There are three key events in any young Catholics life; Baptism, the First Holy Communion (Eucharist) and Confirmation. And for many parent or carer, it’s a good excuse for a shindig and bring everyone together for a great craic.

First Holy Communion is the significant milestone for children in the Catholic Church, particularly in Ireland. It celebrates their initiation into the body of Christ through the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. It is an event that marks a transition from childhood to adolescence and is a cause for celebration.

Whether you’re planning a small gathering or a large party, this comprehensive checklist will help you stay organized and ensure that nothing is overlooked. So, let’s get started on planning a memorable communion party for your child.

The ultimate First Holy Communion party planning checklist covers all the essential details to make your child’s special, wonderful family day a success.

1. Guest List

This item does come first because it’s only when you’ve determined the rough numbers that you can decide on your venue, catering, décor, and all the additional details.

It’s tempting to invite everyone you know but remember that each extra guest means you’ll need extra money in the budget. Going really large works for some people, but for others, a more intimate gathering with only genuinely close friends and family members is a more memorable way to celebrate this very personal occasion.

When creating a guest list for a First Holy Communion party, it is important to consider inviting etiquette. Invitations should be sent out at least four weeks in advance and should include RSVP management information to ensure an accurate headcount.

2. Venue

If you simply can’t get your guest list lower than 100, you’re going to need to filter the local venues by size. The smaller your party, the more options you are likely to have – and at a range of price points too. Some venues will happily accept a booking at minimal cost, banking on their takings from the bar or catering.

More DIY venues include church and community halls, where you will be more likely to retain control over the table decorations and caterers (which could be a big money saver). Still, you might have to put more thought into your communion or confirmation party décor and seating plan preparation in order to get the right atmosphere and have a good time.

Perhaps you’re planning a more exclusive event for only your closest friends and could therefore hold the party at home. Or perhaps you want to take the stress out of the day and have the budget to book a local restaurant for a sit-down meal. Find whichever option is the right place for you, don’t leave it to the last minute and get it booked as soon as possible.

Nicely decorated church pews
Plan a lovely church event and get party ideas for your child’s special day

3. Invitations

Once you have established your guest list and booked a venue and maybe photographer, you can send out the all-important invitations! Whether you are catering for a boy or a girl, our First Holy Communion party invites will set the elegant yet celebratory tone you are looking for.

Remember to include all the key information your guests will need on your invites:

  • Party timings.
  • Venue details, including address and parking information, if required.
  • Catering information (do people need to bring a dish to a buffet-style spread? Do they need to tell you any dietary requirements or pre-order from a set menu?).

For a First Communion party, there are various design options available, including traditional religious motifs and modern designs. When it comes to wording ideas, it is essential to include the date, time, location, dress code, and any other relevant information such as gift requests or dietary restrictions.

For those who want to create invitations to add a personal touch, photo options and DIY options are available, such as creating handmade invitations or adding a photo of the child. Online invitations are also becoming increasingly popular for their convenience and environmental friendliness.

4. First Holy Communion Party Decorations

Whatever your venue, you’ll want to personalise the occasion with an array of special communion decorations.

Creating an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere is an important aspect of any celebration, and party decorations play a significant role in setting the tone for a first communion party.

Balloon arrangements, centrepiece options, and table settings are essential elements that can add a touch of elegance to the event. If you want to add a personal touch to the decorations, consider incorporating the child’s favourite colours or religious symbols.

For wall decorating options, you can use banners, posters, or artwork that reflects the religious theme. A photo backdrop can also serve as an excellent way to capture the memories of the day. Additionally, a dessert table and favours display can add an extra element of fun to the party.

5. The Gifts

Every child approaching their First Holy Communion will have wondered what gifts they might receive. Special occasions such as First Holy Communion should also be marked with communion cards and presents that have meaning and hold memories. Our selection of communion gifts keeps in mind the real purpose behind communion whilst providing a fantastic way to celebrate this moment of significance in your child’s journey.

The personalised prayer book is a great place to start if you’re keen to remember the serious intention of the occasion as well as the celebratory aspects. Rosary beads, a First Holy Communion picture frame, or a special communion keepsake box all make wonderful communion gifts.

A family celebrating a confirmation party
Finding confirmation party ideas is easier now to keep guests entertained

6. The Special Touches

Great memories are often made of special moments. Add some extra sparkle to your child’s First Holy Communion by ensuring you are well-organised and have time to spend with them enjoying their day.

The night before the First Holy Communion service, you might want to prepare a special evening get together. Perhaps you’ll talk through their hopes and expectations of the coming day, reflect on their journey to this point, and do something fun such as watch a favourite movie.

The big day dawns, and you can greet them with their very own personalised communion t-shirt to wear proudly. If they feel nervous, comfort them with a personalised communion teddy bear, who can travel with them throughout important part of the day.

7. The Catering

Whether you’ve booked a caterer, a venue that supplies food, or you’re taking personal charge of the cooking, catering is a important part of any good party. Even on a small budget, you can wow your guests, so long as you plan well and give yourself plenty of time.

If you’re catering for large numbers, the most simple spread can be given extra sparkle by using Party World’s superb range of matching First Holy Communion-themed tableware. From napkins to paper cups, paper plates and bowls to table décor, skip the washing up and lend your meal a great atmosphere.

A diverse drink selection, including non-alcoholic options, should be available for guests. Appetizers and snacks should be carefully selected to complement the main course. Dessert ideas should include options for individuals with dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or vegan.

What is the First Holy Communion?

The First Holy Communion is a sacrament in the Catholic Church which marks a person’s first reception of the Eucharist. It usually occurs when a person is 7 to 8 years old.

What are the key stages in a Catholics early life?

1. Baptism: The Sacrament of Baptism marks the beginning of a person’s journey of faith in the Catholic Church.

2. Eucharist: The Sacrament of the Eucharist marks the next step in a person’s journey of faith, in which a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

3. Confirmation: This is a Sacrament of strengthening in which a person is sealed with the Holy Spirit.