UK Baby Shower Etiquette?

posted 5 months ago in Babies
Post # 16
1128 posts
Bumble bee

I understand American bees posting that this is normal in the US, but this is in the UK and I can tell you paying £150 each to host a baby shower and having a registry for it are definitely not normal here. Baby showers here are usually always low key affairs such as afternoon tea or cake and sandwiches at someone’s home with a few games, and they are almost always hosted by the mum to be or her family.  So in the UK this is extremely unusual and unreasonable, OP has every right to be upset by this arrangement, whether it is acceptable in the US or not. 

Post # 17
47149 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I live in Canada and where I live, standard etiquette dictates that you don’t host parties, especially gift-giving parties in your own honor. That includes asking someone to host one for you.If no one volunteers, you don’t have one, period.

When you do host the shower, it is generally considered your gift to the bride, as your expenses will likely equal or exceed anyone else’s gift. In my circle, showers are usually intimate affairs, held in someone’shome,or at most a condo meeting room. We don’t hold catered events at a venue for dozens of women. If they can’t fit in your living room, they aren’t invited.

Post # 18
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

How on earth is the baby shower costing £450?

My friend and I organised a baby shower, and everyone attending paid their own costs (about £15 each), we paid for invites, decor, favours, and some printed games and game prizes. It maybe cost us £30 for the “hosting”. 

Some attendees got mum to be a gift (about the £20 spend?), I’m superstitious and will get a babygro and soft toy style present once the baby has arrived. A £100+ gift I’d only think would come from the grandparents, not friends and acquaintances.

Post # 19
842 posts
Busy bee

annabananabee :  All of this, plus… the gift from the host to the mom-to-be… in three cases when I’ve attended showers, the decorations ARE the gift. Diaper cakes. Rolled diapers stacked and made to look like a tiered cake. 

Post # 20
9 posts
  • Wedding: October 2016

Uk bee here and I’ve hosted and attended lots of showers and the costs you describe are way OTT for Uk norm. If I was in your situation I would be getting the cheaper item on the registry and if this is still outside your budget, I’d simply send a message back to Captain Registry (who even notes on a spreadsheet how many times you asked what gift??!!) saying due to finances I’m arranging my own gift. In terms of cheaper gift ideas it might be nice to send a card to your friend with some home made vouchers inside saying things like 1 free babysitting, breakfast on me, nails on me etc. Something your friend can enjoy when baby arrives and you dont have to fork out too much for. Good luck!

Post # 21
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

US bee here.  Registries are optional suggestions for people who don’t want to risk buying a duplicate of an item or want to know exactly which item a person prefers.  I personally only buy off registries for people I don’t know well.  For people I am close with, I usually pick a more personal gift.

I would not expect a major gift from someone who spent a bunch of money hosting my event.  A children’s book & cute onesie with a card would be more than enough.  Nobody wants their nearest and dearest to go broke celebrating them.  

Where we live, the usual host of a baby shower is a sibling, best friend, or cousin.  Lately I have noticed more moms hosting them too.  My sister-in-law (brother’s wife) and her sister hosted mine.  

When I hosted my best friend’s bridal shower, it cost me $400. (Was supposed to be cohosting with someone else but that person did not ever pay for half, and I didn’t push the issue because that person has cancer and I didn’t want to be a jerk about it.) My mom and I jointly bought my friend a fancy tea kettle as a gift and used it as a centerpiece on the main table at the shower.  

Post # 22
4991 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Another UK bee who isn’t used to baby showers. I feel like if they were cute low key events to hang out with the mum and celebrate the arrival of the baby then I would be down with it. But the whole decorations, renting a space, gift registries etc just kills it for me and sounds so tacky. 

Post # 23
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

idontevenknow :  I live in Australia and have been to heaps of baby showers, but every one has been hosted in someones home, which is of course much cheaper.  It’s also a bit ridiculous for her to ask you to host (ie. pay) then dictate what she wants.  If you are hosting, you should be planning the event according to your budget.  But that’s been and gone now. 

As far as the gifts go, you don’t have to buy off the registry.  I’ve been to showers that didn’t have registries (they aren’t normal here for baby showers) or had expensive registries.  I’ll often just buy some muslin wraps or something if I’m not overly close to the mum-to-be.  You don’t have to buy off the registry. 

Post # 24
458 posts
Helper bee

In Canada the host usualy just buys something small like diapers! If you want to make it look more expensive go to pinterest and type in “Diaper Cake” its a really fun and cute way to arrange the diapers!  Its cheaper than a big present but also thoughtful and looks like you put a lot of effort into it!


Post # 25
762 posts
Busy bee

UK Bee here. I’ve never been to a baby shower and honestly hope to never be invited to one by the sounds of it…

I LOVE buying baby presents, I put s lot of thought into it for my friends’ babies, but I never buy gifts before baby is born. If I had to go to a shower I would get a small, nice gift for the mother only – a massage or meal voucher or something. 

Don’t give in to the peer pressure OP. What they are expecting off you is not the norm here so you shouldn’t feel bullied or pressured into spending big money and, honestly, it is absolutely NONE of your cohosts business what gift you decide to give to mother and/or baby and I would have no hesitation in telling them so…busybodies!! 

Tell them to mind their own business and back off. Make your own budget and stick to it.

Post # 26
7885 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2019

Twizbe :  Me too! I really hate baby showers. I love giving gifts and look forward to giving them when the baby is here safely and not as part of a big pile of presents so they don’t remember who gave what. I really hate how you have to go as well otherwise you are a total monster! lol 

Post # 27
565 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I’m in the UK and a few years ago I co-hosted a baby shower for a friend. It was at our flat (the other 2 hosts were my flatmates) and we made cupcakes and platters of sandwiches and snacks. There was no registry but everyone bought a small gift (I bought a couple of my favourite childhood books. It was lovely and low key and cost each host maybe £15 plus another £20 for the gift.

I went to another shower in the summer and the mum to be, her partner and her mum hosted it. 

I would be very put out if I was asked to host a party and to pay for it. I would have no issue helping a friend plan one, but I would not be happy to pay to host it if I hadn’t offered myself. I think it’s rude and presumptuous, I don’t care if it’s the done thing or ‘normal’.

I also personally do not like the concept of baby showers at all and would be glad to not have to go to another one. 

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