Baptism Week {Looking Your Best}

 Welcome to Baptism Week at Team Whitaker!

This is the third post of a five-part series:
Preparing for the Sacrament (What the Sacrament Means)
Choosing Godparents (Finding People to Support Your Child)
+ BOWL SET Giveaway from Clarey Clayworks
Looking Your Best (Dressing the Part for Your Child’s Big Day)
+ $100 PHOTO CREDIT from Renee Blood Photography
ST. GERARD EARRINGS from Loreto Rosaries and
BAPTISM BONNET AND THREE-PIECE SET + 20% OFF from Blessings Christian Gift Shop in West

The big day is finally here. Cue the chrism and incense.

There’s always excitement surrounding a baptism. Sometimes a fire, but always joy. I place great importance on what the entire family wears, as well as the sweet babe to be baptized. Today we’re chatting baptismal gowns, family attire and photographers.

baptismal gown, blogBaptismal Gowns
Oh my. There are a plethora ‘o options. My only two pieces of advice are this: decide at what age you want to baptize your children (the gown fit will be affected) and if it’s something you want to keep in the family or purchase/make new for each child. Your budget may dictate one or both of those answers.

Some families have an heirloom baptismal gown they share. I must say. This is my personal favorite. There are always amazing stories housed in that garment. For our oldest’s baptism, there is a super long story, but I’ll paraphrase. THE baptismal gown we should’ve bought it still sitting in a shop window at the infamous Mall in Florence, Italy. Instead, we opted for the family gown worn by all the babies on my dad’s side of the family. It was beautiful, but seriously falling apart. With John Paul and our subsequent children, we went a different route.

We went back to Italy and finally got “our” family gown in Assisi and then promptly had it blessed by Pope John Paul II. I adore it. You don’t have to go to Italy to buy one, but I won’t stop you if you do. Etsy has a treasure trove of beautiful options, there’s this one from My Girl Dress and another beautiful one from Apricots and Lollipops.

Some of you people are mighty crafty. I’ve heard of wedding dresses, handkerchiefs and lace doilies turned into gowns. The options are limitless, only curbed by your imagination and craft IQ. There are even people on Etsy to do it for you!

Family Attire
I do my best to coordinate my children for the big day. To me, placing a high importance on everyone’s attire reminds them that this is a day worth remembering. There are times I wish I looked as radiant in a hat as Princess Kate, but we can’t all rock the head gear like the Duchess. Depending upon the season of the birth of our babies, we’ve recycled Easter or Christmas attire, family photo duds or things from a birthday. Whatever you do, momma, just remember to find something that makes you feel as beautiful as you really are. Your post-partum body won’t be perfect, but you’re gonna have to let that go.

family attire, blog

Hiring a Photographer
For me, this is a must-do. Now, by “hiring” you might be paying your brother-in-law in beer and guacamole, but for the love of all that’s holy, designate a photographer. I mean it. This is bossy Kathryn talking. Photos of this day will be ones you’ll cherish for a lifetime. If you can hire a photographer, do it. If you can’t, designate a friend or family member to get clicking. It might help to give them a shot list (particularly useful if they aren’t a practicing Catholic), that way you don’t overlook the most important photos of the day.

Be sure to check with the priest or deacon conducting the baptism, however. They may have a policy of no photo taking, or limited photos, during the baptism. If that’s the case, ask them what photos you can take during and before and what photos you can re-inact afterward. Remember, it’s always the little moments that define the day. The kid crawling on the pew, a grandparent doting on the baby, the stank eye to behave from Mom. Definitely get one of the whole family post-baptism. There’s no mistaking that after-Sacrament glow.

