An afternoon tea party is not gonna cut it for expectant papas. Instead, get inspired by what the Dude of Honor loves and plan an event around a golf outing, poker night, or even a backyard BBQ. For a grillmaster's gathering, stock up on festive "Daddy Baby-Q" party supplies from Big Dot of Happiness, which include decorative cupcake wrappers, bottle toppers, hang tags, and more. The items can even be personalized to fit the likeness of the new dad. Or, for a more debonair feel, decorate drinking glasses and more with charming mustache and bow-tie chalkboard labels from Charlie Chalk.
Whatever your theme or location, add some rugged elements to your venue to make the estrogen-challenged guests feel at home. For a posh yet man-friendly lounge setting, Danielle Couick, principal of Columbia, Maryland-based event planning company Magnolia Bluebird Design & Events, combined cowhide, driftwood, linen, and aged wood pieces to add depth and texture. "The duck, well, why not?" she jokes about the unexpected party crasher.
Sure, the guy may be fine with just typing up an email invite, but a printed one will make his party feel more special, just like the celebration of his impending fatherhood should be. This customizable "Beer, Dudes, and Diapers" invitation from Anders Ruff, an online shop that specializes in printable invitations, decor, and party accessories, has a chalkboard-style design reminiscent of pub signage to set the tone for a manly shindig.
The traditional diaper cake is still appropriate for a dad—he will be changing diapers after all, right, ladies? Give the standard creation a twist, though, by incorporating some beer cans into the layers. This cute example from 101Chestnut is adorned with ribbons, stroller toys, and wooden train cars and topped with a plush giraffe. Or, create a "Huggies and Chuggies" cake secured with rugged burlap ribbon and topped with metal buckets filled with in-the-shell peanuts.
Men might be fine with a bag of chips and a case of MGD, but their taste buds will likely appreciate some gourmet goodies as well. Couick of Magnolia Bluebird Design & Events suggests adding some variety to the snack selection with spicy beef jerky, pork crisps, and wasabi peas, each paired with a local craft beer. "Who says pairings have to be reserved for cheese and wine?" she asks. Want to serve something heartier? Offer savory bite-size meatloafs like those at The Meatloaf Bakery in Chicago. You can whip up your own, topped with a scoop of mashed potatoes, with the recipe in The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook from chief meatloaf maker Cynthia Kallile.
Because the guest of honor at a mom's baby shower has to abstain, it isn't fair for the focus to be on anything alcoholic. Luckily, dads-to-be don't have that problem. A tasting bar of whiskey or tequila can be a fun and decadent activity for all involved. "Hosting a tequila bar doesn't mean going shot for shot like you did in college with your buddies. Small batch, quality sipping tequilas are all the rage now," Couick explains about the grown-up party idea. She suggests consulting with your local spirits shop and selecting several different types to have on hand for guests to try.
Liquor can also be incorporated into the sweets and treats on a daddy's dessert table. Erica Pitera of Erica's Sweet Tooth turned a basic vanilla cake recipe into boozy sweets by adding a swig or two of some favorite brews. The baking blogger, who's also (ironically) a pediatric dentist, topped the cupcakes with complimentary fruity goodness. The cream cheese frosting is spiked with lime and orange juices and zest. Want something a little, um, cheekier? Give the soon-to-be dad a taste of diaper duty with your own version of these poop emoji cupcakes from blogger Lindsay Morrison of Benny's Baker, made with a simple chocolate buttercream icing and cake recipe topped with store-bought eyes and white fondant smiles.
Whether or not the men are playing golf or dealing poker, adding in some baby-themed games and activities can bring the focus back to the guest of honor's impending fatherhood. Of course, you can inject these with testosterone to increase crowd appeal. Diaper-changing races, pin the sperm on the uterus challenges and sperm-shaped cornhole toss will all get the men's competitive juices flowing. The guys can also spend some time at the party experiencing what it's like to have a giant baby bump by putting balloons under their shirts—can you say blackmail, er, photo op?
Dads-to-be aren't likely to get super excited about opening frilly onesies or the most eco-friendly bottles, so instead suggest his friends bring gifts geared more to his tastes rather than typical registry items. One fun option is a diaper-duty tool belt stocked with must-have items for changing time, like this Etsy offering or you can make your own. Future dads will also appreciate manly diaper bags like those from Diaper Dude and baby apparel with his favorite sports team logo.
For favors, send the dudes off with something they'll actually use, like these take-home Jack and Coke kits created by Les Petits Presents. Other fun options include beer steins filled with bottle openers, bar towels, and candy, personalized golf balls and tees and these custom-made can koozies from You're That Girl Designs Etsy shop.