After a Christening ceremony, it’s traditional to have an informal party for friends and family to socialise and have refreshments. You no-doubt have a guest list already, but be sure to invite the priest and his or her partner along to join the celebrations as well.
Beyond that, what should such a party entail? Here are seven ideas to make it a memorable occasion for the right reasons.
Take Care When Choosing a Venue
This isn’t like other parties; you’ll be at church first, so make it somewhere close by. Preferably somewhere near enough for the guests to comfortably walk from the service, and don’t forget many will be in high heels!
Think About the Catering
Chances are this won’t be an evening party so, whilst it’s good to serve alcohol, it’s important to have plenty of soft drinks as well as tea and coffee. The time of day is an important consideration when planning the menu too. As you’ll be in church for an hour or so beforehand and your guests will want to eat promptly, cooking up a complex spread by yourself will be quite an awkward task. If possible, think about using hired-in caterers, or pre-prepare a cold buffet and have it ready in the fridge with the tables laid out.
The Christening Cake
A cake is an important part of a Christening party. Traditionally this would be the top tier of the parents’ wedding cake, though this is less common these days. The cake should be iced in white, and bear the name of the baby.
Think of the Children
Be sure to have activities planned for the children. Due to the likely age of guests it’ll be probable that there’ll be lots of young children present, so it’s important to have entertainment and distractions laid on, allowing the parents to socialise and have a drink or two.
Plant a Tree
This is a wonderful way to do something lasting to celebrate a child’s birth. There is some tradition around this practice, with generally an oak or birch favoured for boys, and a lime or cherry tree for girls, but this can of course be varied. Whatever the species, it’ll provide a lasting token, and your child will be able to watch it grow. However this practice does depend on your location and the time of year.
Hand out Favours
These are small, personalised gifts tailored individually for each guest to commemorate the event. A small box of sweets or a posy of flowers is traditional; they should be white, or pale in colour to symbolise purity.
Release a White Dove
This is another traditional symbolic ritual that can make for a very memorable event. In Christianity the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit; they’re also universal symbols of peace and prosperity. If the child is a few years old it can be nice for them to release the bird themselves, otherwise it’s for the parents or Godparents to do.
For inspiration on your child’s christening outfit, visit the Little Doves website or contact us today.