Christening Day "Anchored in Love"
One of the most spiritually centered moments in the life of a child is the day that they are given back to God. It commemorates the beginning of a child's life in the Christian faith, and a common tradition that's been around for centuries. In continuing with that tradition, we decided to give Kaylen Alexander Winston back to God on July 25, 2021. Kaylen having both parents that were christened, we felt compelled to do the same. Kaylen was christened at Bahamas Harvest Church by Pastors Mario and Erika Moxey. Bahamas Harvest being the church Kaylen's dad and I practically grew up in and attend regularly, it was no question that this would be Kaylen's church home and an organization that would play a pivotal role in his spiritual upbringing. I am excited to share this joyous moment with you all and to sort of relive this day all over again!
The day we got word from our church that the day we requested to christen Kaylen was approved, everything was in motion. When it came to the overall color palette of the christening I already knew that shades of blue would be our color palette of choice considering the theme being: "Anchored in Love". My Pinterest Christening board was literally a sea of BLUE, LOL! I used my graphic design skills and made the decision that I would design everything. From the invitation, to the welcome sign, gift box packaging, even down to the labels of the hand sanitizer bottles at the sanitizing station, I wanted full control over this part of the planning process. After gaining inspiration from pre-existing invites that I saw online I finally decided on this design that I made.. It introduced the theme of the christening ahead of time, it was also to the point in terms of informing our family and godparents of the venue, time etc . It was important that I paid close attention to the details of the invites considering that this would be the first medium used to welcome the other aspects of this event. Being in a social media era, it was hassle free in terms of getting the invites out to everyone. One click of a button allowed for everyone to receive their invites without having to drive the entire island distributing them. I love technology, man.
Usually, the venue would be established prior to an invite. However, I knew The Balmoral Club would be our venue of choice as our baby shower was hosted here as well. I consider The Balmoral as a multifunctional venue. We were able to take photos here, change into our lunch attire and even have lunch here! The beautiful, lush foliage of the lawn was also a plus, eliminating the need for a backdrop for photos. Balmoral Club has been a venue of choice for my family and I and it holds a lot of amazing memories.
Pro event planning tip: ALWAYS choose your venue months before the actual day! There is always a possibility that you and five hundred other people are planning a major event at the very same place and time on the same day. Also, always have a Plan B when looking to have an outdoor event. The weather app will be your best friend in the days leading up to your event. Don't get caught slipping!
Next up, was pretty much the focal point of the event...THE FOOD! In order to allow for a seamless transition from the church, to photos and then lunch, we thought it best to send out the menu alongside the invites. This allowed us to have an idea of how many of each dish would need to be prepared by the kitchen team at our venue. Once this was decided, we sent over the guest count and what each person would be having. Guests were allowed to choose one menu item and given a choice of: Shrimp & Grits, Stew Conch, Fried Chicken & Waffles or Plantain Mushroom Burger (for our vegan friends). Aside from the lunch menu, we also had conch fritters as our passed hors d'oeuvres in between photo taking prior to being seated for lunch. Being in the event planning and marketing world, a tip to always remember is to, FEED DEM PEOPLE! With church being about an hour along with photos ranging from one to one and a half hours it was important that we kept in mind that our guests would probably be starving as well as idle in between other taking photos. A choice of fruit punch or lemonade was also provided during this time.
I am a firm believer of "paying for convenience". Although I knew that I could achieve this look that I was going for on my own, I paid to have it done by the one and only Tramaine at Extra Flair. She understood my vision and allowed me to stress her for days and multiple times per day. (Love you lots, Tramaine. LOL!)
In keeping with the theme, we wanted the décor to reflect that. Lots of muted tones, blues and neutrals. Considering that the theme was "Anchored in Love" an anchor was one of the main pieces used, naturally. I literally had this lying around the house for two years now so I was super excited that I was able to use it. From the pampas grass to the dainty candlesticks and holders, to the backdrop, she certainly nailed it especially during an incredibly hard time in her life; losing a parent. I couldn't have asked for a more accommodating event stylist.
Aside from the backdrop provided by Tramaine, I also wanted a sign printed with a "A Christening Blessing". Literally the night before the christening I saw this written online while scrolling and just had to have it. I designed it in less than an hour and had it printed in the knick of time. It was such an amazing touch to the event space and I'm so glad I went ahead and got it done. It reads,
For your Christening Day
may God grant you always a sunbeam to warm you
a moonbeam to charm you
a sheltering angel
so nothing can harm you
laughter to cheer you
faithful family and friends near you
and whenever you pray
heaven to hear you.
2 birds, 1 stone...
Kaylen's Christening was held three days prior to his half birthday. Remember when I said I kill a million birds with one stone? This was a good example of that. I made a mini cake for Kaylen and purchased a cake topper from Stems Bahamas. Popped on a couple candles and BOOM, half birthday photos were covered! At this point in time at the festivities Kaylen was over it and ready to be put down for his afternoon nap, -cue hysterical crying-. All in all, I am happy with the decision to have had both incorporated into one photo sesh.
Packaging is Everything!
Being the self proclaimed queen of Packaging, I just knew I had to create cute labels for all the cute tings in the gift boxes. I designed all the labels that adorned the cutest take home boxes for our guests. Everyone had custom name tags attached to their boxes that really took the boxes to the next level. In keeping with the, "Anchored in Love" theme, we had catchy phrases like, "Happy Seas Await" on the trail mix bags in the gift boxes. Packaging is literally everything and the smallest gifts can look that much more expensive and thoughtful when cute labels are added.
Shameless Plug: if you're looking for a graphic designer for your next event, inquire within.
These gift boxes were highly talked about at the christening and definitely the cutest addition. With cupcakes and mini donuts (not pictured) provided by Macarra at Shop Hello Cupcake to the custom christening cookies provided by Tessa Adderley at Island Homeade along with the "Because Sailors need snacks too" Trail Mix pouches that I curated the day before allowed for the perfect take home boxes for our guests. These boxes were packed with so much love by Tylen at Brunches & Soirees along with the custom name tags and the printing of the Christening Blessing sign also provided by her. There were a lot of moving parts and girl bosses that made this event a huge success. I seriously can't thank them enough!
As at all events that we've hosted thus far, we always make sure our guests know how important their support means to us. Along with the gift boxes, we ensured that each guest left with a thank you card attached to their boxes. To Kaylen's incredible grandparents, aunts and uncle who support us more than they know, to his amazing godparents that have been going above and beyond from before Kaylen was even brought earthside, to his extended family, church family and friends, THANK YOU! You have been incredible with the outpouring of love and support that you guys have shown Kaylen every chance you get. It truly takes a village to raise good kids and our village has been nothing short of amazing.
Also to you guys who've read this far, THANK YOU! I appreciate your support and I hope to have you around for a very long time.
It is my prayer that Kaylen will continue to grow in the love of God, that he will use his gifts and talents in a positive way that will bring about impactful change in our world and I pray that he keeps talking to Jesus for the rest of his life.
Venue: The Balmoral Club
Reagan Kemp- Photographer & Videographer
Clifton Barry- Photographer
Kaylen's Outfit- Kalico Bay
My Outfit(s)- Flaunt It & Rack Consignment Boutique
Event Stylist- Extra Flair
Signage & Boxes- Brunches & Soirées
Cake Topper- Stems Bahamas
Cupcakes and Mini Donuts- Shop Hello Cupcake
Custom Cookies- Island Homeade
Paper Printing Company- KK's Printing