If your child is making first communion next spring, you may think there’s nothing to do right now. But you’re wrong! Have you sent “save the date” cards and thought about the communion invitations? Have you created a checklist? Don’t bother as we’ve created a communion planning checklist for you. Enter your information on our homepage and we’ll send you a link so that you can download our comprehensive communion checklist. There’s probably MORE information than you’ll ever need or want, but I prefer to be prepared.
By now, most parishes have selected the first communion date. The ceremony usually takes place in the spring which helps underscore the association with new life and new beginnings. [Spring events also provide for an abundance of fresh flowers but more on that in another post.] Once you know the date, and you’ve marked your calendar, you’ll want to think about a list of people to invite and how to let them know.
You have several options on how to communicate. Do you ooh and aah over printed invitations? Do you lovingly caress letterpress invitations? Would you rather post on Facebook? Is the telephone your modus operandi? Whichever your decision, the important thing is to let people know sooner rather than later. Since you probably don’t need to learn how to use the telephone, and you could most likely teach me a thing or two about Facebook, let me concentrate on the formal method of communication – printed invitations. My two favorite companies are Cranes & Co. and William Arthur. You can order the save the date card directly online or you can find a dealer to help you decide on fonts, ink colors, paper weight and method of printing. The save the date cards should go out 6-9 months in advance of the actual ceremony. If you have many guests coming from out of town, remember that the more advance warning you give, the higher the probability that they will be able to attend. [You'll also have an approximate headcount in case you need to reserve a restaurant for the celebration.] The wording for the save the date card might look like:
order cialis online=”text-align: center;”>Please Save the Date May 5, 201X
for the First Communion of
[name of child]
Formal Invitation to Follow
Formal invitations should then be sent 2-1/2 months before the event. The wording for the invitation might look something like:
Please Join Us for
the First Communion of
[name of child]
Sunday, May 5th
Ten in the Morning
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
New York, New York
Celebration to Directly Follow at
4 West 54th Street
New York, New York
R.S.V.P. by April 15th
In determining quantities, order more invitations and cards than you believe you’ll need. There’s always at least one handwriting mistake or last minute addition. You might even consider ordering the save the date cards and the invitations all at once. It will save you time, but…let me mention something that actually happened to me. My parish changed the date of the first communion the year that my youngest daughter made hers. The change happened in December and for whatever reason I had only ordered the save the date cards. This was an unusual occurrence since I tend to plan FAR, FAR in advance but sometimes things work out for the best.
Do you have any great printing resources? Let others know in the comment section below.
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Are you worried about a double dip recession given the wild gyrations of stock market? What do you do if you’re trying to plan for a special occasion during these uncertain times? The first thing to remember is that you can’t give in to fear and stop living. Your daughter will only make her first communion once!
So where do you start? Begin by creating a budget. You can have an elegant first communion for $1,000 or you can have an over-the-top extravaganza for $100,000. [Okay so that's probably a little dramatic but you get my point.] Figure out what you are comfortable spending and then plan accordingly. Start 9-12 months in advance. This will give you extra time to put money aside and comparatively shop for items. In deciding what to spend, group the expenses into 4 areas:
The attire category will include the dress, jacket, shoes, headpiece, petticoat, stockings, flowers and jewelry. It may also include your attire along with outfits for your husband and other children. The celebration category will include caterers, restaurants, alcohol, food, music, invitations, place cards and thank you stationery. Accommodation will include hotels, transportation and airfare that you are picking up. Lastly, the commemoration category will include such things as photographer, videographer, photo books, videos and favors.
There aren’t any rules about how much you should spend in each area. One person may spend 10% on attire; 25% on celebration; 0% on accommodations and 65% on commemoration. Another person may spend 30% / 35% / 20% / 15%. Determine what you really want, versus what’s simply “nice to have.” Do you want to hire a photographer to commemorate the special occasion and create a hardcover leather-bound photo album? Would you rather invest in a communion dress that will be worn by all the girls in your family and then become an heirloom for future generations?
Know what is important to you and then be creative. We’ve included some little ways to stay within your budget:
1. Purchase a communion dress either a year in advance or 2-3 weeks before the event. Many retailers reduce their prices in late spring/early summer to move remaining inventory. If you’re buying a year in advance, make sure you order the dress 2 sizes larger. Little girls have a way of growing!
2. Send electronic instead of printed invitations. Having your daughter (or son) make the place cards.
3. keep the celebration to just family (BTW your BF counts as family).
Do you have any tips? Include them below.
If your daughter or son is making a first communion next spring, you’ll need to start thinking about it sooner rather than later. Believe it or not, late summer early fall is the perfect time to start planning a first communion.
Overall, there are two key things to think about: the religious ceremony and the celebration. Most children in the United States make their first communion in the second grade so you should sign up for religious education at your local parish before your child starts the second grade. Once that’s done, it’s time to start thinking about the type of first communion celebration that is right for your family. Do you want an intimate gathering at your house? Would you prefer an elaborate celebration to commemorate the event? Either way, there’s much that needs to be done.
For the religious ceremony, you’ll need to consider what outfit your child will wear, as well as the shoes and other accessories. Ask the religious instructor about any restrictions or dress code requirements. Some churches require a head veil while others frown upon bare shoulders. For the celebration, you’ll need to plan the guest list, the location and the food. Granted you’re not planning a wedding but there are still quite a few details to think about. Remembering our own experience, we created a timeline to help you plan the perfect communion. You simply enter the date and the document calculates everything.
All you need to do is add your name and email address on the homepage to get started. Once we verify the information, we’ll send you everything you need to start planning the perfect communion. Of course, we’d love you to tell others about us so they too can get started planning the perfect first communion.