Drawing up the guest list for a baby shower is an extremely important task for the host and one which needs to be done with great care. The host needs to ensure that all of the necessary members of the family and friends of the mother-to-be make it onto the guest list to share in the celebrations for the arrival (or anticipated arrival) of the new baby.
If you get the guest list right then you are onto a winner but, if you get it wrong, and end up inviting the black sheep of the family or someone with whom the mother-to-be has recently fallen out, then your baby shower could turn into a disaster. So, before you send the invitations out it is a good idea to let the mother-to-be run her eye over the guest list and make any changes which she feels are appropriate.
Of course to a certain extent the guest list is also linked to the cost of the shower and so the more guests the greater the expense and, more often than not, it is the host who is bearing the cost. This can be a problem if the mother-to-be comes up with a long list of people you had not considered for addition to the guest list and this is something which you will need to be prepared for. Remember though that a few extra guests will not add to all of the costs. For example, the cost of hiring a hall for the event or for decorations, flowers, an entertainer or a photographer will be the same whether you have twenty or thirty guests, although of course the costs of such things as food and beverages will rise slightly. Here you will need to balance things out and consider whether it is worth running the risk of upsetting the mother-to-be over half a dozen extra guests.
If of course the baby shower is being planned as a surprise for the mother-to-be then you will not be able to run the guest list past her and, in these circumstances, you will either have to simply draw it up by yourself or perhaps ask for the assistance of someone else who is close to the mother-to-be and who can give you a second opinion.
So, just who should you invite?
Naturally the immediate family and close friends of the mother-to-be must be included on the guest list but, after that, it becomes a matter of judgment. One question which often comes up however is whether or not the men should be included.
Baby showers were traditionally all girl affairs but this has changed in recent years and it is becoming popular to invite men along to the shower as well. Interestingly enough, although you might think that the guys would find a baby shower somewhat boring, the vast majority thoroughly enjoy themselves. One thing to consider here though is that the atmosphere of the party is likely to change slightly and the emphasis may shift away from such things as game playing to become more of an opportunity to socialize and to catch up with old friends.
One final but very important consideration is whether or not you should invite people who may have recently experienced an unfortunate event in their lives such as having a miscarriage or discovering that they are infertile. In most cases however the answer is simple.
While including someone in these circumstances might at first glance appear to be insensitive it is in fact far more insensitive not to invite them as this will give the appearance of isolating them and can make matters worse rather than better. Of course if the individual concerned does not feel up to attending and declines the invitation then you should offer your understanding but respect their decision.