After the baptism (christening) service, it is usual for the parents of the newly christened baby to host an informal party for the guests and congregation. Follow these guidelines when planning a christening party:
•Choose a venue close to the church. This may be your home, a village hall, function room, hotel or restaurant.
•The nature of the party usually depends on the time of day. For example, after a morning service a buffet or family lunch is best, but afternoon tea would suit an afternoon christening.
•It is usual to serve alcohol (champagne, wine and beer) at the party, as well as soft drinks, tea and coffee.
•Traditionally, the godfather makes a toast. Nowadays, however, the godparent best suited to the task can be asked to say a few words.
•Most parents also serve a christening cake. This is should be iced in white and bear the name of the baby and the date of the christening. Traditionally, the cake would be the top tier of the parental wedding cake, but this practice is less common nowadays.
•If there are lots of children, then it is sensible to provide some kind of entertainment or a separate area for them. If you are at a hired venue, make sure you speak to the coordinator in advance about facilities.
•Don't forget that many guests will bring presents along with them, so have a secure area arranged where they can be left.
•Don't forget to ask the priest (and wife) to the party.