If you happen to be in a group baptism setting, then consider asking the other families if they all want to donate money and hire one photographer. Every parish has different rules and norms, be sensitive to those while still capturing the beauty of the Sacrament for your family.

baptism, photographer

 All photos courtesy of Shannon Cunningham Photography

Today’s giveaway is three parts awesome.
First up is a $100 credit toward a session with local photographer Renee Blood. She’s a good friend of mine and a mighty fine shooter. If you’re local (Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Pflugerville or Round Rock) then you’re eligible to win that great prize. Next, are some lovely St. Gerard earrings from Loreto Rosaries. I think mom often gets overlooked on baptism day so let’s just say I’m doing my part to help you look awesome. And, you can’t beat St. Gerard, the patron saint of expectant mothers. Up last is a baptism bonnet and a three-piece baptism set (bib, socks and blanket) from the Christian Blessings Catholic Bookstore in West. And, AND! they’re also offering 20% off their entire baptism collection through the end of March (visit them online!). So, even if you don’t live near West, you can order via the interwebs. Isn’t it a magical place?

Blood, Bookstore, Loreto

Stop the giveaway madness. Or not. Get yourself entered!

Renee Blood Photography: Twitter and Online
Loreto Rosaries:
Facebook and Online
Blessings Christian Gift Shop:
  Facebook and Online

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Dianna on March 19, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Reading this series gets me super excited about this upcoming Sacrament in our lives. Such a beautiful, joyous day!

  2. Nicole on March 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I put so much thought into the babies for baptism, that it was really hard to remember me, so your post is an excellent reminder! I am a thrifty girl, and pride myself on my daughter’s baptism “gown” bought at The Gap of all places for $8, I kid you not, I researched online, and walked into the store and it was even cheaper in store than the internet for this adorable white on white and eyelet trim dress with cute white applique with only one in her size. It was just meant to be, and I adore it.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with “hiring” a photographer. My sister and I do that for each other. When it’s your niece or nephew’s day (no matter the occasion), the aunt is the one snapping as fast as she can. It makes it so nice to get that other perspective and know that those important photo opps are not missed.

    Loving this series! It just makes me smile.

  3. Kimberly on March 19, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I have been loving the Baptism blogs, especially yesterdays. Thanks for putting all your thoughts on the interwebs for our enjoyment!

  4. Marie on March 19, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Long-time reader… first-time commenter. Not eligible for the photo shoot, but loving the earrings, especially.

    I love reading your blog! I come from a large family, and totally relate to all the stories about your sweet kids. My husband and I are thrilled and humbled to (finally!) be expecting after 6+ years of marriage & many infertility issues! We stayed faithful to God & Church teaching through it all (a serious nod to NaproTechnology), and He was (and is) ever faithful to us. We’re due in July, and plan to have the baptism this fall.

    As far as my favorite place to shop, and the place I’ll probably look to find a dress for me to wear to the baptism, I’d have to say Ann Taylor Loft or Ann Taylor. Their clothes just seem to fit me well.

    • Kathryn on March 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Marie, welcome to the commenting party! And, I’m SO happy to hear your news. How very exciting. Keep me posted on your progress, ok?

  5. Debra R on March 19, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Not local, but would be willing to make a trip to Austin for the pictures! 😉

    Favorite place for dresses at good prices is New York & Company (shop the sales) – their dresses last for a long time! Or Ross, but I have to be emotionally prepared to shop there! 😉

  6. Sara F. on March 19, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I’m not local. My favorite stores are Loft and Ann Taylor. I love heirlooms, and can’t wait to start some of these traditions with my family.

  7. Karen on March 19, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Your new blog shot in the brown dress is gorgeous! Where is the dress from? I’m five months and think I could use a nice wrap for the remaining spring-y months.

    The photographer thing drives me nuts. We always designate our brother-in-law to be photographer, he is quite good at it. But then my mom, my father in law, they insist on taking their own pictures and they are not only terrible photographers, it messes up all the shots. I think with this third one, we are going to put our foot down about not other picture-takers. After two kids we will have not a single baptism picture of everyone looking at the camera.

    • Kathryn on March 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Karen, Pink Blush Maternity. I found it via a friend and I love their clothes. Cute AND affordable!

  8. Megan on March 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I’m not local. I usually shop hand me down so I would love to win something new!

  9. CJ on March 19, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I could not possibly agree more with the advice to hire a photographer. We are Methodist, not Catholic, but I hired a photographer for the baptism of both of my babies and those are hands-down my most treasured family photos (even though we weren’t allowed to take photos during the actual ceremony). Best money I’ve ever spent.

