Our Ten Step Guide to planning a Successful christening or baby naming ceremony:
Venue, Parking – There are a wide variety of possible venues for your celebration. Start by researching Pubs, Village Hall’s, Tearooms, Community Hubs, Holding it in your own home or garden, Sports Clubs, or Restaurants. Parking is also key so a visit to each of your shortlist is crucial or negotiating with your neighbours if holding it at home.
Ceremonies – what to choose? Church service, Blessing, Naming, God Parents. All points to consider when making the arrangements.
Catering Arrangements – as soon as you have finalized your venue and a couple of possible dates next step would be to firm up the catering arrangements, there may already be a fixed team in place or you will need to source an outside caterer. You will need to confirm availability, possible menus, and arrange a quotation. Best practice would be to source a couple of options before you make your final choice and pay the deposit. See our future blog on ‘what to look for in sourcing an outside caterer’
Guest List – who to ask and how are you going to let them know? Start a list of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances who you would like to be there on the day. A simple postal invitation with RSVP would be a good tool to fix the occasion numbers before the day and keeping your catering numbers accurate.
Decorations – Time to use some creativity! Some examples could be flowers in small vases or jam jars, honeycomb tissue balls, pretty napkins, vintage tablecloths. Check out Pintrest for inspiration.
Cake – Most celebrations involve cake! Bake your own fruit or sponge creation or source a handmade version from a local supplier. If you have a theme you could use this to choose the decoration for your cake. For a christening a two tier or rectangle design usually works well, you could also buy small boxes or party bags to send guests home with a piece.
Outfit – what will your little one wear? A vintage family gown, a commissioned dress from an artisan designer or maybe a pretty party dress or suit. Try Etsy for ideas.
Entertainment for younger children – a must if there are lots of younger siblings, cousins and friends in attendance. Personally we find a separate table and chairs loaded with colouring and crafts does the trick and a mad hatters tea party with some plainer sandwiches, vegetable crudities and cakes works well. Or if you fancy adding a professional entertainer into the mix we can recommend Ed from Ready Steady Magic.
Reception drink, bar and licenses – first point to think about here is the season. If you do decide on a welcome drink and your guests have some in from a chilly ceremony? Warm them up with a mason jar of mulled wine or maybe it’s a warm summer day? Pimms and lemonade will do the trick. You may also decide on having a toast source your own champagne or prosecco and hire glasses from your local wine store and you will make a considerable saving, add a fresh raspberry for a special touch. If there is a fixed bar at the venue they will be able to arrange this for you and will already hold the appropriate alcohol licenses.
Planning – we asked our friends on social media what there top tips for holding a successful christening would be and they all said good planning. We agree. Lots of lists and careful preparation before the day will reap you rewards. Maybe if you are holding a large celebration then engage the services of an event planner. Here are our recommendations: