We have been privileged a number of times as Chilenje Events and Hire to provide décor services for Baby Christening and Baptism services.
Christening is a type of baptism, traditional in most old churches which involves baptizing babies and young children following an ordered ceremony and frequently, the child is christened with a new, Christian name, in a gathering of family and friends. Children obtain godparents to help them grow in their faith and life and are welcomed into the Church.
The ceremony is often conducted in a church but may be held in your home in instances. After the service, parents often host a small reception at home to celebrate the occasion and a light meal is provided for their guests. Here are a few planning and décor tips to help you as you plan for your child’s christening.
- Select and contact godparents
This is a very important part of planning for a christening. While the number of godparents depends on your religion, the importance of the task remains the same.
2. Schedule and coordinate with your church
Second, and very importantly, you need to set up the ceremony with your church. This is highly dependent on your church. It’s best to have a few dates in mind before you contact the church, in case your preferred date is not available.
3. Choose a christening reception venue
After you have handled the religious aspects of the planning, now you can start christening party planning. After the church ceremony, many people choose to have a party or reception to thank their guests and church family for their support and celebrate one of the first big milestones for the baby. Some churches have event spaces that you can use. If your church does not have this facility, you may want to find a nearby event venue that people can easily get to from the church, whether it’s your home or rented event space.
4. Plan the guest list and invitations
Guest lists for baby christenings are often much more selective than events like birthday parties or weddings. The important people to consider here include godparents, grandparents, family and close friends. Other things to consider include the number of people your church can accommodate and the budget and scope of your christening party.
5. Planning the reception
Once you’ve got the guest list down, you can also start to plan the christening reception. It helps to start with a theme or color scheme. This helps to set the decorations and the menu.
6. Reception décor
Unless you wish it to be so, the reception does not need to be a big ceremony. If you wish to have some décor in the church, you need to consult the clergy in your church and they will advise on the do’s and don’ts. Normally, the church will take care of its own decorations. Below is are a few examples of the décor we have been able to do in a church;
Some white organza tie backs along the church benches…
Some balloons at the church entrance…
For the reception, if you have hired décor, usually, there will be a backdrop with a message for the occasion. Here are a few that we have done.
The choices are limitless but the message is usually geared towards blessing.
As for the rest of the decorations for a christening or baptism gathering, they should inspire a feeling of softness and elegance. Pastel colours and layers of white are best for this. A common colour scheme that we have worked with is silver and white.
You may also go for the pinks and blues if you wish. For a boy, you may consider white with soft blues and greens, silver or gray, blue with tan or light green and tan. While white with pinks and orange, yellow, purple or gray would do quite nicely for a girl.
Centerpieces for tables don’t have to be complicated when you’re keeping simplicity and elegance in mind. Fresh flowers and other small décor pieces that you like can be combined to create a nice centre piece.
Tips for planning your baby christening
- Being such a religious event, there are a lot of symbols that can be included in the décor. If you are hiring someone to decorate the reception for you, do discuss with them what you would like included. Even better, you can provide these small items and keep them after the function. Some of the most common symbols used for décor at a christening receptions include crosses, angels, Bibles, doves, Baby Shoes, Praying Hands etc.
- Don’t forget pictures to celebrate the day with your family. If you hire a professional photographer, make sure that it is someone who has experience shooting christenings or babies. Additionally, do discuss with the church on their policy on photography during the ceremony so that you and your photographer know what to expect. Also be clear with your guests about the use of phone cameras during the service as this can be a distraction.
- Keep the numbers small. The ceremony is for close family and friends. No need to extend an invitation to colleagues, workmates etc.
- Do communicate the dress code to your guests if you have one in mind. Otherwise, the dress code for a christening is typically formal or semiformal attire. Women may wear dresses or skirts with blouses, and men may wear slacks and formal shirts (tie optional). It is usually best to avoid brightly colored clothing or anything too revealing or too short.
- Do keep time for the church ceremony.
- Finger foods are quite adequate for such a function.
- For the guests, unless you really want to, you do not need to bring a present for the baby.
Please add some more tips for parents planning a christening for their babies in the comments section.