Archive for April, 2009

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Bottles, pacifiers, bibs, rattles, wipes, diapers and blankets…they’re all great gifts, though so A-typical. At most baby showers nowadays, the host will compile a variety of the above gifts and wrap them up in a gift basket for the mommy-to-be. Guests of the shower can contribute to the basket upon their arrival to the shower. So that takes care of the little things – but what are the popular gifts for baby showers this year? What can you purchase that will set your gift apart from others? And more importantly – what is the best gift to purchase for someone on a budget?

Below are a few unique ideas for baby gifts:

$3.00 – $30.00 range ~ Books & Clothes to Grow with
A really special idea is to purchase books or clothing for the newborn baby through their first few years of life. Many times at baby showers, the mommy-to-be will receive gifts for infants, but then once the baby turns a few months or a few years old, they’re out at Toys/Babies ‘R’ Us shopping again and could really use another baby shower! Buying gifts for the child to read or wear as they grow is a really thoughtful gift that any parent would enjoy.

$15.00 – $40.00 range ~ Nursery Décor
An extremely helpful and exciting gift for the mommy-to-be who has been spending much time purchasing large furniture and has not had time to pick up small things like book ends, picture frames, piggy banks, wall hangings, clocks and photo albums. These decorative items will brighten up a baby’s nursery in no time. Remember: you may want to check with the mommy-to-be to see if she has a specific theme she is using in the nursery.

$25.00 – $50.00 range ~ Keepsake Boxes
Moms and Dads are always the ones to hold onto baby’s first lock of hair, first painting, first lost tooth, etc. Why not give them a few keepsake boxes for not only the parent, but for the child to reflect back upon when they get older? It will be a gift that is treasured for years and passed down through generations.

$30.00 – $75.00 range ~ Embroidered Textiles
Some of the hottest items on the market right now are embroidered bibs, onesies and blankets. You can have the cloth embroidered with the baby’s name, (if known), or “Baby [insert last name]”. Many of these textiles can also have their cloth color, thread color and graphics added for further personalization for a personal touch. This will really show the mommy-to-be that you thought about her and took care and planning when purchasing her gift.

$50.00 – $150.00 range ~ Spa Day for Mommy-to-Be
A really unique gift for the mommy-to-be is a gift certificate for her to be pampered for a day. Some spas have special packages for pregnant moms that offer anything from manicures and pedicures to soft massages and haircuts. It will be a thoughtful gift that any pregnant mom will appreciate – a chance for her to relax before the big day arrives.

Any of the above ideas should have you on your way to giving the mommy-to-be the baby shower of a lifetime!

Baby Shower Invitations

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Soon the mommy-to-be’s home will be filled with baby furniture, a crying newborn and very busy parents. Before the little bundle of joy is brought into the world, why not celebrate with a baby shower and assist Mom in obtaining all the things she needs to help her baby play, learn and grow?

Planning a baby shower is a very caring and selfless thing to do for your family member or friend. It all begins with an invitation which will set the tone for your event. You may want to start by picking a theme that you will use to decorate your invitations and party favors.

Below are a few suggestions for baby shower themes:

Nursery rhymes
Animals
A to Z
Books
Couples
Baby feet
Ducks
Noah’s Ark
Solids and stripes
Cute as a button

After picking a theme, search through the many baby shower invitations to find the perfect invitation. You will find invitations with bottles, babies, ribbons, curls, pastels, pacifiers and bows – the possibilities are endless and there are many invitations to choose from in formal or casual styles. Be sure to choose an invitation that compliments your theme and portrays the formality of the shower. You do not want to choose a cartoon animal invitation for a very formal pastel themed shower.

Your invitation wording should also indicate the type of shower you are hosting – whether it is a couples or women’s shower, if there are any themes and if needed, where the mommy-to-be is registered. You may even want to include whether or not the mommy-to-be is having a girl or a boy and if their name has been chosen. If you indicate the baby’s name, be sure to make certain that this will not be changing. You do not want Grandma to embroider a blanket with the name “Sarah” if this will later be changed to “Rachel”.

Below are a few suggestions for invitation wording:

Please join us for a couples shower
honoring
Jessica and James Miller
and their baby boy-to-be
Saturday, August 24, 2007
at 3 o’clock
1256 N. Messing Blvd.
East Hampton, CT

RSVP to Katie by August 16th (322) 555-5555

Jessie and Jim are registered at Pottery Barn Kids & Babies ‘R’ US
*Please bring a favorite baby book to help stock baby’s new bookshelf

. . .

