Our Baby’s Baptism: Celebrating Traditions

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After a beautiful celebration this past weekend, I wanted to share some of the details from our little one’s baptism. I also want to take this opportunity to seriously celebrate tradition.

I am happy to say that making traditional choices for this event made for quick and simplistic planning, leaving room for creative details. Traditions aren’t always perfect, but they do give us a platform from which to spring off of creatively. Instead of breaking tradition and trying to go against the grain when it comes to major life events like; weddings, showers and baptisms, I’ve found that keeping many of the traditional elements has actually given me more creative freedom than I ever thought possible. These timeless guidelines don’t dictate how your event will look or what it might become, instead they give you a scaffold of bare bone basics from which you can develop the details. Thanks to incredibly supportive family members, a husband who is willing to spray paint just about anything and yes, a lot of planning, our little man’s special day was beautiful.

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Planning a baptism felt a lot like wedding planning in a foggy tired haze (nothing a little coffee couldn’t fix). Having a little one around added a whole other layer to the planning process, and while I love planning parties, making lists and choosing details, being a new mom makes you do things a lot quicker. Only having naptime to do most of the planning, you are happy to have traditions to rely on when making decisions and getting things done quickly. With that said, the invitations, ceremony and the celebration all came together after a lot of early morning coffee, help from family and of course, preparation.

The Celebration Space:

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Before we started any of planning we had to decide how we wanted to celebrate the day. The ceremony was easy, as this is all done for you by the church, again, thank you traditions; we did have to choose where to celebrate afterwards and how that was going to take place. I loved the idea of a small backyard gathering with white tablecloths, fresh seasonal flowers and the crisp fall air, but our house is way too tiny to accommodate such a large family, especially if we were rained out. So, we went with one of our favourite local restaurants, Cellar Door, for the luncheon.

Cellar Door is a fairly new restaurant located in the up-and-coming Long Branch area of Toronto’s west end. We absolutely love the food and the warm, welcoming environment made it the perfect place to host a celebration like this. We were lucky enough to book the entire space, something that was important to us, and the staff was incredibly accommodating. More details on this fabulous west end spot coming up in a future feature.

In addition to the celebration space, there were some other traditional details we chose to include:

Invitations:

Benjamin's Baptism Invitations

Following our little man’s birth most things were a foggy haze, and while we planned newborn photos ahead of time, we never got around to sending out traditional birth announcements. So we decided to use this opportunity to send invitations with a picture of our little one.

Through the Instagram and blogging community I’ve connected with some wonderful creatives and mompreneurs including Rachel Green of Intentionally Designed (formally Printed Ink Designs). While Rachel does not do invitations any more, her prints, design and branding work is absolutely amazing. We are so happy to have had her create such personal invites for this occasion. Stay tuned for a feature on this honest and inspiring mama coming up this fall.

The Outfit:

Dressing with daddy.
Dressing with daddy.

While there are a variety of choices when it comes to baptismal outfits these days, I was happy that we found a traditional white suit in a refreshing linen fabric. Not only did our little man look all grown up in his dress shirt, suspenders, vest and hat; he kept cool in this airy fabric. When looking for this outfit I prepared myself for the search of the century, anticipating that it would be hard to find something that I liked and he was comfortable in. To my surprise, we found this outfit after only visiting one shop. Carmen’s Designs in the heart of Toronto’s Little Italy, had everything we needed and they even added the suspenders to the trousers for me, on the spot!

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Flowers:

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Yes, of course I made centrepieces. I make floral arrangements for my home on a weekly basis, so how could I not make centrepieces for this. Aside from the fact that I love fresh flowers, and my husband is the spray paint master, I just couldn’t resist. These were made with some jars I had lying around the house (post tomato season) a little white spray paint, some blue ribbon and a large bouquet I bought at the grocery store the day before. All we did was spray paint the glass jars white, tie the ribbon around the rim in a loose bow and divide up the large bouquet into five smaller ones. These were a simple and easy way to brighten up the tables for the celebration.

Gifts or “Bomboniere”:

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This is a traditional part of any Italian celebration where we give a gift at the end of an event as a way of showing gratitude to those who came. In keeping with our own traditions (our wedding gifts were also homemade) we decided to make some shortbread cookies for the bomboniere. My mother-in-law is an awesome baker and she made the cookies for us. My mom made the labels and we all got together to wrap them (a fun excuse to hang out on a Wednesday evening). Knowing that I would want to make these cookies at some point as well, my MIL shared her recipe and I made a batch for the sweet table. Stay tuned for the recipe coming up on the blog tomorrow.

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Aside from providing a creative platform for party planning, traditions give us a reason to celebrate life’s special moments with one another and our little one’s baptism was just that; a celebration of family and love!

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In the spirit of celebrating traditions, I would love to hear how you’ve incorporated traditional elements into your own party planning. How have traditions made the planning easier for you?

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