Real Life | Saving costs on First Communion

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Irish parents spend a shocking average of €750 on their child’s First Holy Communion. But there are ways to cutting down the cost and not compromising on this special day.

A First Holy Communion is an important day in your child’s life, and indeed yours, but does that justify spending hundreds if not thousands or euro on it?

As with all such occasions, there will be those that will spend an extortionate amount of cash on the big day. However, you can still do big and classy without the unnecessary cost.

The dress is the biggest expense facing families. With so many high street stores, such as Debenhams and Next, selling their own (and beautiful) communion dresses and suits now, there is no need to spend over your set budget.

If there have been many communions in your extended family circle, you could ask to alter them to suit your child’s fit.

The accessories – bag, umbrella, gloves – are another ‘extra’ cost that can be avoided. Give them the option of one or ask family members for their old items. Instead of buying a veil, many parents use their wedding dress material to make it – this is a nice, sentimental touch to the day.

Many mums feel under pressure to also dress like it is a wedding for communions. Obviously you want to look well but you can recycle an old outfit with new accessories or borrow from a friends – it is, after all, only one day.

Going out for a meal after the communion sounds great but it’s not practical for all families. Having a small gathering in the home can be less expensive and more comfortable for everyone, especially for those with young children. Spread the cost of the cooking by making dishes and freezing them. Do not be afraid to ask family and friends to bring a dish – they will be only too happy to help.

Set a budget and stick to it. And enjoy the occasion – no matter what food you serve, or food you eat.