Christening Protocol & Tobias’ Day

IMG_0809The beauty of arranging a christening for a child is that there is no pressure to hold the event before a certain time or age. Hence christenings tend to be more relaxed affairs, certainly compared to a wedding, the planning stages are much the sam. However I did feel like I was missing something throughout the planning stages, as there isn’t as many different categories needed! In my opinion, christenings are an important event in a child’s life and of course to the parents and extended family.  So there are a number of steps needed to ensure the event runs smoothly and all the correct protocols are covered.

Godparents – these should be people you know and trust, who are prepared to take on the responsibilities the role entails, and are likely to be a central part of your child’s life in the long term. Gavin and I were honoured that my brother and two of our close friends agreed to be the god parents.

Date and church location – we had wanted to hold the christening In May, however due to a busy month for all our family we decided on Sunday the 18th June 2017. Which was celebrated across the U.K. by most dads as Father’s Day, but it was a big day for our little family and will always be remembered as Tobias’ christening day.

Tobias was christened in our local church. The same church where Gavin and I got married and where Gavin was christened (all those years ago)! Sunday was a similar day to those other special occasions, surrounded by so many family members and close friends we love and whom love Tobias too. The weather was glorious (too glorious for me – reaching temperatures of 26oC)! It was a truly beautiful day and the culmination of much planning I undertook with the vicar and church, cupcake maker, caterers and of course the venue for the party (our local village hall).

The church ceremony was part of the service, as well as our fifty guests there was the church congregation there too. As it was Father’s Day the vicar did a speech to include this subject. Then at the end he got a huge parachute out and put forty one (Tobias’ date of birth plus the date of his christening) balls in the middle for the adults to throw off.  The children then could pick them all up – this was to symbolise the church working together like a team and welcoming a new person to the group. After that we went to the font where Tobias wasn’t phased by the water put over his forehead and loved the fact that he was allowed to paddle in the font afterwards.

Guest list – Think about your budget and how much space there is, both in the church and the party venue. We kept it small and only invited close family and friends – this still added up to 50 people and the hall looked full.

Party Venue – Function rooms and event venues make a great party location for a christening. After a few photographs outside the church we then went to our local village hall to meet with all our guests. Indulge Deli Bar was waiting to greet us and laid out the food for our afternoon tea. Gavin did a little speech to thank everyone for joining us and to tell everyone to help themselves to the sheep cupcakes that were on the top table. We had also given everyone a small paper heart to sign or write a small note so that we could make a picture from them later. There are few traditions attached to christenings after the ceremony itself, but you will need to consider facilities for entertainment, how any children will be occupied and whether the venue has good parking facilities. I imagine if we have any children in the future we will have to take this into consideration, I’m thinking something like a bouncy castle.

Invites – Make sure you send out your invites well in advance and include a simple RSVP system so that you know how many people will be coming. This will help with catering plans.

Decorations – My mother and I had plenty of get togethers to organise the decorations and seating arrangements for the special day. Mum and I love arranging events that’s for sure! We’re already wondering what the next will be – the first birthday party most probably! Gavin’s mother created the most breathtakingly beautiful baby blue floral arrangements for the church. Our theme was kept simple with the cloud navy blue and sheep (he’s a farmers son after all)! Because we knew the afternoon tea was going to be served on platters we wanted space on the tables and decided to keep the decorations to a minimum.

Outfit – This is an important part of the day, but again, is not bound by strict tradition. Don’t buy anything too far in advance as there is every chance a growing baby might not fit in it on the big day. I fell into this trap and ended up buying three outfits. The first he grew out of within weeks of the event, the second was for cold weather.  So we had to go to Marks and Spencer’s the week before the actual event to pick up something for the hot weather we were having. Essentially it is up to you to decide how formal the outfit should be, some people like to have their baby wearing a gown to the church, unfortunately the family one we could have had was too small for Tobias.

I wanted to share some of the most treasured moments from the day with you and also take this opportunity to thank my wonderful family for all they did to help us make it a wonderful day.

Much love
Rebecca

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