New life is always a cause for joy and celebration!
why would we want a naming ceremony?
We have an innate need to mark a new life joining us
The arrival of a new person in your family is a big moment for everyone involved. Excitement, love, gratitude, hopes and dreams all swirl around, often alongside some inevitable nerves and worries (Can we actually do this?!). What is often known as a Naming Ceremony could equally be known as a ‘Welcoming Ceremony’, a ‘Thanksgiving Ceremony’ or a ‘Gathering your Support Tribe’ Ceremony, as it’s a chance to do all of these things!
Planning a Naming Ceremony for a baby or child
An opportunity to give a warm welcome your way
Naming ceremonies can be celebrated at any age and stage of life – soon after birth, on a birthday, at a time that just feels right! They can also welcome step-children and adopted children into the family and include a Family Unity ceremony to draw everyone together.
Having a celebrant-led naming ceremony is often seen as a secular alternative to a Christening. However, as an independent celebrant, I love to create a ceremony for you that weaves together your beliefs and values in just the way you want. Even when your beliefs and traditions are different, we can be blend them together in just the way you would like and include symbolism from each tradition.
The safe arrival of a new life is always a reason to celebrate.
Relish a moment to welcome them and give thanks for the extra love that they have brought with them.
A Naming Ceremony gives you the opportunity to present them formally to your friends and family, to share the stories or meanings behind the names you have chosen for them, to express your thanks for the fact they are safely here and all the richness they have already brought to your lives. It gives you a moment to express your hopes for the exciting world of possibilities that stands before them and to make any promises to them for the future. It is also a moment to gather the key adults, those who at a Christening are known as ‘Godparents’, that you hope will support them (and you!) on their journey and ask them to make their own commitment to your child.
Where can we hold a naming ceremony?
Anywhere can be a perfect venue
You can choose anywhere to hold your ceremony – from a hotel, to a village hall; from a garden to a clearing in the woods… Choose somewhere where you feel comfortable and that you can picture celebrating with your guests.
What can we include in a naming ceremony?
Naming Ceremonies are as individual and personal as each family.
When you work with me to create a Naming Ceremony together, we’ll start with a bit of my ‘joyful homework’ to capture all the details that will be special to include, as well as the essence of why you have chosen to hold this ceremony, what it means to you and all that you want to express to your little one.
You can choose readings, poems and songs that express your love, and your hopes for their future and also ask the ‘godparents’ to do the same. And it’s always extra special if they want to write something themselves.
Then there are all the symbolic rituals for Naming Ceremonies that you can choose to add.
Candle lighting – for the child and maybe one for parents, siblings or ‘godparents’.
Sand ceremony – adding coloured sand to a beautiful jar to represent each of you
Adding wishes or quotes to a jar or tree – these can be kept safely until your child is old enough to read these for themselves.
Signing a certificate to remember the day and the promises that were made.
Planting a tree, bulbs or flower seeds
Or ones that we create together with inspiration from your own lives!
It’s also very special to include ways that you can capture all the guests that came to celebrate in a way that will give your child a memento to look back on in years to come. You could use a traditional guest book, a jigsaw puzzle, a plate… there are so many choices!
How much does a naming ceremony cost?
The fee for me to create and hold a bespoke naming ceremony for you to welcome the new addition to your family and share your gratitude for all that they bring is currently £350.
This starts with a non-refundable deposit to secure your date, with the final balance due a month before the day. Travel within 30 miles of TN10 is included.
Your fee ensures that…
- You will have a ceremony written just for you and the new member of your family that celebrates all that they mean and all that they bring. You can include ‘godparents’, grandparents, siblings and anyone else you wish to help you welcome them to your family and the life before them.
- You will have time with me, online or in person, to explore your ideas and share your story. I’ll also be available throughout the lead up to the ceremony day to answer any questions.
- I’ll give you ‘homework’ questionnaires (don’t worry – this is joyful homework!) to help you to capture your thoughts and then share them with me.
- You can include readings or promises if you wish. I can help you with the process of finding or writing these or I can write them with your input.
- You will see a draft copy of the script, then I’ll tweak and edit this until reading it leaves you with a warm glow.
- On the day itself, I will arrive an hour before to ensure the ceremony space is prepared. I’ll also be there to meet the venue staff and photographer (if that applies) and your guests.
- Both you and the ‘god-parents’ will receive a bespoke certificate to commemorate the day and the special people who made promises to love and support the new member of your family.
For each Naming Ceremony that I hold, I make a £50 donation to
I’ve volunteered alongside the wonderful women who run this charity for over a decade now – pretty much ever since I became a mum!
They work tirelessly to support new parents with their transition into parenthood, especially with feeding. They provide online and in person support from skilled professionals and dedicated volunteers… no matter how many times you’ve done it! (There’s always tea and chocolate brownies too!)
They now rely solely on donations to support their work and so it’s very special to me to be able to support them.
What’s the next step?
When you decide that your vibe fits with mine and you can feel that tingle of excitement (and, to be honest, so can I!), we can sign a contract and then a deposit will ensure I am yours for your date.
We’ll have an in depth chat and I’ll give you my ‘joyful homework’. We’ll draw all the ideas together then I will create a beautiful bespoke script that will be the basis of your wonderful celebration!
If the idea of creating a bespoke ceremony with me has given you a little tingle of excitement, filled your head with ideas or even lots of questions,
contact me here and you can start telling me your story over email, zoom or on the phone.