How to organise a Christening

Samantha PillingFood and Drink

Christening events can be as simple or complex as you’d like them to be. For many, the church service and picking the right godparents, are the only essentials they need to sort out. For others, they’d rather totally celebrate the occasion, holding a reception and having professional photographs etc. taken.
Regardless of the type of Christening, you’re looking to hold, here’s an overview of how best to organise it.

Choose the godparents

Traditionally, godparents were chosen because of their strong Christian beliefs and they’d play a key role in helping raise your child in the Christian faith. Nowadays, the role tends to be handed to friends and/or family members. There’s still an onus on them being able to nurture your child, as they grow up and provide them with help and support throughout their life. It is traditional to select three godparents – two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex.

Decide where you want your baby christened

Decide if you want the christening held at your local parish or at another church, such as where you got married or where you were christened.

Speak to the vicar of that parish

You can then speak to the vicar and find out if they’re happy to have your baby christened there. Some will ask basic questions, such as the name of the godparents, whilst others will want to know whether you and the godparents were baptised and the faith of everyone involved. The service may be held especially for you, or as part of the usual Sunday service – again, this varies, so you’ll need to get this clarified. You may also be expected to turn up a few times for Sunday service, so bear this in mind!

ChristeningBook the christening

If you’re happy with the church you’ve selected and the vicar is happy to christen your baby, get the date confirmed and booked in.

Decide on the reception venue (if needed)

For some, it is traditional to hold a christening reception. This is either an afternoon tea or a sit-down meal and, it’s a good idea, if your guests are travelling any distance – the choice is down to you and your budget.

Get the venue and/or caterers booked (if needed)

If you’re looking to hold this at a venue other than your home and/or are looking to have it catered, you’ll need to decide on the venue and the caterers, and get them booked.

Send out invites

If the service is being held especially for you, you’ll want to remind everyone to turn up at least 10 minutes before the designated start time. The whole service will take about 30 minutes. If you’re looking to hold an after christening get-together, ask guests to RSVP.

Decide on a photographer (if needed)

Some parents prefer to go to the expense of hiring a professional photographer, but this isn’t essential. If you’d like to go down this route, you need to decide on the photographer and get them booked in too.

Decide on the christening cake (if needed)

Again, this is something that isn’t essential but does add a nice touch, especially if you’re having a christening reception. If you’re opting to have a cake made, make sure you leave yourself enough time to get it both ordered, made and delivered.

Order a christening gown

The christening gown is still an essential part of the christening service. It’s usually white or cream and, both boys and girls wear the gown. Depending on your choice of gown, you need to give yourself time to get this sorted – as you may need to track down the family heirloom, source and order a new (or vintage) one, or decide to have one made from your own wedding dress!

Finally, it’s worth remembering to take a change of clothes for your baby, just in case there are any accidents.

Once everything has been arranged, you can finally sit back and look forward to a beautiful christening!

For more information on hiring the Grim’s Dyke as your Christening Venue, please visit our Private Parties Page.

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