10 steps for organising your child’s christening
If you are looking for your child to grow up as a Christian, then a christening or baptism is the first step on this journey. A christening is an important milestone for your child, but is also a lovely occasion to bring your friends and family together to celebrate your little one! Between the service and the reception to follow, it can seem like there is a lot to organise for a christening so Atelier Rosemood, purveyors of personalised christening stationery, are here to help by breaking down your christening planning into ten simple steps.
Choose your church
The obvious place to start when organising your child’s christening or baptism is the church. If you are regular churchgoers then the choice will be easy, if not, you may want to pop along to some Sunday services to get to know the different churches in your local area.
You will then be able to talk to your local vicar to find out how to organise a christening or baptism at his or her church. Some churches may be more strict than others about your church attendance prior to a christening and your religious observances so bear this in mind when talking to your vicar.
Choosing godparents for your child is a big decision and it is one that should be taken early on in the christening planning process. Knowing who the godparents will be and their availability will be important for organising the service.
We are sure that your vicar will be more than happy to talk through your choice with you but in the meantime, here are some things to bear in mind when choosing godparents from your close family members and friends:
Are they ready to make promises about their faith in church? Traditionally the role of godparents is to guide your child in their journey of faith.
Will they be able to support your child in years to come?
How many godparents do you wish your child to have? Traditionally a child will have three godparents, two of the same sex and one of the opposite sex.
Set the date for the service
Once you have chosen your church and have the vicar’s approval for the christening, you will need to find out whether your child’s christening will be planned as part of a regular church service or whether you can arrange a special service on the date of your choice. Before agreeing the date with your church, check when your family and the godparents are going to be available.
Plan the service with your vicar
Most christenings follow a set structure, (which will vary for babies and older children), and will take around 20-30 minutes if part of a separate service. We are sure that your local vicar will be more than happy to talk you through all the details and if the christening is not being held as part of a main service, you will want to discuss reading and hymn options.
It is always a nice idea to guide your family and friends through the service, especially if they are not familiar with your church’s customs. You can do so by providing them with christening order of service booklets, outlining the main steps of the christening and words to any hymns.
Organise your post-service celebrations
Christening are a special moment to bring your friends and family together so it is customary to host celebrations of some sort after the service. Many parents opt to organise a small reception with a buffet lunch at their home, whilst others way wish to host a formal meal. Church halls are often a great budget-friendly option for christening parties and have the added practicality of being attached to the church with no need to move between venues.
Having an idea of how many people are attending will be important when it comes to planning what food to make and what drinks to buy, so it is useful to include RSVP information on your christening invitations.
If you are organising a reception at your home, then keep things simple and try to cook most things in advance. Everyone will appreciate being able to spend time together so there doesn’t need to be any pressure to supply an impressive homemade banquet. Do not hesitate to pick up some frozen canapés and ready-made quiches from your local supermarket if you are strapped for time before the big day or if cooking just isn’t your thing.
Send out your christening invitations
Start by coming up with a list of people that you would like to be part of your child’s first religious milestone. You should then send out your christening invitations at least 4 weeks before the big day. Be sure to include the date, time and venue of the christening service, with details of any festivities to follow. Choose christening invitations that set the tone for your celebrations and reflect you or your child’s personality.
Atelier Rosemood offer a range of christening invitations which can be personalised online. With everything from traditional religious motifs to fun and colourful designs, you are sure to find christening invitations to suit your style. Photo christening invitations are also a lovely keepsake for your guests. You can even seal your envelopes with Rosemood’s brand new personalised christening stickers to save time when it comes to getting your invitations ready for the post!
Think about christening decorations
No party is complete without decorations, so decide on a colour scheme or theme for your christening festivities. Pastel colours are still a firm favourite for christening decorations, with pink and blue being obvious choices for girls or boys. Your christening decorations do not need to be elaborate and can simply consist of some balloons and matching paper plates and napkins! If you are hosting a formal christening meal then you may also wish to provide place cards and menus as part of your table decorations. Fresh flowers to decorate the church for the service are also a nice touch.
Decide what your child is going to wear
Whilst traditionally both girls and boys wear a long white christening gown, this is not at all compulsory. If your family has a gown that has been passed down through the generations then it is a lovely idea to keep up the tradition but otherwise, you will find plenty of suitable party dresses for girls and trousers and shirts for boys on the high street or online. We are sure that you and your guests will want to dress up for the occasion too!
Organise gifts for the godparents
Seeing as godparents will play such an important role in your child’s life from the christening onwards, it is nice to mark the start of this special relationship with a little gift. This does not have to be anything expensive, but a meaningful personal gift will show your child’s godparents how much you appreciate their support.
You may also wish to treat your guests to christening favours to thank them for celebrating with you. Traditional sugared almonds or other sweet treats are a great budget-friendly option and you can add a special touch by decorating them with christening gift tags or stickers.
Don’t forget to record this important milestone
A christening is a very important milestone for your child so don’t forget to take photos! Whilst you may not be able to take photos during the service, having loved ones together for your child’s christening is the perfect time to take pictures of your little one with all of your friends and family. You can ask any budding photographers in your family to document the day too. Put all of the photos together in a lovely photo book that your little one can treasure for years to come! A christening photo book also makes a great gift for the godparents!
Hopefully these ten steps make planning your child’s christening seem that little bit more manageable. Rosemood will also take the stress out of your christening invitations and stationery, as they go above and beyond to make sure that everything is perfect. Their team will proofread your text and optimise the layout of your invitations as part of their complimentary retouching service! Their friendly customer service team is also on hand to help so do not hesitate to get in touch via phone, email or chat if you have any questions about their personalised christening stationery. You will find plenty more christening advice and christening stationery ideas on their website and blog.