Baby Miller is making her way into the world
Before she arrives, please join us for
a Baby Shower honoring
Jessica Miller
Saturday, August 24, 2007
at 3 o’clock
1256 N. Messing Blvd.
East Hampton, CT

Hosted with love by:
Cammie Winston, Jenni Rogers, Tara Smith

Please reply to Tara by August 17th
tara@email.com or 555-5555

Jessie is registered at Babies ‘R’ US

. . .

A is for Apple Bits, B is for Bottles, C is for Cradles…

Please join us for an A to Z shower for
Jessica Miller
&
Annabelle Marie (her baby girl-to-be)!!

Saturday, August 24th
at 3 o’clock
1256 N. Messing Blvd.
East Hampton, CT

Hosted by her mother, Alice Cunningham
Please reply by August 22nd – 306.555.5563

Your letter is ______

Your invitations should be sent approximately three to six weeks before the baby shower. If you have a reply-by date, this should be no longer than two weeks before the date of the event. Be sure to allow yourself enough time after the reply-by date to plan for food and games for all attendees.

Continued: Sweet 16 Party Invitations

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

After choosing your venue, you should be ready to purchase your invitations. Invitations should be mailed approximately 3-5 weeks before the event, and should be purchased approximately 1 month prior to the date you would like the invitations sent out. This will give you time to have the invitations personalized, stuffed and addressed. When picking an invitation, choose one that corresponds or represents your party’s theme.

Below are some great suggestions for your Sweet 16 invitation:

Once you have decided on an invitation, figure out how many invitations you think you will need. Keep in mind that you only need one invitation per couple or household, not one invitation per person. Also, it is suggested to order approximately 10 % extra invitations than you think you will need to hand out to friends or family members whom you forgot to include on your original list. It will save your wallet and time that would be spent on expensive reprints.

Below are a few suggestions for your invitation wording:

The honor of your presence
is requested to celebrate
Liliana’s Sweet Sixteenth Birthday
Saturday, the fifteenth of September
Two thousand and seven
at seven o’clock in the evening
Rocky Hill Marriott Grande Ballroom
555 North Main Avenue
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Black tie
– – – – –
Please join us for a
SPA DAY & PARTY
honoring
Holly E. Diore’s Sweet 16
December 15, 2007
2:00 p.m. – Meet at 456 N. Main Street, Chicago
Manis, Pedis, Hair, Makeup – The Works
7:00 p.m. – Party at 707 Night Club
707 N. Broad Street, Chicago
RSVP by 12/10 to Holly (555) 865-5555
– – – – –
Goodbye to blankets, dolls and bows,
Hello to parties, makeup and beaus
Ella’s turning Sweet 16
and the Franklin Mills Mall is the scene
October 31, 2007
4 – 6 Dinner at Ella’s with family and friends
6-9 Trip to the Mall ~ (transportation provided)
10:00 pickup for parents
456 Hollow Hills Road
Philadelphia, PA
– – – – –
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend…
and so are you!
So, please join us to celebrate
Jessica Robert’s Sweet 16th Birthday
September 15, 2007
Dinner 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
DJ 9:00 p.m. – Midnight
Whitacre Mansion
455 Centre Road
White Plains, New York
RSVP to Mrs. Roberts at 555-555-5255
Black and white attire

Once your invitations are ordered, begin to compile a list of events for the evening and place them into a schedule. An organized party will save on time, prevent stress and avoid the last activities of the night from being missed due to time constraints.

If dancing will be integrated into the evening, be sure to set a specific time for this to occur. If you are having a formal party, you may want to have formal music as well as popular or modern music for all guests to enjoy.

Next plan out what type of food you will be having. If you will be having a caterer, check with them regarding whether or not head counts are needed to ensure there is enough food for everyone. Be sure to order a cake for the birthday girl and perhaps incorporate the theme or colors from the party into the design of the cake.

With all of the planning steps outlined above intact, you should be set to have the perfect Sweet 16 birthday for your loved one. It is a party that she and her friends will remember forever.

