As I was planning my third child's baptism, I came across what has become a familiar problem, the lack of ideas for celebrating this special occasion. You can find plenty of information on planning a wedding, or a birthday party, but not a baptism. This article will give you some ideas, some sites to check out, and some traditional information. I hope it helps!
The first step to planning an amazing baptism celebration is to, obviously, have a baby. I won't go into the how to' s on that, there your on your own!
The second step is to reserve the church and the reception site. It is very important to do that AS SOON AS you choose a date. Great sites book up quickly. If you are not a participating member of the Catholic community, or are an interfaith family, consider using the site rentapriest.com to find an ordained Catholic priest to preside over your event. You can then decide to do the baptism in your home, at the beach or the priest may even have a church available to them. It is always nice to do a baptism on a Saturday or Sunday morning followed by a brunch, this not only keeps costs down from a dinner hour but also provides a time Baby is likely to be awake and happy. Also now would be the time to consider a photographer. Professional pictures are a lovely keepsake and if you look online (sites like craigslist) you can find student or newly starting photographers for a reasonable price, but book early!!
The third step is to select the baby's godparents. Tradition says these should not be members of baby's immediate family Although it is certainly fine to ask your siblings or cousins or even parents to take this role, the purpose of godparents is to expand the baby's family circle and to include people with like beliefs to your own. Many people think of Godparents as the people who will raise your child in your absence, this is usually not the case. Aunts and Uncles already have a special role in your child's life, consider asking a close friend, they will be honored.
The next step is to find the baby's baptism attire. Tradition says the Godmother is supposed to buy the outfit and the Godfather is supposed to buy the cake. I personally have always preferred to buy my children's baptism attire. Choose something special that can be passed on. There are many people on Ebay that make heirloom quality outfits custom made for your baby at a reasonable price.
Choose invitations. Again Ebay is a great site. Consider something with your child's picture. This encourages people to save those precious invitations for years to come versus throwing them out. The invitations should go out at lease 3-4 weeks before the baptism. This allows even out of town family to make arrangements to be there for the event.
Now is the time to consider the ceremony details. Here are some things you may want to consider purchasing, and some special touches that will make your ceremony extra special. -Personalized candle. You can order one from personalizationmall.com or enlightenedwords.com - A white cloth, if you have time have a towel or burp cloth embroidered with baby's initials - Something to take some of the holy water home in. I had to use a Zephyrhills bottle with my oldest son because I forgot! - Consider adding a personalized song. soulkeepermusic.com makes beautiful CD's personalized with your child's name. There won't a be a dry eye in the room! And it's a lovely keepsake. -Programs. I like to include Baby's name, the meaning, the date, Parents, Godparents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. I also wrote a special letter to each of my children and printed it one the back. A special wish or prayer for their life. For a summer baptism, consider programs fans, I can tell you how to make them in my other EHow article, check it out! They make great favors as well.
On to the party! Depending on the time of day, and your budget there are many menu options available. If it's a mid morning affair bagels, muffins, pastries and coffee is a nice fairly inexpensive option. If it's later in the afternoon, consider sandwich meats and various rolls. Fruit salad or a fruit tray is always a popular choice. Various salads complement sandwiches as well. Consider green salad, potato salad, or macaroni salad. Although it's an easy option really weigh the pros and cons of popular choices like baked ziti. Although it is easy to make in a big batch, if you don't have enough seating space it can be messy, and people tend to wear light colors to baptisms. Of course, the main attention will be on the cake. Cupcakes are also a popular choice as of late, and can be made in yummy flavors. They can be displayed on a beautiful cupcake tower so they are almost a decoration in themselves!
Decide on your decorations. Choose a color scheme or a theme to work from. My oldest son we did the standard baptism ready made set, my second son I got a bit more creative and did God's little Lamb. I even had a lamb shaped cake made. For my daughter I did angels, and pink and brown. I had mini cupcake centerpieces made to complement the theme. Balloons always make nice centerpiece additions. Consider making a photo book through shutterfly.com to have guests sign like a sign in book. You get to keep a beautiful photo album with all the well wishes and your guests can look through gorgeous photos of your precious baby!
Think about a celebration set for the baby. You don't want that heirloom outfit ruined by someone holding baby with mustard hands! Think about what baby is most comfortable in as well. there are onesies with baptism designs. I like customizedglamgirl.com for cute sets that are comfortable. I also love ebay! I saw beautiful tutu and onesie sets on ebay that are still perfect for pictures!
For the party also consider favors. There are many to be found on the web, some I like are peekaboopumpkin.com (they also offer really cute placemats that can make your tables look extra special!) cool-party-favors.com and of course Ebay, just search under personalized baptism favors. I ordered personalized chocolate bar wrappers in my colors with my daughters picture on them. I then set the tables, chocolate bar, pink rose, chocolate bar, pink rose. The tables were beautiful!
Lastly make sure you collect samples of everything to put in a pretty box to save for baby. They will bring wonderful memories to look through for years to come!