I / We don't really throw a lot of parties, this was a new thing for both the husband and I. But I guess since we're parents now, this will be a yearly thing - for the first few years, anyway - so we better start getting used to it.
This post might be a bit scattered because I haven't quite formed in my mind yet how I want to or could tell the story behind our baptism preparations so please bear with me.
Church: I started preparations for Swe-Cha's baptism sometime in March. The church was the easiest part - I just called our parish office for the schedule and picked a date. Baptisms were usually done on the 3rd Sunday of every month so I decided on May. I was told that we would be needing a list of sponsors with letters from their parishes (at least 1) and that parents needed to attend a pre-baptism class.
Theme: I knew that I wanted something with animals in it but couldn't decide on anything more concrete. When asked, I would say that our theme would probably be safari, jungle, or some animal-related theme. A few days later, a friend said to me, "Since this is a religious event anyway, how does Noah's Ark sound ?" And the idea was born :)
Outfit: I was sure that I wanted Swe-cha to wear a christening gown and I started looking for stores that carry them. It turns out that these types of gowns are also called keepsake Christening gowns in the US and could easily cost around $200 - $400. Materials varied - there were cotton, chantilly lace, silk, satin,... - but my heart was set on getting one in Pina. After much searching, I eventually found a supplier online and put in my order. I got one in Pina-silk, which is a much better option than pure Pina because the material is fine and not coarse at all (does not irritate the skin when worn). My friend offered her son's baptismal romper for Swe-Cha and I was only too happy to accept. It made perfect sense to me - it fit Swe-cha perfectly, it saves us money, it's good karma (her son is a sweet boy), and it's good for the environment (Freecycle!) - and so we were set.
Reception: The next thing we tackled was the venue, our requirements were simple - good food at a good price point and that the place shouldn't be shabby. We looked far and wide, even went to several nearby cities to do oculars on potential venues. Eventually, we went with a Japanese buffet and hibachi restaurant nearby that came highly recommended by a friend who recently had her baby's baptism reception there. We stopped by for dinner one time to try out the food (we weren't able to attend my friend's party there) and we were convinced - they had a good assortment of hot dishes and their sashimi / sushi selection was great (they had unlimited salmon sashimi!). We didn't go wrong with them, the managers were easy to talk to and the waiters were very respectful and discrete (i.e. khe-khi in Chinese).
Cake: This was a no-brainer. We had tasted a cake at a friend's baby shower in early March and the moment we took our first bites, hubby and I looked at each other and at that instant, we knew that we had found our baker and that the decision was unanimous :) The only possible issue was that our baker was located all the way in Massachusetts, a couple of hours away, this was easily solved when a friend agreed to bring the cake from MA to NJ.
Invitations: We had a few options: (1) buy invitation kits from a crafts store and print our own, (2) have invites printed out by professionals such a as 123print, or (3) go digital and stick with evite. Convenience eventually won out and we went with electronic invitations.
Next post: decor, souvenirs & pictures