My mum is a priest, so it was inevitable, really, that my little boy would be baptised.
And it was rather lovely that Sonny Jim’s grandma was the one who could actually do the dunking on his christening day.
Contrary to what many may believe, christenings aren’t “going out of fashion”. My mum is booked up for most of next year with baptisms at her church on Canvey (sometimes as many as three per Sunday).
Oddly though, it wasn’t that easy to find some of classic christening staples we’d need on the day. Hence, having *eventually* found them, I thought it only fair to share…
Baby outfit. If you’ve got a little girl you can probably skip this bit. I’m sure you’re aware that Monsoon do the most gorgeous little dresses perfect for a baptism (or for flower girls at a wedding for that matter.) As do John Lewis. And Debenhams. And, well basically everywhere. If you’ve got a little lad though, and don’t fancy them looking like a mini 1980’s wedding singer (why so much satin? Why?!) then this is for you. I ordered Sonny Jim’s little Baby Beau and Belle romper from American website christeninggowns.com It arrived in just three days and it was perfect. Not a bit of satin or shine in sight. And it didn’t cost an absolute fortune. If anyone actually knows of a UK company who do something like it, then do please tell us. Because I totally lucked out on that front.
The cake. You’d think this bit would be fairly simple. But you can end up paying a fortune for something that just isn’t right, if you’re not careful. Thankfully, I used Parteaz Cakes (parteaz.co.uk). A small, family-run business, based in Southend, they offer free delivery in London and the surrounding counties. Founded by Roger and Helen in 2006, Parteaz and its team of bakers and cake decorators have been conjuring up cakes for the past ten years – and have more than 80 years of experience between them. And they are big on good customer service. They actually answer the phone when you call (as well as being super prompt on email). Nicky, the customer service manager, is beyond helpful, answering all those silly little questions, and able to arrange little tweaks to the cake to make it just perfect for you. They even handled my last-minute panic about delivery times with aplomb. And their cakes don’t cost a fortune either.
Godparent gifts. Until now I’m not sure I was aware of just how much toot there is out there around christenings. And none of it’s cheap. In the end, we gave our five godparents (two godmothers, three godfathers) a personalised engraved keyring, which read, “A godfather is a blessing, thank you for being mine” which basically summed up everything we wanted to say.
Venue. Obviously the church bit is easy enough (I say that, but my mum had to get special permission from our parish church in Leigh-on-Sea to perform Sonny Jim’s baptism there) but finding somewhere to host your gathering afterwards actually isn’t that straight forward. We didn’t want to do it at home as our house isn’t huge, and we have a dog, and, well, it’s a bit more stressful. But we didn’t want a hall. Or a restaurant. We basically wanted something that felt homely and welcoming. With an alcohol license. That looked nice. And did decent grub. Thankfully Leigh-on-Sea tea room TruLeigh Scrumptious, in the Broadway just along from the church, more than stepped up. I can’t recommend them enough. Got a baby shower, or a birthday, or indeed a baptism? They are *well* worth a call.
And finally, those miscellaneous bits. Sonny Jim’s shoes were by Andanines, stocked at Little Changes, in Leigh-on-Sea. His socks were from Kit & Kaboodal. My dress was from ASOS. My hair was done by Dina at Blushbar. And Sonny Jim sleeping through the night, after all the excitement? Well, that was just one big baptism bonus!