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What to pack for the Christening - One Small Child

Free Printable: What to Pack for a Christening

We’re all about making your special events go more smoothly! When planning a Christening or Baptism, you’ve got a lot on your plate! Between scheduling venues and officiators for the event to food and decorations for the after-party (not to mention catering to your out-of town guests!) we know you’re starting to feel the stress! Among everything you have to worry about, you have to pack all that you’ll need for your baby’s event. The last thing you want is to forget something at home and have to make a flying trip to get it — or worse, go without it. Let us help! We’ve come up with a free printable checklist of what to pack for a Christening. You can pack up baby’s things with confidence that you’ve got everything. Or better yet, assign someone else to pack! With one less thing to worry about, you’ll have time to enjoy your baby, guests, and event! After all, that’s what it’s all about!

{Print your free What to pack for a Christening checklist here}

Did we miss anything? Please share what else you found helpful to have on your Christening or Baptism day!

Phoebe Christening Collection - One Small Child

How to Plan A Christening

How to Plan A Christening | One Small Child

It’s coming up, where do you start? Today we’re re-posting our step-by-step guide detailing how to plan a christening or blessing, along with a convenient printable checklist for you (in two versions – one for Christening, one for Blessing):

How to Plan A Christening

Congratulations on your new (or soon-to-be) bundle of joy! Somewhere in the jumble of emotion, change, and busyness that is the first year of your baby’s life is a once-in-a-lifetime event: your baby’s christening or blessing.

The timing of your christening or blessing is largely up to you and is influenced by family circumstances, tradition, and religious affiliation. Whether you are blessing your newborn or baptizing your 18-month child, the planning process is the same. Here’s a basic checklist to get you started:

1-6 months before the event:
Step 1-When:
Contact the church or clergy member you wish to perform the ceremony. Determine what paperwork/preparation is required. Set a date.
Step 2-Who: Decide who you want to be in attendance. Who do you choose as Godparents to watch over your child’s religious instruction? Who do you want to stand in the blessing circle? Do you want a large or small gathering? Determine how many guests you will have.
Step 3-Visualize: This is the fun part! Will you have an all-inclusive at-home event, an intimate post-ceremony gathering at a restaurant, or a gala bash at a local reception venue? Whether simple or luxe, you need to consider what you want when it comes to location, decor, food, favors, music, clothing, and photography. Depending on who you want to work with, you may need to book services many months in advance.

3-4 weeks before the event:
Step 4-Invite: Order (or create) and mail christening invitations or simply make phone calls to those with whom you want to share this experience. Be sure they know when and where to show up!
Step 5-Shop: Ooh! Another fun part! {wink} Find the perfect christening/blessing gown or outfit, or make arrangements for a custom-made or family heirloom garment for your baby’s special day. Don’t forget to plan clothing for siblings and parents!
Step 6-Portraits: Schedule a portrait sessiontrust me, you don’t want to not have photos of your baby in his/her precious outfit! Whether you go for a formal studio session or a natural-light gig, have a list of shots you want the photographer to capture. If possible, allow enough time to have framed prints to display at your event.

2 weeks before the event:
Step 7-Finalize: Tie up all loose ends…check in with venues, food providers, photographers, etc.

The day before the event:
Step 8-Pack:
Gather up everything you’ll need for the big day: baby’s clothing and accessories, items to be used in the ceremony, cameras, decorations, etc. Pack the diaper bag. Press or steam baby’s finery as well as your own outfit. Finish up food and decor details.

Day of event:
Step 9-Relax:
 Take a deep breath and enjoy the companionship of your loved ones in celebration of this blessed day!

{Free Printable Checklist}

planning a christening checklist PDF
Photo Checklist - One Small Child

Christening Photography: Free Printable Checklist

We’re here to talk about Christening Photography today. It is so important to capture the sweet memories of special events like your baby’s christening because they only happen once! No mother ever regrets having a good photographer or lots of pictures. To help you determine which things are most important to you, we’ve put together our checklist of must-haves to capture.

There are two types of sessions to consider for your christening photography: a portrait session, and an event session.

The Portrait Session

You’ll want to schedule the portrait session separately from your event. With tons of guests to entertain and a venue to prepare, you’ll be way too busy to think about capturing the precious moments of the christening day. We recommend taking the following pictures either before or after the event. If taken before, it might be a fun idea to display them as dinner table décor on the christening day.

A portrait session can be any setting that is special to you-or several ones. Photos in the baby’s nursery offer a personal feel, while photos in a studio are very formal and classic. Outdoor shots are a great way to document what season the event took place in. Photos of the church and chapel can be a beautiful addition to your book of remembrance as well. Be creative! Whatever you choose, it’s important to consider your setting and go for something of significance to you and your baby.

