The First Holy Communion is a big event in any child’s life, and it turns out they are big days for the parents too, with many splashing the cash on lavish parties to celebrate.
Expensive food trucks and entertainment are common features of many First Holy Communion parties, according to several services providers.
One entertainer told the Irish Independent: “I did a rich person’s communion party and it was like a wedding. There was even an event management team to put the whole thing together.
“The party itself had all the trimmings… A lot of communions have just gone a bit mad.”
Entertainment on offer can include face-painters, magicians and even bouncy castles.
Food choices for the big day include barbecues, pizza vans and ice-cream trucks.
Many parents are making their bookings well in advance to make sure they have everything in place for their children’s First Communion Party.
Julianne Brogan of Black Sheep Foods, a catering company in Dublin, explained: “Communions have definitely turned into a full-on affair. All our weekends for Communions are booked up six months in advance.
“We’re non-stop. We had a communion party recently and the people had us booked in from a catering they were at last year. We generally get a booking a year in advance.
“We do barbecues and a kids menu with things like homemade sourdough pizza and sweet potato chips. For adults we do barbecued or grilled meats or big vibrant salads, and desserts like chocolate pudding pots.
“Last week we had a Communion with 45 adults and 21 kids. They’ve turend into big affairs. They’re great fun to do.
“It’s a celebration for the children, it’s like having a big birthday party. Grandparents, aunts and uncles come up for it so it’s a big occasion.”
You may not be surprised to read that none of these services come cheap.
Paul Furey, who runs Really Grand Events said magic shows, face paintings, or balloons can cost around €195 for 90-minute sessions, with the prices rising for larger events and longer bookings.
Dave Lennon provides up to 60 pizzas for adults and children at a minimum cost of €600 with his company Dave’s Fire Wood Pizzas. He said: “Communion business is growing. You might have a bouncing castle there. Depending on the crowd and how much people want to spend, people might have an ice cream van there as well. So they have pizza for main, then ice cream for dessert.”
Hamish Urqhart, owner of PartyWizz, estimates the average spend by parents on a First Communion Party is up to €400.
He said: “It’s big business. The whole children’s entertainment and party market is worth €1.5 million.
“There’s huge competition [among parents]. You have to put on a big show for your kids. If you went to a party with a magician, you might want the same – if not better. It’s very much keeping up with the Joneses.”