A great guest post about choosing your Christening venue.
Planning a Christening is a little like planning a wedding. Once you have had the ceremony, either in a church or a naming ceremony using a registrar in an approved venue, it is customary to invite your guests to a celebration reception.
The reception will involve food and drink and allows you to celebrate with your friends and family as well as introduce the baby to your guests. Your guests will often shower the newborn in Christening gifts so you will want to thank them with great food and an inviting atmosphere. Like a wedding, it is important to think about your choice of venue carefully as this will also determine the overall cost of the day.
1) At home – perhaps one of the most favoured options is to host the reception at home. People tend to choose their local church for the ceremony and therefore will be relatively close by. One of the most important considerations however is the number of guests you will be having and the size of your home. Holding the Christening party at home is great if you have chosen to have just a few close friends and family. This is the most cost effective choice and gives you flexibility to hold the reception indoors or outdoors depending on the weather! You’ll need to have enough space for everyone to sit down to eat, and a table to hold the Christening presents.
If your baby is a little older you may have invited other babies and small children so it is great to be able to have a room to entertain them - asking friends to bring a selection of toys should keep them happy for a few hours, and if the weather is good a bouncy castle or garden games will get them in the fresh air. You also have more choice with regards the catering if you hold the party at home. Depending on your budget you could delegate the task to caterers and have a full sit down meal, or a simpler option might me to hold a finger buffet or outside barbeque. If there are lots of children a more informal option might be preferable unless your budget can stretch to a child minder.
2) Local Pub or Restaurant - you may decide that you would rather hold the party in a different location to save the stress of preparation and subsequent clear up of your own home. A local pub or restaurant is a great idea as it would still be close to the ceremony venue. Many pubs and restaurants have a function room, which can be hired out, but this would need to be booked well in advance. You may have the option to choose a sit down menu or an informal finger buffet – again your choice will depend upon numbers and budget.
3) A local golf club or hotel – Perhaps the most expensive, but if you have a have a larger group of guests to cater for this might be the preferable option. Larger venues will also often have a discount on a Sunday as Fridays and Saturdays are most popular for other occasions such as weddings. You may choose a marquee in the venue grounds for a summer party or an indoor room in the winter – but one thing to consider would be the size of the room verses the number of guests. If the room is particularly large or spread over a few rooms even 100 people can quickly look dispersed.
4) A Local Park – a great alternative to having the venue at home is to have an informal gathering at your local park. Certainly a cost effective method and involves little clearing up but very dependent on the weather and could involve a lot of stress. You will also need to think about how many people you have to cater for and whether you need park benches or whether picnic rugs will suffice.
About the author:
Rachel is mum of Jack, an enthusiastic 2 year old and owner of Custard & Crumble an online boutique selling luxury nursery furniture, bedding and christening gifts.