Many people believe that finding out the gender of your baby is a private moment best spent as just a couple. Some think that creating a big occasion out of an often-emotional moment can belittle the specialness of it. Additionally, with all the showers, gifts, and attention that already surround a new baby, attending yet another party to reveal the gender may be seen as an imposition, especially because the denouement is only three words that could be communicated via phone, email, or social media. The etiquette of a gender reveal party is also typically unclear – do you bring a gift? (I say no, but I’ve seen it done.) And what if the parents didn’t get the gender they wanted? Their emotions are on display for everyone to see, and if disappointment is one of them, things could get awkward.
On the other hand, some families and friends are just as excited to learn the gender as the parents-to-be and desperately want to be included in any and all celebrations for the new little one. A party also gives the parents a chance to get creative with their reveal and make some fabulous memories. Cakes, balloons, mustaches/lips, and even squirt guns are some amazing ideas I’ve seen executed to reveal a baby’s gender to anxious guests and parents.
After weighing our options, Mr. O&O and I aimed for a compromise. We went out to Virginia for a shower thrown by Mama O&O (post to come!), and the timing worked out that our 20-week ultrasound was a few days before we left, so we decided to do it that weekend. We considered revealing to all of the guests at the end of the shower, which we thought wouldn’t be an imposition because they would already be there, but then realized that a few key people wouldn’t be there (Papa O&O, for one) and also that it may be a little overwhelming with so many people watching. In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t because I was so nervous I couldn’t stand it, and I wouldn’t have wanted to feel that way during my whole shower! Instead, we waited until Papa O&O got home later that night. We opted for a Russian roulette-style cupcake reveal (courtesy of Richmond, VA's Shortcake Bake Shoppe) with just my immediate family and Mr. O&O’s immediate family (FaceTime), plus Bestie O&O as the photographer. We did wait ourselves and find out at the same time as the families. In my opinion, that is the only way to do it party-style because it makes all the lead-up worth it. If we had found out beforehand privately, I would just do a cute announcement on social media. I would feel bad already knowing and putting my family through an entire waiting-game party just for show. This way, the moment was still incredibly special and intimate, but also fun, celebratory, and inclusive. We then put a blue balloon on the mailbox for inquiring neighbors and posted a fun shot to social media to let everyone else know.