At long last First Communion and confirmations haved resumed in September, as well as a "phased relaxation" on the numbers attending outdoor events. Music to all of our ears with little ones who have missed out on so many celebrations! First Holy Communion parties of course usually begin in late Spring and continue until early summer – but we're now celebrating as soon as we can! Your child’s Communion is a special event and a wonderful family day to spend together. To help you, we’ve prepared a communion celebration checklist that will help you prepare stress-free.
Keep in mind that this is not a typical child's party. a First Holy Communion party will no doubt have guests of all ages. The celebrant should be the “star” of the party and you should make sure they, and their friends have fun ....but make sure the adults do too!
While the church ceremony is usually reserved for immediate family, grandparents and godparents, a First Holy Communion party at home afterwards is a great way to include your extended family and friends in this special day.
Planning is key to every successful party and leaves you so much more relaxed and able to enjoy the day instead of melt downs in the kitchen!
So, it’s a great idea to draw up a personal checklist for your communion so you really can’t forget anything you need to do for the big day.
Put together an action team! Perhaps your kids’ regular babysitter would like to help with games for the kids. Maybe, if you ask really really nicely, your best friend might be willing to help you with the snacks and serve the drinks! Let other close friends and family members play a a special part and delegate helpers with putting up decorations, making a communion cake...and the dreaded clearing up!
Date & Time
The day of the First Holy Communion itself may be a bit too busy for the communion party as well or may clash with other communions of close friends or family.? There’s nothing wrong with holding the celebration a week, two weeks, or even a month after the communion. Your friends can only be in one place at one time, and it’s first come, first served!
As a general rule it is good to leave 2 hours from the communion start time at the church to guests arriving at your home
Set a budget
Perhaps the most important point of the communion checklist! The cost of a communion party can spiral out of control before you get a hand on it. Suddenly the photographer, the printing costs for your communion cards, the caterer, and the bouncy castle man have to be paid. So, it’s really important to set a realistic budget in advance and stick to it. Take unforeseen costs into account and think carefully about what you definitely need and what you can do without.
Make your phone calendar your best friend - a foolproof way to remember all your tasks and make it through the brainfog!
3-4 months before the party
List all those people big and small special to your little celebrant. It’s one of the biggest jobs on the checklist, but only once you’ve done it can you start making the really big decisions for the party.
Decide on catering – buffet or sit down? Cook yourself or get catering? And book caterer if using one. If you choose to use a caterer, you don’t have to worry too much about the food and you can focus on the rest of the party. Prefer to cook yourself...then choose a menu that you can prepare easily in advance so you can enjoy yourself during the party. Make extensive shopping lists of the things that you can buy a week before the party and the fresh produce that you can only get on the day itself. Be sure to take into account people with special dietary requirements (allergies, vegans, and vegetarians). Provide something for everyone! And way not create a menu card to place on the tables?
Don’t forget to contact a photographer if you want professional photos taken of the communion. Arrange a photographer in time so you’ll have stunning photos to remember the day and to use for thank-you cards and invitations (if you’re having the party after the day itself).
Remember to book a photographer to take pictures during the communion party if you’ve chosen to have it on a later day.
4. Entertainment for young and old!
Decide on entertainment and activities and book a bouncy castle if using one. Ideas are endless from DJs, Magicians, Face Painting and Balloon Twisting! Try kidspartiesdublin.ie for lots of ideas and inspiration. Remember Giant Garden Jenga is not just for the kids, nor is karaoke - you might even get Granny singing!
Decide if you wish to use a hairdresser for you and/or your child and book early!
NB****Caterers, Entertainers, Hairdressers and Photographers need to be booked well in advance for Communion Parties as there will be a huge demand for these services with many families having parties on the same day at the same time.
6. Tableware & Decorations / Theme
Balloons, banners and bunting are usually the easiest option for Communion party decorations. But themed communion parties are trendier than ever. - you could take inspiration from your child’s favourite animal or hobby. For fairy lovers, our wonderful hand crafted Wooden Fairy House makes a mystical Fairy theme centrepiece, and a perfect setting for an Enchanted Woodland Theme First Communion party.
Themed Communion tableware, including plates, cups and cutlery are also easy to find in local party supply shops or supermarkets. Or, you could look to hire crockery and glassware (as well as tables and chairs, if needed) from a catering supplier.
Now for the table decorations. You’ll want to present your cooking skills on a spectacular party table. Thankfully, decorating options for a completely WOW party are almost endless! You can go for some basic options such as matching napkins and table runners, but you can also add some extras to your tables, like our moss table runners, moss handbags, grass table mats and wooden plates.
1-2 months in advance
Send the invitations
Send your invitations at least six weeks before the party takes place. Make sure your guests have lots of time to make their own plans!
Keep a list of guests that have confirmed so you’ll know for sure who’ll be there.
Tip: Create invitations that fit the theme of your party. That way you set the right tone from the get-go! Home made invitations are a great way to involve the main man or little lady.
Provide enough seating and crockery
It’s important to provide enough chairs, tables, crockery, and possibly a tent to avoid nasty surprises the day itself. Not many people have fifty chairs, plates, or glasses at home. If you’re hiring a caterer to take care of the food, they usually provide plates and cutlery. You can borrow chairs and tables from friends and family or, of course, you could also rent!
These gorgeously cute toadstool tables and stools are available to rent in the greater Dublin area.
Communion thank-you gifts for your guests
You can also give communion gifts for your guests to take home. They always bring presents, so it'll make them very happy to receive a small gift in return! A few cool gift boxes or bags filled with tasty sweets or some other nice surprises always go down well! This is a great way to make sure you have an unforgettable communion party, because old, young, big, or small, we all secretly like gifts very much!
1 week in advance
Make a shopping list for the perishables a week in advance. Preparation for a communion party is easiest if you buy things such as ingredients for cooking, decorations, crockery, and other necessities, the week before.
1-2 days in advance
Time for the madness of cleaning house and tidying the garden . When preparing a communion, it’s wise to decorate as much as possible one or a few days in advance and to prepare any snacks. This way you do as little as possible on the day itself, which saves a lot of stress. Prepare the interior and possibly arrange a nice gift table where all the communion thank-you gifts can be presented. Finally, if you want to take photos yourself, have your camera / phone ready, and be sure to charge the battery!
On the Day
Try to enjoy yourself during the communion feast. After all the blood, sweat, and tears of the past months, you can now let yourself go! If something still goes wrong on the day itself, stay calm and just roll with it. It may seem like a drama to you, but your guests probably won’t even notice! Remember, nobody’s perfect!
Supplies Check List
Streamers / Bunting
Ice cream scoop
Folding tables (for food/presents/games)
Trays to serve with Cake stand or plate Knife to cut cake