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Christening Guest Dilemma

(26 Posts)
TeddyBear2015 Mon 22-Jun-15 10:04:53

Good morning,

We have a bit of a conundrum about out son's christening. We are having it in August just before my sister goes around the world. What we don't know is what to do with all the guests afterwards.

We have over 70 people invited (not all will come) and 25+ are family. I don't want to send everyone away after the ceremony and just have done with it but there are no good places we can find to hire out. We have two options...

1: gamble on the weather and have everyone back at ours for food and drinks. The only problem is that if it's bad weather the house isn't big enough for everyone to fit in so we need the weather to be nice for the garden.

2: book lunch for the family members and just put on the invites "we are having dinner afterwards at xxx and people are welcome to book and join us but we cannot pay for everyone" obviously we would shout everyone a drink. Is this being a bit tight?

As it's all a bit new i was wondering if anyone had any ideas. Thank you in advance xx

chickydoo Mon 22-Jun-15 10:10:53

70 people is a lot for a christening. We just invited immediate family and God parents. Generally people have a celebration afterwards, lunch or something, it seems a bit harsh sending people away after the service without even a sandwich.
Could you use the church hall perhaps? Do drinks and cake ?

Buttercup27 Mon 22-Jun-15 10:13:00

Would gazebos in the garden work incase it rains. If not I think a church hall or scout hut would be better.

Heels99 Mon 22-Jun-15 10:21:52

Normally christenings are incorporated into the normal church service in a Sunday and just immediate family and godparents come, but I have been to much larger christenings of 50-100 people. Yes there is a tea or lunch after the service. The ones I have been to that we're larger events:
- lunch in a pub paid for by hosts
-as per your first option above, food back at family's house, gazebos and seating in garden etc
-village hall buffet by external caterers with garden outside for kids to run around

You can't invite 70 people to a church christening then send them away! Nor can you invite them to pay for their own meal it's just not the done thing it's making me cringe! If you want a small event just invite a few people, if you are having a larger event you need to provide food and drink afterwards. You can't rely in good weather even in August so church hall or village hall is going to be your best option.

Make sure you are clear in th invitations e.g 'church serive followed by tea and cake in the church hall' or 'church service followed by buffet lunch in the village hall' or whatever. Afternoon tea e.g scones etc can be a cheap option.

Don't try and hold a champagne event in a lemonade budget, it will not work!

Chchchchangeabout Mon 22-Jun-15 10:33:20

I would go for gazebo or similar in your garden

Heels99 Mon 22-Jun-15 10:45:41

If doing it at home make sure you really want to cater for 70 people in the day of your child's christening with all involves.

Theas18 Mon 22-Jun-15 10:50:28

Either book the church hall (it'll be inexpensive) and do the food/ drink you planned to do at yours there or stick with the gamble on the weather ( borrow gazebos from friends ?)

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 22-Jun-15 10:54:05

Could you just put "join us for a tipple at X afterwards" and buy everyone a drink at the local pub. After 45 mins or whatever say your goodbyes and the small family group head off for lunch sonewhere?

TeddyBear2015 Mon 22-Jun-15 13:40:32

Ok well sorry to be tight and make people cringe. Immediate family is 44 plus godparents who will bring their family so we are looking at 70 before friends. If we buy lunch that's about £1800 be fore drinks. She problem is we don't haves church hall or a centre we can hire except one that's going to be miles away. Christening a I've been to have been a pay for your own lunch situation and that was fine because there were hundreds of us. I just thought maybe it could be done.

TeddyBear2015 Mon 22-Jun-15 13:41:59

Thinkivebeenhacked we were thinking of doing that because that would work for us and we would rather buy everyone a drink and spend an hour or so with them after and just have lunch with our parents. However this isn't done apparently!

SilasGreenback Mon 22-Jun-15 14:03:18

I guess partly it depends on how far everyone has travelled. If you all live in the same town, then a church service plus drink and cake is fine. If people are travelling any distance then I think you need to provide more.

