Consult with the guest of honor.
Choose a location.
If catering is an option, choose a caterer or other food provider, unless you plan to do the Make or buy the invitations.
Decide if you want a particular theme or motif (see our list of 10 wonderful shower ideas). Keep the guest of honor's tastes foremost in your mind!
Prepare invitations for mailing.
Ask the guest of honor if she has registered for gifts -- if so, then you might include a small card along with the invitation listing where she is registered.
Mail the invitations.
Plan the menu.
Check tableware, tables, and chairs to make sure you have enough. Investigate rental options if you need extras.
Decide what kind of decorations and/or flowers you'll have.
Make a list of any props, prizes, or party favors you may need.
Begin thinking about the gift you want to give.
Buy or make non-floral decorations.
Write out place cards, if desired.
Prepare a shopping list for the food and beverages you'll need.
Purchase your gift for the guest of honor.
Purchase whatever props, prizes, or party favors you'll need.
Wrap all favors and gifts.
Designate a person to pick up the guest of honor and bring her to the shower.
If you're using a restaurant or party space, confirm the reservation.
If the party is at your home, decide which serving dishes, utensils, table linens, and napkins you'll use.
Re-confirm your plans with the caterer, if you are using one.
Phone anyone who has not called to RSVP.
Shop for pantry items and ingredients for freeze-ahead dishes.
Prepare freeze-ahead dishes.
Re-confirm with guests who've been asked to bring food or special items.
Empty a part of your coat closet for guests to hang their coats.
Shop for perishables, ice, and other remaining supplies.
Prepare food that can be made in advance.
Put decorations into place.
Set the table(s).
Check with the guest of honor to see how she's feeling.
Have a comfortable chair, with a pillow, for her to use at the shower, especially if she's in her third trimester.
Finish preparing food.
Pick up prepared foods, if you're not cooking, or touch base with caterer.
Pick up flowers, or make sure they get delivered.
Buy balloons, if you're using them (if you buy them earlier, they may deflate before party time).
Vacuum, clean guest bathroom.
Set up extra chairs for guests.
Set up a small table or basket -- or, if you have one, a bassinet or baby carriage -- for holding baby gifts.
Give a wake-up call to the guest of honor.
Have all hosts congregate at the party site an hour or two ahead of time.
Chill some refreshments to be ready at party time.
Set out food, except items that need to stay warm or cold.
► Introduce the guests to each other.
► Take pictures.
► Play games.
► Open gifts.