When planning a christening or naming ceremony, you want to make sure it is the most perfect day for you little one. So when the idea for christening Ted came about, I started to have a look around on the internet for inspiration to make sure I could make the day special for all those who love and care for him. It soon became very apparent that people go all out for these things. I have seen so many examples where people must of spent a fortune and, for me, that is not what it is all about. I immediately told myself that Ted’s christening would be nothing like that; In fact it was going to be quite the opposite. I wanted a really simplistic day where we can all get together to celebrate Ted, not break the bank, and just have a really good time! It doesn’t have to be OTT as, lets be honest, your baby isn’t going to remember it are they? So I have put together a few tips on how to put together a christening that won’t break the bank and will allow you to enjoy the day not having to worry about the ice sculpture melting or having to remortgage the house to pay for it all!
First things first…work out how many people you are roughly looking to invite. Without this piece of information you can’t look into churches or party venues as they will depend on how many people you will have there. Joe has the biggest family so this was really hard for us. If we were going to invite a good proportion of his family we would of had only a handful of choices for a party venue and big venues book up so quickly. In the end, we had to be really tight with numbers as we realised we only wanted an intimate occasion that didn’t cost the world.
Next it’s on to choosing the venues. Choosing a church, I felt, is the easy part as we often have connections to a certain church. I asked for a handful of dates that the church was available and made sure all the prospective Godparents could make one of them before confirming. Once all of that was agreed and in place, we then looked at securing a party venue. With the smaller number it was far easier to find a venue especially since the time of year we picked does meant there were less big functions on. However, if you are looking for a big headcount, don’t finalise anything with the church until you have found out what dates the venue is available on as that will probably dictate more so than the church.We settled on a local farm shop that had an amazing open fire and did the most fabulous roasts. I wanted to capture that feel of a family Sunday meal, where it is simple yet cosy and lovely to be with the ones you love. Have a good look around and see what is in your local area because you might come across something you wouldn’t normally consider.
After you have your head count and your venues set it is on to the fun part! This is the time where you can start to think of a theme if you want one, plan decorations, order the cake, get your invites sorted and plan your outfits!
Now we have a Christmas theme to our christening. I’m not talking Santa’s and Reindeer, I’m talking red, green and white colour ways, ditsy tree prints and a carol or two in the church. I designed the invites myself based around this idea. The invites are made to look like presents wrapped in brown paper with gingham bows and finished with a gift tag addressed the the recipient. They cost hardly anything to make; just the cost of some card, bakers twine, gift tags gingham wash tape and a bit of printers ink. In total it came to around £20. To have bought them off the high street I would of been at towards double that and I would of missed out on the great fun I had making them up.
When asking the Godparents if they would like to be one and if they when they were free, I didn’t just want to ask them straight out…I wanted a simple yet different way of asking. I came across Creighton Chocolate at the Berylune craft event I blogged way back in May where they were making up these fab personalised chocolates bars. They were something I hadn’t come across before, yet such a simple idea and I knew I wanted to get one of these for each of the Godparents. I simply attached a piece of brown card with demo printed labels spelling out ‘would you be my Godmother/godfather?’. Ted was able to hand these over to each of them (with a little help from us obviously) and they loved them!
In terms of decorations…you can go as big or a simple as you like. It completely depends on the person you are, your budget or what the venue can take. Our venue can’t allow for too much decoration so we are limited in what we can do. We have really simply opted for giant confetti balloons, a small balloon Ted banner to go across the front of the cake table, and Christmas crackers in everyone’s place. The balloons are the same ones I had a my baby shower so though it would be a nice nod back to that and I just love confetti balloons so they were a must.
It is nice to have a little something for your guests as a thank you for being a part of your little one’s special day but they really don’t have to break the bank. We decided on Christmas crackers and selfie props. I know my guests love taking photos so selfie props are brilliant fun and make for great memories. Having something which makes people take photos is a must in my book as the more photos to remember the special day, the better. I also made sure I put a little activity in the place of any children. No matter what, it is a long day for a child, so to avoid any tantrums put out sticker books, colouring sheets or craft sets for the smallest guests to keep them happy.
The most important thing though, is to enjoy yourself. Keep it simple and lighthearted so you can enjoy the day just as much as your guests. The last thing you want is to be rushing around or having to stick to a strict time schedule…we all know that never works with a child!