Are You Hosting a Gender Reveal Party?

  • Team He Or Team She

    Women talking at baby shower
    Hero Images/Getty Images

    It is true. I think that baby showers are becoming a thing of the past. A baby shower is a near relic of an event. Sure, we tried to press the envelope with the co-educational baby showers. Though, let’s face it, inviting guys to a function that was really designed for a single sex function – it just doesn’t work well. So, what’s next? The gender reveal party.

    This newest craze is actually a pretty simple idea: You host a party with everyone you want to invite, regardless of their gender, and celebrate together as you reveal the sex of your baby.

    This can be a large function or an intimate gathering of just your closest friends and family. You can do it with dinner, or just snacks and cake. The rules are really – well, there really aren’t any rules. I truly think that is what people really like about the gender reveal party.

    While there aren’t rules, there are some similarities that I have found in talking to people about the party: they want to share their good news in a special and memorable way and they want to do it with the people that they care about. And food, there has got to be some form of food.

    The Big Reveal

    This is where the highlight of the party is found. You don’t want to start the party at 2:00 p.m. and make the announcement at 2:01 p.m. You’ve got to let the tensions rise and build; let the guests feed off of one another. Many people who held these parties had a tally being taken or a way to identify yourself as team boy or team girl.

    Once this was done, it’s time to let everyone know if there is a girl or boy on the way. By far the most common way seems to be using food. The original ideas I heard about were cakes. They had plain frosting or a multi-colored frosting on the outside and the inside revealed a color that indicated boy or girl. (Sometimes the parents don’t know either. They actually take a sealed note straight from the ultrasound to a bakery and pick up the cake – finding out just at the same time the guests do.)

    Other ideas I’ve seen include:

    • balloons filled with pink or blue confetti
    • a helium balloon bouquet in a box that rises when opened
    • mom lifts shirt to reveal a painted message
    • one dad dropped his drawers to revealed colored boxers
    • a bird’s egg with a hidden message inside
    • opening of the envelope that reveals the answer
    • having someone else make an announcement (perhaps with a poem)
    • More creative ways to reveal the sex of your baby

    Obviously, some of these ideas take more time and effort to plan for a party. If this is something that excites you, you might be willing to use these ideas. I think that something that is more easily seen by the guests is usually the biggest hit with the crowd. Otherwise, you risk having pockets of people saying, “What did she say?”

    Gifts or No Gifts

    This is the question on many minds. As I said before, if this is in place of your baby shower, what’s the harm in gifts? Though expect gender neutral baby gifts as no one will know before hand what’s up. Perhaps this means that a diaper shower or a book shower is more your speed. While etiquette hasn’t written these rules yet, you’re free to test the waters yourself. I really think this is a personal area that only you can answer for yourself.

    Party Favors

    I’m a party favor kind of gal. I actually love a great party favor. The idea of being able to pass out buttons, team banners or mini bows or mustaches as a way to show support for your “team” is very appealing to me. That said, it’s totally not necessary, just a fun thing to add to the party atmosphere.

    (Yes, I know they are called gender reveal parties, but what you’re really announcing is if your baby is a boy or girl. I’m not sure historically if we started using the word gender as opposed to sex because of email filters or because we didn’t want to say the word sex, but I digress…)