If you decide to host your child’s First Holy Communion party at home, you’re sure to be looking for ways to keep things as organised, stress-free and painless as possible! We’ve compiled our 10 top tips for hosting your Communion Party at home to ensure you get to thoroughly enjoy this unique celebration and family occasion.
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First Holy Communion is a great celebration for your child, it only happens once and will always be remembered. The church ceremony is usually reserved for immediate family, grandparents and godparents, however a First Holy Communion party at home afterwards is a great way to include your extended family and friends in this special day.
If you decide to throw the Communion party at home, the last thing you want is for it to cause you any undue stress or panic. We pulled together our own tips that made our lives easier, to share with you:
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Don’t miss our FREE Communion party checklist to help with your party planning!
Tips to Make Your Communion Party at Home Easier
Planning is Essential
The more you plan now, the more you’ll enjoy the party later. As soon as you get your child’s Communion date, take a look at our Communion checklist to get a full run-through of all the essentials, then sit down to make a plan for yourself.
The main things to think about for an at-home party are:
- Food – catered or do it yourself? Full meal or lighter party food?
- Drinks – keep it all soft drinks and sparkling water, or stock up on beer and wine?
- Entertainment – bouncy castle, garden games, movie, board games, face painting?
- Seating – do you have enough seats for your guests, particular any older family members?
- Crockery and glassware – do you need to rent/borrow/buy some extras to cater for everyone?
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Close family and friends will be more than happy to help out – so let them! Whether you ask them to bring salads/desserts/drinks or make the Communion cake, it will all help to tick things off on your planning list.
Similarly, ask a friend to come over to the house while you’re at the church to help get things set up and food heating for when you get back. It will make a world of difference to you on the day.
You will want to take pictures after the ceremony and some schools put on a tea and coffee reception for the families. Your child will also want to spend some time with their friends, so make sure you don’t invite guests to arrive too early.
If you are using caterers, ask friends for recommendations and book early. Choose a few dishes that are widely popular with different age groups of your guests, and arrange with the caterer for these to be delivered on the morning of the Communion.
If you choose to cater the party yourself, it is definitely a good idea to keep it simple. This isn’t the time to try something you haven’t done before, and if you are trying something new make sure to practice it a few times at least in the run up to the big day.
Cold foods make life a lot easier, as there is no stress in serving and everyone can help themselves. Look at things like salads (pasta salad, potato salad, couscous, green salad, chicken salad, etc), quiche, sandwiches and wraps, chicken skewers, dips like hummus and guacamole with chopped vegetables, a charcuterie board of cold meats, a cheese board with crackers, and so on. Serving things buffet-style also takes the pressure off everyone being served and eating simultaneously.
Do as much as you can before the day, either prepping the day before or (best idea) making it well-ahead of time and freezing until needed. Ask family or friends to bring side dishes, salads or desserts while you focus on the main course.
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Have a Change of Clothes
Be prepared with a change of clothes for your child – they are sure to want to go on the bouncy castle or play in the garden with their friends, so have it all ready to go before you leave the house that morning.
Take Family Photos Beforehand
…see above! If your child is anxious to get bouncing, plan on being ready an hour before the ceremony so you can take those all-important family photos before you leave.
You can still take more at the Church and when you get home with guests when they arrive, but take the most important ones of the Communion child and immediate family early in the day while you’re all dressed up and looking wonderful.
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Take some inspiration from these easy communion cakes that are sure to wow your guests!
Have Some Entertainment
Whether you are having a few guests or many, something to entertain them is a good idea. While many people hire a bouncy castle for Communion parties, it can be an added cost that you may want to avoid or perhaps you only have a handful of children coming.
Alternatives could be:
- Set aside an area (inside or out) that is laid out with lots of board games for kids and adults to play – for this, quicker games like Connect 4, Jenga, Twister, Snakes and Ladders, etc work better
- Borrow or hire giant garden games like Jenga, Chess, etc
- Set up an obstacle course in the garden and assign teams
- If you have a trampoline, try some of these trampoline games
- Buy a set of face paints and ask a teenage niece/nephew/neighbour to do some simple face painting for the kids
- What about a scavenger hunt in the garden?
- Or an indoor treasure hunt is always fun if the weather is bad
- Younger children may like a craft or colouring table
- Everyone loves party games!
Have a Bad Weather Back Up Plan
It may be the start of summer, but the weather is not always kind on Communion day!
Consider your guest list – do you have enough space inside if the weather is bad? Perhaps borrow or rent a Gazebo or covered area to allow for extra space.
Similarly, if you are renting a bouncy castle, ask for one with a tarp roof so the kids can still go on it if it’s a little wet.
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Keep a Record of the Day
Take lots of photos – of the Communion child, the immediate family, your friends and family who came to celebrate with you, the fun and party. Take photos of it all so you can remember the special day.
You could print and frame these photos, use them for thank you cards, make an album or photo book, or perhaps make a large canvas or framed print to proudly display.
Above all, enjoy the celebration. It is a special day for you too as the parent.
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What other tips would you share for hosting a Communion party at home? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!