The Budget Baptism #5 – The Cake

This is the fifth post in the series of ‘How we threw a gorgeous Christening for our daughter on just £100!’.

The christening cake could be classed as a little bit cheaty… but I’m putting it in anyway.

My mum wanted to help out with the costs of the day and we suggested she add to the buffet that we were going to make ourselves. In honesty, I was going to attempt to make a celebration cake myself but was quickly running out of time and money.

A cake isn’t the be all and end all of an occasion, but it’s nice to have a centre piece for the buffet table.

My Mum asked a friend of a friend to make this beautiful cake for us. I swooned when I saw it! Such talent! Thanks you so much Caroline Rowe Swift, you made our day!

So girly!
So gorgeous!
So perfect!
So tasty!

Caroline is a cake maker and decorator of some wonderful creations, but she only does it as a hobby and only makes for friends and family for the enjoyment. This makes her cakes even more special, as they are all one of kind!

Before we cut the cake, my brilliant jedi-like husband took some wonderful photographs and managed to pick a few of the butterflies and the baby off the cake (all made out of icing!!!!!) and put them in a box. I intend to keep them with the icing topper from our wedding cake forever.

This masterpiece was done for cost price for Mum as she is a friend (but didn’t cost us anything as it was a gift), but you can expect to pay hundreds of pounds for a beauty like this on the high-street. My advice? – ask around friends to see if they know anyone that can make occasion cakes and call in a favour? It could save you as much as half of your budget!

I still love to look at the pictures and marvel at the beauty… And it was absolutely divine to eat!

Would you have a cake for a Christening? What do you think? 

Thanks so much for reading: The Budget Baptism #5 – The Cake



The Budget Baptism #4 – Grandparent and Godparent Gifts

Remember how I started telling you how we managed to throw a really successful christening on a £100 budget?… Yes?… Well, look no further for the next instalment…


My husband and I had a really hard time deciding who the Godparents of our daughter would be. We have so many wonderful people in our lives, all of whom love our daughter dearly.

But unfortunately, Father had just four name slots on the paperwork for Godparents. We decided the fairest way to decide which four names should fill the gaps, would be to choose two godparents each. We of course then had to agree to each others choices, but there was never a question in either mine or my husbands mind that all four chosen people would guide our daughter spiritually in our absence.

We chose my husbands brother and sister, one of my (many) cousins and my best friend since childhood. This made three Godmothers and one Godfather… there could be a film or two in there?

The christening was always going to be a small affair (in size, not numbers) as I have always found that some of the christenings that I have attended that have been on the scale of small weddings, lose their meaning and sentimentality along the way.

To make the occasion for each Godparent, we wanted to get them a small gift from their Goddaughter. We were on a tight budget and at one point, felt that a budget of around £5 per godparent was unrealistic.


One day I was walking through my local shopping precinct and got wind of a gorgeously lovely smell wafting out of Lush tickling my scent buds. It was so yummy that I simply had to know what it was!

It was this…

Mmmmmm… Lush!
Noooo, not a pink brick! It is a bar of soap called THE GODMOTHER!
A bit of a strange gift, non? But I thought it was novel, and exactly what we had been looking for! I purchased three bars toot sweet and had them all wrapped up in lovely paper. This cost less than a tenner for all three. Hoorah!
Once I got them home, I tied pink polka dot ribbon around them and stuck a small, silver fairy (godmother – Sleeping Beauty style) wand into them. Ta daaaaah!

Small but thoughtful!
The decoration didn’t cost any extra as they were all things I had left over from the party bags for the kids.

The Godfather got a very small token of our daughters gratitude. She very thoughtfully bought him a personalised Lucky Sixpence to thank him for being her Godfather (clever girl that she is). I thought this was such a lovely keepsake and came in well under the £5 per person gift budget from eBay!

Image borrowed from eBay seller alisond5708


Our daughter is a very lucky little girl. She has THREE sets of grandparents.

My parents split up when I was a teenager and have both since remarried. Both of my parents respective new partners love the bones of my daughter as if she were their own (and to be honest, they have both been in the family for so long now, she might as well be).

Both my husband and I were so grateful to all of our parents for all of the time and effort they put into helping with the christening, not to mention helping with the food (but there is more to come on this in another post) that we wanted to give them all a little thank you.

