19 January 2015

Baptism party planning

Last Friday I told you about the second big date I’ve had in mind for months: Baby P’s baptism. The two adult members of Team P are of the practicing Catholic persuasion, so it was important to us to have Baby P baptized in our church as an infant. We knew scheduling could be a bit tricky, as he was born in the middle of Advent season (on pink candle Sunday!), and we’d have to fit it in sometime between Christmas and the Lenten season, which starts in mid-February. Fortunately, our church offered the Sunday we’d celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, January 11. Baby P would only be four weeks old, but hey, he’d share a baptism date with Jesus! Can’t pass that up.

Of course, a four-week-old Baby P means I had less than four weeks to pull together a post-baptism party for our family and friends... that we would then host with, you know, a four-week-old. Daunting! Especially when I tiptoed over to Pinterest to see the sort of baptism parties others had thrown. Yikes.

I knew I couldn’t do anything crazy elaborate with a new tiny roommate who demanded round-the-clock attention, so I decided to employ a few basic ideas to make our baptism luncheon sweet and simple. The first was vignettes:

For the table in our foyer, I used a frame I already owned to display Baby P’s baptism invitation. Because the frame wasn’t quite the right size, I used scrapbook cardstock I had on hand as a mat. I added a candle and the gifts we were giving the godparents (wrapped in recycled wrapping paper because keeping it simple, natch) and boom, vignette.

I also put out mementos from Mr. P and me on the console:

That’s a photo from my baptism, certificate from my confirmation, certificate from his baptism, and photo from his first communion. Oh, and a bible that was carried in our wedding (my parents’, too). It was sort of a mix-and-match of sacraments based on what I could quickly find, but I think it worked out in the end! Again, I used frames and cardstock that I already had to gussy it up.

The only other décor was DIY for cheap: tissue paper poms. I used Martha’s tutorial with white paper I had on hand and a package of silver-striped that I ordered online (because I get EVERYTHING from Prime now). I made one or two a day whenever I had time, accumulating them in our butler’s pantry.

“Uhhhh, I think we have trouble with tribbles in here,” said Mr. P one night. Heh.

I had originally wanted to suspend them as pom-chandeliers, but figuring out how to secure strings to them to make a cluster and hang them was easier said than done. They starting falling from the ceiling - yes like tribbles – so I decided to just scotch-tape them like a cluster onto our walls.

The angled ceiling in the butler’s pantry made it look like a chandelier well enough, anyway.

They still tumbled to the ground occasionally (whyyyy? they weighed like two grams each) but fortunately stayed put for the party!

The most time-consuming DIY, though, were the favors I made. Because I used the “dig through your cabinets for party supplies and see what turns up” method of party planning (see: frames and scrapbook paper above), I discovered the “P” candy mold we used for our wedding. A few orders of candy melts later, and I became Willy Wonka in all my spare moments:

My cabinet-digging also yielded vellum paper leftover from our wedding, which I used with plain white cardstock to design favor tags:

One side of the cardstock had his name and baptism date, and the other side had the note of thanks. Figuring out how to print on either side of the cardstock and have the text be (nearly) centered on either side of those tiny tags should go down as one of my greatest accomplishments.

I attached the labels to silver twist ties ($2 for 500! Anyone need silver twist ties?):

And then used the ties to secure the candies in little cellophane treat bags.

I made that sign knowing that with so many people coming – and being sleep deprived and adrenaline-fueled – I’d probably forget to tell people to take a favor. And of course I did forget, and some people didn’t get favors, but hopefully some did without me telling them to! Ah well, Mr. P’s coworkers took the leftovers from the teachers’ lounge, so they were enjoyed either way.

But of course, one of the main purposes of this party – besides celebrating Baby P – was to feed all the people who’d just spent their Sunday morning at a Mass just for him. So lunch was top priority! To make it seem fancy, I ordered all white and silver disposables to eat with:

And I used all our fancy dishes for serving the food:

I put everything out several days in advance with post-it notes to label what would go where. Getting my head in the game!

There were signs for the food table, because again, I couldn’t be relied upon to tell people what was what. For instance, rather than try to get a cooler or ice bucket, I just left all the canned and bottled drinks in the fridge, and directed people to them:

No cups even, just straws. Keeping it simple, I tell you.

Because we had several vegetarians at our party – and because everyone generally likes to know what they’re eating – I made signs for the sandwiches, too.

But don’t think I made all those sandwiches! Oh no. My mom made the chicken salad and croissants, but the rest of the sandwiches came from a local grocery chain:

It was more expensive to do it that way, obviously. But it saved me a LOT of time, and were tastier than I would’ve made them, so they were definitely worth it!

I also bought the cake from the grocery. Yeah, yeah, there were eighty bazillion beautiful cake designs on Pinterest that I could’ve ordered from a proper bakery and paid a pretty penny. But you know what? This one was tasty enough and worth what I paid for it, which was at least a third of the price of a fancy bakery cake. Done.

Sorry for all the name-blurring, by the way. But you know... safety first!

We served the cake in the butler’s pantry, so I made a “tablecloth”... more like a counter-cover... to fancy up that room. I just hemmed the remnant of feather-print fabric from the DIY magazine files:

Finally, I ironed the tablecloth for the kitchen table, where most of the food would be served, and added some grocery store hydrangeas (only half of which wilted before the party, sigh). Then I labeled where all the food (stored in the fridge) should go, so my fabulous family could set it up while Mr. P and I tended to Baby P and the guests. I even remembered to put out a lighter for the little tea lights scattered around the table. High five, me!

And with that, we were ready for a party! Next time I’ll tell you all about the big day. Stay tuned!


Janice said...

Everything looks wonderful! So happy that so many people were able to come and celebrate Baby P's day with Team P.
Have enjoyed reading the blog with his birth, Baptism prep, and party prep.
Thanks for sharing with us all.