One thousand pounds. That’s how much more than a quarter of new parents admitted spending on their baby’s christening in a recent survey.
And more than a third went over their budget in every aspect of the day – spending an extra £500.
Even more eye watering is that the poll by confused.com revealed 10% of mums and dads have spent up to £10,000 on their baby’s big day.
We’re currently planning Littlest B’s christening and there’s no way we’re spending £1,000, let alone £10,000.
That’s not to say we’re scrimping on the event – we’ve got a beautiful baby daughter and we want to show her off! – but what with having three kids now and with me having been on maternity leave we’d like to keep costs down as much as possible.
And the thing is you can still throw a lovely party without breaking the bank.
Savvy ways to plan a christening on a budget
1. Combine their christening with their 1st birthday party. We had separate christenings and 1st birthday parties for our older two, both within their first year and both within months of each other. But the chances are you’ll invite the same people to their christening as you would to their 1st birthday party, so why not combine the two with one big bash.
2. Write a guest list and stick to it. It’s tempting to keep adding people but remember this is a christening, not a wedding reception!
3. Borrow an outfit. I don’t mean for you – I mean for them (although you could borrow one for you too!) Christening outfits are generally only worn once, so ask a friend or a family member if they’ve got one you can borrow. Our family has a christening gown that was made for my grandfather by my great-grandmother – it’s 97 years old now and still going strong. Alternatively, if you do want to invest in a gown, there’s no need to break the bank: Teether baby wear has lots of affordable traditional and modern options here.
Of course, if you want to make old christening robes more exquisite and personalised, consider decorating them with some small accessories such as custom patches as appropriate. Through these small accessories, you can revive those inherited christening robes and make the christening event more ritualistic. Also, happily, custom patches are cheaper and more acceptable than a new gown!
In addition to patches, you could also decorate the christening gown with some pin badges, customized pin badges with unique and commemorative patterns such as baby footprints. Using these customized pin badges to decorate the christening outfit will not only make the christening gown more exquisite but also make it more memorable.
4. Stick to finger food. That way there’s no need to worry about producing either hot food or plates and cutlery for all the guests – napkins will do.
5. Get baking! If you’ve got people who love baking in the family ask them to make something special for the big day. My mum made both BB and Little B’s christening cakes and is going to keep up the tradition, and my sister and mother-in-law are dab hands at cupcakes.
6. Shop around for drinks. If you ask me fizz should be mandatory at christenings, not only to wet the baby’s head but because you deserve it – you’ve grown a human being after all! Depending on the size of your family – and how much they drink – it can get expensive, so it’s worth shopping around for deals. Wines Direct is a price comparison website for wine where you’ll find all the latest offers from all the leading retailers such as Waitrose, Majestic and Tesco. They highlight the week’s best offers by wine type – for example prosecco – and you can also see how other shoppers rate each bottle.
7. Reuse decorations. We bought 80 metres of fabric bunting for our wedding in 2010 and I remember questioning at the time whether it was worth it. It definitely was – I can’t tell you how many times it’s been used since at weddings, christenings and birthday parties since!
Have you been to or planned a christening recently? Do you have any other money-saving tips?
This post was written in collaboration with Wines Direct.