We are having Lilian christened in a couple of weeks time so I thought I’d share a little of the planning process with you. Although we’re not overly religious the church is the backbone of our village and we appreciate the values and community it provides. Having Lily christened also feels like a lovely way of tying our family together because not only did our vicar marry us six years ago, she also led Aneurin’s funeral. She was an incredible support to us after he died; we found a lot of comfort in her guidance and it feels right for her to welcome Lily into the church community.
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It’s been a bit of a strange thing for me planning her christening because I’m very conscious of the fact that the only thing I will have ever planned for our first born is his funeral. If I’m honest I think my struggling with my emotions surrounding that is the reason I’ve been dragging my feet a little bit. Although I’ve managed to get everything together in time I did leave a lot to the last minute. I flit between feeling sad that I never had the chance to do this for Aneurin and feeling excited that I’m able to do this for Lily, not to mention the guilt that comes with both of those emotions. In the last week or so though something has shifted a bit, I’m able to feel more of the excitement and actually, feels lovely to plan a day in celebration of our daughter.
A christening, baptism or naming ceremony can be whatever you want it to be. It can be as simple as the service and nothing else or it can be a huge celebration if you wish. We’re going for somewhere in between. Neither mine nor Mr D’s family live locally therefore don’t get to see each other very often so we thought it would be a lovely opportunity to get together after the service, have some food and raise a glass to celebrate our little lioness.
Whatever you choose to do there are a few things you can do to make the process a little easier. Here are five things I’ve learnt during planning.
1. If you’re offering food afterwards, shop around. We are hiring the church hall so have to provide food ourselves. For a while I couldn’t decide between wanting to do it all myself (because despite the fact I barely have time to wee I’d definitely be able to do that?!), hiring caterers and ordering from somewhere like M&S. After comparing prices I found that the M&S option ended up being much cheaper per person which surprised me. I’ll probably manage to cobble together a few bits myself to save some more pennies and pad it out a bit. Cheese and pineapple hedgehog, anyone?!
2. Sort out mum and dads’ outfits well in advance. This is advice I should have taken myself because we’re two weeks away and I still have no idea what I’m wearing. Fortunately for the dads options are a bit more limited; a formal outfit or a more casual choice. Mr D has gone with the latter and chosen a pair of chinos, a fancy shirt and his favourite brogues. As much as I hate to admit it he’s so good at knowing what looks good together, more so than I do! However, I have ordered a couple of bits for me that I’m hoping I can cobble a breastfeeding friendly outfit from. If not I’ll be going in my pyjamas!
3. Leave baby’s outfit until the last minute. This might sound like a silly thing to do but when babies grow as quickly as they do if you buy something in advance it may not end up fitting them at the time. At 8 months Lily has only just gone into 6-9 month clothes after a quick, unexpected growth spurt so I could potentially have bought a beautiful outfit in 3-6 months and it never been used. Also, think about how practical your baby’s outfit is. I had always envisioned Lily in a beautiful long gown but it’s just not realistic when she is constantly on the move. She’d get frustrated and it’d get filthy so instead we’re opting for something a little more understated.
4. Utilise godparents! Get them practising their supportive roles and delegate jobs to them. I’ve roped one of Lily’s godmothers into helping with the food (growing up in a pub means she’s a dab hand at a buffet!) and I’m going to get them to help me set up the hall on the day. If any of your godparents have specific skills that might be of use like cake making, graphic design for the invitations or photography, use them and (hopefully!) it will save a bit too.
5. A few simple decorations can go a long way.
Church halls are usually full of brightly coloured posters and children’s artwork which although lovely, doesn’t look very elegant. Rather than trying to decorate the entire church hall I’m going to focus on the cake display to add a little personal touch. I decided to go with pastel colours to match the invitations so I’ve ordered a few confetti balloons
, table confetti
(which I’ll chuck on all the tables), a tassle garland from one of my favourite IG shops, The Indigo Zebra
and I’ve made a few tissue paper pom poms to hang. All in all it’s cost me less than £30 but hopefully it’ll look bloody lovely!
Have you or are you planning on having a christening or naming ceremony for your little one? Share any tips in the comments!
Mrs D x