First communion is a very special occasion for both parents and their child. Most families choose to celebrate this wonderful time with a gathering of their loved ones and friends. Whether you are hosting a simple, intimate party or a lavish affair, you have to consider your budget carefully. You must decide where you want to splurge and where you want to save. If you don’t want to break the bank, you will have to choose what is more important to you and where you feel most comfortable with a big expenditure.

Let’s breakdown the big expenses for a First Communion celebration:

Venue: Many churches offer a party or recreation room that you could use (or rent out) for your child’s communion celebration. This option would work well for guests – as they would only have to travel to the church to enjoy the festivities. Hosting the party in your home is another option, and the most cost effective one. If you are planning during the warm weather months, you could have the event outdoors. Just remember to rent a tent, in case the weather decides not to cooperate last minute. For larger affairs, you may consider renting out a banquet room in a restaurant, hotel or country club. Obviously this would involve more of an expense than the first two options.

Decorations: The venue you choose will likely help dictate what decorations you will need. But, for a special celebration like a First Communion, you don’t need to go crazy with the décor. Oriental Trading has quite a few tasteful decorations such as balloon lanterns, centerpieces, and tableware that are reasonable in price.  Simple balloons are also a great and inexpensive way to decorate. It would be a nice touch to add some framed pictures of your child (throughout the years) and display them for the party. You can purchase affordable, decorative frames at Target or Walmart.

Food: While you may have the culinary skills to whip up some delicious food, remember, you want to enjoy your child’s special day. Slaving away in the kitchen or running around to get food out is not how you want to spend your time at the party. Finding someone to cater is the best option to allow you to enjoy yourself and mingle with your guests. You can keep things simple so catering costs don't get too expensive. Start with ordering a few appetizers such as a fruit platter, cheese and cracker tray, veggie platter and chips and dip. Sandwiches, salad and pasta would make for filling and budget-friendly meal options. For dessert, it's a special occasion, that means you just have to have cake. You can purchase or bake a simple First Communion sheet cake with white icing, the child’s name, and a message appropriate for the occasion.

Entertainment: You will want to consider hiring an event photographer to capture all of the beautiful memories of the day. The First Communion is a wonderful milestone for your child that your family will want to remember.  A photographer will be able to preserve each and every moment. You may also want to include some music during the party – you can keep things low key and hire a soloist to perform some soft music for ambience. If there will be little ones present, you may want to hire a balloon twister or magician to keep them entertained.

Now it’s time for you to make some decisions on what kind of celebration you would like to host for your child. It’s a wonderful day, remember to enjoy it and share it with your loved ones!