Welcome to Baptism Week at Team Whitaker!
This is the third post of a five-part series:
Preparing for the Sacrament (What the Sacrament Means)
Choosing Godparents (Finding People to Support Your Child)
+ BOWL SET Giveaway from Clarey Clayworks
Looking Your Best (Dressing the Part for Your Child’s Big Day)
+ $100 PHOTO CREDIT from Renee Blood Photography
ST. GERARD EARRINGS from Loreto Rosaries and
BAPTISM BONNET AND THREE-PIECE SET + 20% OFF from Blessings Christian Gift Shop in West
The big day is finally here. Cue the chrism and incense.
There’s always excitement surrounding a baptism. Sometimes a fire, but always joy. I place great importance on what the entire family wears, as well as the sweet babe to be baptized. Today we’re chatting baptismal gowns, family attire and photographers.
Oh my. There are a plethora ‘o options. My only two pieces of advice are this: decide at what age you want to baptize your children (the gown fit will be affected) and if it’s something you want to keep in the family or purchase/make new for each child. Your budget may dictate one or both of those answers.
Some families have an heirloom baptismal gown they share. I must say. This is my personal favorite. There are always amazing stories housed in that garment. For our oldest’s baptism, there is a super long story, but I’ll paraphrase. THE baptismal gown we should’ve bought it still sitting in a shop window at the infamous Mall in Florence, Italy. Instead, we opted for the family gown worn by all the babies on my dad’s side of the family. It was beautiful, but seriously falling apart. With John Paul and our subsequent children, we went a different route.
We went back to Italy and finally got “our” family gown in Assisi and then promptly had it blessed by Pope John Paul II. I adore it. You don’t have to go to Italy to buy one, but I won’t stop you if you do. Etsy has a treasure trove of beautiful options, there’s this one from My Girl Dress and another beautiful one from Apricots and Lollipops.
Some of you people are mighty crafty. I’ve heard of wedding dresses, handkerchiefs and lace doilies turned into gowns. The options are limitless, only curbed by your imagination and craft IQ. There are even people on Etsy to do it for you!
I do my best to coordinate my children for the big day. To me, placing a high importance on everyone’s attire reminds them that this is a day worth remembering. There are times I wish I looked as radiant in a hat as Princess Kate, but we can’t all rock the head gear like the Duchess. Depending upon the season of the birth of our babies, we’ve recycled Easter or Christmas attire, family photo duds or things from a birthday. Whatever you do, momma, just remember to find something that makes you feel as beautiful as you really are. Your post-partum body won’t be perfect, but you’re gonna have to let that go.
Hiring a Photographer
For me, this is a must-do. Now, by “hiring” you might be paying your brother-in-law in beer and guacamole, but for the love of all that’s holy, designate a photographer. I mean it. This is bossy Kathryn talking. Photos of this day will be ones you’ll cherish for a lifetime. If you can hire a photographer, do it. If you can’t, designate a friend or family member to get clicking. It might help to give them a shot list (particularly useful if they aren’t a practicing Catholic), that way you don’t overlook the most important photos of the day.
Be sure to check with the priest or deacon conducting the baptism, however. They may have a policy of no photo taking, or limited photos, during the baptism. If that’s the case, ask them what photos you can take during and before and what photos you can re-inact afterward. Remember, it’s always the little moments that define the day. The kid crawling on the pew, a grandparent doting on the baby, the stank eye to behave from Mom. Definitely get one of the whole family post-baptism. There’s no mistaking that after-Sacrament glow.
If you happen to be in a group baptism setting, then consider asking the other families if they all want to donate money and hire one photographer. Every parish has different rules and norms, be sensitive to those while still capturing the beauty of the Sacrament for your family.
All photos courtesy of Shannon Cunningham Photography
Today’s giveaway is three parts awesome. First up is a $100 credit toward a session with local photographer Renee Blood. She’s a good friend of mine and a mighty fine shooter. If you’re local (Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Pflugerville or Round Rock) then you’re eligible to win that great prize. Next, are some lovely St. Gerard earrings from Loreto Rosaries. I think mom often gets overlooked on baptism day so let’s just say I’m doing my part to help you look awesome. And, you can’t beat St. Gerard, the patron saint of expectant mothers. Up last is a baptism bonnet and a three-piece baptism set (bib, socks and blanket) from the Christian Blessings Catholic Bookstore in West. And, AND! they’re also offering 20% off their entire baptism collection through the end of March (visit them online!). So, even if you don’t live near West, you can order via the interwebs. Isn’t it a magical place?
Stop the giveaway madness. Or not. Get yourself entered!