Baptism on a budget

Cynthia - posted on 03/15/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter is getting baptized in 2 months, and I need some help with how to plan on a limited budget! I already have to sacrifice a baptismal gown for just a pretty dress, those baptismal gowns are damn expensive! The food situation is stressing me out! My boyfriend and I have big families and there could be close to 30 people there! Any ideas for what to make for that many people (that won't make me broke!)? Recipes for large groups are also welcome. THANKS!

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Susan - posted on 03/25/2010

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If you do want a traditional baptism gown, check some thrift stores (if you don't mind it being used). I was at a thrift store this weekend and noticed they had some there. When I bought my daughter's I never thought to look there. As for the food, we did roast beef sandwiches in a crock pot and 2 foot hoagies cut into small pieces. We also had some immediate family members bring side dishes (parents, sisters). If people are thinking of bringing you gifts, maybe you could ask them to bring food instead. As for the paper products, try the dollar store too. If you're looking for something fancy that says baptism on it, you probably won't find them there, but we just got purple plates, napkins, and bowls that matched. I also agree that since it will be in May and it will be warm outside and you could make it more laid back and have casual food or finger foods. You'd be surprised how much you can fill up on snacks.

Natalie - posted on 03/25/2010

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I would keep it simple and have you thought about just not feeding them lunch, but only finger foods? I would do a dessert, crackers and some cheese, and then maybe some chips and salsa. Also, what about asking the godparents to bring a covered dish as well as the grandparents? I ahd the baptism gown made from a friend and it was still expensive, but well worth the money since both my kids wore it and it has much sentimental value! I would spend my money on that and ask those mentioned above to bring something in the food category! Don't sacrifice your childs gown in order to feed others. I know you want to, but your child comes first. Noone expects you to go all out.

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Evstar1 - posted on 08/10/2013

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Hi I like your idea with roast beef sandwiches can you send me recipe? Thx :)

Amy - posted on 03/25/2010

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for our son's baptisim we just got him a dressy outfit, it wasn't even white.

As far as the food goes, cheese, meat and crackers is a good one, if you buy the cheese in bricks and cut it yourself you can save a lot of money! Same with the meat!

Meatballs are always good, buy pre-made meat balls (like at sams club, or elsewhere) and put bbq sause and other stuff in a crock pot and your done.

If you have access to a grill, try grilling some brats, hamburgers or hotdogs, you can buy big boxes of them pretty cheap.

Make a salad, A veggie, fruit salad, just buy the stuff and cut it up yourself (You can do this a few days before hand if you need to).

Chips and dip are pretty good, or Chips and salsa.

Asking a few close family members to make something would be helpful as well, My parents, mother in law, and a few others helped make things for our son's baptism as well.

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First remember what the day is really about - is about welcoming your new little one into a fellowship of faith and starting them a path of being part of a church community - however that may look and feel for you and your family. So, with that said, here are some thoughts:

Don't let the food stress you out. I would go out to your family and ask for help, which I'm sure everyone would be pleased to do (I mean, there is a baby involved here, everyone likes to help with baby!) I would think of some food items that you may be able to ask someone to bring - for example if there is a casserole that Aunt Betty makes that everyone loves, see if she will bring it. She'll probably be flattered and more than happy to pitch in.

Since the event is in May - you may be able to do a BBQ style event, when you invite people tell them you are having a family cook-out after the ceremony. You are providing the drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, if they could bring some cook out appropriate food (salads, chips, etc)

If going to the family isn't in the cards, don't forget your local grocery store. Generally speaking they have some sort of catering service - whether it's trays of cold cuts, or finger sandwhichs or some hot food items, they are frequently offered for much less than take-out would be and much, much less stress than cooking. If you are set on cooking yourself think about lasagna - it can be made the day before. Most lasagna boxes have a receipe on the side - for thirty people, I would make at least two of them. Also, a quick and easy pasta is Penne with Voldka Sauce by Giada (reciepe can be found on the Food Networks site) I've made this for large gatherings before and have always had plenty and have even been adopted as an honory Italian! It is awesome!

If you want cake, have a cup cake baking party. You can get a cupcake stand at craft stores for around $20 (something you can use again) and if you buy cake mixes, thirty or 40 cupcakes will be made for really cheap - much cheaper than a sheet cake, which usually gives you too much cake anyway.

When you buy plates and napkins, go to a party supply store, but look outside the baptism aisle. Because the paper products in this area are specific they are ususally more expensive. If you have your heart set on something that says "baby's baptism" on it, stick to one item, like napkins or dessert plates. Then go and get some plain, colored plates/napkins to cooridnate with them.



As for the dress - if you've gotten a pretty dress already and really like it, stick with it...otherwise think again about your family. My daughter was baptized on Christmas Sunday and I had very specific gown in mind. It was $300 in a local store - Yikes! My wedding gown only cost little more than that! Instead, I had my mother made it for me for around 30 dollars (I think the pattern was more than the fabric) It was beautiful, we were able to incoporate a red ribbon (this was important to me because it was her first Christmas dress too) and having it made by grandma made it extra special. Also check places like Target, Kohls, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Sometimes in the spring they have gowns for really inexpensive.



I hope this helps!

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