Sweet 16 Party Invitations

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Years ago, a sixteenth birthday party typically consisted of a few close family members and friends gathering for pizza, cake and ice cream served at the honoree’s home. Nowadays, parties are becoming much more elaborate and the meaning behind the sweet sixteen is more about the transformation from a little girl to a mature woman in society…we’ve all seen the show “Sweet 16” on MTV, right?!

What better way to celebrate her entering adulthood than throwing a sweet 16th birthday party? From the venue, to the theme, budget and invitations, there is so much planning to do in so little time.

The first place to start when planning a Sweet 16 party is deciding on the appropriate date, time and theme. Depending on when the birthday girl’s actual birth date is, you may want to have the party the weekend before or after her birthday. Be mindful of holidays or other guest’s events that may prevent your guests from attending. Pick a time that works for everyone, (i.e. the caterers/restaurant, parents, relatives and guest of honor).

When choosing a theme, take time to discuss with your daughter what type of party she wants to have. Keep her personality in mind and be creative. Some teens will want to celebrate with a formal affair – possibly a black tie or cocktail party. Other teens may not want such a lavish party, and will prefer a BBQ or sleepover with close friends. Whatever type of party your daughter chooses, make sure it is a party that she will cherish and remember for years to come. The theme of the party is one of the things that will make the night most memorable and more fun. Be innovative, original and imaginative – request a specific colored clothing or attire; the possibilities are endless.

Below are a few theme suggestions to help jump start your party planning:

Black Tie
My Brand New Car
DJ & Karaoke
Luau Sweet 16
Cocktails
Diamonds are Forever
Dance Party
Beachy Sweet 16

After deciding on a theme, the next two steps in your party planning go hand-in-hand: budget and venue. Figure out a desired budget before you pick a venue and discuss details about the event. Create your budget with the birthday girl and decide together how much money you would like to spend, and where it should be divided up. This will help the birthday girl appreciate the time and effort you are putting into the party and give you perspective toward which parts of the event are more important to her than others.

The type of venue you choose will mainly depend upon the theme of your party, and the budget you have allotted. For those on a limited budget, you may want to hold the party in a family member’s back yard and rent a tent, or simply rent a hall for the evening, which is fairly inexpensive. If you have money to spare, perhaps renting out a night club, restaurant or mansion for the evening would be ideal. Remember to also keep in mind how many people you will be inviting, so that you pick a venue that will easily accommodate your guests.

After choosing the date, time, theme and venue, you’re more than half way there to creating the party of a lifetime to honor this special time in your daughter’s life.

Stay tuned for more information on invitations, party details, food, dancing and more…

Bridal Shower Invitations

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Planning a bridal shower can be a daunting task for any member of the bridal party, friend or family member. There’s an event to be planned, guests to invite, gifts and decorations to be purchased – the list goes on. The main sentiment to remember when planning a bridal shower is that this event should revolve around showering the bride with love, support and the tools to help her ease into her marriage. Follow these guidelines below to plan the perfect bridal shower…

The Host & Budget – The host of a bridal shower is traditionally the bride’s maid of honor. The maid of honor is responsible for planning the event and it’s expenses. However, the maid of honor may certainly accept financial assistance or party planning help from the remaining bridesmaids or bride’s family members if offered. In more modern times, it is also acceptable and becoming more popular for the bridal shower to be hosted by the entire bridal party as well.

Theme – The chosen theme for your bridal shower will set the tone for the entire event. Start by imagining what type of affair the bride would prefer. If the bride is fairly shy or reserved, you will want to have an intimate shower with close family and friends in a quiet location. If the bride is extremely excited and energetic, you may want to have a larger event with games and entrainment planned. When choosing a theme, keep in mind what gifts the bride and groom may need. For example, you may want to have a kitchen or bed & bath shower if the bride and groom are moving to a new location, or perhaps a money tree if there will be a destination wedding. Another alternative would be a lingerie shower if the bride and groom have all of the things they need. The theme of the bridal shower should reflect the bride’s personality and needs for her marriage.

Below are a few great bridal shower themes…

Lingerie Shower
Kitchen Shower
Stock the Bar Shower
His & Hers Shower
Wine & Cheese Shower
Linen Shower
Bed & Bath Shower
A to Z Shower
Naughty & Nice Shower
Patio Shower
Bed & Breakfast Shower
Around the Clock Shower

Guest List – After choosing a theme, decide if you want to have a women only shower or a couple’s shower. You may want to ask the bride or groom’s family who they would like to be invited to the shower, as well as any of the bride and groom’s friends, colleagues, old college roommates, etc. Keep in mind the host’s budget to prevent inviting too many guests.

