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This may sound pretty obvious, but when planning your speech or toast for your godchild don’t forget to say a few words about the other godparents. It’s all too easy to forget your partners in crime in your Christening speech.

Amazingly, although the parents of your godchild are either close friends or relatives of the mother and father, it is often the case that the godparents don’t know each other very well. It can be a bit unnerving when you turn up at the Christening to find a completely new side to your friends’ lives of which you have little knowledge. You are probably a good mate of the father from way back in the past, but you’ve seldom set eyes on the other godparents. You get introduced to the mother’s best mate from university, who you have vaguely heard of and may have seen at the wedding and the father’s brother who has been living in Dubai for the last ten years who you last talked to on the stag night.

So see if you can have a quick chat with the other godparents before the Christening and see if there is anything they want you to say. When you get to the speech you can include them more successfully and hopefully avoid one of my early Grumpy Godfather faux pas when I capped a particularly turgid Christening Speech by forgetting the other godparents’ names …

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As a godfather or godmother, making a speech after the Christening can be daunting. We have looked at lots of different ways of approaching a Christening speech or toast, but, if you are looking for more ideas, don’t forget your godchild’s parents.

This may seem an obvious suggestion, but it is easy to overlook two of the most important people present at the service.

Firstly, it is worth talking to them before the big day to ask if there is anything they would like you to say. There may be a relative who has travelled a long way who deserves a mention or a friend who has been particularly supportive during the pregnancy who needs recognition. There may be something they would like you to say on their behalf.

Secondly, they’ve probably put a lot of effort into planning the Christening day, which is no mean feat considering all the other stresses and strains placed on young parents. So it is worth including a few words about Mum & Dad … how well they’ve done, how lucky your godchild is etc etc

Good luck with the speech!

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Hattie has sent me the following toast for your Christening speech. I’m not so sure about this one, but I suppose the sentiments are pretty sound:

“May you live as long as you want, and may you never want as long as you live.”

Have a look at Christening Toasts if you need some ideas

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Here’s another sweet Christening toast for the end of that Christening Speech:

“May the Lord cradle you in His hand, but never close His fist too tight.
May your pockets always be heavy and your heart always be light.”

Good luck if you have to make a Christening Speech this weekend!

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We’ve touched on the difficulties of making a speech at the Christening a few times (see speech). Here a just a few more thoughts for what you may wish to include:

Congratulate the parents on the production of such a beautiful child.

Congratulate the child on choosing to be born into such a close and loving family.

Thank the parents for giving you the honour and responsibility of being the little bundle of joy’s godparent.

Reassure everyone that you will be there for the child through good times and bad.

And don’t forget to thank the vicar / priest, thank all the guests for coming, thank whoever was responsible for providing the food and drink.

Keep it short, don’t get too emotional, avoid “in” jokes and finish off with a toast.

I was at a Christening once for a lad called James and his godfather simply raised a glass and said: “Lucky Jim” …. I wouldn’t recommend being quite this brief.

See Christening Toasts for more ideas

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Making a Christening toast at the end of a Christening speech is a skill. Making them meaningful and witty is nigh impossible. Here are a few that I have heard or used in the past:

“Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses and drink a toast to young Billie – wealth, health & happiness.”

“Be loving with your family, selfless with your friends and generous to everyman.”

“We wish young Billie good fortune, health and peace on his journey through life. May he find love and comfort when he is troubled, may he find true friendship as he grows and may he learn to be kind and considerate to everyone he meets over what we hope will be a long and happy life.”

“For a head that will always be bright, a stomach that will always be full and a heart that will always be happy…”

If you have any additional Christening toasts or any other Christening speech ideas, please add them to the comments below. You never know when you might need them.

See Christening Toasts for more ideas

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Standing up in front of a large group of people can be nerve-wracking for the best of us, but beware of the aftermath of making a Christening speech.

You’ve tried to be a touch witty, you’ve injected a bit of emotion, reflected on the world in which the wee little sausage will grow up and, with any luck, left the assembled company with a warm glow of hope about the future. With a hearty slap on the back you retire to the drinks table with the sense of a job well done.

The adrenaline is still pumping, so you knock back the first couple of glasses like a Cossack at the Vodka Olympics before returning to the party to glad-hand your admirers … Do not at this point ask to hold your new godson and wittily, as ever, stick a cigar in his mouth “because he looks just like Winston Churchill” …

… It’s amazing how quickly that golden glow fades.

See Christening Toasts for more ideas

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Some more thoughts on that all important speech (see August 15th) … before you disappear into the corner for a fortifying snifter of medium dry sherry:

5) If it’s a girl, do not fall into an easy trap … beware of the old chestnut “Let’s hope she ends up with her mother’s looks and her father’s brains and let’s pray she doesn’t end up with the opposite” … the silence will be deafening. In these politically correct times, where women wear the trousers and us chaps aren’t allowed to leave the seat up after having a pee, the only acceptable variation of this line is:

“Little Chloe will be blessed if she ends up with the good looks of her mother and the intelligence of … her mother… ” howls of laughter, Germaine Greer feels vindicated and all the chaps understand completely where you are coming from.

Now you can retire for that medium dry sherry and get collared by Great Aunt Maude and her stole made from a dead fox.

See Christening Toasts for more ideas

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Even if you haven’t been asked to give a speech as a godparent, it’s worth having a few thoughts up your sleeve. I speak from bitter experience, having been asked to “say a few words” by my new godson’s father only minutes before the toast. Suffice it to say, I made a complete hash of it. So here are a few pointers:

1) Thanks always go down well with: Vicar/priest, caterers, parents, grandparents, relatives and friends who have travelled so far …

2) You are honoured at being asked to be the little blighter’s godparent and hope that you will live up to the task.

3) The said little blighter is damn lucky to have such wonderful parents (and haven’t they done a great job so far)

4) Propose a toast for the wee bundle of joy … “Wealth, Health and Happiness” always gets a satisfactory round of applause.

Retire to corner of room and have a snifter.

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