A gender reveal party 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.
It can be a large function or an intimate gathering of your closest friends and family. You can have it at any time of day—with dinner, brunch, or just snacks and cake. There aren't really rules for this event. The point is for parents-to-be to share their baby news in a special and memorable way with those they care about.
If you're interested in hosting a gender reveal party, here are some tips to help you with your planning.
It's completely up to you when in your pregnancy that you want to throw a gender reveal party. Of course, it can be a gamble to set a party date without first having had an ultrasound to determine the sex of your baby—even if your appointment is scheduled prior to the party. You might need a follow-up appointment for confirmation, and that could throw off your party date.
Try to send out invitations at least four weeks in advance—or six to eight weeks if guests will have to travel. Also, include a short description of what a gender reveal party is on the invitation for guests who might not know. And let guests know what food will be served, as well as how formal/casual to dress, as these parties can come in all shapes and sizes.
Unlike a baby shower, it shouldn't be expected that guests bring gifts to a gender reveal party. Of course, many guests still will feel obligated to bring you something as both the host and parent-to-be. If you'll also be having a baby shower, consider including a message on your gender reveal invitation that no gifts are required. That way, guests invited to both won't feel like they have to purchase two gifts for you.
However, if your gender reveal party is doubling as your baby shower, you can include a gift registry on your invitation. Just make sure the items on your registry won't give away the sex of your baby based on gender stereotypes. Prior to your big reveal, you can add neutral items to your registry, such as books and diapers.
The Big Reveal
Save your big reveal for about midway through your party. That way, all of your guests will likely have arrived by that point. And they’ll have had time to build excitement, talking among each other to try to guess the sex of the baby. To help build the tension, you can have guests vote for what they think the sex will be by wearing designated stickers for girl or boy—or something to that effect.
Finally, it’s the moment everyone’s been waiting for. The big reveal should be something, well, big, so all the guests can enjoy it at once. What you don’t want is to do something subtle or confusing.
By far, the most common way people reveal the sex of their baby seems to be with food. Often this involves a cake that has neutral decorations on the outside and colored frosting on the inside—the predictable pink for girl and blue for boy. Then, when it’s time for the big reveal, someone cuts into the cake to expose the inside to guests. You also could pass out individual cupcakes with colored frosting inside and have guests bite into their cupcakes at the same time for the big reveal.
Note that parents don't necessarily have to know the sex of their baby prior to the party. In fact, many parents opt to find out right with their guests. For instance, with the cake reveal, a parent could take the results of their ultrasound to a bakery without looking at them first and describe what they want in the cake. Or they could let a friend see the results and have them handle the cake.
If you don't want to go with the tried-and-true cake reveal, other ideas include:
- Pop an opaque balloon that has pink or blue confetti inside.
- Fill a box with pink or blue balloons that will rise when you open it.
- Fill a piñata with pink or blue treats, and have guests take turns to try to break it open.
- Fill balloons with pink or blue paint, attach them to a canvas, and then throw darts to pop them and release the paint. (Bonus: You’ll get cool custom artwork from this reveal.)
- If you already have kids (or pets), have them put on a T-shirt with a message about the sex of the baby.
- Shoot off pink or blue confetti cannons.
- Make scratch-off cards that reveal the sex of the baby.
Party favors aren’t essential, especially if you just had a casual gathering without any gifts. But they still can be a nice way to thank your guests for attending and celebrating your upcoming arrival.
It can be easy and economical to stick with a baby/mini theme when handing out party favors. For example, put together a small container of mini cookies or candies. A mini frame or a small candle also can be a nice gift that guests will actually use. Or a little succulent in a pot can be a good way to represent the theme of new life.