Party Details – Date, Time, Location – Once your theme and guest list is chosen, you will need to choose the date, time and location for your event. The bridal shower should be held approximately 6-8 weeks before the wedding and the theme of the shower may dictate where or when the event should be held. Choose a time that will accommodate the bride as well as the guests you will be inviting. When choosing a location, consider how far your guests will be traveling and what accommodations are available.

Invitations – Your bridal shower invitations should be mailed approximately 3-4 weeks before the event. Be sure to order your invitations approximately 2-3 weeks before you would like to mail them out to allow for processing time, addressing, stuffing and mailing. When picking out your bridal shower invitations, choose a card that reflects the theme of your event. InvitationBox has a variety of invitations available for almost any type of shower. From pastels, stripes and polka dots to lingerie, palm trees and couple’s showers, we’re sure to have an invitation to suit your needs.

Below are a few of the unique invitations available…

Games, Food & Gifts – After mailing your invitations, begin planning the events of the shower. Name tags are a great idea if you have many guests coming from many different locations. A great idea would be to put the guest’s name on one line and how they know the bride on the second line. For example: “Anna Smith – Sorority sister of the bride”. Plan a few ice breaker games and have prizes available for the winner. Be sure to have plenty of food and beverages available for your guests, whether it be hors d’oeuvres or a full catered meal. Have a table set aside for gifts to go on display. You may want to have a wishing well of small themed gifts for the bride/groom. Another idea would be to have each guest write a small note of encouragement or advice to the bride and groom and collect them in a small basket to be read after the shower. A great gift-opening tradition at bridal showers is to have one of the bridesmaids collect all of the ribbons and bows as the gifts are opened and attach them to a paper plate. The bride can then use this ribbon bouquet at her wedding rehearsal.

Whatever theme, invitation or location chosen for the bridal shower you’re hosting, you’re sure to host a party that the bride will not soon forget. As long as she is surrounded by family, friends and loved ones, she’ll have all she needs to prepare her for marriage.

Movie Party Invitations

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Something smells like popcorn!! One of the most popular party ideas/themes for kids ages 7-13 is movie parties. Parents will invite all guests to take a trip to the local cinema in honor of the birthday boy or girl and supply the guests with popcorn and candy (the essentials), a movie and a great time! Some kids will even ask their friends to come dressed as a character from the movie they’ll be seeing or their favorite actor/actress. You can even have a pretend red carpet for when your guests arrive to your house and have them pose for pictures which they can later take home with them.

Take a look at some of the great movie party invitations on InvitationBox.com which feature whimsical and modern movie themes including popcorn, movie tickets, candy, red carpets, movie reels, video cameras, flashing lights and more.

Your child is sure to feel like a superstar after attending their own or someone else’s movie party. It’s a great way to get the kids together for a relaxing party and then have some fun after for presents and cake before the kids parents pick them up.

Wedding Season Begins – Save the Date Cards

Monday, April 13th, 2009

2008 has ended and 2009 is already in full swing. You’re ready for a fresh new start this year when you realize – your wedding is just around the corner!! Make sure your guests attend this important event in your life by sending out save the date cards approximately 6 – 8 months before your wedding. This will give your guests the time to rearrange their schedules, plan for travel expenses if needed and make sure that they are available for your big day.

Save the date cards can either match your wedding décor, colors and invitations or they can be completely different. Some brides may prefer to do a fun or whimsical save the date, while others will want to choose a card that coordinates with their wedding invitation ensemble. Your wedding invitation is really what sets the tone for your event, so if you want to be different – go ahead!

At InvitationBox, we have a wide variety of cards to choose from – we even have save the date magnets, which is a very popular choice for our more modern brides. The designs for the cards and magnets range from silhouettes, monograms, florals, dress forms and nature scenes to digital photo cards that showcase your engagement photograph. If you’re having trouble choosing, you may want to think about your wedding colors, or something that is significant to you and your fiancé. Perhaps your favorite location, a favorite color or flowers.

