Who to Invite to Your Child’s Baptism or Christening

Deciding on who to invite to your child’s christening can be hard and it often comes at a time when you are sleep deprived and just making it through the day with a newborn. I remember it well!

Most commonly the people invited to your child’s baptism will be the child’s godparents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. Sometimes close friends are also invited, but not always. Of course the child’s parents and siblings will also be at the baptism.

The number of people invited to your child’s baptism varies greatly depending on the size of your family and whether or not you invite friends. Deciding which friends to invite can also present a new challenge, where do you draw the line?

Who is Normally Present at a Baptism?

The people normally present at a child’s baptism are:

  • child being baptised
  • pastor
  • parents & siblings
  • godparents
  • grandparents
  • great grandparents
  • aunties & uncles
  • cousins
  • close family friends
  • church congregation

The church congregation will be at the baptism if the baptism is held during a regular Sunday service, as it normally is.

How Many People is Normal at a Christening?

On average between 15 to 40 people will attend a Christening who have been specifically invited. This number will depend greatly on the size of the child’s extended family as usually grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins will all be invited.

The church congregation will also be at the christening as the christening normally happens as part of the Sunday church service, but there is no expectation to invite them to the gathering afterwards.

The table below looks at average numbers of people invited, which I’ve calculated around 25, again depending greatly on family size. A small gathering might have 10 people, whereas a large extended gathering might have over 50 people, which can be quite common in some cultures.

Child being baptised111
Aunties & Uncles186
Close Family Friends0204

I’ve found that the number of people invited also increases as time goes by. For our first child’s baptism we invited 17 people, but by the time our third child was baptised we invited 24 people as there were more cousins born and we asked friends to be godparents instead of family as we had done for our other two children. However 2 of the great grandparents who came to our first child’s baptism were no longer around by the time our third child was baptised.

How Do you Announce a Baptism?

There are a few ways that you can announce a baptism:

  • tell people when you see them (if you see them often)
  • announce the baptism as part of the invitation for family and friends
  • send a text message to let people know to save the date before sending the invite out. This is useful if you don’t have all the details yet, or are still working on the invitation
  • the baptism may also be announced to the church via their newsletter or bulletin in the weeks leading up to the baptism

Do You Send Invitations for a Christening?

It is a good idea to send invitations for a christening so guests have all the details in one place, like date and time, location etc. Invitations can be sent via post or via text or multimedia message. If sending invites via post you will need to allow more time for these, so you may want to send a text message to let people know to save the date.

Invites via Post

There are a few options when sending an invitation via post:

  • Create and print at home. Design your own invite or use one of the christening invite designs on Canva, save it down (it may cost a small amount) and print at home or local print shop. Then send to all guests.
  • Order printed invites. Just google ‘christening invitations’ and you will see lots of options. Often you will choose a design and add your own details. They will print it for you and then send to you. Although this option will likely take the longest time, so keep that in mind if the christening is quite soon.
  • buy a pad of christening invites from your local christian book shop or newsagency and fill out the details.

I personally quite like receiving an invite in the mail as then I can stick it on my fridge.

Invites via Multimedia Message

Multimedia messages are great, they look like a proper invite, but get to the recipient quickly and then they have it on their phone to refer back to easily. You could create an invite in Canva and choose from their many beautiful baptism/christening invite templates, add your details, then download for a small fee and then send this out as an image via your phone. There is also an option in many designs to add a photo of your child which is a beautiful, personal touch.

Invites via Text Message

Another option is to just send a text message to family to let them know the details of the christening – quick and easy! This what I did, although I might’ve sent an invite via multimedia message if I’d known about how to do them at the time.

How do You Invite a Family Member for Baptism?

Often things are more casual with family members so you could just let them know about the baptism when you see them and then also send a text message so they have all the details of the baptism written down. Otherwise a baptism invite via post or multimedia message is a beautiful and more formal way to invite them to the baptism. It also makes a great little memento to keep. Of course if you’re sending a formal invite to friends also include your family in the formal invitations.

Do You Have a Party for Baptism?

As a general rule there will be a gathering/party after the baptism, usually lunch following the morning church service (or brunch if the baptism is super early). The gathering can be at your place or out somewhere.

Having the gathering at your place after the christening has it’s pros and cons, so does having it at a venue. Let’s look at these in detail below:

Baptism Party VenueAt HomeAt a Venue
Prosbaby can sleep in it’s own bedchange of scenery
easy for nappy changesdon’t have to clean house
more casualcan relax more
easier if lots of kids are inviteddon’t have to host
Conshave to clean/tidy housecan get expensive
have to organise food & drinkhave to organise and book in advance
have to leave at a set time
can’t move about as much

Do You Need to Invite all People at the Baptism to the Party afterwards?

You do not need to invite everybody to both the baptism and lunch after, but it is most common to invite people to both the baptism and gathering afterwards. However I have been invited to a friends child’s baptism where only family was invited to the reception afterwards, but this is not normally the case and it felt a bit wierd being invited to the baptism, but not for the lunch afterwards.

So just invite the people who are closest to you for your child’s christening. You don’t need to make it big and fancy, you already have enough on your plate. Just remember the wonderful reason for the event, your child being marked as one of God’s own. Let this soak in and give yourself space to enjoy the day and the amazing closeness of God.