There is hardly anything in the world more exciting than a new baby, and you probably want to share your big news with as many loved ones as possible. While outrageous baby announcements have gone viral over the past few years, few parents want to make a spectacle out of their new, private joy. If you want to spread news of your pregnancy in a sophisticated and elegant way, your options are limited.
Fortunately, a few pregnancy announcements never go out of style. Here is the recipe for a timeless pregnancy or baby announcement to send the right message to the right people.
Sure, every phone has a camera function, and yes, professional photographers charge an arm and a leg — but you’ll be happy you sprung for professional photography when you look back on your announcements. There’s a remarkable difference between amateur photography and professional photography; trained photographers have the most expensive tools for capturing stunning images, and they also have years upon years of training, so they know the best poses, the correct angles, the good lighting and more. Plus, photographers typically offer comprehensive pregnancy packages, to include a photo session later in your pregnancy as well as detailed photo editing.
You should work with your photographer to come up with an exciting and sophisticated concept for your shoot. Many soon-to-be-parents opt for simple poses focused on images from ultrasounds or baby clothing. You might use some item of nursery décor in your photographs — but you should avoid anything like diapers or used pregnancy tests, which hint at crassness. You should also avoid doing anything too trendy, like a letterboard or a smoke bomb, which might unflatteringly date your announcements down the road.
While you can publish your announcement photographs online, it is a bit more elegant and private to send your closest loved ones announcements through the mail before letting the rest of the world know. Paper announcements feel intimate and exclusive, especially if you spring for high-quality paper and finishes.
Generally, heavier cardstock is best for special announcements because it feels significant in the hand and won’t tear or crumple like regular paper. While you can get away with a cardstock as low as 65-pound — which is typically what you get with postcards — 100-pound cardstock is more substantial and thus more commonly used for things like event invitations. Plus, you can do almost anything to 100-pound cardstock, to include die cutting, embossing, foiling and more. You can get an idea for the type of finishes you want by looking at pre-made announcements and other paper goods, but you should remember that when it comes to stationary, less is usually more.
You should talk to your baby stationery provider to see what kind of packages they offer for pregnancy announcements, baby shower invitations, birth announcements and more. Having a cohesive theme for your pregnancy, which might be based on your nursery design and décor, is a good way to look organized and put-together — even if you don’t feel like it.
Mass-produced messages are always less refined; because they are available to everyone, and because they allow everyone to receive the exact same treatment, they are inherently of lower value than messages with a customized, personal touch.
You don’t need to send every loved one a one-of-a-kind announcement photograph and stationary suite, but you should include in every announcement package an individualized, handwritten note expressing your excitement at the pregnancy and explaining your hopes for your relationship going forward. This doesn’t have to be a novel; anyone who warrants such a long outpouring of love and appreciation should probably be told about the pregnancy in person or over the phone. A few sentences written on the back of the announcement or sent on a separate slip of stationary should suffice.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t worry too much about making sure that your pregnancy announcements elicit awe and envy. Rather, you should focus on creating an announcement that fits your aesthetic and effectively communicates your message to your most important loved ones. There will be plenty more milestones ahead to celebrate — first steps, first year, first day of school — and by thinking about who matters most in your life, you will be able to surround yourself and your child with love, support and class.