Baby's baptism: priest baptizing a baby

A baby’s baptism, also called a christening, is a special rite of passage when loved ones gather to welcome a child into the church, be it Methodist, Protestant, Catholic, or another Christian denomination. Whether you’re attending a baptism or scheduling one for your own baby or godchild, this special day requires some planning. Here, we’re sharing what you need to know about baby baptisms, including planning and etiquette tips, as well as some of our favorite invitations you can send to friends and family.

6 Steps to Planning a Baby’s Baptism Celebration 

Baby's baptism: mother carrying her baby

While the practice of baptism spans a range of ages and Christian faiths, baby baptisms take are most common in the Catholic church. Typically, the rite of baptism is planned by the baby’s parents, while the godparents attend the ceremony and promise to guide the godchild throughout their faith and life journey. However, each christening is a little different, so use these tips as a general guideline when planning for this special occasion.

1. Choose the Godparents

One of the most special parts of a baby’s baptism is choosing their godparents. Many families choose longtime friends or family members to serve as godparents. They play a special role in the child’s life and can guide them through their faith journey as they get older. In some churches, the godparent must belong to the church. It’s proper etiquette to formally ask the person(s) if they would like to be the godparent. It’s also a good idea to have a few options in case your first choice declines.

2. Organize with the Church

The first thing you’ll need to do when planning a baby baptism is to choose a church. Typically, this is done at the church you regularly attend, but you can also select another one that holds special meaning for your faith. Once you’ve selected a church, contact the clergy. You’ll want to arrange a meeting with the priest or pastor so you can go over the liturgy process and any requirements for the ceremony. These can include religious classes and examinations you need to take before the baby can be baptized.

At the end of the meeting, you’ll schedule the baby’s baptism date. This can be on a weekend or during a special holy holiday such as Easter. These times make it easier for guests to attend. According to Canon Law, baptisms should occur within the first few weeks after birth. In general, most families choose to baptize infants when they are around two to three months old. 

Whatever date you choose, schedule at least one month in advance to allow guests time to prepare. Make sure to choose a date when godparents can attend since they will be an integral part of the baptism ceremony. 

3. Make a Guest List

Share the joy of your baby’s baptism by inviting guests to attend the ceremony. Make sure to check with the church for any restrictions. Some churches require guests to be part of the congregation or have strict dress code requirements. It’s important to make these criteria clear on your invitation so guests know what is expected of them.

It’s your celebration so you can choose who to invite. In general, the parents, siblings, godparents, and grandparents of the baby are invited to attend. You can also extend the invitation to other family members and friends. If the church is small, plan a reception after the ceremony where you can invite more guests to honor the special moment.

4. Send Out Invites

You should send invitations at least three to four weeks before the baptism. For guests who need to travel from out of town — or if the baptism is on a holiday like Easter — you should give more notice to ensure there’s enough time for travel planning. Include an RSVP card so you can keep track of who is attending. Make sure to include any important details such as required religious affiliations, dress codes, or behavior reminders for guests.

Greenvelope has dozens of baptism invitations to choose from, and they’re easy to send — no running to the post office or buying stamps necessary. Plus, the online dashboard makes it easy to track RSVPs.

5. Plan for the Ceremony and Reception

During the sacrament of baptism, many families choose to incorporate unique family traditions — perhaps it’s reciting a specific prayer from the New Testament or dressing the baby girl in a gorgeous christening gown or a suit for the baby boy. You may also want to buy a picture frame to display a photo of your infant on the entry table where guests first enter the church. Hiring a photographer can also help you catch snapshots of the day’s most memorable moments. 

After the infant’s baptism, host a reception to continue the celebration. The reception can be held in a special event room at the church, at your home, or at a restaurant or venue nearby.

6. Plan for Gifts

Whether you’re hosting a baptism or attending one, giving gifts to the baby is common. Christening gifts make excellent keepsakes for the child to cherish as they get older. Some popular baptism gift ideas include silver jewelry, blankets, and trinket boxes, which can be inscribed with scripture and Bible verses. For young children who can read, baptism books and religious texts make great gifts.

8 Baby Baptism Invitations You’ll Love

Baby’s baptism: priest baptizing a sleeping baby

When it’s time to send your invitations, it doesn’t get much easier than digital invitations. You can easily customize any of these designs and even add elements like music and wax seals to make it more memorable. From traditional and elegant to cute and sweet, here are some of our favorite baptism invitations to inspire you.

1. Beautiful Cross Invitation

Baby’s baptism: Beautiful Cross Invitation

Design: Phrosne Ras

This gorgeous invite features a hand-drawn cross with leafy accents and a glistening glitter envelope. It’s sweet and modern, inviting guests to celebrate your child’s baptism and new life.

2. Soft Leaves Invitation

Baby’s baptism: Soft Leaves Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen (photo courtesy of Angela & Evan Photography)

This sweet invite comes in a range of soft palettes and features a large photo box where you can include a picture of the child. The delicate leaf work and subtle cross exude a lovely, reverential tone.

3. Petite Daisies Invitation

Petite Daisies Invitation

Design: Paper Raven Co.

This floral invite is perfect for baptisms, first communions, and confirmations. A gold foil cross takes center stage as delicate daisies dance around the religious motif for a cheerful tone.

4. Beautiful Baptism Invitation

Beautiful Baptism Invitation

Design: Phrosne Ras

Invite guests to bear witness to your child’s baptism with this sophisticated invitation. It features an ethereal background of leaves and an elegant script featuring the word “baptism” while offering plenty of text space for all your event details. 

5. Hand-Lettered Baptism Invitation

Hand Lettered Baptism Invitation

Design: Pink House Press (photo courtesy of Julia Kinnunen Photography)

Nothing’s cuter than a photo of a giggling baby. Put your little one on display with this photo christening invitation. Bold hand-lettering makes the invite easy to read and guests are sure to smile as they hit that RSVP button.

6. Small Chapel Invitation

Small Chapel Invitation

Design: Mint Parcel

Celebrate a baptized person or child with this faith-inspired invitation. It features a house of worship and is available in three unique colorways. 

7. Pastel Watercolor Invitation

Pastel Watercolor Invitation

Design: Clementine Creative

Hand-painted elements and watercolor design combine to create this magical invite. A few sprinkles of gold foil confetti add glamor to the design, which is perfectly suited for religious ceremonies and baby showers.

8. Stained Glass Window Invitation

Stained Glass Window Invitation

Design: Tennie & Co

Evoke the beauty of stained glass windows in churches with this glistening invitation. It features abstract lines and various colorways to create a gorgeous backdrop for your baptism event details.

Celebrate the Joyous Rite of Baptism

Celebrating a baby’s baptism is a special occasion for many people of the Christian faith. Whether you’re planning your baby’s baptism or attending a baptism ceremony for a loved one, we hope this guide will help better prepare you for the special day. For more inspiration to enjoy life’s special moments, continue browsing our Stationers blog where you’ll find tips and ideas for birthday parties, religious holidays, and so much more.