Today – Christening on a budget, how to save money when planning a baptism or naming day.
Christening on a budget
This won’t be for everyone but some of you, for religious, spiritual, sentimental or traditional reasons (or even because of family pressure), will be holding and hosting one of these special days for your baby. Whole books can be written on the topic and such events can be as simple or as sophisticated as you like. Here are a few ideas to mark your babies birth, in style and on a budget:
How to have a christening on a budget
1. Decide what you want
When you start researching christening ideas on a budget the first thing tothink about is what you want. Christening and naming days are very important and are about welcoming your child to the world. Do it how you and your partner want to, this is your child and your chance to do it your way. Your parents all had their chance to celebrate your birth and now it’s your turn. Do not be bullied! People can have very grand ideas and your parents may have friends whose granddaughter wore silk and had a marquee. Forget it – if you want to be off work, keep it simple and avoid the big money. This is not about money, it’s about fun, and family and friends but mostly it’s about your baby being welcomed your way.
An invite can be a pretty, fonted email with perhaps a current photo attached. It could be a postcard with a little bit of pink and blue glitter writing out your baby’s name with details on the back…or you could ring round your invites and catch up on some gossip too. At least you know if people are definitely coming this way and won’t over cater. The fall back homemade invite has to be a little hand and footprint on white card with babies name and age underneath – these are easy, gorgeous and appreciated.
3. Party Venue
When my children were both christened I hired the church hall next door. It cost just £20 for 3 hours. No one had to walk far- it was next to the church, which had a car park, so no problem there and it was ideal. It was a bit scruffy but we put out the long tables and filled them with food and we put out lots of little tables with plain white cloths and spread some balloons around. Once it was filled with our loved ones it didn’t look scruffy at all and there was plenty of room for the kids to run around too. We were especially lucky that there was a toy cupboard at the venue which a friend had the key too but you could always bring a selection of balls and balloons and a few trains and dolls…these will keep most kids happy for hours. The cheapest venue ever is to hold a party at your home (mine is just way too small to hold our family!) But if you can this is a great option. Other possibilities worth considering are friends or relatives homes. I once asked GG, my children’s great grandma, if she would like to host a family party for my son’s birthday and she was delighted. You can still do all the work, provide refreshments, etc. But it may just give you that bigger venue you need.
If you want a christening on a budget don’t invite your guests to come at a meal time but state on the invite ‘Come for coffee and cake afterwards at…’ then no alcohol or feast is expected. Make such parties 2-3 pm or 10.30 am –12. This is perfectly acceptable and can be lovely as it is minimum fuss for everybody and the focus stays on the children rather than catering and the special meaning of the day is not lost for you in a blur of preparation.
I have catered both my children’s christenings (well I say I, but that is not strictly true.) When my mum, aunty and mother-in-law asked what we wanted as christening gifts on both occasions we asked for help with the party food and between the three of them they provided a buffet to be proud of and on each occasion someone bought a christening cake as a gift. This saved us huge amounts of money. They were fine that they weren’t buying gifts that lasted for ever because I think they really understood how much their help meant to us all and because even though a silver tooth fairy box may last forever very few adults still keep theirs on display!
If you do decide to cater yourself, keep it simple and go for budget buys such as quiches, carrot sticks and some little sandwiches. Nothing huge is needed or expected. I have a friend who did chilli and rice after her son’s winter christening and it went down a treat.
5. Find great outfits for your christening on a budget
A christening or naming ceremony does demand something special and it is so important not to spend a fortune on a totally impractical white frothy thing that will never be worn again. I was actually quoted £75 for a christening dress and that was after 50% had been knocked off. OMG! I did buy something new – a gorgeous, tiny, christening frock from Next for £18, which is so lovely I have wrapped it in tissue to hand down to my children. There is no need to break the bank. Asking around amongst the family can reveal hidden treasures and I ended up being donated two really lovely very old christening gowns (wrong size unfortunately) On my daughters christening I was given a lovely pink shirt for my son to wear and my husband wore a similar one too. My brood looked really smart and it cost very little. I was a proud mummy. I got a new cardi from a supermarket for £6 but it did the job!
Ebay sell tons of Christening gowns and accessories. Remember it’s an outfit for just a few hours and really try not to go OTT.
As always with gifts, if you are asked SPEAK UP. You may need a new outfit for your baby or another rattle or you may want something specific such as a bible or a hairbrush set. Just say. If people don’t ask but you know them really, really well and know they will be buying you could always suggest something but don’t be presuming. Oh, and if you get a money box for your baby do look inside. We got three for Lisi’s christening and only when I neglected to thank the godparents for the cash but just mentioned the money box did they point me in the right direction. Always check inside!
I hope you’ve found these christening on a budget ideas useful.
For more budgeting tips check out my blog Thrifty Home