Throw a Family-Friendly Baby-Q Shower

Casual and fun, a barbecue picnic is a fabulous option for a baby shower that’s great for the whole gang. From adorable printables to simple tutorials, we’ve got just what you need to inspire your own down-home BBQ baby shower. Click through to accept your invitation!

By: Melissa Macron
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Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing; Airstream courtesy of Zstream Rentals

Photo By: Jessica Doffing; Airstream courtesy of Zstream Rentals

Photo By: Jessica Doffing; Airstream courtesy of Zstream Rentals

Photo By: Jessica Doffing; Airstream courtesy of Zstream Rentals

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing; Airstream courtesy of Zstream Rentals

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Photo By: Jessica Doffing

Set the Stage

The retro Airstream trailer set the stage for this backyard barbecue shower, providing a cool backdrop for the festivities. Daniela Lukomski of Austin Styled decided to use the quaint trailer as a motif for the event. "The Airsteam really tied everything together for our BabyQ party," she says. "If you don't have access to something like this, you can always create a backdrop that sets the tone for your event — €”like a desert landscape, a big red barn or countryside using a photo printed on large canvas. This way it can also double as a backdrop for a photobooth!"

You're Invited!

Guests got their first glimpse of the fun motif with this adorable invite, designed and cut to mimic the classic vehicle. The invitation provided all the necessary information while giving everyone an idea of the laid-back fun to come. Opt for simple cardstock to convey the casual vibe. A sweet gingham bow adds a bit of color and dimension. Click here to download the invite design.

Keep It Going

Crafty cardboard cutouts are coated in chalkboard paint to create the fun and inviting signs to placed around the party. This one is hung on a burlap-and-gingham-covered side table near one of the guest seating areas.

Oh, So Sweet

As delightful as the real thing (but a lot more useful for the parents-to-be), €”these charming "cupcakes"€ are crafted with baby socks and onesies. The party host sent instructions to guests who wanted to make the adorable "€œcakes" to bring to the event and set out as decor throughout the day. Later, they were packed up for the parents to take home. Get the surprisingly simple, step-by-step tutorial here.

All Decked Out

Lukomski mixed it up with eye-catching decor that played up a few elements of the party. Gold metallic balloons to announce the event really pop against the shiny silver Airstream, while a DIY swag of fabric streamers keeps with the casual country style.

Soft Landings

Blanketed, picnic-style seating is inviting to guests big and small, creating designated areas for eating, playing and just kicking back. A few throw pillows add even more customizable comfort to the scene. "With kids in attendance at our Baby-Q, we wanted to have a place for them to sit and play while parents mingled," says Lukomski.

D-I-in Advance

We love that Lukomski thought to set up a special place just for the expectant parents and big brother-to-be. Arriving guests instantly know where to go to drop off gifts and say their hellos. For the party to go off without a hitch, a solid plan for setting up is key. "Planning a party is no easy feat," Lukomski says, "so anything you can do to prepare ahead of time — mapping out seating and tables, filling out food labels, arranging your flower bouquets and having your decor ready for hanging — will help save you time and make for a less stressful morning."

The Beauty of a Buffet

Covered in burlap, topped with bandanas and draped with a hand-tied swag, the buffet table offered up utensils and plates, hot dog and hamburger toppings, sides and a selection of desserts. "€œThis backyard Baby-Q was rather informal, so having a buffet-style menu made the most sense. Guests could grab a bite at their leisure," Lukomski says.

What's Cooking?

"A well-planned buffet table provides guests the opportunity to customize their menu to their liking," says Austin-based stylist Hilary Dominguez. Charming little food labels that tie in with the event theme show guests exactly what they have to choose from. Click here to download the label card design.

Delight With Details

Keep that down-home decor consistent throughout the party. Here, little milk jugs stand in for more formal glassware, bandanas make for fun napkins, and quirky condiment bottles add a fun element. The light-strung tree in the background adds to the festivities and keeps things glowing right into the evening.

You Go, Grill

"A buffet-style menu works best at this type of party, because it is more of a casual event," says Dominguez. "€œYou want the food to be hot and fresh, so grilling the food as it is requested keeps bugs away and ensures you don'€™t prepare a ton of food that goes to waste."€ Designate a grill master or rotate a few cooks so everyone gets a chance to eat and enjoy the party.

Hands On

When providing guests with a barbecue, buffet-style menu or even passed finger foods, "€œit'€™s good to have stain remover and individually-wrapped wipes to clean hands after eating,"€ says Dominguez. Keep them available and within reach in a cute basket near the buffet, she suggests.

Just-Right Height

Instead of a picnic table, opt for small, individual tables near the Adirondack chairs and a styled-crate surface to add to the casual scene. Stacked crates provide the perfect, customizable tabletop for adults and children alike and work to keep up the relaxed picnic feel.

Hole in One

Lawn games were made for informal gatherings like this Baby-Q. Jazz up the usual beanbags with pink and blue fabric for the event, turning a standard game of cornhole into a baby-gender guessing game.

Time for Dessert

Whether you want to forgo the oven on a hot day or simplify the party prep, these no-bake cheesecake parfaits are a yummy solution. Layers of creamy mousse, crunchy graham crackers and sweet fruit make up these delicious treats. Get the step-by-step recipe here.

Tip-Top Shape

A simply-frosted layer cake gets a festive upgrade thanks to a clever cake topper that'€™s a snap to make. Here, mini cardboard triangle banners are strung between a pair of striped straws topped with adorable washi-tape flags. So sweet!

Do Them a Favor

Send guests home with individual bottles of locally made barbecue sauce as wonderfully-themed and memorable favors. The sunflowers that dotted the entire shower "not only add drama and color,"€ says Lukomski "but also help set the mood of the party. Sunflowers were the perfect choice for our casual Baby-Q, because they tied in with the rustic and laid-back vibe."

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