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How to throw a unique baby shower

Every once in a while, you have to go against the grain. Whether this involves wearing something out of the ordinary or just switching up your usual coffee order, doing things a bit different can be a great experience. This is especially true for baby showers, which have earned the reputation of being particularly predictable. If you have a dear friend who is expecting, now's the time to switch things up a little. There are a number of ways to throw a unique baby shower while still offering your friend a celebration she deserves.

Here are our five best ideas for the shindig.

1. Eschew the classic colors. Everybody will be expecting you to decorate with plenty of pinks and blues depending on the sex of the baby, and even if the mom-to-be doesn't know, these two hues almost always make their way into the decorations. Instead, why not dial things back with some more subdued shades. Blacks, gray or white are all good choices, and try setting the ambiance with some water pearls and colored floating candles.

2. Pick a good theme. There are plenty of options at your disposal, but there are also a number of not-so-good ideas that have been done to death. Instead of choosing to celebrate the season, why not make it more personal? Does the guest of honor have a favorite movie or musician? Of course she does. There are plenty of ways you can incorporate both of them to put a smile on her face.

3. Change up the food. Instead of a sit-down meal, you should keep things more light an informal. Everyone will love munching on some typical appetizers or desserts throughout the soiree instead of having to balance a plate of food while they mingle. Just make sure you have plenty of personalized baby shower paper cups and personalized baby shower napkins on hand.

4. Take things outside. There's this stereotypical image of baby showers involving a few women sitting around inside enjoying each others' company, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it can be restricting. With such great weather in the summer, you'd be remiss if you and your best friends didn't enjoy the temperate climate.

5. Functional favors. Your guests need a parting gift, naturally, but instead of a memento they may never actually use, provide them with something useful. Personalized hand sanitizer comes to mind, and heart-shaped measuring spoons are a good choice as well.