How to Host a Catholic Baptism Reception

Recently we celebrated my children’s Baptism anniversary. We got out their Baptism candles, Baptism gowns, photo album and said some prayers. Getting the photo album out reminded me of the party we through for them, and how I wished there was more information on the internet about throwing a Baptism party. Well, here goes!

The Baptism Ceremony

To get started with the Baptism process, you just have to go to your Parish office and fill out some paperwork. Once all of that is taken care of, you get to choose a date for your Baptism. It’s a good idea to appoint someone to take photos during the Baptism ceremony, as well as someone to leave the ceremony a little bit early to get everything started for the reception.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the ceremony:

The Reception

You don’t need to have a huge house to have a great party. Ask around and see if anyone has some extra chairs you can borrow. At the time we lived in a 950 sq. ft. apartment. My children were baptized at an older age – the only reason for that was I was overwhelmed with reality of 2 babies under 2 and it was my first time ever throwing a party. Next time I’d definitely get my baby baptized sooner, although it was precious to have them baptized together.


When my husband and I got married, we used the Mexican tradition of the “lasso” in our wedding. We thought it was a beautiful idea. Husband and wife kneel down and have a huge rosary hung from them while a special prayer is said. You can read more here. I decided to hang our lasso as part of our decor and I made a banner myself, I got some triangles that were already cut out from Dollar Tree, and I clipped them to a string by using mini clothespins. I wrote “God Bless Benjamin and Bernadette.” On the cake table I put other special items like a Little Golden Book About God, and a special cross. We just used a white table cloth from the Dollar Tree, as well as some other white decorations like pom poms.


For the food, we were expecting 30 people, so we made three lasagnas, and a big salad with several dressings to choose from. My mother-in-law brought a veggie tray and we had cake and ice cream for dessert. We had the cake made at a special bakery in town but you could totally make cupcakes or a sheet cake or my favorite, a bundt cake. If your whole family lives closeby, you could just do a cake party, but most of our family had to travel far so we wanted to provide a meal. Also, of course, it depends on the time of day the Baptism is.

Preparation and Planning

One thing I would have changed about our party was considering the weather. It was 100 degrees and we turned on the oven in our small apartment and that made it about 90 degrees even with the A/C on in our place. Yikes! So yes, please consider the weather when you plan your menu.

Our Baptism was around lunch time, we we planned to have the reception at our home directly after. I asked my sister to leave early so she could start putting the lasagnas in the oven. I enlisted my mother-in-law to help with an appetizer. I prepped all the food the day before. I scheduled the cake pickup for the morning of. I started decorating a few days before. ( I love that part, it’s so much fun!)

And. let’s face it, planning a party can be overwhelming, that’s why I created this printable. There are 10 pages which consists of multiple shopping lists, checklists, a guest list, and a budget sheet. I brainstormed all the kinds of lists you need to plan a party so you won’t have to do that part of the work. I even included a “Day Before” and “Day Of” checklist with ideas that will alleviate unnecessary stress on your part.

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Party Favors

For party favors, I just got some seed packets from Dollar Tree, and a dear friend of mine printed out a quote to put on each one. They said “Faith Plants the Seed, Love Makes it Grow.” I clipped the quote to each seed packet using more of the tiny clothespins.

Did you have a reception for your children’s baptism? Was it a fancy affair or more low-key? I’d love to hear about it!