Baptism Ideas

My first of five was baptized last November.  I thought I'd share a few things that we did since I was having a hard time finding ideas myself.  Obviously, there are so many different ways to go and I'm sure none of our five will be the same but hopefully this can be a good spring board for your ideas. 

First, you should know, I don't do the whole white dress thing.  I love the concept of white but I didn't feel it was necessary to have a white dress so we went with my daughter's favorite color, blue.  I did, however, tie a white ribbon around the middle and she did wear a white headband.  It turned out really cute (and she looks really beautiful in the pictures with that extra color).  I did a whole bunch of pictures of her for invitations and just so I could remember this time.  I really wanted to remember everything about my sweet girl.  When we went out to get pictures though..."Mom, its too cold." "Mom, WHY do I have to do this?" "Mom, I don't want to." "Moooommmm."  So the picture I ended up with looks kind of funny but only if you knew her well could you really tell.  That was a great memory I tell ya.  I had her hold a big yellow flower that I happened to have that day just to add some color. I used Smilebox for the invites.  They have lots to choose from and I didn't feel the need to mail any.  I did print a copy off for her scrapbook though (only available on the full version- not the free one but you could use the free trial).

Next, I decided to make the program myself (some wards have people that will do it and some you just have to do it yourself- I had just gotten released from the calling so I figured I knew how to do it myself).  I used some paper from our LDS bookstore that had a picture of the sacred grove on the front with the scripture from James 1:5.  That's nearby the place my daughter was born so it had extra significance to us but I also used the scripture in my talk.  Each ward does things a little different but our program included:

Presiding.....

Conducting....

Chorister....

Pianist....

Welcome....

Opening Song (we choose "When I am Baptized")

Opening Prayer....(Aunt)

Talk on Baptism...

Baptismal Ordinance by... Witness...

Talk on Holy Ghost...

Confirmation by

Primary Welcome....

Bishopric Welcome....

Closing Song ("In Our Lovely Deseret" her favorite)

Closing Prayer...

I put what the relationship of each person was in ( ) as you can see in one example above just so we'd always remember and for those who didn't know.  That's a pretty basic program if you have no idea what to put in yours.  I printed the words to the songs on the inside of the program as well.  I remember for my baptism that I had just memorized a scripture in class and was determined to say it at my baptism.  I got the approval and everything but it wasn't in the program.  I was so mad.  I made them listen to me say it though and now I have no idea what it was but I'm sure it didn't relate to baptism very well since people kind of laughed at me.  Oh well. 

This is kind of what I had at the church.  There was a little table outside of the room that I could use for a display (you know those classroom tables).  I made a collage of my daughter over her fabulous 8 years and printed out a Baptism Subway art online.  I grabbed some flowers for color and a table runner we have that shows some of her heritage.  Simple but nice.  We switched rooms after the baptism so I needed something that could be moved easily (plus be used at home too).

This is a bowl that I used after we switched rooms.  I put it on the table outside the other room.  That way while people were waiting they could "chews" the right- I know my little ones needed something.  I got the clipart online.  They are supposed to be for cupcakes I believe.  Its just salt water taffy...something my daughter loves.  People also took some on their way home.

My daughter used a special baptism towel that the primary had given her earlier that year at the baptism preview.  I was going to make one like this but it turned out to be nice to have the other one since I ran out of town (or really didn't plan as well as I should have to do it).  I liked both concepts.  The one the primary gave her had a poem about baptism on it.  It was something that was special for her and she waited all year to use it. I might add something like this on to it though so it doesn't get mixed up with other white towels.

Something else that I want to throw in here is my Mom was asking everyone what they remembered about their baptism.  My sister said that she remembered not having dry underwear!  So remember some dry underwear!  I think it would be fun to collect funny stories and tips like this and share them with the person before their baptism along with pictures.  Then he/she could add her own tip to the collection for the next person.  I bet it would be pretty fun and neat.

While everyone was waiting for my daughter to get changed, they wrote on these little index cards.  I asked them to write a message to my daughter.  I know lots of people have them write a baptism memory but I really wanted them to say something special for her, something that she could go back and read over and over.  They turned out really great plus its the perfect little activity to do in between, just the right amount of time (and no technical difficulties to worry about).  The kids who didn't know how to write just drew pictures.

I laminated all the cards we got back and included some memories like pictures of the day and parts of the program.  Then I duct taped it all together because I forgot to leave extra room at the end to sew it all together.  It worked out nicely though (especially with so much fancy duct tape to choose from these days).  Just be sure to tape a few together at a time if you do it too then do the whole thing otherwise your pages will slip out.  My daughter keeps it in her scripture bag and will often look through it during sacrament or when she needs a pick me up at home.  I had her write down her feelings on a card too and put that one first.  Its good to have it written down somewhere you will see it often.  This might be our favorite thing.

We decided to do a reception afterwards this time.  At home I had this pumpkin decorated.  The plan was to get lots of white pumpkins and decorate them in all sorts of fashion but this was the only white pumpkin that I could find at the time and it was seriously lopsided so we made do.

At home we based the party off of the song "When I am Baptized" so I made this rainbow with streamers (I prefer when I make it with two or three streamers of each color but I like this effect too).  Then I hung raindrops that had her picture on and quotes from the song.

It doesn't take long which is exactly what I needed that day (or really the night before).  I had a few other raindrops other places with fun facts on them.  I wanted to put some rainbow umbrellas up but then it would have blocked out too much light so I decided against it.  By the way, I have to give credit to my Mom, sister, and her husband for going out and buying the streamers (couldn't find mine) then putting it up.  That was super great of them.

This is one tall cake so make sure you make small layers! I write on it with white frosting too.

 On your eighth birthday in my house you get a rainbow cake frosted in white.  We served this at the reception along with other rainbow themed foods as well as favorites of hers and things like cheese and crackers.  We didn't have many non family members show up but it was still nice to do for just the family.  While people ate, I had a slide show of my daughter going on.  It makes you cry and laugh I tell ya.  It was nice.  My daughter loved seeing all the pictures.  It made her feel really special. 

The challenge after the reception though was now what? Her baptism was pretty early in the day. I let my daughter pick first then we went to an outdoor area and walked around.  I don't know if I really liked either but I'm not sure what we will do in the future.  With so much family in town you have to do something but I haven't figured out yet what it is.  Sticking around the house all day wasn't a option...people were going stir crazy.  What did you do or what do you recommend?

We gave my daughter her gifts after the baptism at home.  This is the scripture bag we got her.  There are so many amazing choices these days!  The thing that I liked though was my Mom presented my daughter her Book of Mormon during her talk on baptism.  That was really special.  We gave her the Bible and case with other goodies at home though.  My sister gave her a mini songbook which was really nice for her scripture bag too.  I kind like the idea of different people giving her pieces to put inside her bag.  I may have to do that again but involve more people next time.  At first I was kind of selfish and didn't want to do it but after seeing how much my daughter enjoys it, I'm kind of sold...after all there is a reason we are all family. She got lots of other special gifts that day.  It was very nice.

So that's what we did.  Hopefully it gives you some ideas too.  I'd love to hear what you did and if you do use any of my ideas, please tell me!  I've got four more to go so I'm still looking for more special memories to create.

Also check out my Pinterest Board for more fun ideas.