We waited until our first child was born to learn the sex, and when our doctor announced "It's a boy!" just seconds after I gave birth, we were overcome with joy. When we found out that I was pregnant with our second child, however, we wanted to learn whether I was carrying a boy or a girl ahead of time to help us prepare our son for his new sibling. A gender reveal party, where we'd learn the sex of our baby at the same time that our guests would, seemed like a fun way to go.
We hosted the party halfway through my pregnancy. A bakery was told what sex our future child would be, and filled cupcakes with colored frosting to match: pink for a girl, blue for a boy. As I prepared to take a bite of the cupcake and learn (as well as reveal) the gender of our second baby, I was happy that my friends and family were there to experience the anticipation with me. It was such a joy to show off the pink frosting—it's going to be a girl!
Read on for insider tips on planning your own gender reveal party.
Create a Theme. For your baby reveal party, go simple with pink and blue cocktails, candles, plates, cups, napkins—you name it. (I even put pink and blue guest towels in the bathroom!) In lieu of the Super Bowl, have a Baby Gender Reveal Bowl. If you're having a combined gender reveal baby shower, consider a "What will it bee?" theme with bumblebees as part of your party decor (think wall hangings, centerpiece, napkins, and favors).
Set the date and invite guests. Send your invitations out at least six weeks ahead of time, so you can get your gender-determining ultrasound, and even a 3-D ultrasound, and plan your big reveal. If you'd like to nail down those details first, you can wait and send your invites out two weeks ahead. For beautiful invitations that you can order or print out at home, try Etsy.com. If you're on a tighter budget, send out electronic invites; we like Punchbowl.com, which offers customizable e-invitations. Some guests may not have heard of a gender reveal party, so be sure to include a brief explanation.
Schedule an ultrasound. It's clear to a skilled ultrasound technician whether you're having a boy or a girl at around 18 to 20 weeks' gestation. Ask the sonographer to write "boy" or "girl" on a piece of paper and place it in a sealed envelope (instead of announcing the sex of the baby). If your baby is positioned in a way that makes it impossible for the technician to accurately determine the gender—with legs folded in front of the genitals, for example—ask about scheduling a follow-up ultrasound.
Plan the big reveal. A lot of couples choose to announce the sex of their baby with a sweet treat, such as a cake or a cupcake. To go this route, take the envelope that you received at your ultrasound to a bakery and order a cake that's either blue or pink on the inside (depending on the results of your ultrasound), but with a neutral-color frosting on the outside, such as white (vanilla) or brown (chocolate). Sheet cakes and square cakes are best; you'll need to cut off only the corner to announce your baby's sex. If you're expecting multiples, you could get a large sheet cake that is baked half and half, with clear delineation on the top for the cutting of the cake; otherwise, get two cakes for Baby A and Baby B. Cupcakes and cake pops make unique reveal alternatives to cake.
For a gender reveal that doesn't include dessert, ask a trusted friend to put pink or blue baby socks in a box. At the party, you'll open the box and see what color socks are inside. Alternatively, have a balloon gender reveal where your friend would place a dozen pink or blue helium-filled balloons into a large cardboard box or trunk; at the party, you can open the box and everyone can see what color balloons float out. If you already have children, let them open the box so that they feel included.
Document the event. Have your camera and/or video camera charged and ready to go. Ask a trusted friend or family member to be your photographer or videographer, since you'll be busy mingling with your guests. If your budget allows, hire a professional photographer or videographer, or even a scrapbooker, to make a great post-event photo album (or video). Take Polaroid pictures of your guests and have them write special wishes for the new baby. Or ask each guest to leave a message on camera for your new arrival!
Thank your guests. Have partygoers participate in some gender reveal party games. As guests arrive, ask them to write their name on a slip of paper and place it in a jar labeled "girl" or "boy." Then, depending on your baby's gender, pick out a name from the "correct guess" jar and give the winning guest a price, like a candle or scented soap. You could also have your guests' names entered into a raffle and give away a fun prize, such as a gift card to a local restaurant.