But you say you are already invited 70 people. What did you put on the invitations? I must say I have never been invited to just the church service and would just assume it included whatever meal would be sensible to have afterwards depending on if it is a morning or afternoon service.

diploddycus Mon 22-Jun-15 14:10:52

Jeez oh, immediate family is 44 people, how many brothers and sisters do you have?!

I think gazebos in the garden is a good idea unless there is a hall in the church where you could have tea, cake and sandwiches.

DinosaursRoar Mon 22-Jun-15 14:13:28

OP - why would the godparents bring all of their families, or do you mean just their DH/DW and DCs? How many DCs are amongst that 26?

I would talk to local pubs, most will let you reserve an area for free and do a buffet for not much per head. As most people will then buy their own drinks, it'll probably cost you about the same as catering at home (when you'll have to provide all the drinks as well as food).

GemmeFatale Mon 22-Jun-15 14:13:51

Tea and cake at the back of the church after?
Hire a room at the pub and put on a buffet?

DuchessFanny Mon 22-Jun-15 14:21:31

Would a local pub work for you ?
We had our local put on a buffet for our guests for our third DCs Christening.
We had a few bottles with the buffet to thank everyone for coming and the rest of the drinks everyone bought themselves, cheaper than I thought and MUCH easier than the first two that we did at home.

ArcheryAnnie Mon 22-Jun-15 14:24:07

Local pub, upstairs room, buffet or crisps and nuts followed by cake. Most pubs let their function room out free as they know it means guaranteed customers.

TeddyBear2015 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:12:33

Well I'm the eldest of five with two mums and two dads. Plus my grandparents. Then there's their boyfriends/girlfriends/ fiancé and children. My OH has two sisters plus their OH's and kids and his parents and grandparents. Plus his auntie and uncle who have helped us out over the year since the baby was known of and their kids. Then we have the godparents who I am allowing their OH And kids to come. We are not even considering any of our friends and their kids which would push it over the top. I'm going to ask around and see where we can hire and I'll do the food myself because that's easier considering the amount of allergies I have to deal with as well!

Heels99 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:25:22

Are they all very religious?

Floggingmolly Mon 22-Jun-15 15:32:58

Are you sure all these people are going to come? I'm not trying to be hurtful; but to all the younger people / girlfriends / boyfriends, etc. a baby's christening followed by a pay for your own lunch is not that attractive a proposition for a day out.

TeddyBear2015 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:51:34

Well not inviting partners means four less people. I guess I'll tell godparents not to bring their kids and partners so that's less too. I can't not invite family though. General opinion seems to be that people can't stay long anyway because it's a Sunday and they have Sunday dinner. Not mall can eat out anyway because of allergies etc so they have said they will have to leave after the ceremony as they'll have been in church since 9.30 anyway!

Abraid2 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:54:32

Are you sure the church will have capacity for so many extra people, if it's a Sunday service?

caravanista13 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:58:38

We had similar for our DGD's christening - great excuse for a big get together of family and friends. My DD hired a school hall and ordered platters of finger food from Sainsburys. It was a great success.

milkysmum Mon 22-Jun-15 16:06:04

We had around that many people at our dc's christening and just used a local hall and done the catering ourselves ( asked close family and friends to pitch in and bring plates of sandwiches etc...) I cannot believe there is nowhere you can hire out and put a bit of a buffet on? Hall? Social club? Pub?

FishWithABicycle Mon 22-Jun-15 16:17:49

We went to the pub over the road who did a sandwich buffet for £5 per head so would be £350 for your 70 people. Your estimate of £1800 is assuming £25 per head - all well and good if you can afford it but if you are inviting 70 people and are expecting 50 to come you need to cater for a per-head budget that is 1/50th of the total you can afford.
My dad bought the first round and after that it was a pay-for-it-yourself bar.

Where do this church's congregation go after services for a cup of tea? There has to be somewhere that locals gather unless you are holding this christening on an island inhabited solely by a single hermit priest.

mewkins Mon 22-Jun-15 16:22:56

Hire a small hall eg. Village hall, school hall, nice scout hut etc. There are dozens round here and vost about 50quid for the afternoon. Could order platters of sandwiches from Sainsbury's and crisps etc and have a few toys for the kids.

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