Baptism Planning Guide Part 3: Creating the Perfect Reception

Have you recently celebrated your baby's baptism? If so, you know that the reception is an essential part of making this special event memorable. It's a time to gather with your loved ones and continue...

Have you recently celebrated your baby's baptism? If so, you know that the reception is an essential part of making this special event memorable. It's a time to gather with your loved ones and continue the celebration after the church ceremony. As one mother, Emily, shared, "It was so wonderful to celebrate with family afterwards. It makes a very special life event last more than just the hour at church."

While planning a baptism reception may seem overwhelming at first, don't worry! We're here to help simplify the process and make it enjoyable for you. In this guide, we'll break down the steps involved in planning the perfect christening party.

Step 1: Decide on the Size and Formality of the Event

The first thing to consider is the size and formality of your reception. You have the freedom to choose between a grand affair with hundreds of guests or a cozy gathering with just close family and friends. There is no right or wrong way to do it! Take into account your budget, the time of day, the weather, and the number of people you wish to invite. Here's some advice from other parents who have been through the process:

"You don't have to go all out to make it special; it can be just a small group of family and friends." - Hayden

"We had a small gathering at home, mainly parents, godparents, and siblings. We served traditional Mexican food." - A mommy from California

"Baptism was a medium affair... immediate family and some extended family. We went to a restaurant for a luncheon afterwards where guests could choose between 4 or so entrees." - Sarah

Step 2: Choose a Location

Next, decide on the location for your reception. You have three general choices: the church, your home, or a local restaurant/event facility. If your church has a hall available for rent, it can be a convenient and cost-effective option. Check with your church regarding any donation or rental fees and what amenities they provide.

If hosting the reception at your home or a family member's is more feasible, you'll have greater control over the schedule and atmosphere. Depending on the season, you may even consider an outdoor gathering, ranging from a casual picnic to a catered tent event. Diana suggests, "Choosing the right people to be a part of the ceremony is essential. I couldn't have done it without my sister-in-law!"

For those who prefer a hassle-free experience, local restaurants or event facilities can be a great choice. You won't have to worry about cleaning up or accommodating guests for extended periods.

Step 3: Plan a Menu

Food is crucial in creating a memorable reception. If your family enjoys cooking, consider asking close relatives or friends to prepare a dish for the gathering. You can also opt to have the main entrée catered and ask guests to bring side dishes. To help with your food planning, here are some handy charts on how much food to order. Here's what a few of our mamas had to say:

"We had a decent size party afterwards, around 40 people, and I had it catered with simple options. We ordered a cake and had some finger foods like veggies, cookies, and fruit." - Dawn

"We had brunch at our house for family and a couple of friends who are practically family. Muffins, eggs, fruit, french toast, bacon, coffee, and juice." - Emily

"We are just planning on maybe 30 people and doing a cookout with burgers and brats, salads, and a cake." - Toni from Wisconsin

Step 4: Pick a Theme and Decoration Colors

Choosing a theme or color scheme for your reception can make the planning process much simpler. Start by browsing ideas and then decide on one theme and colors that you'll stick to throughout the event. While traditional baptism parties are typically in all white, you can add pops of color or even select a unique theme. Recent popular trends include sweet lamb, hot air balloons, and Peter Rabbit.

Step 5: Choose and Mail Invitations

Sending out invitations is an important step in ensuring your guests can save the date for your reception. Aim to send the invitations at least a month before the event. You can find various invitation options online, and if you've chosen a theme or colors, it should be easier to narrow down your choices. Additionally, consider adding a photo of your baby to add a personal touch to the invite.

Step 6: Order a Cake

A baptism cake is a customary element of the reception. It's common to have a cross design with a saying like "God Bless [child's name]." Cupcake cakes, where cupcakes are arranged in the shape of a cross, are also gaining popularity. This option eliminates the hassle of cutting a messy cake. Make sure to place your cake order a few weeks in advance, and don't forget to have a knife and server on hand for the cake cutting ceremony.

Step 7: Plan for Additional Decor

To enhance the ambiance of the reception, consider whether you'd like to have centerpieces or other decor elements. Banners, photo spots, and personalized touches are great ways to make your event more memorable. Moreover, don't forget to allocate a basket or box for the cards your child receives, and consider using items like rosaries or crosses to decorate the cake table.

Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy this special moment with your loved ones. If you need a casual outfit for the reception, check out Cuddle Sleep Dream's adorable baptism outfits.

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