Another Milestone for Wriggly

It is rare for both the English and the French side of our family to get together. At the start of the last bank holiday weekend, we made our way to South Devon. My mum, her cousin, two of my brothers, even my nan and my aunt drove from the Champagne region to meet us. Despite pouring rain, we all had a wonderful weekend, catching up, talking, eating and chatting some more.

We were all there together to celebrate Wriggly’s christening. We chose my youngest brother and our oldest niece as her godparents. We know they will always be there to look out for our little girl, guide her and love her dearly.

Wriggly’s siblings were all baptised at Notre Dame de France, the French church in Leicester Square. This time, we decided to have our baby’s first sacrament in Devon, where Hubby comes from. The celebration was to take place at Buckfast Abbey thanks to my lovely sister-in-law.

Buckfast Abbey Devon

There was no theme as such for the baptism, but I wanted yellow and grey tones on the invitations. As I was thinking of the sort of photo I wanted for the front of the invites, I decided to take a few shots of Wriggly holding helium-filled balloons.

We had a portable helium tank and a kit of colourful balloons from Balloon Time at home. Although I was a tad worried it might take ages or be complicated, Beanie and I got started a few minutes before we had to collect Crevette from school. It could not have been easier!

Here is Beanie inflating a balloon. I was just behind her, supervising her closely (just in case you were wondering).

We just had to open the valve, slide the balloon onto the nozzle and push the nozzle down to release helium into the balloon. Knot, string, done! I could not believe I had never heard of those great kits.

You see, we love helium-filled balloons at home. We always have them for our parties, because every child we know loves balloons (and bubbles!).I always get one for each child to take home. Not only does it cost a fortune, but I also end up wrestling with twenty balloons or so as I walk back home with small children, a pushchair and some last-minute shopping. Do not get me started on the tangled strings!

I managed to get lots of beautiful pictures of my four little ones in the park that afternoon. Balloons are a great prop to have when taking photos of children. They are distracted by the balloons, and therefore pay less attention to the camera. Their smiles are genuine; their facial expressions natural and relaxed. I took dozens of photos of Wriggly sat in a wicker basket holding balloons and I love this back shot:

Wriggly holding balloons for her baptism invitations photos in the park

Sorry, I got a bit carried away here. Shall we go back to the baptism? I chose one of the photos I took that afternoon and her invitations were quite simply perfect.

The Card Gallery - Baptism Invites

We took the helium kit to Devon, and Crevette took a bouquet of yellow and grey balloons to the abbey before the baptism.


The day before the celebration, we all sat in the kitchen to put the favours together. In France, it is traditional to give your guests sugared almonds at weddings, baptisms and communions.

Favours... French style - sugared almonds - dragées

There are close bonds between the English side of our family and the abbey. It made the celebration even more special. Wriggly was as good as gold from start to finish.

Baby Wriggly's Baptism at Buckfast Abbey - water, christening

The only thing she was not keen on was being wriggled into her baptism gown. The gown is rather special to us. When Crevette was born, my nan asked me what she could get us for our new baby. I gave her my wedding dress and asked her to have it turned into a baptism gown. It means my wedding dress has been used again instead of gathering dust in the loft.

I dressed my four children in white, and they looked angelic (until they started eating the chocolate cake, that is). Quite a few of us were wearing peachy-orange tones, and I loved my Kaliko dress. Thanks to the Jacques Vert group for this lovely gift.

Outside Buckfast Abbey - Mel in Kaliko Dress, Wriggly in Bapism Gown and Jumpy

After the celebration, we all went to The Rising Sun, a lovely pub nearby, where we had a Sunday roast. My friend Vicki, The Free From Fairy, made the cake so that Jumpy and her daughter could enjoy dessert with the other children despite their exclusion diets.

Vicki aka The Free From Faiy and her very free from cake

It was scrumptious!

Free From Baptism Cake for Wriggly

Oh, and we had champagne, because no baptism would be complete without champagne in my family. Wriggly enjoyed her first sip. She makes her great-granddad really proud!

Champagne! How to open a bottle of champagne - hold the bottle firmly with one hand

Here is Wriggly in the beautiful Jacadi dress my aunt bought for her, wearing the baptism brooch that has been passed down a few generations in my family.

Wriggly in her Baptism Outfit wearing our baptism brooch

When was the last time you had a big family gathering?

I am working with BritMums and Balloon Time as part of the “Celebration Club”, highlighting inventive and fun ways of using balloons. I was provided with a Balloon Time helium kit and have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit for more information and party inspiration.