Whether indoors or outside, formal or informal, add these shots to your list:

  • Christening invitation
  • Getting dressed:
    • outfit on a hanger/bed/dresser
    • baby in underclothes
    • buttoning outfit
    • tying bows/belts/ties
  • Baby with Mom & Dad, individually and together
  • Baby with siblings
  • Full-length shot of baby in their christening outfit
  • Detail shots of the baby in their christening outfit
    • head-shot with hat/headband
    • hands with bracelets, etc.
    • feet with shoes, socks, etc.
  • Detail shots of the christening outfit: whatever makes the outfit special and beautiful
    • headband/hat
    • lace/trims
    • accessories: shoes, jewelry, etc.
  • Detail shots of the venue (as allowed)
    • chapel
    • font/water
    • candle, shell
  • Baby with bible
  • Baby with rosary

We recommend including the venue shots in the portrait session if possible. It will be easier for the photographer to set up great detail shots of the chapel and ceremonial items (the stained glass window, the water, the chapel ceiling, etc.) without all the guests to work around. You’ll want her to focus on the actual ceremony during the event.

Dressing Baby

Ivory Lace Rosette Headbands | Baby Hair Accessories at One Small Child

Clancey Silk Christening Coats for Boys | Winter Christenings at One Small Child

Tallie Christening Dresses & Headbands | One Small Child

Tallie Christening Dress & Headband | One Small Child

Christmas Christening Family Portraits | One Small Child

The Event

You’ll want to hire a photographer to capture all the moments of the christening as well as the post-ceremony dinner or reception. Keep in mind (and let your photographer know) that you’ll want to document the event as if you’ll be showing your best friend who could not be there.

Make sure you don’t miss these moments:

  • Greeting guests at the church
  • Ceremony (as allowed):
    • officiator reading from the bible
    • baby being passed to the officiator
    • officiator blessing baby
    • candle burning
    • baby in water
    • drying baby
    • officiator blessing family
    • candid photos of the baby and guests (grandma’s smile, etc.)
  • Group shots after the ceremony:
    • baby with Mom & Dad, individually and together
    • baby with Godparents, individually and together
    • baby with siblings
    • baby with grandparents
    • baby with everyone!
  • Candid photos of baby and guests during post-ceremony dinner/reception
  • Dinner/reception décor

Be sure to add your own creative ideas to the list!

Snowflake Cross Christening Cake | Winter Christening Ideas at One Small Child

Ginger Ale with Raspberries | Winter Christening Food Ideas at One Small Child

{All photographs by Paisley Studios}

We’ve included a free Christening Photography Checklist printable to help ensure that you won’t miss a moment!

christening photo checklist

Download the PDF checklist.

Did we miss anything? … Share your christening photography ideas in the comments below!

Pearl Headwrap First Communion Headbands for Girls - One Small Child

Planning a First Communion

We’re adding our 2014 First Communion dresses and accessories to the site this week, and are excited to share our thoughts, ideas, inspiration, and more on the blog while we’re at it.

To get the ball rolling, let’s start at the beginning: planning a First Communion. We’ve provided the following printable checklist to help you get organized and on your way to a memorable event for your family. Simply click on the image, print it, and get to it! We’ll talk about each of the tasks in detail below.

First Communion Planning Checklist at One Small Child

Determine event date, time, place

Likely you’ve already been in touch with your church and have already been notified of the date and time set for this year’s First Communion event. Most parishes hold First Communion only once or twice each year, and the dates are set well in advance. Preparations for a spring First Communion often begin in October-November of the previous year.

Help your child with spiritual preparation

Religious education is a requirement of someone wishing to make their First Communion. It is your responsibility to make sure your child is attending the necessary classes. It’s also important for your child to receive reinforcement by your example as well as instruction at home, to help them understand the importance of what they are doing. Watch for teaching moments in the months leading up to the big day, and discuss what your child is learning with them frequently.

Plan your after-event activities

This special event is a perfect time to gather the family and friends who have come to support your child and celebrate together! Here is where you get to make a bunch of decisions: do you prefer a simple gathering with a small refreshment? Or do you want to pull out all the stops and have a grand old party?

  • Venue: where will your guests be most comfortable? Keep in mind that if you will be booking a location other than your home, it’s wise to do so far in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  • Theme/Colors: this is where your creativity can fly–anything goes! Pick an element that is meaningful to you or your child and build around it. The symbols of communion are a great place to start, or a favorite color, bible story, animal, etc. Check out our First Communion Pinterest Board for inspiration.
  • Decor: this is really an extension of theme/color, but it can be involved enough that it merits its own bullet point. Can you use items you already have to decorate your space? Or do you need to shop for or make what you need? Even a simple gathering will benefit from some forethought here.
  • Menu: will you be making the food or having it catered, or dining at a restaurant? Will you have a traditional First Communion-themed cake? Your theme and decor can help you with ideas for your menu. Don’t forget something to drink!

