Celebrations; or How To Plan An Awesome Event

Space, flowers, and no rain – sorted! Copyright S. McAllister 2014.

As you may know, we planned out a pretty extravagant day for our daughter’s baptism. It is the most amount of planning we’ve done since Bear and I got married, and personally I think it was fantastic. In fact I think it was one of the best days I’ve ever had. I’m pretty darn confident that other people loved it too. So I win (figuratively speaking as there isn’t actually a competition or a prize)!

Before you close your browser heating up with the righteous anger at my ego and prideful arrogance, please let me explain why.


Those who couldn’t be here prayed. We had support from the world over and an awesome team asking that water not spill out of the sky onto our heads (other than Cub obviously), clothes and food. Those who arrived helped set up, played, sang, made food, cleared up, laughed, chatted and hugged and made the day incredible. Family and friends joined us to celebrate our daughter, even when that meant driving for hours to get here, even when they were busy, even if only for a short time. People made promises to care for our daughter, support our little family, and pray for our lives together. And some brought gifts, without needing to, just because. Some gave themselves, and were just as awesome.

People made it a fantastic day.

Pretty garden spaces. Copyright S. McAllister 2014.


This was mine and Bear’s second major event together and the second one we planned outside. The storm clouds rolled in, and then they rolled away again. The flowers bloomed in the sunshine, and the breeze whistled through the trees, and the day lasted long into the evening. Birds tweeted, bees didn’t sting anyone, and there were even 5 dogs attending who all behaved fantastically well! We felt blessed that against all odds we had gained a picture perfect day exactly as we hoped and planned for. To make the significance of this clear: we live in the UK.

The natural world made it a fantastic day.


I was concerned that maybe people wouldn’t bring food, that maybe it was too much to ask, that maybe I should be providing more than I had planned. In the end I probably planned for too much because not only did people’s generosity exceed all expectations, but the food provided by everyone was incredible. We had vast amounts of cakes, homemade breads, pizza, salads, sweets, meats and fish, finger food, tarts, chocolates, gluten-free, lactose-free, fruit, cream, wine, beer, cider, whisky, juices and more… much more. Since then we have shared out, gifted, and ate a lot but still our kitchen is full of this token of human kindness.

Food made it an amazingly tasty day.

Cake went a bit floppy, but was oh so tasty! Copyright S. McAllister 2014.


This was a Baptism after all, and we worshipped, prayed and acted to glorify Him. We asked Him to act in Cub’s life and trusted in that request. We felt Him in the liturgy, the prophetic prayers, and the day. We remembered the gifts He has given us, the history and power and promises of His people, and welcomed Cub into an eternal home. God had led us to this moment and it was beautiful.

God made the day. He made it a good day.


Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot to do and a little bit of stress at times, but ultimately our plan was to baptise our daughter, and welcome our friends and family. We needed space, food, drink, and each other. Decor was basic, using former wedding bunting and a few extras. Nature did most of it. People did everything else. We cannot be more grateful to everyone and how everything went.

Caroline Challis led a stunning worship session. Copyright S. McAllister 2014.

Our day was the best event ever, the best it could’ve been, but the truth is that very little was down to me. I win because I have these people, this God, this generosity and beauty in my life, as well as a gorgeous little family.

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