A Christening is a wonderful way to welcome your child into the world and introduce them to your friends and family.
If you are religious, it is also a way to affirm their faith and commit to instilling religious values as a part of their upbringing.
When it comes to planning a Christening, you can keep it small or make it into a huge celebration, the choice is entirely yours! What is great about Birmingham is that there is an abundance of churches of different denominations, as well as reception venues in all shapes and sizes.
Whatever type of Christening you decide to go for, there are a few essential things you need to do.
Choose your Godparents
This is arguably the most important part of planning your Christening. Your child’s Godparents are the ones who will act as another adult in their life who they can turn to when they need guidance, and who will act as a positive role model for them.
If you are religious, the role of a Godparent is also traditionally to commit to instructing and guiding your child on their religious obligations and helping them to make good choices throughout their life. Despite commonly held beliefs, Godparents are not generally committing to taking care of the child in case something happens to the parent – although this can be part of the role if everyone agrees to it.
Try to choose Godparents who you are confident will be in your life for a long time, and who will be a good role model for your child. Try not to let any ‘political’ matters influence your choice, such as who is dating who, as these things are likely to change over time.
Find a church
Once you have decided on your Godparents, it is time to find a church. If you already have a church that you regularly attend then it is a good idea to use this one, as the vicar will know you already and will therefore be able to plan a more personal ceremony.
If you do not already have a church, it is a good idea to create a shortlist based on denomination and location, and then arrange to speak with the vicars of each of them. This will help you to decide which church you think will be the best influence on your child’s life.
Book the reception
It is not a must, but a lot of people like to have a reception for their Christening to celebrate with their family and friends. It is an especially nice touch if people have travelled a long way.
When choosing a venue bear in mind that you can often get a discount if you have your celebration at a time when there is less demand, for example during the week.
It is traditional to buy Christening gifts for your child as part of the Christening celebrations, so that they have something to remember their special day by when they get older. It is also a way for you as their parent to express your affection.
Some great gift ideas are personalised jewellery, silver cutlery (silver is traditional for Christenings), a silver rattle, or even a teddy bear that you can keep safe.
You may also want to buy a Christening gown for your child to wear during the ceremony. This is traditionally a white gown, to symbolise purity, and is often passed down from generation to generation.