How do I plan a Christening?
A Christening is not only the start of a journey of faith for your child, it is also a wonderful opportunity to bring together family and friends. For many couples this is the first formal family celebration since their wedding day.
Our party designer, Janet Clarke has put together a guide on planning a Christening to help you and your family create a day to remember and cherish. Tasks we can help with are in bold italics.
4 – 6 months before
Contact the Church and book an appointment with the Vicar, you may wish to use your local church or a church where you have strong family links. You can use this website to gain the contact details you will need http://www.achurchnearyou.com/
Think about who you would like as Godparents. Usually people choose three Godparents, two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex, although you are welcome to pick more. Keep in mind Godparents themselves do need to be baptised. If you are considering a Godparent who is younger than 18, you will need to check this with your Vicar first.
Talk to the Godparents and key family members about their availability in the coming months.
Meet with your Vicar. At this meeting, you will need to discuss:
A date and time for the Christening.
The details of your chosen Godparents.
Possible hymns, prayers, and readings. This is a good opportunity to personalise the service, perhaps selecting a hymn you had at your wedding, and a chance to include other close friends and family by asking one of them to do a reading.
Confirm the capacity of the church in preparation for your guest list.
(You will find that the Christening service is free, there may be an additional charge for an organist and choir)
Send save the date messages to your guests.
Think about a venue for the reception. We can do a venue search for you and reserve the venue.
Order Invitations and Orders of Service.
If you have guests travelling a long distance let us find suitable accommodation and get us to block book – we can probably negotiate a good rate.
6-8 Weeks before
Discuss your reception menu with us, if you have children attending, you may wish to have a separate menu for them.
Select a florist and discuss and order your flowers for the church and reception venue.
Book a photographer and or videographer.
Discuss your entertainment requirements. If you have children coming, you may wish to consider a specific children’s entertainer.
Order the cake.
Quick Tip! You may wish to keep the top tier of your wedding cake for your first child’s christening. The best way to store a fruit cake is to wrap it in two layers of grease proof paper and one layer of tin foil and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, ask your cake maker to remove the icing, check the cake is still good and re-ice for the Christening.
Send out invitations – Do not forget to invite the Vicar to the reception!
Ask a Godparent to prepare a speech for the reception.
Finalise your menu with us. Keeping in mind the timings of the celebration, ask us about the exciting range of soft drink options we can offer to your guests.
Decide on the baby’s Christening gown or clothing, as well as outfits for you and your family. You may wish to ask your family if there is a gown or shawl that has been traditionally handed down through the generations.
2 – 4 Weeks before
Confirm your final numbers for catering.
If required, finalise the seating plan and let us print and mount it for you.
Contact your church to re-confirm the final details.
Give the Godparents contact details for the church and your suppliers.
Order a guest book or personalised memento for your guests to sign on the day.
We will finalise all timings and requirements with the suppliers and venue, if required we will carry out a final venue meeting with everyone involved. We will also speak with all suppliers to make sure that final payments are made in a timely fashion.
Take some time out to treat yourself to some beauty treatments before the big day.
On the day
Allow your Godparents to take your child/children to give you time to get ready.
Set up the venue and monitor suppliers.
Arrive at the church in plenty of time to welcome your friends and family.
Leave everything else to us, enjoy your day and don’t worry about anything – that’s why we are here.
We hope you’ll find this Christening checklist useful. Print it and use as a reference to help guide you through those busy few months.
As a result of seeing everything you need to do, perhaps you’d like the help of a Christening planner and caterer, we would love to chat with you about your plans very soon.
Call us on 020 7326 3800 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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