Chiara's Simply Elegant Baptism | Melissa Christening Gown & Bonnet

Kristy celebrated her daughter Chiara's traditional Catholic Baptism among 80 friends and family in the fall of 2012 in Burnaby, Canada. She started planning Chiara's special day six months prior to the event, envisioning a day that was pink, white and all things girly. Her planning began with the search for the perfect Baptism outfit, which she found when she came across our website... Chiara looked absolutely beautiful in our white lace Melissa Christening Gown & Bonnet. The gown was the perfect touch to Chiara's Simply Elegant Baptism.

Chiara's Christening Photoshoot wearing Melissa Christening Gown & Bonnet

How did you find our website?

I came across your website when I was searching for a baptism dress for my first daughter. I ended up buying her dress from a local store instead because I was too nervous to make such an important purchase online. Now, after buying my second daughter's dress from you, I only wish I had also bought it for my first daughter! Your dresses are truly heirloom pieces. My first daughter's dress was fine, but unfortunately didn't end up washing well and can't be kept or used again which makes me so sad. I really regret not purchasing my first daughter's dress from you too!

Chiara's Christening Photo Session in Melissa Christening Gown & Bonnet Set

Can you describe what you envisioned for Chiara's gown when you first started your search for the perfect outfit?

I was looking for something very special and sweet without being too over the top. I love very feminine, girly things, but sometimes I find that babies can get swallowed up by their baptismal gowns. Chiara is very petite, and I didn't want to lose her in the dress. I really wanted a white lacey gown with just the right amount of detail and frill on it. The Melissa was the perfect dress for this!

Chiara's Christening Photo Session in Melissa Christening Gown & Bonnet Set

You ordered the Melissa Christening Gown, Natalie Jumpsuit and matching accessories. They looked darling on Chiara! What did you like about the items that you ordered?

I can't say enough amazing things about her outfit. I LOVE it! The detailing is stunning and the dress is so soft and comfortable. I absolutely adore all the lace. The detail is intricate without being gaudy or over the top. My second favorite thing is the Melissa sheer lace bonnet. I love the classic look of a bonnet, but didn't want it to look too old fashioned. The lace gave the bonnet a very soft look that complimented the gown beautifully. I also ordered the Melissa booties and bib which are gorgeous too! We still use the bib all the time when we go out for dinner. My only mistake was that I decided to go up a size in the booties in the hope that she could wear them again after her big day, but unfortunately they were too big for her to wear on her baptism day. We ordered the Natalie jumpsuit and the Natalie bib for her after-christening outfit. I kept Chiara in her gown for most of the day, but when it came time to eat dinner it felt good to change her into a comfortable little romper, yet still have her look fancy and cute as a button. Again....the Natalie is just gorgeous and it's so well made. It's such a soft, pretty, and feminine piece. I also purchased the cross rattle and the Jessica blanket. The cross rattle was a great toy to bring to the church to keep her busy while still looking elegant. I chose the Jessica blanket because I needed a blanket that would work with both the Melissa gown and the Natalie jumpsuit. This was difficult because one is white and one is ivory. You guys recommended the Jessica blanket and it worked perfectly with a mix of both white and ivory. Just stunning and so sweet.

Chiara's Baptism Day | Getting Dressed in the Melissa Christening Gown & Bonnet

What were the first steps you took when planning Chiara's special day?

The very first thing I did was look for the dress! I would spend hours every night shopping online for her gown. I never found anything as nice as the gowns you have and I'm so glad I chose it! The next thing I did was make sure to book the church and restaurant. We did this about 3 months before the event.

How old was Chiara at the time of the event? Is there a reason you chose to baptize her at this age?

Chiara was 8 months at the time of her baptism. There were many reasons we went with this age. Chiara is our second child and our children are very close together...life got much crazier and time was flying by! Secondly, I had to make sure that all family members and Godparents would be in town. Thirdly, I think the pictures look much nicer when the baby can sit up in their gown! : )

Chiara's Baptism Day | Melissa Lace Christening Gown & Bonnet

What church did Chiara's Baptism take place at?

