The big birth day is almost here, and that means one thing for you — it’s time to plan the baby shower. Your BFF is in her third trimester, and you’re the one in charge of the pre-baby party. The days, weeks, or maybe even months you’ve spent combing through Pinteresting posts and IG feeds to find the best of the best baby shower ideas are about to pay off. But before the party starts, some serious prep needs to happen, so we’re giving you a handy little BFF baby shower checklist for some of the less-obvious elements of your shower-hosting job.

A pregnant woman smiles with her friends at a baby shower

1. Ask the guest of honor anything and everything. This is their day, so make it perfect. In the days leading up to the shower, ask your friend if there’s anything else they need, want, or must have at their pre-baby party.

2. Get full names. Unless you’re good with sending invites or evites to “College Roommate Chrissy,” “Amy from Accounting,” or “Margarita Megan,” ask your friend for full names. This will also help you to decode RSVPs and craft correct place cards. It also doesn’t hurt to reality-check spelling on the names whenever possible (e.g., via social media like Facebook or LinkedIn).

3. Ask about food restrictions. While it’s almost impossible to plan a menu that pleases absolutely everyone, health, religious, and cultural issues aren’t something that anyone should take lightly. If there’s something a guest can’t or won’t eat, you need to know about it before you serve up batches of peanut-crusted appetizers or dairy-filled delights.

4. Plan out the games. Not every shower has piles of fun and silly games. But if yours does, create an actual game plan. Map out where and when you’ll play the games, how long they’ll take, and anything else needed to smooth the way for could-be awkward activities among a group of people who might only have one friend in common.

5. Prep the prizes. Party game prizes, favors, and goody bags won’t assemble themselves. Start early, giving yourself plenty of time to put everything together. Waiting until the night before can easily result in totally unnecessary stress, especially if you realize there’s something you’ve missed after the stores have closed.

A group of friends laugh together at a baby shower

6. Choose a comfy seat. Your guest of honor probably isn’t very comfortable right now. Folding chairs are okay for kids, but not for someone in their third trimester, so help your preggo friend feel better by prepping somewhere to sit that actually feels comfortable. Pick something plush that’s easy for them to get in and out of and has plenty of support.

7. Confirm the venue. Mistakes happen. Unless you’re hosting the shower in your own home, double-check the venue booking a week before. This will give you enough wiggle room to quickly find a new space just in case there’s a double-booking issue.

8. Contact those who don’t RSVP. You most likely have a few holdouts who haven’t committed to a yes or no by the given date. It’s not a bad idea to plan for a few extra guests, just in case the “didn’t let you know” friends or family members show up. But it’s better to email, text, or call them to get a better idea of who is and isn’t coming — generally speaking, email works better further out, and calling works better closer to the deadline.

9. Pack a notebook. Whether it’s you or another friend, someone is going to have to help out by writing down which gift comes from which guest. Don’t get stuck scribbling the list on the back of wrapping paper with a crayon: Instead, pack a notebook and pen to write with.

10. Remember to relax. This is a PARTY. Even though you’re the one planning it, you can still have fun. In a few short weeks, baby mode will totally take over — so let the stress go, and enjoy this special time with your BFF. Your bestie will appreciate getting to spend time with you right now, before your regular lunch dates or evenings out become a party of three.

Tweet us your favorite baby shower theme @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)