My friends are planning a baby shower for me, but would like to invite the many friends and family members who live out of state. I know they will not be able to make it to the shower. Are there any good online virtual baby shower sites? How can I go about sending registry info without seeming like I am asking for gifts?
Great questions! We've got a lot to cover, so let's get to it.
First, it's wonderful you've got loving friends planning a baby shower for you, but it looks like you're doing all the footwork! It's time for you to prop up your feet and let the shower hostess take over. In fact, why not e-mail her (or them, if there's more than one planner) about TheShowerDiva.com -- Everything she needs to know is right here. We're always ready to answer your questions!
Now, on to specifics.
Here's a good resource on how to set up a virtual shower. Check out "How to Plan a Successful Online Baby Shower". Look at the section entitled "Setting Up An Online Baby Shower." In just a few clicks, your shower can go techno!
Before you (or your hostess) commits, give some thought as to whether adding a techno factor to your shower might prove distracting, chaotic or even a bit depersonalizing. If there are connectivity or other technical problems (always possible) do you want a glitch to become the focus of your shower? The shower hostess should make sure that YOU remain the center of attention. Think twice about whether you want to share the stage with a computer motherboard when you're the real mother-to-be!
Here's an idea: How about devoting just a portion of your shower to the "virtual" experience? You can easily pick up a webcam at any store such as Office Depot, Best Buy or Staples to name a few. That way long-distance relatives and friends could each spend a minute or so to say "hi" and fete you with special loving words. A nice way to do this is to have your long-distance shower guests read to you, on camera, their "advice to mommy" cards or other special greeting. Then, after virtual hugs are given, the computer can be turned off so that the intimacy of those in the "real" room doesn't get diffused. Bonus: You'll have that camera all set up and ready when your bundle of joy makes his or her appearance. Your family and friends from out of town will be able to watch your baby grow through the years! It's a great way to stay in touch not only right after the shower, but for years to come! Isn't it great that we're in the 21st century now!
How to let guests know where you're registered: That, again, is another job for your shower party planner. She's the one who's actually throwing the shower on your behalf. This all-important feature of etiquette takes YOU out of the planning equation so you never look as though you're running amok by trolling for gifts. Your role is to be the guest of honor. You're the one everyone's celebrating. In the best of all shower worlds, Stacy, you don't have to do a thing.
Your hostess needs to send out the shower invitations, with baby registry information included, four to six weeks in advance of the party date. If there's still time (I don't know what your due date is!), make sure invites get mailed to long-distance friends and family even earlier so that they have enough time to shop and arrange for delivery of your shower gift.
Congratulations, Mom-to-Be! I wish you the best shower ever!
Susan "The Shower Diva"
Where Fun Reigns!™