  10. Suzanne on March 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Not local — chiming in from Columbus, OH and am loving this series! We are preparing to baptize our third little one, and I am so excited for that day! My husband entered into full communion with the Church through RCIA in 2013 and it feels even more special this time around.

    A great place for tall mamas to shop is New York & Company (my go to) as their tall pants are meant for women up to 6 feet — hooray! The hems on their dresses also tend to give enough length for tall women.

    Also, I am in love with the St. Gerard earrings — he’s my Confirmation saint and has been my companion through three difficult pregnancies. St. Gerard, pray for us!

  11. Michele on March 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Sadly I’m not local! My favorite go to shop for clothes would have to be one of my favorite thrift stores!

  12. April on March 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Not local. Those are beautiful earrings, very special. Not fond of the name, but I frequent Dress Barn for cute outfits. 🙂

  13. Claire on March 19, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I am local-ish…it’s just a short drive down 35 to San Antonio!

    With a 5, 2, and 1 year old, plus #4 on the way, clothes shopping for me is not really happening right now! I got my dress for my last baby’s baptism on a mad dash to JCPenney a couple of days before her baptism when she was 2 weeks old.

  14. Andrea on March 20, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I am not local. Lately Old Navy has had GREAT dresses.

  15. Jenny on March 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    My sister (Lauren) is in Austin – would she be able to use the photo credit? She’s expecting her first little bundle mid-August! She’d be so excited to have this!

    My favorite place to shop is LOFT! I always find cute items that won’t break the bank!

  16. Jessica on March 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I’m a fan of Kohl’s.

  17. Danielle on March 20, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I’m not local so I’m hoping for those earrings!! My go-to is definitely Gap because of their tall line. Actually the dress I wore to my sons baptism was from there! 🙂

  18. Jenna Parkins on March 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I’m not local and I am blessed with having a mother as a professional photographer. I have a few St. Gerard necklaces and have never seen earrings! So unique. I’m ready for baby so I can start planing a baptism. This has me so motivated. Thank you!

  19. Hilda on March 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. Love your blog!
    Our firstborn was baptised this January. He was supposed to be the sixth generation using a heirloom gown – but we could not find it!! My youngest brother was the last one to use it, and my parents thought they knew where they had stored it. When they opened the box they found some antique table runners, but no gown.. I am still disappointed, but keep reminding myself the baptism is the important thing, not the attire 😉 And we had a wonderful day with family and friends. Oh, and I had a new gown made by a very skilled seamstress. Beautiful, and hopefully it will be used as our new heirloom gown for generations to come.

  20. VKraft on March 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I am local 🙂 My go-to when I need something that might be a splurge but always fits great is Ann Taylor LOFT.

  21. Baptism Week {Feeding the Party} on March 23, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    […] Godparents (Finding People to Support Your Child) + BOWL SET Giveaway from Clarey Clayworks Looking Your Best (Dressing the Part for Your Child’s Big Day) + $100 PHOTO CREDIT from Renee Blood […]

  22. Baptism Week {Saying Thanks} on March 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    […] Godparents (Finding People to Support Your Child) + BOWL SET Giveaway from Clarey Clayworks Looking Your Best (Dressing the Part for Your Child’s Big Day) + $100 PHOTO CREDIT from Renee Blood […]

  23. Baptism Week {Choosing Godparents} on March 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    […] Godparents (Finding People to Support Your Child) + BOWL SET Giveaway from Clarey Clayworks Looking Your Best (Dressing the Part for Your Child’s Big Day) + $100 PHOTO CREDIT from Renee Blood […]

  24. Christie Gregor on July 20, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Appreciate your very comprehensive and useful account of what to prepare both in terms of practicality and spiritual dimension of the baptismal act and tradition. Your practical and spiritual inputs are truly amazing and helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    God’s blessings and peace be upon you and your family!

    Christie Gregor
    Say It With God’sWord

  25. […] Godparents (Finding People to Support Your Child) + BOWL SET Giveaway from Clarey Clayworks Looking Your Best (Dressing the Part for Your Child’s Big Day) + $100 PHOTO CREDIT from Renee Blood […]

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