There are many details to plan when it comes to organizing a christening event. From finding a venue for the celebration to favors to distribute to your guests. Not to mention finding the perfect christening outfit for your little one to wear. This can be especially time consuming with little children at home keeping you very busy on a day to day basis! When are you supposed to find the time to plan everything? Well, there are ways to make the planning process easier and today we’re sharing a few tips from a mom who quickly organized a gorgeous christening for her daughter.
Gina is the mother of two adorable young girls. She christened her youngest, Liliana, this past September. Gina planned many of the details, such as the custom invites and french milled soap favors (perfectly in line with her french theme) online. Often, the idea of ordering online can be intimidating when you’re not getting the experience of looking at items in hand, but it can be a real lifesaver. Plus, most online stores offer quick shipping and have easy return policies to ease any uncertainties you have about submitting an order. Gina says it best, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a smartphone and a credit card while you are rocking your baby to sleep!”
Before you started looking for an outfit, did you have something in mind for what you wanted her to wear?
At first, I was not going to purchase a new gown for Liliana, because I already had one from my older daughter’s christening. I kept hoping Liliana would grow into it, but a week before the christening I gave the gown one last try, and it was still huge. Liliana was getting lost in layers of silk and taffeta and was not comfortable in it at all. So at that point, I knew we would have to find a new gown for Liliana!
I had seen the ChristeningGowns.com website before, and that was my first stop because I knew there would be a wonderful selection to choose from, and I could get a couple of options in my hands to finalize the gown on a tight schedule. I ordered the Louisa and the Tessa. After trying on both, it was clear that the Louisa gown was exactly what we were looking for — comfort without compromising elegance!
What did you like about the design of the Louisa Gown and Jessica Sweater?
I was drawn to the Louisa gown because of the gorgeous lace overlay, plus it was made from soft fabrics and the scale of the gown was very manageable. The problem I had run into with my older daughter’s gown was that Liliana was more petite, and therefore drowning in fabric. Not so with the Louisa. The first time I tried it on her, Liliana was all smiles. On the day of the christening, there was no problem getting her in and out of the car seat, and though we had a change of outfit for the reception, Liliana snoozed it up in her Louisa gown, so we left her in it all afternoon.
Having planned a September christening, I knew we would also need a little sweater for the baby, and the Jessica sweater was soft and paired perfectly with the Louisa gown.
How far in advance did you start planning the details of her christening and what were the first steps you took when you started planning?
In planning the christening, I first obtained a date from our church, about a month in advance of the big day. Then I contacted our photographer, Jennifer Kaye Photography, to have her save-the-date. What I learned with my older daughter’s christening is that it is great to have someone on-hand to capture the special moments of the christening day. It takes the stress off of us and lets us really enjoy the day! Plus the whole family is together and looking good, so you are sure to get a few great photos with the grandparents, cousins and members of the extended family who aren’t always around to take pictures with the baby.
After the church and photographer were booked, I contacted our favorite French restaurant, Cafe Touche, which is right up the street from our church. They have great food and the room is bright and airy with lots of windows and french music piping in the background. The luncheon was to start at 2 p.m., so the events manager helped me plan a menu that included a mix of lighter fare (salad and quiche options), along with some heavier sustenance (chicken paillard and risotto). The cake was from our favorite bakery, Sweet Mandy B’s, which is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, and well worth a special trip into the city!
Did you do anything different for this christening compared to when you planned your older daughter’s christening?
The major thing I did differently in planning this christening compared to my older daughter’s christening, is that I accomplished so much online this time. For the baby’s gown, I used ChristeningGowns.com; for the invites, I used a cute pic from her newborn photo shoot and designed the invite online; my dress, my husband’s suit, and a dress for my older daughter were all obtained online and delivered a week before the christening; the favors – French milled soap in Sweet Pea and Water Lily scents – were ordered from a vendor on Etsy.com. Once I had the pictures back from the photographer, I also designed the “thank you” notes online, using a few pictures from the day to give guests a nice keepsake.
With a three year old and a newborn at home, I really embraced the ease of ordering online. At first I was worried about missing out on the “experience” of going into stores and picking things out in person. However, I just did not have the time to do that this time around, and I found my vision for the day came together very easily through online shopping because I was able to find exactly what I wanted and was not limited to the stock a single store or mall is currently carrying. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a smartphone and a credit card while you are rocking your baby to sleep!
Did you have a celebration with family and friends after the christening ceremony? Was there a theme for your event?
The theme for the reception kind of came together on it’s own. The restaurant is French, so when I found the milled soap on Etsy, I thought it would be a great favor to compliment a french theme. Also, since the Louisa gown had such gorgeous lace, I tried to carry that theme out in my dress, which was made out of Leaver’s lace, and my older daughter’s dress, which had a lace bodice paired with a tulle skirt. I wanted to coordinate with girls, but not match them.
Do you have any suggestions for other parents as they start planning their child’s christening?
My suggestions for other parents would be to embrace the ease of planning online! I loved that I could view the great gown selection on ChristeningGowns.com, but also access your customer photos to see how the dresses photographed in-person. That’s a benefit you definitely do not get when looking at a gown hanging on a rack in a store. When the gown was delivered to our house, it came wrapped up on a cute hanger with the Jessica sweater placed perfectly over the Lousia gown – like whoever packaged it for us shared the same vision I did – it was definitely a special moment. Beyond the dress, there are so many ways to add a personal touch through online vendors using your own pictures or weaving together your special theme – I will definitely be doing more of the legwork online from now on!
Looking back, did you have a favorite highlight from your daughter’s special day?
The highlight of our day was walking into church right before the ceremony began. We had been taking pictures outside while most of our relatives were already inside the church. When we walked in, everyone just lit up when they saw Liliana. The moment just brought home that so many of our family members were there to offer love and support for our new baby, and this day was all about her!
Photography by Jennifer Kaye Photography who is located in Geneva, Illinois.