The big business of baby showers: the mums-to-be spending thousands on Instagram worthy celebrations

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

If your own kids have long grown out of nappies, then you probably remember when a baby shower consisted of a plate of lukewarm party pies and sausage rolls washed down with cups of tea and homemade slice while playing silly games in a crowded living room.

Not anymore. Today's expectant mums are hiring venues, calling in the caterers and donning flower crowns over their perfectly coiffed hairdos while tottering around in skin-tight dresses and impossibly high heels. And there is not a game in sight.  

A UK survey by a leading baby good retailer found baby showers were growing in popularity, with women aged 25 and under three times more likely to attend a baby shower than women in their late 30s.

The survey found the average woman in the UK would attend 23 baby showers and spend almost $1000 on gifts.

But it is the style of the baby shower that has undergone the biggest metamorphosis in the past few years, thanks in part to the Instagram affect, which has seen flashy baby showers immortalised for all to see.


what will it be ?? A very cute baby shower we did for @luxecoutureevents @zbyzahrah

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Sydney event stylist Belinda Marandola says she is being called on more to style baby showers and says money is no object for some mums-to-be.

She says baby showers have "gone crazy" in recent years, with many mums-to-be hiring her with one wish in mind – to outdo the last baby shower they attended.

"There have been quite a few cases where someone has rung me and said, 'You did so-and-so's baby shower and I want mine to be better'," Ms Marandola says.


"Baby showers have really gone next level in the last four years."

Ms Marandola says women are spending up to $5000 on their perfect day, which includes everything from catering, to flowers, to prop hire.

She says some hostesses are hiring venues while others are holding the events at home. But don't think that means they are scrimping.

"A lot of them are hiring their dresses now. It is a big thing according to the dress hire companies," says Ms Marandola, who says Alice McCall gowns are favoured.

When styling an event, Ms Marandola starts with a theme. She says one of the most popular baby shower themes right now is "boho".

Other popular trends include gold colour themes, which are usually teamed with a splash of pink or blue if the baby's sex has been revealed.

Mothers-to be are calling in the caterers to provide dessert tables of delectable sweets, usually with a show stopping centrepiece such as a cake, or towers made from macarons, profiteroles or doughnuts.

"Professionally made cakes and cake toppers are massive right now as well," she says, adding doughnut walls are also popular.

Ms Marandola says next on the list is decorations, and it is not unusual for clients to spend up big on backdrops and props, such as decorative panels or flower walls, or specially-made signage featuring the baby's surname or clever phrases.

"I did a baby shower with a fresh flower wall a couple of weeks ago. The backdrop alone would have cost $1000," she says.

"Then there are the centrepieces, and flower crowns are still really popular."

Games are out or limited to one or two. Instead baby shower guests might be invited to make their own flower crown to match the mother-to-be, whose tresses and make-up have most likely been tended by a professional.

With so much inspiration, Ms Marandola says it was only natural she went all out for her own baby shower when she was expecting her first child just over 18 months ago.

"I had a boho theme. I had it in my backyard and I had the dreamcatchers and the tee-pees," she says.

"I had trestle tables and boho chairs and flowers. I did have a cake and I had a lot of desserts.

"I probably was the person that went all out," she laughs, adding it was hard not to after planning so many baby showers.