Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Boy or girl? Couples make announcements at gender-reveal parties...

A gender-reveal party is a trend that has been growing for about five years. Instead of learning a baby’s sex in a sterile medical room, parents-to-be are delivering the envelope from the ultrasound technician to, typically, a baker who creates a treat that will reveal the news via pink or blue frosting. “In the last year, gender-reveal cakes have become more popular,” said Jasmine Clouser, owner of The Couture Cakery in Camp Hill. Even before orders started coming in, she was familiar with the concept from the party-planning websites that she frequents. The most popular cake-reveal method is a layer cake with colored frosting between the layers. The cake is covered in a neutral frosting. The couple cut the cake together to reveal their baby’s sex. Some opt for cupcakes filled with pink or blue frosting and guests are invited to take a bite simultaneously and find out the news together. There’s nothing like the thrill of opening that envelope. “It always hits me that I know the sex of the baby before the parents do,” said Clouser, who added that she can’t help checking twice to make sure she gets the frosting color correct. Planning and etiquette Gender-reveal parties are a new trend, so there are no firmly established rules. Clouser said some of her clients do know the sex, and the reveal is for friends and family, but most wait to find out at the party. Though occasionally couples will reveal the sex of a baby at a baby shower (typically when close family and friends live too far away to attend multiple events), gender-reveal parties are for celebration and fun — there is no expectation of gifts, though certainly some guests will not be able to resist. Christy Beane of Duncannon never heard of a gender-reveal party until her mother-in-law told her about it. “We liked the idea immediately,” she said. “If you are planning on finding out anyway, why not do something fun?” From balloon launches to a double-cake reveal, three local couples have embraced the growing trend and hosted gender-reveal parties. Adam and Hope Pankake, Camp Hill The Pankakes have been busy. Not only are they expecting twins, but at the time of their party, they were in the midst of a move. That didn't stop them from holding one last soiree in their old home. "I read about gender reveals on various websites and a couple friends had them, and I thought it was something special," Hope Pankake said. The couple hosted a casual lunch with close family and friends for both ease and economy. It was one of those occasions where dessert first worked. "We waited until everyone was there, cut the cakes and then had lunch," she said. The reveal: Double cake cutting Theme: "Who will they bee? Baby A and Baby B" Party: Lunch buffet It's... two girls! Due Nov. 4. Randall and Jessica Hughes, Dillsburg The Hugheses anticipated waiting to learn the sex of their baby, but in the ultrasound room it "was blatantly obvious that he was boy," said Jessica Hughes, who waited to reveal the gender at the shower when she was 36-weeks pregnant. "The reason we did that was because I have a lot of family and friends from out of town," she said. One caveat for those considering rolling a reveal into a shower is that shower gifts will be gender neutral. The Hugheses didn't mind, and it made the shower that much more memorable, she said. "It was so much fun to have that moment together." The reveal: Balloon launch Theme: Hot-air balloons Party: Shower/gender-reveal combo It's ... a boy! Gabriel was born May 25. Jeff and Christy Beane, Duncannon View full sizeSubmitted photoBig-sister-to-be Addison helped parents Jeff and Christy Beane cut the cake to find out what the gender of her new sibling would be. "We liked the idea of having everyone in the family find out at the same time," Christy Beane said. "We have a huge family, who do you call first?" Instead of calling anyone, they threw a catered dinner for their family. They had a cake that read "Pink or blue, we love you!" and decorated with pink and blue balloons. "It was a low-key, fun, family event," she said. "I'm glad we did it. It was definitely something I'd do again, and I'd recommend it -- any opportunity to celebrate those little events in life is important." The reveal: Cake cutting. Big-sister-to-be Addison helped. Theme: "Pink or blue, we love you!" Party: Catered dinner It's ... a boy! Due Oct. 26. CREATIVE REVEALS A cake reveal is the most popular means of imparting the news, but it's by no means the only method. A quick search on Google, Pinterest, party-planning sites or blogs will turn up dozens of fun ways to reveal the baby's sex. Here are a few: •Balloon launch: Craft a box for the party and have a family member or friend fill it with helium balloons in the appropriate color. Open the box to reveal the sex of the baby. •Confetti: Entrust a friend or family member to order black or opaque balloons filled with a bit of pink or blue confetti. Pop a balloon to reveal the sex. •Pinatas: Purchase a pinata and have a friend or family member fill it with pink or blue candy. •Wrapped outfit: Give the ultrasound results to a friend or family member and have them choose an appropriate outfit and have it wrapped Ñ in gender neutral paper, of course! -- and open it at the party. •Fortune cookies: Ask a friend or family member to order custom fortune cookies from a site such as with "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" inside. -- Written by Anne Burkley for Body & Mind

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