Namings and Welcomings

A naming ceremony is a the perfect non-religious way to celebrate the arrival of a child, or to welcome a new addition to the family.

They are warm, happy and child-friendly occasions that give parents the chance to mark the significance of having brought a child into the world, formally welcome them and celebrate with families and friends.

Each and every naming ceremony is unique as it reflects the particular family . There is no set model – it will vary according to personalities, circumstances and family set-up.  Some namings are quite formal, others are much more personalised and relaxed.


Where are Humanist Naming ceremonies held?
Since naming ceremonies have no legal standing, there are no limits as to where they can be held – in people’s homes, gardens, function rooms, hotels, village halls, parks, even at the zoo!


Who are they for?

Namings aren’t just for babies.  They can be for newly blended families acknowledging their parental committments.  They can be for older adopted children.  Very often they are joint celebrations of the child’s first birthday, which is a wonderful way to combine two important occasions – and gives you some chance of having enough sleep to be able to organise a get-together!


A lovely sunny day for a naming for Miles and Clara

What happens at a Naming ceremony?
Namings usually lasts between ten and twenty minutes and often take place at the beginning of a family party or gathering.  Typically we talk about the joy and responsibility of being a parent, about the child as an individual, hopes for the future and the importance of other people outside the immediate family unit (e.g. grandparents, cousins, siblings etc.) Parents often appoint ‘guideparents’ for their child.  There might be vows or promises made by parents, family members and/or guidparents.

There might also be various kinds of symbolic acts or gestures – giving of gifts, lighting unity candles, planting a tree, ringing a bell of unity, fingerprints on a tree of life, or a wishing tree. Or almost anything else.


How will you work with us?

Once we have agreed to work together, I will send you some preliminary information and suggestions to help you start thinking about what you might like.  We will arrange a meeting where I will find out as much as I can about you and your child, your wider family and friends, and what ideas you have for the ceremony. I will help you to think about music, readings, participation by your family and friends, symbolic acts.  I will write a first draft and email it to you.  We will then go through a process of honing and editing until you are entirely happy with the ceremony we are planning.  It is important that you feel complete ownership of every element.  On the day itself, I  will try and ensure that the ceremony starts punctually, and that all runs smoothly.  My aim is to make your day a perfect memory.  After the ceremony, I will prepare a well-produced copy of theNaming script for you to have as a keepsake, helping you to remember this special day.


How much do you charge?
My fee for namings is £250.  This includes all the activities detailed above – an extensive planning meeting, drafting and editing the script as often as needed,  liaising with venue if there is one, attending early on the day to ensure all is running smoothly, leading and delivering the actual ceremony, and all local travel.  I am happy to travel further afield, including overseas, for an additional charge.

I ask for a £100 non-refundable deposit to book the date and the balance is payable before the big day.  Like all accredited Humanists UK celebrants, I pay a portion of my fees to the organisation, which helps maintain the quality of our training and support.


What training do you have?
I have been trained and accredited by the Humanists UK to conduct Namings (also weddings and funerals).  I am covered by their Commitment to Quality and Code of Conduct.  I am fully covered by Humanists UK for public liability and professional indemnity insurance.


How Do We Get In Touch With You?
I am happy to have a no-obligation meeting with you to help you decide if I am the celebrant for you.

Landline Phone: 0121 684 1053

Mobile Phone: 07977 216824