If the parents-to-be don't plan to find out their little one's sex—or are simply not into those blue-and-pink color palettes—you'll want to read this.

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There are plenty of reasons to throw a gender-neutral baby shower. Perhaps the parents-to-be are waiting to learn the sex of their child, or maybe the pink-and-blue color palette that frequently dominates this event feels too saccharine. Whatever the case, skipping that lavish rose or cobalt-blue décor is perfectly fine. After all, there are so many other ways to go, says Lisa Cokinos of LC Events Co. "If you are a traditionalist and would rather have a 'surprise' baby, a gender-neutral baby shower can be a chic, fun, and entertaining option to prepare for your little bundle of joy," she explains.

multiple wrapped gifts on table baby shower
Credit: Orbon Alija / Getty Images

But what does a gender-neutral baby shower look like, and how should you go about planning one? Ahead, our party experts share how to put together this type of celebration like a pro—either in the future, when it is safe to do so again, or today, in the form of a small, socially-distant gathering, drive-by event, or Zoom shower.

Select a General Theme

"When it comes to planning your baby shower—gender-neutral or not—the most important step is to figure out the theme," explains Alya Barnyak of Petite Events Co. Choosing this piece is arguably the largest of the puzzle, she admits—but once you have a general design direction in place, everything else comes together nicely. Some gender-neutral themes to consider? Consider an under-the-sea celebration, complete with tasteful aquatic details; a garden tea soirée with cream-and-ivory florals; or a bee-themed party buzzing with cute critter motifs and cheerful yellow tones.

Decide on a Neutral Color Palette

Here's the thing: The baby shower doesn't necessarily require a theme, but—in order to curate a cohesive fête—it should have a color palette; with a few established hues, you will be able to cull all décor elements, from stationery, florals, and dinnerware to day-of paper goods and favors. This is another significant step, say our experts, since working within neutral colorways is ultimately the key to planning a gender-neutral shower—and breaking with the conventional colors of pink and blue. Barnyak suggests operating within a safari-inspired palette (think earthy tones, like taupe, olive, and khaki) or selecting a few watercolor pastels (which speaks to a more bohemian aesthetic, she notes).

Plan Your Menu Accordingly

After you have ironed out the theme and color palette, the details should come easily—and so should settling on a cohesive party menu. Sticking to finger foods (especially single-serving ones that keep sharing utensils to a minimum if you're gathering with a tiny group in person) is a safe choice whether you're throwing a gender-neutral celebration or not; then, turn to your theme for dish inspiration. Throwing that aforementioned bee-inspired shower? Stock your menu with honey biscuits and lemon cake for a nod to both the design concept and signature hue. Mini frittatas and ham and cheese mini croissants, on the other hand, would make tasty savory additions to your garden tea brunch.

Send Guests Home with Neutral Favors

Party favors are always appropriate, whatever the celebration type. As for what to gift guests as they exit your neutral baby shower? Keep it edible and stay within the confines of the theme—or branch out. Monogrammed sugar cookies, calligraphed with the the parents' last name, make for a sweet end to an even sweeter day. Or craft together striped or patterned boxes (select iterations that feel general!), fill them with candy, and label them with the baby's due date.

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