Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time to Skype!

Skyping with the Guest of Honor
Skyping with the Guest of Honor

While guests ate their meals, we asked them to complete a short questionnaire about the Guest of Honor. The questions were printed on the inside of these store-bought napkins and were used as our first activity with the guests of honor on skype.

Here is how we worked out the Skype time. At 11:30AM (party start time) the Guests of Honor began playing a slide show (via skype) of pictures of the GOH. In our case, they were pregnancy pictures, but in the case of a bridal shower, the slide show would have been a great time to show off pictures of the happy couple. It was a way for the GOH to be connected to the sights and sounds of the party (the webcam was engaged on our end as well) without having to deal with awkwardly staring at or going in and out of the camera's view at their house. Guests could enjoy and ask questions about the slideshow and interact with the GOH, as well as each other.

Engaging Face Time with the GOH

After guests finished their lunch we invited everyone to join us in the living room where we started the active Skype time with the Guests of Honor (in our case, the mom-and dad-to-be). It was at this time the GOH switched off their slideshow and engaged their video camera. Our method for projecting the skype images & sound was to connect a laptop to the TV with an S-cord.

store-bought napkin
Remember the napkin quiz? It made for a great transition activity. Once guests were seated, we began to read the questions from the napkins out loud, including the multiple choice answers. The GOH answered each of the light hearted questions and in the person who won got to choose a prize.

Change the baby game
Following the napkin quiz, we asked the GOH's husband to blindfold the GOH and set out the supplies we had sent to him in advance. While he was getting things set up on his end, we asked for two volunteers on ours. We blindfolded one volunteer and then set out supplies on the table in front of them. We introduced the game as a "midnight changing" game, which is why one of the volunteers was blindfolded. The volunteer who wasn't blindfolded could give instructions to the person who was, and their challenge was to change the baby's clothes, give them a fresh diaper, and dress them again before the time ran out. There was also the fun of the pairs racing each other. We played the song "Baby Love" by the Supremes as a fun way to keep track of the time.

Visit again soon to see how the rest of the Skype shower went!

Final preparations and day of the party!

By now you should be getting some responses to your invitations, and maybe some questions too. Field questions about what guests should expect from a Skype shower with enthusiasm and confidence--your guests are in for a great time while they celebrate that special person's big upcoming event.

The Plan
It is time to start sketching a plan of how you'd like the party to play out. Here are some things to consider:

  • What time of day would you like to have the party? 
    • Take into consideration the time zones and travel times of all involved. (For example, the GOH living 6 hours away will probably not appreciate a shower that takes place at 10PM her time!)
    • How extensive would you like the food to be? A party scheduled over the lunch hour will require more food served, which can also be a thoughtful gesture to those who are traveling an hour or more to attend the party.
  • Who is on the guest list? Kids? Adults?
We started our party at 11:30AM--early enough that guests would not have eaten before they arrived. All of our guests had driven 2 hours, and we didn't want them to have to eat a meal on the road in addition to their time & travel expenses.

After guests arrived, they were given a baby shower lottery card. We used these store-bought cards, but there are lots of very cute variations available online. The holder of the winning lotto ticket could choose from a number of prizes. We wrapped up small bottles of lotion with decorative tinsel in a clear bag tied with a ribbon.

The Food
Individual Seven-Layer Dips
The food was a huge & delicious hit! Here are the appetizers we had out when guests arrived:
Deviled Eggs

After about a half hour we brought out lunch. We served:
  • Napa Chicken Salad
  • Tuna Salad
  • Romaine lettuce salad with shredded parmesan
  • Croissants
  • Sliced Ham
  • Baby Bassinet Fruit Salad Centerpiece
  • Veggie Tray
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly for the kids
  • Drinks served: Assorted Izze, soda & juice drinks; water and white wine

1 Month Before

Hosting a Skype Shower can be immensely enjoyable for party guests, hosts, and the Guest of Honor who is unable to attend! This blog will provide you with an outline and everything you need to throw a great Skype shower to celebrate your long-distance friend or family member's special day. 

Lets get started.

1 Month before:
-Choose your theme (for example, we chose the Rainforest theme from Fisher Price)
-Buy your decorations right away to ensure you can go with your theme. Checklist:
  • Invitations w/ envelopes
  • Table cloths--pick up 2-3, or at least one more than you think you'll need
  • Napkins
  • Small plates (for dessert/appetizers)
  • Large plates (for main course)
  • Party favor bags
  • Streamers/signs that celebrate the occasion, ex. "Baby" or "Bride to Be")
  • Disposable forks, spoons, knives
-Send out invitations! Here is the golden nugget of information: What WORDING do you use when you are inviting guests to a Skype Shower? We had to make up our own and included it inside the store-bought invitations. Here is what we wrote on ours, when the guest of honor (at 37 weeks pregnant) lived in Boston and the shower was in WI:

     First little giggle, first little tear--our newest arrival is almost here!

            For mommy & baby it is too late to fly, so we thought we'd give a Skype Shower a try!

  A first little baby is worth all the hype--
  so come join in the fun while we rev up the Skype!

Do you have some creative ideas for wording? We weren't sure how invitees would respond to being invited to a shower when the guest of honor wouldn't be there, so we were intentional about admitting it was a new endeavor for us. We also included a note at the bottom about where the GOH was registered and how that store handled shipping gifts.