How Should the Godmother Dress at the Baptism
According to the OED; baptism is the "the Christian religious rite symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church". In general, baptisms or christenings are for infants who are welcomed into religion and become part of the Christian community.
Godparents are a crucial element in baptisms and christening ceremonies: they are chosen to help the parents educate and care for the child in the future. Godparents are usually relatives or close friends of the parents, who choose them to take an active part in their child's life. If you've been chosen to be the godmother in a baptismal ceremony, it is important that you choose your dress well, as this will be a very important day.
You may have some doubts as to the dress code of a joyous but formal ritual: if you want some tips to find the most appropriate outfit, read this oneHOWTO article and learn how should the godmother dress at the baptism.
Check your Church's requirements:
First of all, it is necessary to bear in mind that baptism or christening is a religious celebration, in which children receive a holy sacrament for the first time. Each denomination of Christianity has its own traditions and dress codes for this ceremony, so the way you should dress as a godmother will depend on that.
For instance, in Eastern Orthodox Church christening ceremonies, women usually cover their hair with a white veil or scarf. If you have doubts about the specific requirements of your branch, ask the ceremony organizers. In general, participants in christenings were semi-formal, modest clothes.
What NOT to wear to a christening:
Guests are advised not to wear very revealing clothes, including plunging necklines, bare legs above the knee, bare shoulders and back, etc. These basic rules apply to all genders: to put it simply, don't wear anything you wouldn't normally wear to a church.
Flashy outfits are also discouraged: do not wear very loud colors or neon shades. Remember that the focus of everyone's attention must be the child, not the godmother. We recommend plain clothes in elegant and subtle fabrics and colors, because patterns and exaggerated silhouettes tend to date very fast once the season is over.
To clear up any doubts: yes, you can wear white if you're the godmother in a baptism or christening. The no-white rule is only for weddings.
What does "semi-formal" mean?
A child's christening is a semi-formal event; you must wear formal clothes, but wearing black tie would be overdoing it. Ask the infant's parents what they're wearing - you don't want to look overdressed! As a rule, "semi-formal" outfits are what you would wear to a wedding or a Christmas party at a fancy hotel. It's a step above an office holiday party, and a step below an awards ceremony or debutante ball.
As the godmother, you'll probably be involved in planning the baptism ceremony and party. You will set the dress code yourself, so that's one less thing to worry about. Make sure every guest is on the same page, though!
Other things to consider:
On the other hand, when choosing what you will wear as the godmother for a christening, you also need to consider the season when the celebration takes place. Many parents decide to wait until spring to christen their child, but this is not a rule.
What to wear to a spring-summer christening:
A good option for the godmother at the baptism is a cocktail dress, but it must be at least knee-length and not shorter. Midi skirts with some New Look flair can also look perfect for a baptism.
As we already pointed out, it is recommended to choose colors that are not too flashy, so beige, earth tones or pastels are ideal. When you pick a color, bear in mind that there will probably be children around and your outfit may get stained.
If the baptism is held in the spring or the summer, choose light, breathable materials for your godmother dress so that you don't get too hot in the church during the ceremony. We recommend cotton, linen or silk.
What to wear to a fall-winter christening:
If the weather is cold, or if you don't like wearing dresses, you could also choose an elegantly tailored suit. Sharply tailored pantsuits can look amazing when worn with flair, and two-piece outfits are perfect to combine differently in latter occasions. We wouldn't recommend wearing a maxi dress to a christening, as it can look too flashy.
It is worth pointing out that black is not the most appropriate color for a christening. Instead, wear jewel or earth tones such as burgundy, gray, purple, emerald green or wine red.
What are the best shoes and accessories for a christening?
Baptism or christening ceremonies with a party afterwards can get long, so you should wear comfortable shoes. If you want to wear heels, choose low or medium-height wedges or block heels, not stilettos. Ballet flats are also a good choice for a baptism; sandals depend on whether your church accepts bare feet.
You may see fascinators, veiled hats and brooches at pictures of royal christenings, but as classy as they look, they require the right context. In most christenings, they will make you look overdressed and older than you actually are. Instead, opt for a simple up-do and minimal or no jewelry.
As a final tip, when you choose the dress to wear as godmother at a baptism, we suggest that you opt for something that makes you feel comfortable. The protagonist of the ceremony will be the baby or child who is baptized, but remember that the role of godmother is also essential. You'll need to be at your best that day!
For more advice on dressing for a christening, check out our article how to dress for a christening.
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