All three granddads received a lucky lottery ticket rolled up and tied with a bow!… none of whom won a single penny!… rich in love, can’t have everything.

And all three grandmothers were presented with a small posy of seasonal flowers with a paper windmill and ribbon added to bright them up.

We presented all of these gifts during our ‘Mummy and Daddy of the Angel’ speech.

Costs so far:
Venue and invitations = £40
Décor, favours and tables = £15.50
Grandparent and Godparent gifts = £19.50
Total = £75

Getting up to the top of our budget!!

Thanks for reading: The Budget Baptism #4 – Grandparent and Godparent Gifts



The Budget Baptism #3 – Thank you Favours, Décor and Tables

 Its been a little while now since had our Little Miss Vista christened. She was baptised on a crisp February morning during the 9.45 am mass service… some family members didn’t thank us for the early rise on a Sunday. However, we made the most of the day and were able to be home with our feet up by tea time.

We were also on a tight budget (didn’t know all about thaty already? Long story… Read here), so it didn’t hurt that we didn’t hire out a function room with a license… we brought in our own drinks (but more about that in another post).

Christmas had just been and gone and I had unfortunately been on SMP (statutory maternity pay) since November *insert big sad face here* so we didn’t have a huge amount of money to spend.

The baptism ceremony was being held at our local family church, St James, so we decided that at just £30 for three hours that we would hire out the parish centre.

Mr Vista and I popped around to the the room for an hour the evening before (with a few volunteers) to put up bunting and set up tables. Little Miss stayed with her Godfather and big cousin, all the decision making was tiring her out *snort*.


When we had the invitations printed, the prompts at the checkout on VistaPrint went a little like this:

Computer Screen: Do you need envelopes? We won’t charge you.

Me: Umm, yes please.

Computer Screen: Would you like some free business cards too?

Me: Yes please.

Computer Screen: OK then. Better give you some free envelopes for those too.

Me: Woop woop!

Oh how I squealed with delight. My imagination was running wild by now… what could I make with this lovely little freebie?

I had it!

We could make really small thank you cards!

After a little Pinterest research, I had created a little verse to thank people for coming to our baby’s special day. Instead of the conventional thank you card, we would hand out something that people could plant and and think of our little girl during spring and summer.

Rather than put the card in the envelope, I put three sunflower seeds inside and stuck the card to the front of the envelope with double sided tape.

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Godmother thank you gift (coming in the next post) and the thank you favour…
So effective that everyone is still talking about it four months later. The pictures of the growing sunflowers have started to roll in now and its so lovely to see that people are getting into it.

It also makes for a lovely addition to the guest book (but more about that in another post.. I know, that’s like the 10th time I’ve said that…) They were so well appreciated and all we had to pay for were the sunflower seeds. I would recommend doing this to anyone who has any memorable occasion coming up.


Because we were on a tight budget, we didn’t bother putting table cloths on all of the tables, we just covered the buffet tables (easy cleaning up). We used a mixture of supermarket value brand white table covers and pink table-covers from Hobbycraft.

We put the home made thank you favours on the tables so that people would see them.

My mum also gifted our Little Miss with two Christening Day balloons, and amazingly the ‘It’s a Girl’ balloon from 11 weeks earlier was still alive. We used these to brighten up the buffet table. We used two princess castle cake stands for some of the cakes (£1.49 each from Home and Bargain – Amazing value!).

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Balloons… Gifted!
Cake stands… except ours were from good ol’ H&B..

The entirety of the décor for the big day was bought off eBay! It was all disposable and plastic fantastic, but looked wonderful on the day.
 We hung pink polka-dot bunting around the room on the walls and along the front of the buffet table and we used some tinsel sparkler decorations (pretty sure these were balloons weights but they were pink, soooo…) as table centre pieces along with some bowls of pink sweets (i.e. bonbons and dolly mixture).

A cheep, cheerful and effective job.

We left happy in the knowledge that the room was suitably dressed for the following day. And the whole thing didn’t cost the earth!

Total spent so far:
Venue and Invitations = £40
Favours = £2 (everything except the seeds were free)
Tables and Décor = £13.50
Total = £55.50

What do you think so far? What would you have done differently? 

Thanks so much for reading: The Budget Baptism #3 – Thank you Favours, Décor and Tables

Linking up with:
Mami 2 Five

The Budget Baptism #2 – The Venue and Invitations

So, this post is a little late… well more than a little… four months late!