Designate and schedule a photographer

Whether you opt for a professional photographer or a trusted family member, it’s important to make sure *someone* is in charge of taking photos of your child and your family throughout the event. It’s a process that can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the day, and it’s one less thing for you to worry about if you make it someone else’s job. It’s important to be sure such a special occasion is well-documented for you and for generations to come.

If you want a professional, be sure to book them well in advance! It can be very difficult to find someone available at the last minute. You may want to consider doing a separate portrait session of your child about 6-8 weeks prior to the event…these images are great options for invitations, thank you cards, etc.

If you want to have a friend or family member do the honors, be sure they have suitable equipment and charged batteries!

Shop for a suit or dress + jewelry + accessories

It’s a good idea to shop for First Communion dresses and suits at least 4-6 weeks in advance to ensure you have what you need in plenty of time. Many people begin much earlier to ensure availability. You’ll want to take into account your photography plans if you’re doing a portrait shoot before the event. Don’t forget all the accessories: will she need a slip? Does she want a veil or a simple hair accessory? Gloves (these must usually be removed during the ceremony)? Shoes and socks are important considerations as well.

Shop for gifts

If you wish to present your child with a gift or two, it’s nice to give yourself enough time to be thoughtful in your choices. Be on the lookout for items the child might need, items that will promote his or her faith, or keepsakes that will serve as a gentle reminder of a special day. Great options are personalized bibles, pretty rosaries, jewelry, and frames for photographs.

First Communion portrait shoot

Take a few minutes to think about what kind of portraits you’d like to see on your wall. Do you want a formal studio setting or a more laid-back outdoor look? Stay tuned for some great inspirational photos coming later this week on the One Small Child Blog!

Prepare and send invitations

Whether you have them printed or crafted or DIY, you want to have invitations in the mail 3-4 weeks prior to your First Communion.

Help your child complete any class requirements

Some parishes require the children to create first communion banners. Be aware of any assignments your child will need to complete before the event.

Finalize and execute decor and menu preparations

Before you know it, the big day will be upon you! It’s a good idea to sit down about ten days in advance and review your plans and identify what remains to be done. Clear a day or two in the week before the First Communion to devote to preparing your home or venue, gathering needed supplies, and preparing any food that can be assembled ahead of time. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!

Lucas Knit Christening Outfits for Boys - One Small Child

Free Printables: For Unto Us a Child is Born

For Unto Us Print | Free Christmas Printable Art by One Small Child

Christmas is less than a week away, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve once again found myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of endless holiday to-do lists, parties, programs and recitals heaped upon the everyday work of keeping a household running and trying to nurture a family. Though most of it is fun, the constant motion can very easily pull attention away from the underlying meaning of it all, the true meaning of Christmas.

With that, I want to share a gift from my heart with you: a free 5×7 printable message to help remind us all of the reason for the season. This print is available in five variations to fit your decor and tastes. The first three are color variations of this simple design:

Framed For Unto Us Options | Free Christmas Printables at One Small Child

The last two versions are a special treat: these photos were taken in the Jerusalem area by our very own founder, Ramona Murdock. She and I are so pleased to share these works of art with you!

For Unto Us Sheep or Stable | Free Printable Christmas Art by One Small Child

Click on the thumbnails below to view and download the printable PDF files. Merry Christmas!

For Unto Us - Charcoal | Free Christmas Printables at One Small Child For Unto Us - Navy | Free Christmas Printables at One Small Child For Unto Us - Red | Free Christmas Printables at One Small Child
For Unto Us - Sheep | Free Christmas Printables at One Small Child For Unto Us - Stable | Free Christmas Printables at One Small Child

{Baby in feature photo is super comfortable wearing our Lucas Boys Christening Outfit}

For This Child Quotes Natural - One Small Child

Free Printable: For This Child I Prayed

“For this child I prayed.” These powerful words are special to my heart, evoking feelings of gratitude, faith, and hope. As I’ve worked on these sweet printable designs, the words have sunk deeper and expanded in meaning for me…I love how re-visiting verses can often bring new facets of understanding to one’s mind.

Formatted in a 5×7 print size, this print would be great incorporated into a baby shower, christening party, or as meaningful wall art in a nursery; and in two different designs with six different color ways, there’s one perfect for your special event–hope you enjoy!

Click on the thumbnails below to download individual pdf files. Read more…