Little Aria was baptized last Fall in Barbados. She looked absolutely darling in our Gwen Cotton Christening Gown! Aria’s parents, Raquel and Brian, were kind to share details about their daughter’s baptism. They described their search for the perfect gown, looking for something that was “traditional and vintage” and comfortable for her to wear in the warm climate. Many friends and family came to celebrate Aria which made their day extra special since many traveled from afar. Since this was such a special time for their family, they decided to hire a professional photographer so they were able to capture precious moments as a family ... and all of Aria’s adorable expressions! These photos exude love, happiness and light ...we are so grateful to share Aria’s Baptism Story with you.
Before you started looking for a christening outfit for Aria, did you have something in mind for what you wanted her to wear?
Brian & I wanted a christening outfit that was reflective of a traditional and vintage gown, but cream or champagne in colour with some detailing.
What drew you to the Gwen Collection once you found it on our site?
For both of us, it was the perfect match to what we were looking for; a blend of traditional and vintage, cream in colour and the embroidery added a touch of elegance. We could easily picture Aria in this gown as it was reflective of her personality.
Aria looks like she was very happy and comfortable in her gown! What did you like about the gown and accessories once you saw them in person and on Aria?
Aria & I collected her package from FedEx and she held it the entire drive home, looking at it with pure excitement. Of course, we tried it on instantly and she fitted it comfortably and was even striking a pose. It was exactly as it was on the website and everything I envisioned it to be. The quality was excellent and the embroidery was even more beautiful in person. I loved the Lace Hat on Aria, as it was a different look to the traditional headband that most girls tend to wear. The cotton slip would also help to keep her cool, which was important as we live in the tropics. The booties completed the look!
You mentioned Aria was almost 8 months old on the day she was christened. Was there a reason you christened her at this age? What did you like about christening her at 8 months?
Aria was blessed at 2 weeks old by Reverend Beverly Sealy-Knight, who also baptized her. Brian and I were discussing what age we would have her Baptized, as his family lives in Trinidad and so does one of her God-Mothers, and my family lives in Barbados. Generally, most babies are baptized as a newborn or at three months, but those dates worked against us. Brian wanted Aria to be a part of the ceremony and not to be sleeping through it. And it just happened that the date given for November, she was just under 8 months old. At the Baptism, five babies were being Baptized; two newborns and a 3 month old boy & girl twin, with Aria being the oldest. Aria was awake for most of the ceremony and very observant and inquisitive as to her surroundings and people around her. The Baptism service was at Sun Holy Eucharist and Sermon, and Aria enjoyed hearing the organ, the Hymns and of course the Baptism ceremony itself. She was a willing participant in her Baptism and it was reflected in her photos.
Did you have a celebration with family and friends after the ceremony? If so, was there a theme or any special details?
The Baptism was followed by a luncheon. Aria’s invitation set the theme for the luncheon, which was designed by Styles with Charm. I wanted Aria to have keepsakes from the actual celebration and worked with Styles with Charm to create the table centerpiece which were biblical quotes in frames, a prayer tag for the prayer tree and the “thank you” photo card for the guests of Aria in her Gwen Gown. I reused the picture frames for family photos.
Do you have any christening traditions within your family?
Our family tradition is the “handing down” of the Christening gown, which both of my brothers and I wore. Sadly, Aria was too big to fit into it!
Do you have any suggestions for other parents as they start planning their child’s event or suggestion for parents who plan to hire a professional photographer?
From my experience of Aria being an older baby, I would suggest that they consider what level of their child’s participation they wish. At first I was against it, and Brian and I did not see eye to eye on this, but in the end I had to apologize to him and acknowledge that she was the perfect age. We hired a professional photographer as it was the first opportunity to have most of the family present since Aria’s birth - grandparents, uncles, Godparents and other relatives who throughout my pregnancy and birth shared in this journey. We also wanted to capture the Aria that we know and love so much with her many faces and poses, and Josée did exactly that. We also wanted to enjoy the ceremony and not have to worry about taking photos.
Thank you, Brian & Raquel, for sharing Aria's day with us!
Photography by Josée Cole