The Trials and Tribulations of Organising a First Communion

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Monks singing in front of a church

When my daughter Alex decided she wanted to go to church with my mum, we thought, ‘Oh yeah, give it a couple of weeks and she’ll want to stay at home to watch telly’. Eighteen months later and we are organizing her First Communion.

To start with we have to organize a baptism - that’s our first problem, three of her godparents had to be Catholic, only my ex husbands sister in law fitted the criteria so I had to ask Mum to help me out with finding the others. Therefore, baptism day arrives, along with my in laws and the first nice day of the spring. The service was pleasant; the Priest was patient with the larger than usual family contingent and things went off without a hitch, amazingly.

Next comes getting ‘The Dress’. Being ten Alex is older than the usual age when most children have their First Communion, also she is a big lass, so we knew a dress was going to be hard to find. Being reluctant to order off the Internet and finding most First Communion sites we Googled were in the US my Mum and I have a brainwave, a small wedding dress. If only! White seems to be out for brides. Ivory is the new white so we have been told. Next stop a First Communion shop in Wimbledon, a few stretched truths to Alex’s headmistress, a train ride later and still empty handed.

In desperation, my Mum turns to Ebay, BINGO! A plain white First Communion dress, brand new, reasonably priced and available to buy now, which I do immediately. The dress arrives three days later, needs a bit of altering but nothing we can’t handle, along with the dress came a pair of gloves and a head dress. Bonus, a quick trip on the Internet and the veil and a bag were acquired, now for the shoes *groan*.

This is going to be a BIG problem. Alex has big feet so getting shoes has never been that much of a problem, bypass the kids’ shoes and go straight to the adults section (Then I can wear them too MWAHAHAHA), we had already decided we would have to get her brides’ shoes. Unfortunately, as we have already been told, ivory is the new white for brides, this called for a trip to the shops in Southampton.

So a lot of sweet-talking and a promise of lunch on me later, and Excelsior is now on the M27 running us to Southampton. The Bridal shop I want to try has closed down, neither Debenhams or John Lewis have a Bridal Dept, none of the shoes shops have anything suitable and I’m about to give up and send her to the church in her baptism shoes. ‘How about BHS’ says Excelsior. ‘Why not, I’ll try anything now’ says I. Well I’ll be… they have a Bridal Department and a pair of size five white satin shoes! I’m in heaven; at last we have ’The Outfit’.

The cake is ordered and the corsage and buttonholes are ordered. Please God can I order the sunny day now, please.

At least it’s good training for her Wedding day.


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