Remember yesterday when I said I was going to share how we managed to pull off throwing a christening on a hundred quid? Well… this is where we started.

I wanted to share, now that the ‘proper’ Christening and Naming Day season is fast approaching, how we managed to throw a beautiful christening for our daughter spending just £100, by making and making-do.

We wanted to get our daughter baptised and introduce her to the church properly but we couldn’t really afford it. We didn’t want to wait until I went back to work, as baby would then be nearly one year old. I’d always envisioned getting my tiny babies christened.

My husband then came up brilliant idea! We would hire out the church parish centre!

The baptism ceremony was free and because we were using our local family church it cost just £30 for three hours to hire the Parish Centre and all of its facilities. This included the tables and chairs and the kitchen and all of its appliances. The only catch was, that 1. We had to clean up thoroughly after ourselves and 2. We couldn’t wear stiletto heels in the kitchen (We’d pucker their lino)… fair enough!

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St James

It was a really lovely touch that as well as being my husbands family church for generations, this was the church where we said our ‘I do’s’ eight years earlier.

We planned our little bundles big day in less than a month!

We booked the church and parish centre on the first working day back after Christmas, the invitations went out a week later with three weeks notice.

The invitations were a family snapshot. We added text as an overlay to the photo with the vital details and had them printed by VistaPrint for just shy of £10 for 50 including P&P. We delivered the invitations by hand and through family and friends. Why pay for stamps when you can be cheeky?

Feet… smaller feet… even smaller feet!

The baptism took place on the 2nd February. A very quick turn around, but everyone could make it!

Total spent so far = £40

A big belated thank you to all who came and made it such a wonderful day. And a massive thank you to our little Princess’ three fairy godmothers and godfather. She loves you very much!

Thanks you so much for reading: The Budget Baptism #2 – The Venue and Invitations


Linking up with:

Everything Mummy
Mami 2 Five

The Budget Baptism #1 – The Baby Boom

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Our daughter was born at the end of 2013 and it seems that she was born in a baby boom… or at least I think that she was.

Mr Vista disagrees so maybe I have imagined it? However, in my defence, there seem to have been a lot of babies born to people that we know in 2013 and early 2014 (I’m pretty sure our gift buying stopped Mothercare from going under!).

Lots of you will know, that my daughter and I don’t go to a huge amount of mum and baby or play groups... so it can’t be that? There are definitely more prams on the Streets of Vista than usual. Maybe it is just because I am off work and most of the other people that are off work are pushing prams too? No shortage of babies to form our next generation anyway.

One thing that comes hand in hand with babies and small children is their Christening or Naming Day Party, and our daughter was no different. She was baptised in a simple ceremony when she was just shy of three months old. The ceremony was followed by an intimate tea party in the church parish centre. Mr Vista and I loved every second and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

We didn’t have her christened in a church that would ensure her entry into the school, we had her baptised into the church that we attend and that her daddy has been attending all of his life.

One day she could attend this school, however it isn’t likely due to there being other schools that are just as good closer to home. Plus, when the time comes, I think it is whichever school you get a good vibe from when you go for a nosey look around.

Back to that baby boom… My husband and I seem to have been to more christenings in the past twelve months than we have ever been to before. I’m pretty sure that this is true and I don’t just notice more because we have a baby now.

And in honesty, some of them…

well, a few of them…

they were just…

OK. No sugar coating. I’ve been to smaller weddings!

We all love our children and we all want to show the world how proud they make us. That’s our god given right. But do we really need to spend so much money on a christening?

The next Christening is always bigger than the last Naming Ceremony. DJ’s, discos, magicians, sushi…! They were amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all… but I couldn’t see past the pound signs!

We spent just over £100 in entirety on Little Miss Vista’s Christening. It took lots of hard work and imagination, but we did it! And to be honest, £100 was a stretch. Since my wages being reduced to maternity pay we just don’t have money to throw around.

Our little girls big day was just as meaningful as some of the bigger big days we have been to! And over the next week or so, I’d like to show you how to save your pennies, mend and make do and still throw the Christening of your dreams.

I’ll be sharing some of the décor, baking, crafts and more importantly, the money saving ideas that we used to pull our daughters special day together.

What sort of Christening or Naming day did you have for your little one? Did you have to work to a budget?

Thanks so much for reading: The Budget Baptism #1 – The Baby Boom