So, you got an invitation for a Gender Reveal Party. Good for you! What a treat to be a guest at such a wonderful occasion. With the rising popularity of Gender Reveal Parties, it’s a mystery there isn’t more information out there regarding Gender Reveal Party Etiquette.
Don’t be shy about asking the host if you can bring anything. Some hosts like to do it all, and others appreciate, and are secretly hoping for the help. If you do ask, and she does have it all under control, don’t be offended if she declines your offer. Just bring yourself being grateful that you’ve been invited to such a special event! If she does ask you to bring something, do ask for particulars. If she says, please bring food, ask her specifically what kind of food. If she seems unsure, offer suggestions such as meatballs, bread, fruit plate, etc. If you are the hostess of this awesome event, don’t be shy to reach out to guests. Although some guests may be too busy to cook, most are happy to pick up chips, hamburger buns, etc. Etiquette is definitely a two-way street.
What is the venue? Did you rent a hall? Is it a backyard party? If it is a backyard party, be sure to plan for inclement weather. As a guest, do bring an umbrella! As a hostess, have a contingency for rain. Either a rain date or an indoor space to move the party to. Depending on the actual reveal, a rain date may be a better option than an indoor space. If you are doing it yourself and not hiring an event planner, be sure to specify on the invitations what you expect from guests. Should they bring their own outside chair? Bring a dish to pass? Where pink and/or blue? Nobody likes to show up unprepared, so do let your guests know what is needed. The invitation is the best place to communicate these expectations. This avoids the chance that you’ve communicated well to your inner circle, but not necessarily other guests on your list. Consider a Facebook or other live/interactive invitation. This a great way to communicate or add any last minute particulars. If you do go this route, be sure to send paper invitations to those guests who may not use the internet or be internet savvy.
Gifts? Yes! Who doesn’t appreciate a gift at such a life-changing time? It is appropriate to bring a gift, but this time is about the parents; save the baby gifts for the Baby Shower. When deciding about what type of gift to get, think about what a pregnant mother will need, or want, over the next several months. Maternity clothes are a great gift idea. Maternity clothes are sized as her size before being pregnant. If you do decide on clothes as a gift, buy the size she wore before being pregnant. Other great gift ideas are caring and pampering ideas. Moms-to-be often worry about stretch marks and health. Consider belly balms, vitamin enriched oils, or shea butter. Parents-to-be also have a lot to think about. Help them create an atmosphere to help them relax. Décor waterfalls or candles are gifts that both parents can appreciate.
As a guest, do participate in the gender reveal party. The hosts have put a lot of time and probably resources into this occasion. Do join in the games, photo booths, and other exciting things the hostess has planned. As the hostess, do find a way to communicate what events are planned. If you have events scheduled, find a way to move from one event to the next. Don’t hesitate to use a bullhorn if need be! If the party is more ad-hoc, consider marking each event. For example, use balloons to mark the guest book, the photo booth, and food table. Don’t let your guests miss out on anything! As the parents, it is not out of line to bring a small gift to the host to show your appreciation for the hostess. Something simple is best. A bottle of wine or a small bouquet is appropriate. She doesn’t expect or want to be reimbursed for her efforts - don’t offend her by trying to, but showing appreciation is always in style.
The actual reveal! What the party is all about. Be a good friend. If you are part of the inner circle, or have helped plan the event, keep the surprises to yourself. Don’t burst the parent’s and hosts bubble by slipping particulars about the party – especially the reveal! No matter if the actual reveal is a balloon toss or skywriting, the hostess has put a lot of thought and resources into the event as well as the gender reveal. This must be a special time for the hosts as well as the parents. Be respectful of this and let her have her own special part of this day. If the hostess has hired a photographer to film the gender reveal, don’t get in the way by taking your own video. A good hostess will share this with you via youtube or other means. It is good to show your enthusiasm, but be respectful and observant during the gender reveal activities. After all, this is the main reason for the gender reveal party!
Bottom line, be grateful to be a part of this happy occasion, show up (and leave) on-time, participate, and have fun!