Here is what the kit we used looks like:

Balloon Time Kit

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. 16/05/2015 / 6:14 pm

    What a fab day you all had Mel, such a gorgeous occasion. The kids had so much fun with their balloons, brilliant little video of Beanie – the canister is clearly super easy to use which is a bonus 🙂 stunning photos as always xxx

    • 18/05/2015 / 9:21 pm

      They did! Balloons always make them so happy… not so happy when they let go of the string though…

  2. 16/05/2015 / 6:19 pm

    It looks like a lovely celebration and a great excuse to bring all the family together. Judging by the photos there was a bit of shower dodging on the day but at least you managed a little fun with balloons outdoors. I love all the themed bits and bobs to make the celebrations. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids

    • 17/05/2015 / 12:29 am

      It really was a beautiful day, and the rain didn’t prevent us from spending the weekend outdoors.

  3. Adorna
    16/05/2015 / 7:41 pm

    What a fantastic story,and what beautiful children, are they their proper names if so how unusual or do they fit their antics. Look forward to your next stories. Xx Adorna

    • 16/05/2015 / 10:40 pm

      Thanks a lot for your kind words, Adorna. Crevette, Beanie, Jumpy and Wriggly are my babies’ ‘bump’ names, he he!

  4. Louise
    17/05/2015 / 8:43 am

    What a beautiful day you had and love the yellow and grey balloons. That photo of Wriggly in the basket is just adorable. I love the fact that your wedding gown was turned into your childrens’ christening gown – what a beautiful idea. Sophie was christened in my old christening gown and hubby’s christening shawl (which we also used for Jessica at her welcome service as she was baptised at birth instead). The photo of Wriggly being baptised is so beautiful and I love your dress – what a gorgeous colour it is. So glad you had such a wonderful day celebrating with your French and English relatives x

    • 18/05/2015 / 2:03 pm

      Thanks my lovely. Do you have photos of you then Sophie in your old christening gown? If you’ve not already written about it, it would make a lovely post! xxx

      • Louise
        19/05/2015 / 11:16 pm

        I do have photos and that sounds like a great idea – might just do that, thank you! 🙂

        • 19/05/2015 / 11:26 pm

          Looking forward to it!

  5. 18/05/2015 / 9:12 am

    Wow what a lovely day and it looks like everything went really well. I love the colours for your theme and Buckfast abbey looks beautiful!

    • 20/05/2015 / 12:11 am

      It was, thanks Afra!

  6. 18/05/2015 / 7:01 pm

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful day! Beautiful photos.

    • 18/05/2015 / 9:19 pm

      We did! Thanks lovely.

    • 18/05/2015 / 9:18 pm

      Thanks hun! xx

  7. 18/05/2015 / 8:16 pm

    Quel beau baptême ! J’aime beaucoup les petits pots avec les dragées jaunes ! L’église aussi est très jolie. Notre dernière rassemblement en famille, c’était l’année dernière pour le baptême de mon filleul. Mais, je me rappelle encore quand on a baptisé mes deux enfants, c’était en France et on a fait venir ma famille d’Espagne !

    • 18/05/2015 / 9:18 pm

      J’adore quand on rassemble les anglais et les frenchies! C’est toujours plein de bonheur et de rires.

  8. 18/05/2015 / 9:48 pm

    What a beautiful day – not surprisingly I’m suddenly filled with the memories of my twins’ baptism. I absolutely love how your wedding dress was made into a baptism gown.

  9. The Free From Fairy
    19/05/2015 / 1:56 pm

    It was such a special day and I feel so priviledged to have been a part of it. Thank you so much for sharing such a fabulous occation with my family. They are still talking about it!!!

    • 19/05/2015 / 2:44 pm

      It was such a pleasure having you guys. I have plenty of photos but the laptop I am using at the moment doesn’t allow me to send more than a couple at a time so I’ll email them when I have my new laptop. We have to get together again when we next come to Devon. I want to meet Rosie (is it Rosie?). xxx

      • The Free From Fairy
        19/05/2015 / 2:50 pm

        Yes!!! We are coming to St Albans in a few weeks to see a band but it is a bit of a fleeting visit!

        • 19/05/2015 / 9:54 pm

          If you have a couple of hours free, let me know and we could meet at the Aquadrome (Rickmansworth) at my favourite café (they have a wide range of ‘free-from’ goodies). x

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