Baby Boom

May is upon us and while things at school and work may be winding down for a bit, the summer social season is picking up. Everyone has shaken off their winter blues and people’s party calendars are getting packed.  Graduation season, followed by wedding season, followed by family vacations, and now……gender reveal parties.

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For years, people have been welcoming Baby New Year with confetti, balloons and party poppers, but now that trend is extending to welcoming babies across the country.  Although this party idea is relatively new, Pinterest and social media have had a hand in fueling the fire and ideas for elaborate party themes and reveals can be found all over the internet.  It may have started with photos of knit baby booties or handprints on t-shirts but now couples are making the announcement an event in and of itself.

If you have not heard of or been to this type of party, you may be thinking, How is this different than a baby shower?  Is it instead of a baby shower?  Does this mean I have to get two gifts?  The answers to those questions may vary by couple but the the “surprise” element of each event is the same. The premise of a gender reveal hinges on the fact that the sex of the baby is a mystery not only to the guests of the party but to the expectant parents as well.  A party takes the place of sending a card or placing a phone call because mom and dad are finding out the sex of their baby at the same time as their friends and family.

Now this doesn’t mean that you bring 30 people to your 20 week sonogram appointment and party in the doctor’s waiting room.  If a couple decides to have this type of party what they will normally do is ask their doctor to seal their sonogram in an envelope and they will choose not to look at the results.  They will pass off that information to one or two people involved in planning the party to ensure that the correct color (pink or blue) is revealed the day of the event.

The first part of the party is themed around guests guessing the sex of the baby.  This means most parties are decked out with bows and bowties, lips and mustaches, and of course pink and blue.  Many hosts like to keep a tally of who votes for which sex and they do this in a variety of ways.  One way would be to set out both pink and blue disco cups with coordinating light up straws and ask guests to fill their glass based on their guess.  This makes it clear what sex each guest is voting for and also eliminates the hassle of asking people to pin something on their outfit or using stickers.  Plus cups and straws are something you’ll need to get for the party anyway so it ties the “what’s it going to be” theme into some of the functional elements in a fun way.

As the party goes on, the battle of the sexes continues with boy girl themed games, photo booths, and more.  Why not continue the voting theme in the photo booth by stocking the prop basket with pink and blue shutter shades, necklaces, bows, and bracelets.  Bring the team blue team pink battle to the dessert table by using these light up pacifiers as cupcake toppers and creating two punch bowls, one with blue light up ice cubes and one with pink.

When it is time for the big reveal, one of the more popular methods involves a large box of colored balloons.  Prior to the party, the person who holds the top secret boy / girl info will fill a box with balloons and the parents will open the box at the end of the party to see a large bouquet of pink or blue balloons float out the top.  If you are having your party outdoors, the color will be easy to see but if you are doing it indoors, adding pink or blue glow sticks to the insides of the balloons will make sure the color really pops.  Just make sure the box you use is dark enough to hide the glow or cover the balloons in dark tissue paper to keep it a secret until the big moment.

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As the trend goes, where there are balloons, confetti is never far.  The host of the party can come prepared for all guests to join in the big announcement by setting the tables with custom filled confetti cannons.  Once the balloons come out, party guests will have a blast (no pun intended) using these jumbo party poppers to immediately fill the space with pink or blue confetti.  

With a variety of sizes available (8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 40) it may be fun to give the expectant parents the 40 inch cannons and hand out smaller sizes to individual guests.  The larger cannons can shoot up to 80 feet.  This is a great add on to the balloon box because the confetti can fly sky high right along with the balloons.  If you trust your guests, you can even pre-set the tables with color appropriate 8 or 10 inch cannons.  The outside of each cannon looks the same, so nothing with be revealed until they are popper but, in the hands of an anxious partygoer, that may be asking for a spoiler.

If you don’t want to make your guests wait to get in on the confetti flying action or are worried about someone ruining the surprise, make the cannons part of the voting process.  Provide both blue and pink poppers on each table and let people choose.  Each cannon can have up to two colors of confetti, so another option would be to include blue and pink in every confetti cannon so that the poppers may be used at any point in the party without spilling the baby gender beans.
Baby New Year may have been the original trendsetter but balloons and confetti for baby have gone mainstream now. If you have pictures or ideas to share from your own gender reveal party or one you’ve attended as a guest, we’d love to hear about it.  

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