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lapanda · 06/03/2019 14:56

Hi all, I’m a first time mum to a 2 month old baby boy. So far, so good... Smile

I’m wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of a thread regarding planning a baptism... I’m not originally from the U.K., so I don’t know what’s standard procedure. In fact, actually I’ve never attended a baby baptism at all so I don’t really know how they go! I’d really appreciate some advice.


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JiltedJohnsJulie · 07/03/2019 16:39

Hello and welcome to MN and congratulations on your new LO Smile

Have you decided on a Church for the Baptism?

lapanda · 08/03/2019 17:53

Thank you!

So far, that’s about the only thing I have got done, I have booked the church. We do have a guest list as well, and I’d like to get invitations out by two weeks’ time to give people enough notice.

What I’m struggling with is basically, we don’t have a lot of extra money right now to be throwing a big party, but we would of course like everyone to be able to gather afterward to celebrate. There is a pub near the church that I wouldn’t mind walking over to afterward, but is it terrible if we all just go as a group and (here’s where I cringe) people just buy their own drinks? Do we have to book the pub’s function room? Are we tacky for not providing drinks? This is where I go into a lot of worrying. My mother-in-law has offered to host the after party, and I would be happy with that except for two problems: her house is not easily walked to from the church, and I know a few people will be coming who can’t drive, and I think it would be difficult to arrange rides amongst the guests. The other problem is her place is pretty small and couldn’t accommodate even half the people we’ll be inviting.

Sorry, this has gotten so long. I just want it to be a nice day, and I really don’t have anyone to help me plan this out, and my husband doesn’t really seem to have any ideas either.

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JiltedJohnsJulie · 08/03/2019 18:29

You're not expected to provide a free bar in the UK so don't worry about that. You could always ask the pub to put on cups of tea if there are sone older relatives attending.

Your guests will probably expect sone kind of food though. How long are you wanting them to stay for?

lapanda · 09/03/2019 04:07

That’s a relief!

I agree about the food. So, the guest list breaks down to three categories: family who have cars and live locally, local friends who have cars, and friends coming from central London who do not have cars (we will be in zone 4 SE London).

I feel like the friends (those who live locally and in central London) would possibly just want to attend the ceremony and stay for a drink and some cuddles with the baby, and then get on with their Sunday afternoon. The family will definitely want to linger and have a longer celebration. What if we have sort of the first part of the celebration at the pub, and then have some sort of ‘after party’ at my MIL’s house, where there would be food? I don’t want to exclude anyone from coming to the house and having food, but it’s just what I said before about the space and transport to the house. We’d be able to provide food at the house more easily. Maybe we could get a cake, and bring that to the pub? Is that allowed? I can’t see any of the friends wanting to linger and spend more time around my husband’s family, not because they’re terrible or anything, just because none of them will know each other.

If we should provide more (and better) food than cake, are we allowed to bring it to the pub? In that event, would we have to rent a private space within the pub?

Thanks so much for your help so far! Smile

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JiltedJohnsJulie · 09/03/2019 06:54

I'm not sure about what normal down South but up here in the North, we'd put on sone sandwiches and a bit of a Buffett at the pub. And yes, it's absolutely fine to take the cake to the pub Smile

ElizabethMainwaring · 09/03/2019 06:58

Hello. Good advice from Julie. I'd do exactly that. Buffet and cake at the pub, no free bar. That would be perfect.

lapanda · 09/03/2019 11:47

So we can take our own food, even though it’s a pub that serves food? Should we rent a function room? Is that typically expensive?

Another question- I was thinking of including in the invitation some sort of note saying we understand if not everyone can make it to the church ceremony, either because of timing or preference (I know that not everyone feels comfortable going to church, and the last thing I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable or obligated to go to church), and we are happy if they just want to come to celebrate afterward. Do you think people will take us up on this? Or is it unnecessary?

Thanks again!!

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TheQueef · 09/03/2019 11:50

Hello and welcome panda
Julie has given great advice, personally (I'm Catholic) I would attend the church over the pub but it's a good idea to give the option.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 09/03/2019 12:11

So we can take our own food, even though it’s a pub that serves food? Should we rent a function room it depends on where you have booked. Around here lots of places give you the option of a free function room and the option of taking your own food or providing a buffet for you. You'd have to check with the venue on what they allow Smile

lapanda · 09/03/2019 13:42


I think there will be several people who would do the same- attend church but not feel like going to the pub.

I will check with the pub on their rates and policies then. I’m guessing pubs aren’t too bothered about you bringing your own food as you’re bringing people who will be buying drinks I suppose!

This has been so helpful! It’s just nice to get other peoples’ opinions. My husband is helpful where he can be but he doesn’t know much about this sort of thing either. And everyone else just tells me to do what I want, which I understand I have the freedom to do that, but I just want something simple, and I’m not opposed to a fairly traditional celebration. The important thing to me is the baby gets baptised and everyone has a nice time.

So it’s looking like we’ll do: ceremony at the church, followed by a casual gathering at the pub with some cake and light bites, and anyone else inclined to do so can go to my MIL’s after that. Invitations will say we are happy for people to attend whatever they would like to! Smile

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ElizabethMainwaring · 09/03/2019 15:38

Hello. Please check first. Some pubs, especially those that serve food, would be very, very bothered about you bringing your own.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 09/03/2019 18:52

Yes definitely check with them. Some will allow you to bring food, other won't.

lapanda · 09/03/2019 21:36

Oh yes, am definitely going to call and check this week!

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