Communion and christening planning
Do you have a communion or christening coming up? Here are some tips on how to plan your child’s special day.
Communions and christenings in Ireland are wonderful big family events. They are a time for families and friends to get together and celebrate their children.
While christenings are more of an event for the adults as the child is usually a baby, communions have become a huge event in the life of your seven or eight year old.
Here are some tips to help you take the stress out of your communion and christening planning:
If you are planning on hosting a communion party it is essential that you begin planning early.
Firstly, you need to decide where you want to have it. You can have a party in your house, rent a venue or book a table in a restaurant and have a nice meal out instead of planning a big party.
While booking a venue may take some of the overall stress out of planning a communion party, this can be a very expensive option so many families opt to have the party in the house.
Here are the essentials that you need to consider if you are throwing the party in your house.
Decide on the number of guests
This will help you to make decisions for the rest of the party, as you will know how many people you are catering for.
Catering is the easiest option here, although it is not the cheapest. When deciding on a menu, it is best to go for simple popular dishes that everyone will enjoy. Also make sure that there is adequate food for the kids.
Self-catering can be a cheaper alternative. The same rules apply; keep it simple. Although Ireland’s weather may not always permit, a barbecue is a popular and easy option. You can accompany this with salads and breads.
Another good way of keeping costs down and alleviating some of the stress is to ask family members or friends to each bring a dish, such as a salad or dessert.
Let people know well in advance of the date, especially if your friends and family have kids – there will be plenty of communions on around the same time. A good way of saving money here is to just send out an e-card. People can RSVP online and it will save you the hassle of sending out individual invitations.
Communions and christenings are normally full-day events, so it is important to have enough entertainment and activities to keep kids occupied from afternoon until evening.
Probably the most popular form of entertainment is hiring a bouncing castle. The only downside to this is that they can be quite costly and unfortunately dry weather isn’t always guaranteed.
There are a number of other types of entertainment though that will be cheaper and indoors. You could rent a karaoke machine, a piñata, or organise some indoor games. It’s a good idea to have a few suitable DVDs at the ready to put on in the evening when the kids’ energy is at a low.
As this is a day your child will always remember, it is important to capture as much of it as you can. Many families opt to get professional photos taken when their child is in their communion outfit together with the family. However, there is no reason you can’t simply capture the day yourself and get the photos printed afterwards.
Both girls and boys traditionally wear a long white or cream christening gown. It’s lovely if you have a family gown that has been passed down through the generations.
Many large department stores will sell appropriate clothes for christenings. Communion dress/suit You will find a whole range of communion dresses and suits in the larger department stores/specialist stores.
“My first child’s christening was a big affair, she was the first grandchild on both sides. We had a room in a hotel with sandwiches, tea and coffee. I had a cake made and that was served too. For my other two kids, I reserved an area in our local pub and served finger food, tea and coffee with just immediate family, I had cakes made too. The same christening gown was used for my girls and I got an outfit for my son as the gown was far too girly. My granny had made a shawl so that was used too. I got them nice outfits too as the gown was quite heavy. I have a communion next year, but I think we will probably go out for a family meal.” Naomi Casey
“I have had two christenings, the first was in a function room – bit awkward for feeding and changing the baby but it was nice to not have to do anything. I had the second christening at home. I did all the catering myself (hard work) but I really enjoyed the day and so did my guests. The kids had somewhere safe to play and everything was so relaxed.” Gillian Burke
Of course the most important thing of all is to find what’s right for your family and budget. And don’t let the stress of trying to make things perfect ruin your day!