Baby showers are meant to celebrate one of the most important times in anyone’s life. Accordingly, they’re filled with emotion – excitement and joy over what’s to come, as well as anticipation and maybe even nervousness for the new parents. But stress doesn’t have to be one of those emotions if you take the time to carefully plan out a baby shower.

If you want to host a baby shower that will live on as a wonderful memory for everyone involved, here’s a guide to help you through each of the most important aspects.

Plan Your Budget
Your budget determines so much of how you plan a baby shower, so it should be the top priority on your party planning checklist. A good budget should factor in costs for the venue, food, invitations, decorations, party favors, as well as a small amount for any emergency costs that arise along the way.

It might be helpful to first figure out your overall budget and then allocate different amounts for different things. Tiny tricks like choosing digital invitations over mailing out printed ones can help you save money if your budget is tight.

Select a Venue
Since choosing a venue can be one of the more expensive things on your list but also one of the most important, make sure to decide on it as early as possible. Your venue can be someone’s home or backyard, a privately booked room in a restaurant, or a full event hall.

Outside venues need to be booked early and may have some restrictions on times and dates, but they are definitely suited for larger parties. On the other hand, the home of the mom-to-be, the hostess, or other close friend or relative can make the entire event a little more intimate, especially if you have fewer guests.

Choose a Date and Time
Traditionally, most baby showers are thrown around 1-2 months before the baby’s due date, when the mom-to-be is heavily pregnant but the baby isn’t likely to show up before the date of the event. But it’s also acceptable to host a shower after the baby is already born – whatever the guest of honor feels most comfortable with is the way to go.

Pick a Theme
Themes aren’t a requirement for a spectacular baby shower, so don’t feel pressured to choose one. However, many like having one idea or aesthetic in mind to plan the party around, so definitely consider picking a theme if it doesn’t feel too restrictive in your planning process.

Themes can be specific, like a fairytale theme or something nautical and under-the-sea, or they can also be more general, where the party is designed around a simple color scheme or fun pattern. No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something that will delight the star of your party.

Make a Menu
If you decide to have your party at a restaurant, then choosing what to eat is no problem. Otherwise, your options are to have your shower professionally catered or to make the food yourself.

It doesn’t need to be a full three-course meal – simple appetizers and small treats should be just fine. Your budget should inform just how much food you can provide. At the very least, a cutely decorated cake (or cupcakes!) or some small finger sandwiches should be more than enough.

Craft a Playlist
Music might seem like a small touch to your overall party, but having the right party playlist can really add to the entire experience. Baby showers can be emotional – they’re a celebration of a mom’s journey through the ups and downs of her pregnancy, and one of the best ways to express that and connect with party guests is through music. You can try to build your own playlist, or check out an amazing song list at The Mommy’s Coach made just for baby showers. No matter what you choose, try to craft a playlist that the mom-to-be will love.