Christening etiquette is a hot topic, thanks to Prince Louis. He will be Christened in the Royal Chapel on July 9, with the world’s media eager to capture picture perfect images of another right royal occasion. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have opted for an intimate, family-orientated affair. But that is unlikely to stop people wondering about Christening outfits and Christening gifts. After all, Prince Louis is fifth in line to the throne.
While not all Christenings attract the attention of the press, they are no less special. If you are planning a Baptism, or have been invited to attend one, our guide to Christening etiquette will help. It aims to iron out niggling doubts about Christening outfits and all-important Christening gifts.
Christening trends have changed in recent years. Etiquette governing invitations, for example, has been relaxed. It has taken on a much more casual theme. There is no longer an expectation of a formal invitation, for example. It is considered perfectly acceptable for invitations to be issued by email or in a telephone call. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t send a formal invitation, if you want to.
Etiquette surrounding Christening outfits and Christening gifts remains rooted in tradition, with a few minor exceptions. Here, you will need to follow at least some of the rules. Whether your Christening event is traditional or has a contemporary theme, our top tips will help.
A brief guide to Christening outfits
Prince Louis’ Christening outfit is expected to stick to tradition. Think white or cream, possibly with a touch of lace. The royals tend to capture Victorian nostalgia in the overall styling of formal Christenings. That is because heirlooms, or replicas of royal styles, have dictated Christening etiquette. But that doesn’t mean all Christening outfits follow the same pattern. While smart, sophisticated looks reign, more contemporary themes are popular.
A shift in perceptions of what Christening outfits should look like means pretty outfits are in vogue. In fact, cute outfits have replaced long, white wraps. Traditionally, white Christening outfits signified a child’s new life with Christ. As naming ceremonies and less formal Christenings gain traction, a touch of colour is acceptable.
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The best Christening gifts
One of the biggest changes in Christening etiquette surrounds godparents. Children being Christened today are likely to have more godparents than ten years ago. While church registers may only have space for four godparents, some children may have as many as eight. Choosing Christening gifts that have significance or are personalised is a must. This is where tradition meets modern-day expectations.
If you are looking for Christening gifts, consider something special. You will avoid buying a child something they already have or, worse, has been bought by another Christening guest. A silver plated curl or tooth case, a pewter cup or sterling silver dummy clip are all excellent choices. Pay attention to personalisation. By adding the child’s name to a gift, you will give it extra meaning.
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Prince Louis will be Christened 71 years to the day that his great-grandmother, the Queen, announced her engagement. If this event has inspired you to arrange a Christening, or you are attending one, don’t overlook the importance of Christening outfits and Christening gifts.
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