Last February 19, 2017, Wolf was baptized into the Catholic faith. It was his first ever party, and so I wanted it to be special, but I also didn’t want to break the bank. I wanted to stay within our budget of P40,000 yet still have a memorable event. I’m happy to report that I was able to do both. Below are my tips for those who want an affordable yet unique baptism.
1. Compare church fees. Church baptism fees range from free (for public baptisms) to as high as P4000. Call the parish offices to get their updated rates.
2. Choose a restaurant for the reception, and consider foregoing the usual choices. We decided that a restaurant would be more cost effective than an events place, because a restaurant does not have to be styled so much and does not charge a rental fee (you just have to meet their minimum consumable amount for food and drink). If you want the baptism reception to be unique, skip the usual restaurants–Max’s, Aristocrat, Mom and Tina’s, etc. Have it at a restaurant that’s significant to your family in some way. In our case, we picked our favorite burger joint, 8Cuts Burger Blends. We’re huge fans of burgers, and we suspect Wolf is a burger boy too! Why? Watch Wolf’s baptism video to find out.
3. Trim down your guest list. I know this is incredibly difficult to do in our country wherein it is customary to invite family and extended family, but this is a must if you want to stay within budget. Besides, I think keeping baptismal celebrations small is acceptable especially because people are aware that new parents would have had already shelled out a lot for the baby’s birth. For Wolf’s baptism, we invited just immediate family, Wolf’s godparents, and our wedding godparents. Our total headcount was 35 guests.
4. DIY and go digital with invitations. I was able to create the invitation by editing templates online, and we sent it out through Facebook. Zero printing expense!
5. DIY decorations and giveaways. I was about to hire a stylist for the baptism because I’m no good at arts and crafts (think stick figure drawings), but one of Wolf’s godmothers, Michelle, said it would be such a waste of money, and volunteered to be in charge of it. What a lifesaver! She bought potted herbs, which were placed on the tables and doubled as the giveaways for guests. My sister, Jica, who is also Wolf’s godmother, set up a photo booth area and placed pictures of us with Wolf around the restaurant.
6. Keep entertainment short, sweet, and simple. No one expects huge production numbers at baptism receptions. People just want to enjoy good food, revel in fine company, and admire the cute baby, of course! To give Wolf’s reception an extra twist, we asked our friends from the Manila String Machine to play a few classic rock hits and movie themes. Our family and friends were treated to string quartet renditions of The Beatles’ Come Together, AC/DC’s Back in Black, the theme from Game of Thrones, and a medley from Star Wars, among others.
7. Don’t forget to assign or hire a photographer. Make sure you have pictures of the event to show your child when he or she’s old enough to appreciate them. We got our talented friend Ida to cover the event.
8. Join contests for a chance to win freebies for your event. Follow local mom support groups like Mommy Mundo. I joined one of their contests on Instagram and won free video coverage from Little Big Day by Jason Magbanua. Watch Wolf’s awesome baptism video here. 😊
We were able to stay within our budget and at the same time give Wolf a one-of-a-kind baptismal celebration. Our guests enjoyed meeting our baby, bobbed their heads to the live string quartet music, and savored the scrumptious burgers. I’m so happy that I can say with confidence that Wolf’s first party was a howling success!