Here are some practical tips for stress-free baptism planning.
Welcome to the fun albeit often daunting world of planning parties and celebrations for your little one. And the event that kick-starts mommy-party-planning is your baby’s baptism—the first of many celebrations to come.
Much like a wedding, a baptism is a celebration of life, family traditions, and culture. It is a time to welcome your child into the family faith. It could be overwhelming, but lots of moms have gone though this without the help of a planner and with just minimal assistance from friends, family, ninongs and ninangs.
Yes, aside from giving aguinaldos, this is actually what godparents are there for—to give a helping hand in raising the child (or in this case planning an event for the godchild). So don’t hesitate to make them part of the party-planning team.
Here are a few of the most important things you need to keep in mind to make sure the event will run as smoothly as possible.
- Call the church in advance.
Churches, especially prominent ones get booked fast, so it’s best to call them at least two months in advance to book your preferred date and time slot.
Also double-check the availability of a presiding priest. Some churches will let you book the venue on a certain day, but you’ll have to ‘bring your own priest’.
- Consider the rules and policies of the church for the ceremony
Some churches will have you come 2-3 weeks prior to the scheduled baptism for a ‘preparation meeting’. This is done to orient parents about the sacrament of baptism and to discuss the ceremony itself.
Others would give the parents a list of policies to review at home; in which case, after securing the time slot (and paying the fees), you’ll only have to go there on the day of the baptism.
Sans the ‘preparation meeting’ you’ll have to call the church administration to clarify their rules and policies. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask:
- Should the baby arrive in his/her baptismal clothing or should the parents dress them up in something else first and just bring the baptismal clothing with them? (Other parishes in the Philippines have included the wearing of the baptismal garment in the ceremony.)
- How many ninangs and ninongs are allowed?
- Can you bring a photographer to take photos during the ceremony?
- Consider your guests’ comfort when choosing the venue for the gathering
As a courtesy to your guests, do not choose a party venue that’s more than 30 minutes away from the church. Survey the traffic situation in the area. If it’s going to be on a weekday, consider color coding schemes in the city, give a heads up on one way streets or special ordinances that guests would need to be familiar with, and the availability of parking spaces.
As much as you’d want the event’s focus to be on your child, you’ll have to make sure that everyone’s happy and comfortable to make the celebration pleasantly memorable.
More helpful tips for planning your baby's baptism on the next page.