Understatement of the year: Being pregnant during a pandemic isn’t what I pictured when I used to think about having a baby. Still, we’re trying to make the most of it, and we just had the dreamiest socially distanced baby shower hosted by my amazing family! I got a few questions from other parents-to-be about the logistics and asking for tips on how to make sure it flows smoothly. We’re not experts, but we managed to pull it off in absolutely scorching heat and it was only slightly miserable for me at 33 weeks pregnant.
Our original shower plan was a huge affair with 100 people at the Seminole Heights Garden Center. We called it off at the end of April — friends and family told me it was too early and I was being pessimistic, but I had a feeling the COVID-19 pandemic would only get worse in Florida, and I was sadly proven right. We scaled our guest list way back and mailed out baby shower invitations for a casual drive-by party at my mom and dad’s house instead. If you’re hosting a drive-by shower, this recap will be helpful and provide plenty of baby shower ideas.
Drive-thru Baby Shower: The Decor
My mom gets all the credit for decor! She got a photo backdrop from Amazon and hired Melly Celebration to create an incredible balloon arrangement. My dad built a wooden backdrop and stapled the photo backdrop to it. The “Baby Lage” letters on the backdrop were made by one of my mom’s friends from church. The amazing yard sign pictured above is from Signdreamers Wesley Chapel. The tent is from Overstock, but my Dad said it was a beast to set up.
Drive-Thru Baby Shower: The Food
Florida is currently the COVID hotspot of the world, which made me incredibly wary about doing any sort of shareable spread. I’m a huge fan of charcuterie boards, but I’m also a huge fan of my loved ones not catching a deadly respiratory disease. Thankfully, the amazing Olympia Catering offers to-go boxes and made 30 mini-charcuterie boxes and 20 mini Cuban sandwich boxes for our guests, along with a dessert box with sweet treats for every guest. I’m so upset that I forgot to take pictures of the Cuban box, but it was delicious and came with plantain chips! They made the perfect party favor. (Full disclosure: No part of my shower was sponsored, but Olympia did offer a 25% discount.)
Drive-Thru Baby Shower: The Logistics
I was incredibly worried about the logistics of the shower — other than rain, my biggest fear was that we’d have a car parade causing a traffic jam! We told guests to drive by any time between 5pm and 7pm and found that guests naturally spaced out their visits without us having to intervene! The longest “line” we had was five cars, and it still moved really quickly.
How it worked: Once a car pulled up, my sisters approached wearing a mask and gloves as the guests were dropping off gifts. Then, they asked what they wanted to drink (water, Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite) and whether they wanted charcuterie or Cuban sandwiches. Once they had the answer from the guest, they went to a food and drink cooler on my parents’ driveway while I talked to my friends from afar. I’m so social that I was so tempted to approach cars and hated that I couldn’t hug people, but we made an effort to stay 6-10 feet away from all cars.
We originally planned to do shower games but scrapped it once our COVID cases continued to rise — it just didn’t feel worth it to have people get out of their cars for any reason, and I don’t trust myself to social distance if I’m face-to-face with a good friend or relative I haven’t seen in months. I think games would’ve definitely caused a traffic jam, so I’m glad we did it the way we did.
I spent anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes chatting with each car, depending on how long they wanted to stay and whether there was anyone behind them. I honestly think a drive-thru party is an introvert’s dream — Vagner was a huge fan, LOL. I am decidedly not introverted and would’ve preferred a traditional baby shower, but all things considered, I think we made the most of it, and I’m glad we opted for this instead of a virtual shower!
Drive-Thru Shower: Random Last Thoughts
- If you’re doing this when it’s hot outside, you need to have a fan. My parents rented a box fan and I brought my trusty portable fan from Amazon, and I was still exhausted after two hours in the sun. The tent also provided much-needed coverage.
- If you’re worried about your guests showing up at the same time, you could assign time slots. I’m glad we didn’t do this because it didn’t end up being an issue and seems like a headache to coordinate — we gave 50 folks a two-hour window and didn’t have any real problems.
- I wouldn’t recommend a drive-thru shower on a narrow or busy street. Even though my parents live in a very quiet neighborhood with wide roads, some of their neighbors got caught up in the drive-thru line because they thought it was a random traffic jam. Thankfully, we were able to motion to people to pass, but I can imagine it being a headache if your hood is super busy.
- Make sure you have people who can help hand out food and collect gifts to keep the line moving! Otherwise, things can get way too busy very quickly.