and horsey sauce firecrackers. Just to name a few. I got the delish cupcakes from Blue Frostand went with Blue Velvet and Red Velvet cupcakes. (The RV was to die for.)
- Decor. My mom totally took the lead on this and knocked it outta the park. I said I wanted everyone to “wear their guess”. I suggested, paper hair bows for girl guesses and paper ties for boy guesses. She took it to a whole new level. Cameras (for me!) to represent girl guesses and guitars (for Drew!) to represent boy guesses. Waaaaaaay more personal! They were insanely adorable. She also helped me hang a pennet banner (to match the invite!) across our mantel full of baby pictures of Drew and I. AND she and my father made me a HUGE chalkboard for the party! My mom did the chalk art and has since inspired me to try my own. She’s way better at drawing than I am. This gorgeous (and did I say HUGE!?) chalk board now hangs in our kitchen.
I love this chalk board so much. 🙂 It’s already getting tons of use! And anyone else a G&B fan? Totally stole that M+D=3 😉
- Choose a location to host the party. We chose our house…which I’ll tell you how I would do that differently below.
- And lastly…Plan the actual reveal. Many couples put the result of the ultrasound in an envelope and give the planning of the reveal task to someone else. They wait to find out with the rest of the party. I’ve already explained why we didn’t do that…not to mention I wanted to control the reveal. I’ve seen the cake cutting, I’ve seen the balloons in a box…as a photographer I feel like I’ve seen every gender reveal out there. So of course….I wanted to do something different. I wanted ours to be unique. So I decide on appropriate colored confetti balloons that we can pop to make our announcement. Sounds awesome right? I should have done a practice round.Here’s why this didn’t work:
- 1. Party City totally let me down. I’d called WEEKS in advance to see if this confetti in a balloon deal would work. They said of course! So when day of arrives and I’m dropping off my green confetti and blue paper shreds (because you need to provide your own confetti) the poor woman behind the counter looks baffled. Word to the wise: Always get the name of the person that gives you the green light for a unique project. Since she was so confused, I wrote down instructions word for word. And prayed (a lot) when I left.
- 2. I only did five balloons that were supposed to be full of confetti and blue paper. If you want to try this (because I still believe that this can be so cool!) go bigger. Fill more balloons than five. And pop them over a white sheet so that everyone can see the actual color of the confetti when you pop those babies. And do a practice popping round. When I picked up what in-my-head-was-going-to-be-an-AMAZE-balloon-bouquet I was completely crushed. The balloons were tiny and they only filled three, instead of all five. Also, there was green confetti stuck to the outside, so if I DIDN’T know the gender before hand, I would have found out standing at the counter of Party City. Devastating.
- 3. My balloons were so embarrassing I wouldn’t put them on display at the party. When it was time (after watching the Mountaineers lose on TV) I went up to get them and found one of them totally deflated. I wanted to cry.
- 4. Drew and I gathered everyone in our living room, said a quick thanks to our parents and then shouted “IT’S A….” We popped them over our dark hard wood floors and even I couldn’t tell what freaking color the confetti was. There was also not a scrap of blue shredded paper. (I still don’t know where that went or why it wasn’t included.) There was a long pause and then someone yelled out “BOY!” (thank you whoever figured it out and took the lead.) Lots of excitement and happiness erupted including some tears. I too wanted to cry, but not from happiness of our news…but because my reveal had turned out extremely less than fabulous.
***OH and HIRE a PHOTOGRAPHER!! I tried, but all of my go-to-photographeres were busy or out of town. 🙁 So I tried to do it myself. When emotion took over and I was so bummed about the confetti, balloons, lack of drama with the reveal, etc. I chose to stop taking photos. Big mistake that I regret now.
All in all…was it an awesome night? Of course. Our parents were elated. Over the moon! The planning of nursery decor and color schemes immediately commenced. I love our friends for showing up. My uncle and grandma made the trip from West Virginia! Your excitement and love and support means more than anything. It brought me to tears. (Yet again.)
One thing I learned…I will not throw anymore parties while pregnant. Why? Because I get nervous and anxious before any party we throw. Whether it’s a random gathering out back or something that includes invites. It’s been this way for me since college. My roommate Emily and I would slightly freak out right before every party we threw, paranoid no one would come. However, after a glass of wine or two…you ease up. Let things go. It doesn’t matter when someone spills all over your kitchen or drops a beer on your rug. Ummm….it matters when your totally sober. The anxiety doesn’t go away. There is nothing to take the edge off. I was ecstatic that my house was empty by 9pm.
If you’re going to take on the challenge of throwing a Gender Reveal party, have it somewhere else. Especially if you are an anxious host. That “sip” of wine I’m allowed to take doesn’t nearly do the job of taking the edge off. Also…have wonderful people on your team to help you pull this off. You’ll need every one of them. Have great friends that tell you the Reveal was adorable even though you know they couldn’t tell what color the confetti was either. And most importantly, have an amaze-balls husband who will say yes to any request, requirement or desire that you have when it comes to planning.
And I was right…our Little is a boy. And his newest nickname is BBD (Baby Boy Danser). We’re in-love!