A child’s dedication or baptism is a significant life event worth celebrating. Family and friends often gather to witness the service so it’s natural that Mom and Dad will want to host a get together with a baptism reception party. After determining who will be invited, decide on the party venue, arrange for decorations, a food buffet or dessert table, and thank-you favors for a special way to celebrate a day worth remembering.
Often there is some type of multi-purpose area where the dedication or baptism service will be held. That nearby location is desirable for the guests’ convenience, but it will mean you can’t run into your home kitchen if you’ve forgotten something. Detailed pre-planning is a must! Serving as your own event planner and catering service is certainly doable and more budget friendly. Give yourself about a month before the service to settle on details. Enlist the efforts of a few dedicated helpers and stress will be (nearly!) eliminated on the day of the event.
As large multi-purpose rooms get a lot of use, be sure to check with the church secretary and get your reservation on their calendar. Do an inspection of the venue and make note of what is available. Jot down room dimensions and check on running water, tables (and their dimensions), chairs, lights and even electrical outlet placement if you will be using food warmers. Where will guests hang their coats? Are there trash containers available? Find out if you will be responsible for party clean up or is that a church custodial task? After you get home and begin imagining your décor, your notes will help you plan out the party space.
A food buffet or dessert table will be the focal point of the room so concentrating decorations on that space will make the task easiest. Arrange food on platters, pedestals and platforms for a visual treat. Typically pictures of the honoree, meaningful religious symbols, candles, and fresh flowers will carry the décor. Usually the colors for a more dignified event such as this will be in pastels or muted shades partnered with white. Whisper tint balloons are appropriate—this is a celebration, after all! Coordinate table coverings, plates, napkins, etc. whether you are using linens and china or disposable ware.
For a gracious atmosphere, remember to use table coverings and centerpieces for individual guest tables, too. Repetition of the flowers used on the food buffet, LED tea lights, additional pictures of the honoree, or artful arrangements that include fresh fruit are a few centerpiece ideas. Upbeat music—instrumental only—will add to the celebration.
As a thank you for celebrating your child’s special day, send guests home with a simple favor: chocolate bars in a personalized wrapper; small plants or a packet of flower seeds (symbolic of new growth, which is appropriate for this occasion); extra treats from the dessert table. Whatever way you decide to gift your guests, make a distinctive presentation. Ribbon, tulle, or embellished gift bags/boxes will be a lovely exclamation point to this significant occasion.
Create a congenial atmosphere with pre-planning and attention to detail to create a memorable once-in-a-lifetime occasion. And—don’t forget to take pictures!