Hollywood Hoopla

How to throw a celebrity-inspired baby shower.

If the lingering Hollywood trend of celebrating celebrity offspring continues, Tinseltown might become known as Tiny-town. While you may not want paparazzi trailing your family, it’s fun to temporarily feel like a hot Hollywood mama by throwing a celebrity-inspired baby shower.

Celebrity showers range from lavish affairs at exclusive restaurants to relaxed backyard get-togethers. Regardless of the price tag, most celebs want what all moms-to-be want— an entertaining and festive event attended by close family and friends. In other words, you don’t have to give away $600 gift bags like Tori Spelling or hold a shower in Namibia like Angelina Jolie to create a fabulous celeb-inspired shower. Just follow these tips and you’re on your way to a memorable A-list event.

Choose a Theme.

A theme sets the mood for a shower and allows you to personalize the event according to the expecting mom’s interests. Brooke Shields hosted a Moroccan-themed shower with lots of candles and an authentic Moroccan menu. Gwen Stefani’s shower had a lamb theme because of her L.A.M.B. clothing line.

Try this:

  • Have your shower reflect the expecting mom’s favorite place. Does she love Paris? Use miniature Eiffel Towers as place cards or favors, serve Brie and baguettes and encourage guests to wear berets.
  • Inspire everyone’s inner starlet. For my baby shower, the Celebrity Baby Blog team threw me an incredible Hollywood-themed shower. They mailed movie ticket invitations, decorated with a red carpet and paper Hollywood sign, and supplied every guest with a pair of oversized sunglasses. My favorite part: When I entered the room, everyone bombarded me with flash photography, the perfect touch of paparazzi.

Entertain Your Guests. 

Celebrities understand the importance of keeping their guests amused. Activities don’t have to be cheesy or extravagant— unless you want them to be— just simple ideas that add another level of fun to the party. Both Trista Sutter and Samantha Harris (E! News correspondent and Dancing With The Stars co-host) had T-shirt bars, where guests could custom design tees. Sutter also had guests create scrapbook pages to serve as a keepsake after the event.

Try this:

  • Play the Celebrity Baby Name Game. Challenge guests to match magazine photos of celebrity babies to their famous moms and dads. Present the winner with an assortment of celeb-focused magazines.
  • Create a baby time capsule. Ask guests to bring newspaper clippings, CDs of popular music, recent pictures of the expecting parents and other items that reflect today’s world. Have guests explain why they chose their particular mementos, and then add each guest’s item to a box decorated to reflect the shower’s theme. The soon-to-be mom can look forward to sharing the capsule’s contents with her child in years to come

Choose Practical Gifts With a Dash of Luxury.

You can’t have a shower without presents. And while lots of celebrity moms-to-be receive ridiculously expensive things like bejeweled pacifiers and solid gold rattles, many other stars are gifted with practical presents that have a luxurious twist, because even celeb moms need the essentials. Jennifer Garner received clothing, burp cloths and bibs embroidered with her daughter Violet’s name at her first shower. Tori Spelling received fuzzy angora booties and a silver-studded denim diaper bag.

Try this:

  • Fill a pretty wicker basket with essentials such as diapers, wipes, bottles, teething keys and a baby thermometer. I like CVS/pharmacy’s PLAYSKOOL Baby Care line because the products are fun, colorful and high quality, yet not overly expensive. Even if you’re a procrastinator, you can pop into a CVS at the last minute and come out with a great gift. For a dash of luxury, the line’s Cottony Cloths are made with real cotton, ensuring they’re super soft and strong. After the baby shower, the new mom can use the gift basket to hold diapers and wipes.

Eat, Drink (Non-Alcoholic Drinks) and Be Merry.

Good food is one of the key elements to throwing any successful party, and baby showers are no exception. At Jaime Pressly’s shower, the actress treated guests to some of her favorite comfort foods, like tacos and deviled eggs. Tobey Maguire and his child’s mother Jennifer Meyer served their guests fresh lemonade, barbecue shrimp and chicken skewers.

Try this:

  • Create a yummy buffet of pregnancy-favored options, complete with variety of citrus fruits, chocolates, pickles, potato chips and ice cream sundae offerings. Other moms will get a kick out of this all-too-familiar menu.

Make the Guests Feel Special, Too.

Celebrities are great at showing their appreciation for guests. Mariska Hargitay asked guests to bring a gift that was descriptive of themselves. One guest hailing from Pittsburgh gave Hargitay a Steelers baby outfit. Heidi Klum presented her guests with pink totes stuffed with beauty products and gift certificates.

Try this:

  • Gift each of your guests with something you cherish, such as boxed chocolates, miniature packets of coffee or travel-size bottles of your daily moisturizer.
  • Make a short speech or write a personalized note to each guest, letting everyone know how much you care.

Support a Charity.

Celebrities often have more things than they know what to do with when welcoming a baby into their homes, prompting them to involve charity in the celebration. As Sheryl Crow’s shower was sponsored by Healthy Child, Healthy World, it brought substantial attention to this nonprofit environmental organization. Hargitay donated gifts received from her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans to Baby Buggy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing needy families with baby clothing, equipment and products.

Try this:

  • If you already have everything you need, but friends insist on throwing a shower, ask them to bring items to be donated to a local children’s charity or women’s shelter where diapers and wipes are always in high demand.
  • Encourage warm wishes to other new moms. Have guests write congratulatory messages on pretty stationery and sign the cards, “Warmest Wishes from Your Local Baby-Welcoming Squad.” Post-party, deliver the letters to a nearby hospital maternity ward.

Celebrity or not, the most important aspect of a shower is to celebrate the arrival of a baby and the beginning of one’s life as a mother. The occasion should be cheerful, meaningful and memorable.