Guide to Planning a Baby Shower on Long Island

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"A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities." ~ Eda J. Le Shan

There's little more exciting than the expectation of a new arrival. The anticipation of a house full of love, giggles, and happiness; the understanding that the expectant parents are entering a new chapter of their lives; the fun of buying those cute little baby booties. That's why baby showers are such an important - and fun- tradition. These days you'll find baby showers of all kinds of types -- high-end showers at ritzy hotel ballrooms, or low-key ones at a neighborhood eatery. Whatever your, and the expectant parents', tastes are, we'll help you find the perfect location for your upcoming baby shower. Just consider the questions below as your guide:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Most baby showers take place in the vicinity of the expectant mother's residence in order to make it easier for her, especially given her physical health. Knowing what region you do or don't want your shower to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact can be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance.

  • Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. If you are considering hosting the shower at a restaurant, ensure that the food they serve is acceptable to the expectant mother. For example, hosting a baby shower at a sushi restaurant or a bar/lounge may not be the best idea since pregnant women usually steer clear from raw fish or alcoholic drinks. Also keep in mind the expectant parents' personality, likes and dislikes. If the couple is more low-key, perhaps a fancy shower at grand ballroom isn't the way to go.

  • What is the date of your baby shower?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your shower. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. However, with a baby shower, much of this decision depends upon when the baby is due to arrive. A good time to plan a baby shower is usually in the seventh or eighth month of the pregnancy. This way the shower is usually done and over with before the baby actually arrives! Remember - this is a shower for the expectant mom, not a new mom! The date can also determine whether an outdoor shower would be appropriate.

  • How formal an affair do you want your baby shower to be?
  • The level of formality of your shower doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. Instead, it can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. If the weather holds up, perhaps an outdoor affair would be perfect for a large, yet laid back, baby shower.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your baby shower could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. Perhaps you are aware that the new arrival's nursery theme is ladybugs. It might be fun to host a garden baby shower, with the primary decoration being ladybugs. Or maybe the theme is "storybooks" - you could host the shower at a teahouse to emulate the tea party in "Alice in Wonderland".

  • How many people will you be hosting at the baby shower?
  • The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at. As discussed before, perhaps a large spring or summertime baby shower would be best if held outdoors - both in terms of space and price per plate of food. Outdoor spaces may simply offer bar, food station and hors d'oeuvres services, which may be easier on the wallet than serving a sit down meal.

  • Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
  • Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Depending on your baby shower itinerary and budget, you may prefer a catering hall that does not automatically include food catering.

  • How much do you expect to spend on food/beverages?
  • As alluded to earlier, this is an important consideration, especially given the fact that many baby showers do not include a formal sit down meal. Depending on your budget you may decide to simply offer drinks, food stations and hors d'oeuvres. Or you could choose a catering hall that allows for buffet lines, rather than table service.

  • Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
  • Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a must for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option. This is especially important if the mother-to-be has dietary restrictions.

  • Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving?
  • Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. Out of consideration for the expectant mother, you may want to ensure that the bartender in charge of your shower is adept in making good quality non-alcoholic drinks.

  • Will you be requiring a catering hall that provides party favors?
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, these days many catering halls automatically offer you a selection of party favors to choose from in order to streamline your party planning. Many of these packages, however, are catered to wedding or anniversary parties so the style of party favors may not match a baby shower's needs.

  • Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
  • If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.

  • Will you be requiring a party planner?
  • If you book your baby shower at an established catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.

  • Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
  • This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your baby shower. Baby showers are known for including games, which may require a lower level of noise to compete with. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low and could even fuel the party spirit.

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