What time to show up to a baby shower?
April 3, 2009 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Is a baby shower like a normal party where one shows up late, or is the start time the actual time I should be there?

This is a 1:00 p.m. shower hosted by people I don't know very well. Do I show up at 1:00 or shortly after, or 1:45 - 2:00 like I would for any other party?
posted by Sheppagus to Grab Bag (25 answers total)
Showers of any kind are usually meticulously planned events. Please show up on time, 1p or shortly before. By 2p you will have missed most of the event.
posted by wg at 8:19 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Show up on time.
posted by Ostara at 8:20 AM on April 3, 2009

Personally, I get annoyed when I tell people festivities are starting at 1:00, and they don't show up until 2, regardless of what kind of party it is.
posted by tomatofruit at 8:21 AM on April 3, 2009 [11 favorites]

For a baby shower, definitely be there on time. It's not a casual "have people over for cocktails/dinner" kind of thing. The host wants people in and then out.
posted by meerkatty at 8:28 AM on April 3, 2009

Be there on time.
posted by Meagan at 8:28 AM on April 3, 2009

Yep. 1:15 at the latest.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:28 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

"a normal party where one shows up late"

There's no such thing.

If I tell you an event begins at 1, make some kind of actual effort to be there at 1. If you're the kind of person who is chronically late I might maybe lie to you and say it starts at noon or 7AM or a week before or something but that would be a lie I tell you specifically, not something I'd put on the invitation I send out to responsible people who know what 1PM actually means.
posted by majick at 8:29 AM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

This is not going to be a "party" in the sense you're used to...unless you're remembering the parties you went to when you were, say, six years old.

Show up on time so you don't miss the tightly scheduled tiresome games and ritual present opening!
posted by availablelight at 8:36 AM on April 3, 2009

I see where the confusion is. A baby shower isn't a normal sort of adult party. It's more like a kid's birthday party - show up on time.
posted by muddgirl at 8:37 AM on April 3, 2009

Think of a baby shower like an office meeting with an agenda and cake. Once everybody shows up, we can start the 'festivities'.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:39 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

1- Yes, show up on time for the above mentioned reasons.
2- When planning a party where there are any kind of time requirements (a ceremony, dinner, gift opening), one should almost always plan the party with at least a half hour or so of leeway. Parties are supposed to be enjoyable for the attendees. And it's not fun for anyone to feel like they are on a schedule. And, even if all the guests arrived at the precise arrival time, there's got to be time for everyone to get settled. Coats on the bed, gifts on the table, say hello to everyone, etc. Let everyone get a little warmed up, figuratively and literally.
posted by gjc at 8:39 AM on April 3, 2009

Sometimes a shower is planned as a surprise for the guest of honor, although I would expect this to be communicated on the invitation. But that would be another reason to be there on time.
posted by cabingirl at 8:42 AM on April 3, 2009

Zambrano, have you ever been to a baby shower? I'm thinkin' maybe no.

Anyhoo, nthing that it's not like a typical evening casual party for grownups -- be pretty much on time. (No need to be early, though, unless you feel a burning need to make small talk with the mom-to-be's mother-in-law.)
posted by desuetude at 9:11 AM on April 3, 2009

No host expects their guests to show up at their home on the dot.

If it's a baby shower or surprise party, you bet your ass they do.

Show up as close to on-time as you can. It's the polite thing to do in this situation.
posted by rtha at 9:19 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

On time, unless you have communicated to the host there is a previous commitment that may make you late ("I am working until 12.30 but I will be coming right from work so it may be closer to 1.30 when I get there"). Showing up early is rude, as is excessively late. Unless the invite says "noonish" or some other vague time or it is a verbal invite "come around 7 pm".

I guess you are from a culture with more relaxed rules about time Zambrano, in WASP/northern US culture you should be on time.
posted by saucysault at 9:20 AM on April 3, 2009

I customarily show up on time (or ten minutes after the stated time) and then offer to help with whatever set-up remains. This has been a successful strategy to get invited back to parties of whatever stripe.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:21 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Baby showers/surprise parties/dinner parties: show up on time (a few minutes late is fine, except for surprise parties).

Cocktail parties: you can be late.

Open Houses/Keggers: come and go as you please.
posted by cooker girl at 9:26 AM on April 3, 2009

For some locations, with some age groups, with some hosts, parties start at the time set on the invitation. For others, they start some well-known amount of time after the invitation is set. This is irrelevant for a baby shower.

As a general rule, baby showers start at the time set on the invitation, or that plus about 15 minutes because things do happen. If you're still uncomfortable with this, you can ask a friend who knows the hosts better, or carpool with a friend, or what I have been known to do if the first two don't work out, get there on time and wait in the car until some reasonable number of people have already shown up. I would plan to be there between 1:05 and 1:10, assuming my mode of transportation there allows that much precision. I too am in a place where people don't get there until at least 30 minutes after the invitation calls for.
posted by jeather at 9:28 AM on April 3, 2009

[A couple comments removed. Please let's keep answers in context and avoid any absolutist Never/Always arguments about every-social-engagement-ever.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:48 AM on April 3, 2009

Be there on time. It is a different kind of party, and they have SPECIAL plans for the guests. And if you can, act like you are having fun.
posted by chocolatetiara at 11:58 AM on April 3, 2009

Thanks for all the feedback.

I have successfully avoided all baby showers until now and wasn't certain what the custom is. It isn't a surprise shower, so I will arrive promptly at the designated start time and pretend like it is enjoyable.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:07 PM on April 3, 2009

Also, I'm really not Constantly Late Person, I just HATE being the first person at a party and making awkward conversation waiting for everyone who had the sense to come later to show up.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:36 PM on April 3, 2009

As a follow up,

I was perfectly punctual. I showed up EXACTLY at 2:00.

And then sat around and made awkward conversation with the hosts for 45 minutes until people started to trickle in. There were no games or scheduled activities. The person being showered did not arrive until after 2:30.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:28 PM on May 4, 2009

Weird. Well you can continue on with your life with the knowledge that you were socially correct and all the other slackers at the party need a lesson in etiquette.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:01 AM on May 5, 2009

Heh. Done!
posted by Sheppagus at 1:53 PM on May 12, 2009

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