Planning the celebration that follows any religious ceremony can feel like a big job! After all, religious milestones such as a baptism usually only happen once in a lifetime. Plus, loved ones come from far away to join in the special day and wanting to provide a nice experience for those in attendance is absolutely normal. Here to help you plan a stress-free baptism reception is Jennifer Carver, of Spaceships and Laser Beams. You’ll love Jennifer’s helpful hints for tackling invitations, decorations and refreshments.
Tip #1: Choose a baptism date and time that is void of as many conflicts as possible for those you’d like to attend. Consider important family dates, church, school and community calendars when choosing your date.
Tip #2: Make your guest list. Keep your budget in mind, because although you don’t want people to feel left out, each guest definitely will add to your cost and the effort spent planning. Make sure special people in the guest of honor’s life are on the list.
Tip #3: Decide on a location for your reception. Keep proximity to the church where the ceremony will be in mind. With varying levels of health of your guests to consider, plus some may need to be on the road home sooner rather than later, you will want to choose a location that is not too far away. If your church allows for receptions after your ceremony, you may want to host it right in the same building. Other options are to host the baptism reception at your own home or at the home of a close personal friend or family member. A restaurant provides another lovely alternative.
Tip #4: Order invitations. Now that your date, location and guest list have been solidified you are ready to order and mail invitations. Visit local stationery shops or scour the countless printable designs available online to find one that fits your personal style and the sacredness of the occasion. There are many styles to choose from, including photo invitations that can be saved as a treasured keepsake. With out-of-town guests in mind, be sure to mail invitations approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the event date. This will allow plenty of time for loved ones to plan to attend.
Tip #5: When it comes to decorating, you can choose the “go big or go home” approach or the stress-free option. You can choose to pay homage to your personal religious traditions by using symbols of your faith throughout the baptism or keep party fare to a more generic, traditional style. Keeping the timing of your ceremony and the reception in mind, choose décor that can either be set up ahead of time or that can easily be set in place. White provides a gender neutral color palette and is easy to accomplish. Pops of color can be added via linens, balloons, candles, and serving ware. Add a personal touch by incorporating small frames of the guest, a monogram or personal items.
Tip #6: When planning for food, consider what time of day it will be when the baptism concludes. This will help you determine whether appetizers and desserts are appropriate or whether you need something more substantial. A brunch reception could include juices, hot drinks, fruit, yogurt, coffee cake, donuts, bagels, pastries and single serve cheese and egg dishes. A lunch menu could consist of finger sandwiches, salads and soups. A buffet style refreshment station where menu items are served on trays and platters eliminates the need for serving staff as guests can fill and refill their own plates easily. No matter the time of day, desserts are always fashionable! A display of one signature dessert, such as cake, or a sampling of many small finger desserts, will leave the sweet tooth satisfied.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be planning a stress-free baptism reception that will be meaningful and memorable for the honoree, your guests and yourself!