Since it was officially coined in 2008, gender reveal parties have been becoming more and more popular. More couples have opted to celebrate their baby’s gender in the presence of their friends and family.
While the methods may be different from one party to the next, the overall gist of the event is that everyone attending will learn the baby’s gender. As these parties have become trendier, more people find themselves invited to gender reveal parties. Thus, it is important to know the necessary etiquette.
Gender reveal parties are often hosted by the expecting couple or a loved one. Most of the time, the couple does not know the gender of the baby. While gifts will be appreciated, they are not expected at gender reveal parties. Invitees are close friends and family, and they are often asked to wear smart casual. There will be food and drinks, but alcohol is uncertain. The final reveal is often done with the use of a gender reveal box.
This article will answer the major questions you may have about gender reveal parties, how they are conducted, how you should conduct yourself, and general gender reveal party etiquette when invited.
Who Hosts the Gender Reveal Party?
Well, if the parents are going to be surprised with the gender of the baby, you might be wondering who it is that hosts the gender reveal party. Since gender reveal parties are held quite early in the pregnancy, it is gender reveal party etiquette that the expecting couple is typically the ones responsible for hosting and preparing the gender reveal party.
Since many loved ones are more than willing to help with the pregnancy, it is also quite common for friends and family to decide and host the gender reveal party for the couple.
A gender reveal party can also be a project of many individuals. For example, the couple can be in charge of most of the party. Then, a beloved friend or family member is entrusted to take care of the gender reveal.
Who Knows the Gender of the Baby?
You can generally divide gender reveal parties into two categories: one where a couple already knows the gender of the baby and uses the event to let everyone else know, and one where a couple will find out during the gender reveal party itself. Understanding the distinction will give you an idea as to who knows the gender of the baby.
For the former, it makes sense that the couple already knows the gender of the baby. They set up, prepare, and host the party themselves. At the end of the party, a gender reveal is made and everyone in attendance learns the gender of the baby.
For the second category of gender reveal parties, the parents clearly do not know the gender of the baby. They can still be involved with the preparations of most of the gender reveal party. However, the gender reveal is then entrusted to someone close, such as a friend or family member.
The couple can have their doctor write the gender of their baby on a piece of paper which would then be kept in a sealed envelope. The envelope can then be passed on to someone delegated to handle the gender reveal. There are some services that would even do the work themselves. For example, the envelope can be given to a baker to create a gender reveal party cake.
Understandably, there could also be other variations. For example, it is possible to inform all the guests of the gender of the baby while keeping the couple in the dark. It is also possible for everyone to be in the dark and find out at the same time.
Are Gifts Expected?
It is understandable to ask whether gifts are expected or not since this is a party. However, gender reveal party etiquette dictates that gifts are not necessarily expected at gender reveal parties. The expecting couple has invited you to be a part of the celebration in their lives – not to give them gifts.
A more practical reason as to why gifts are not expected at gender reveal parties is because you do not know the gender of the baby yet. This severely limits the gift options in the first place unless the couple specifically wants to get their baby gender-neutral items.
Another possible reason why gifts are not necessarily expected at gender reveal parties is that these parties typically take place early in the pregnancy. Most couples would not yet be prepared to ask for gifts as they might still be unsure as to what they would actually need.
Despite these reasons, there will surely be guests who will not arrive empty-handed. Although gifts are not expected, the couple will surely be grateful if you happen to arrive with one. If you do happen to want to get the expecting couple a gift, it is recommended to get something gender-neutral for the baby or something practical for the parents.
Most commonly, gifts are reserved for the baby shower.
Are Gender Reveal Parties Themed?
While gender reveal parties can be as straightforward as they can, some couples enjoy having a themed party. A common theme for gender reveal parties would be to paint the event with pink and blue decorations. You might even find gender reveal sayings posted such as “he or she” or “prince or princess.”
Common themes used for gender reveal parties often need some sort of dichotomy. For example, a gender reveal party could have a royal theme where the baby is ultimately revealed to either be a prince or a princess. If the couple is into hunting, they can also have a hunting theme and reveal the baby to be either a buck or a doe. A sci-fi theme can even reveal the baby to either be a Luke or a Leia.
Who are Invited to a Gender Reveal Party?
Since having a child can be considered to be a very intimate and personal milestone for a couple, invitees to gender reveal parties are often close friends and family. According to gender reveal party etiquette, these are people who the couple wants to be a part of the celebration.
A gender reveal party can even be considered to be more intimate than a baby shower. Baby showers have been known to invite individuals are may not be necessarily considered close friends (e.g., coworkers, acquaintances, etc.).
Comparing the two, another difference between the guest lists of a gender reveal party and a baby shower is that more male friends are invited to a gender reveal party. It is quite common for baby showers to be held with exclusively female guests.
When are Gender Reveal Parties Held?
In the past, gender reveal parties had to take place later during the pregnancy. This was because the technology back then was limited to detecting the gender of the baby between weeks 16-20. However, technology has advanced so much in recent years that the gender of the baby can be determined as early as week 10.
Once the gender of the baby is known, the parents can hold the gender reveal party whenever they want.
Even when the gender can be detected early, some parents opt to wait until the gender of the baby can be confirmed through ultrasound at weeks 16-20. However, the parents might not want to schedule the gender reveal party past week 24 as that would already be slowly encroaching into baby shower territory.
Due to advanced technology, many parents nowadays schedule their gender reveal parties after their first trimester. The announcement for the gender reveal party can even come along with the announcement of the pregnancy.
Will There be Food?
Gender reveal parties are still parties, nonetheless. Surely, the hosts of the event will follow gender reveal party etiquette by serving food at the party. Gender reveal parties are often smart casual which means that the food that will be served will probably match the level of the occasion. Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres should be expected, not full meals.
Some couples also like being creative with the food being served at gender reveal parties. Food can be matched with the theme of the party. For example, food can be colored either pink or blue.
Will There be Alcohol?
While food is most definitely going to be served at a gender reveal party, alcohol might not necessarily be served due to gender reveal party etiquette.
It is possible that alcohol will be served at the event, or the hosts can inform the guests that they can bring their own. However, it is also possible that alcohol is not allowed during the party because the pregnant woman cannot partake. Thus, it becomes common courtesy to abstain from alcohol during gender reveal parties as a way to show solidarity with the pregnant couple.
What is a Gender Reveal Box?
A gender reveal box is essentially a box that contains the information. One of the most classic ways a gender reveal box is used is by putting balloons inside of it.
At the climax of the party, the couple opens the box, letting the balloons loose to fly into the sky. The color of the balloons will then let everyone know the gender of the baby. If the balloons are blue, the baby will be a boy. On the other hand, the baby will be a girl if the balloons are pink.
Throughout the years, couples have found more creative ways to make gender reveal boxes. Instead of balloons, some couples use colored smoke. Some couples even get a gender reveal piñata that is filled with colored confetti.
What Should You Wear to a Gender Reveal Party?
Just like most parties, the attire of the guests will have to depend on the request of the host. When being invited to events such as gender reveal parties, the hosts would typically mention in the invitation what kind of party it is. For example, a gender reveal party being held in summer might warrant summer clothing. A tropical-themed party might ask the guests to wear floral shirts and shorts.
Regardless of the theme, it is gender reveal party etiquette to wear smart casual. You can get away with something more casual depending on what the personalities of the hosts are.
A common request being asked by couples throwing the gender reveal party is that the guests will wear either pink or blue, depending on what they guess the gender of the baby to be. This little request makes it fun for everyone to see whether they guess the baby will be a boy or girl.