Once you choose a save the date card, you’ll want to come up with wording that best relays the important information about your wedding: who is getting married, the date and location. You do not need to put a time on the card, as this is what your invitation is for. If you do not know the exact location of the wedding, it is okay to simply write the city and state, or the state only. Many brides include “Invitation to follow” or “Formal Invitation to follow” as part of their wording. It is also very common for a bride and groom to have a wedding website that they list on their save the date cards. This website will typically have all the information guests will need about the wedding, hotel reservations, registry information and bridal party.

Below is a suggestion for save the date wording:

Save the Date
for the wedding of
Katie Johnson & Mike Roberts
December 20, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

Invitation to follow
For more information, please visit our wedding website:
www.katieandmikewedding08.com

Whatever card or magnet you choose, your guests will appreciate you letting them know the date of this important event in your life so that they can plan to attend.

BBQ Party Invitations

Friday, April 10th, 2009

It’s that time of year again! The snow has melted and in comes spring. Summer is right around the corner and before you know it, it will be time to plan your annual BBQ event – or begin a new tradition!

InvitationBox has introduced many new BBQ invitations this season to prepare you for your enjoyable event. Whether you’re grilling up hotdogs, burgers or having a pig roast – there’s an invitation to match your party’s theme.

Check out some of the brand new designs to hit our site:

After choosing an invitation and party theme, it’s time to plan out what you would like your invitation to say. Here are some great suggestions for BBQ Invitation wording….

Winter is finally over – no more chillin!
The Shaw family is hosting their annual BBQ…
It’s time to do some grillin’!

Please join us for a
BBQ Picnic

Sunday, May 18th
3:00 – 7:00 PM

156 North Main Street
Chicago, Illinois

RSVP to Karen at 555-555-9966

*****

Let’s get together
for no special reason
Just to celebrate good food,
good friends
and the BBQ Season!

Come to
Amy & Andrew’s
Summer Kick-Off BBQ

June 1, 2008
5 PM ‘til we drop

555 Maynard Drive
Cary, NC

RSVP to Andrew 555-999-5555

*****

Winter is over
and
Summer is kickin’

Hop on over for a famous
PIG PICKIN’

Sunday, May 18th
3:00 – 7:00 PM

156 North Main Street
Chicago, Illinois

RSVP to Karen
karenlight@email.com

No BBQ planned yet? Why not get together with friends you haven’t seen in a long time, throw a party for your kid’s friends and parents, host a neighborhood soiree? The possibilities are endless and so is the fun with a BBQ!

Click here to see some of our other BBQ inspired invitations!

Themed Party Invitations

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Spring is here and it’s time to start planning the party you’ve been putting off all winter. Themed parties are all the rage this year. No more, come to the house for pizza and cake and go home. Now the kids want events, concerts, live entertainment, scavenger hunts – you name it, we’ve seen it all!

Choosing party invitations is easy once you know what theme to go with. Here are some great ideas for themed party invitations that will ensure your child has the best party on the block:

Kids Parties:
Bugs
Prince/Princess
Jungle
Hannah Montana
Construction
Dinosaurs
Tea Time
High School Musical

Teenager Parties:
Make-up
Spa Day
MP3 Players/Music
Guitar Hero
Fashion
Sleepovers
Mocktails/Cocktails
Dancing

Adult Parties:
Casino Night
Cocktails
Garden
Vegas
Fashion/Purses/Shoes
Nautical/Beach
Fondue
Hawaiian/Tropical

The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing a theme. Remember, we have a card for almost any occasion! If you can’t find something, let our experts know. We’ll be sure to point you in the right direction!

30 of the Most Popular Baby Names of 2008

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Being parents ourselves, we know that one of the most exciting and sometimes frustrating things is deciding and aggreeing on what to name your newest arrival.

With a large part of our customer base being mommy-to-be’s we thought we would share with you the 30 most popular baby names of 2008 for boys and girls that Baby Center published recently. Who knows, maybe it will help you decide on a name for your baby…

Not enough ideas? Visit http://www.babycenter.com/top-baby-names-2008 to view the entire list!

*Remember, pre-shipped envelopes are available for those parents that would like to get a head-start on addressing their envelopes before the chaos of a newborn begins. All you have to do is choose the birth announcement design that you like and order it. When prompted to enter the text, just skip down to the special instructions box and note “pre-order birth announcements” and the expected due date. Once your baby arrives, just send an email with the text you would like printed on the card. If you don’t know the gender of your baby but would still like to pre-order your birth announcements and have the envelopes pre-shipped, just choose one girl and boy announcement that are the same size.