The baptism took place at St Helen's Church, in Burnaby, BC, Canada...just outside of Vancouver. My husband and I got married at this church and our other daughter was also baptized here. It's a fairly new church in a very nice area just minutes from our home.

Does your church have any special traditions?

We gave out 5 almond confetti to each guest which signifies health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and long life. It is tradition to give pink almonds when baptizing a girl.

Did Chiara's Godparents participate in the planning? What was their role on the day of the baptism?

Chiara's godparents are very special to us and we were so honoured they accepted such an important role in our daughter's life. It is our Italian tradition that the Godparents help dress the child in her Baptism gown. This is considered a very special moment. The Godparents own Montecristo Jewellers in Vancouver and gave Chiara a beautiful white gold and diamond necklace to wear during her baptism. The godfather said Grace before our meal and gave a beautiful speech after dinner thanking us for the opportunity and detailing how they will always be involved in our daughter's life. As a token of our appreciation, we gave them a crystal Tiffany bowl and candlesticks.

Chiara's Baptism Ceremony in Melissa Lace Baptism Gown & Bonnet

Where did the after christening celebration take place?

We had a late lunch/dinner at a popular Vancouver restaurant called Lupo. It is an Italian restaurant owned by a good friend of ours and it is in a gorgeous heritage home. We rented out the entire restaurant which made it very intimate and cozy. In traditional Italian form we ate an obscene amount of food! The food was really amazing and was one of the highlights of the event.

What is an important detail, maybe something that is sometimes overlooked, other parents need to remember during the planning process?

I would highly recommend doing a professional photo shoot of your child in their gown before the event. Our photographer (Eyeris Creative Photography) did an amazing job at capturing Chiara in her gown and all our special mementos, such as the blanket and her bassinet. I'm also glad we got pictures of her with her sister because it is impossible the day of the event to get good sibling pictures when it is so busy and chaotic! I was also able to use these professional pictures of her in her dress for thank you cards after the event. I wished we had taken professional photos of her in her after Christening outfit because she was way too tired by the end of the day to take any good photos! Another thing I recommend is to have cute stationery, such as favor tags and menus as a nice little detail for guests. Kardz Kouture made menus for us that also acted as place cards for guests. She put a swarovski crystal on each one for a special added touch of elegance.

Chiara's Christening Cake

Describe any special touches/ details from your day

When Chiara was born I had photos taken by a professional photographer of her with angel wings on. I did this knowing that I would use these pictures for her baptism. We used these pictures on her cake, on the invitations, and on the cookie that we gave out as a favor. We gave the cookies to the guests as a small favor, but we also gave a donation to a friend of ours with two sets of young twins who is battling terminal cancer. This was very important to us and we wrote about it on the favor in hopes of bringing awareness to her situation. I also wanted special things there for my daughter like her favorite white stuffed rabbit, the silver cross rattle, her Christening blanket and her bassinet. I adore her bassinet that she sleeps in at home and wanted to bring it to the event because it looks so pretty and also for her to have a nap in.

Would you make any changes to how you planned your event, or is there something you would have done differently?

I'm happy we did a photoshoot before the event, but I really regret not hiring a professional photographer on the day of the baptism. I also wish we took more photos of her in her after Christening Natalie jumpsuit because she looked so darling! But, luckily her Natalie outfit still fits her and she still wears it all the time. I sent in some pictures so you can see how it still fits.

Chiara's Baptism Story | Melissa Baptism Gown & Bonnet

Looking back, was there a favorite moment, or highlight from your day?

Celebrating the sacrament of baptism with all of our close family and friends was definitely the highlight of our day, but I must admit one of my favorite parts of our day was when the godparents dressed her in her beautiful gown before the festivities started. The entire family came into her bedroom and we celebrated with champagne and it brought tears to my eyes to see how beautiful she looked. That was a really special tradition for us and we sincerely thank you for creating this beautiful gown that now carries such important memories with it. That gown will be cherished forever.

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