An occasion as important and significant as your child’s baptism deserves a joy-filled celebration, and successful party planning will make your day memorable for everyone. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way…
What type of party?
Firstly, when choosing a venue, a location close to the church where the ceremony is being held is ideal, though not required. This could be a village hall, function room, hotel, or your own home, dependant on numbers set to attend. Determine the guest list early on in the planning process, as this will guide you when choosing where the party should be and also help you with deciding on the food for the day. Remember, large events need large venues, and many of these are booked up quickly. Also, the nature of the party usually depends on the time of day. For example, a buffet or family lunch may be appropriate after a morning service or afternoon tea to follow an afternoon christening.
Setting the stage
Once you’ve decided on a venue carefully consider how you’ll set the stage for the day. Most parents serve a christening cake; this is usually iced in white and bears the child’s name and date of birth. Simple white is usually a traditional colour choice for décor such as table linen, accessories and flowers, often teamed with pastels or neutrals (powder blue and baby pink being the obvious choices). Fresh and crisp (and also the colour of the christening gown), white represents purity and simple yet stunning floral centrepieces on each table or dotted around the venue will symbolise new life. However, don’t be afraid to use any accent colour you decide upon to great effect (you can send invitations featuring this colour to guests, use in balloon bouquets, as well as featuring it heavily in your table and chair decorations). Whether the venue is at home or away, make sure that your table settings are immaculate. Check that all napkins and tablecloths have been carefully pressed with a steam iron and any favours and/or trinkets are in the right places. It’s best to follow the old adage ‘less is more’, so don’t overload a room with decorations. Choose a few subtle but beautiful touches and the area will remain light, airy and welcoming for your guests. Remember also that many of those attending will arrive bearing gifts, so have a secure area arranged where they can be left.
Consider the little people
If lots of children are going to attend it’s sensible to provide some sort of entertainment or child-friendly separate area in your chosen venue to occupy them. Set up an area with games, books and puzzles for them to enjoy while the parents are mingling and chatting. If you’re at a hired venue, make sure you speak to the coordinator ahead of the event about what facilities will be available.
Capture the moment
Lastly, wherever your party is held, make sure you organise someone, either a willing guest or a professional, to take photos during the celebrations. Maybe there’s a particular backdrop at your venue where you’d like some photos taken? Discuss this with your photographer beforehand and then if you’re side-tracked during the day’s events they’ll make sure that this happens. Never forget that cherished memories will be made on this day for you, your close friends and family, so make the most of the fact that you’re all together in one place and pose for a few group shots. A few years down the line when junior is off to uni you’ll be very glad you did!
Image of baby’s head from Flickr
Image of girl from Flickr
Image of cupcakes from Flickr