“Just a quick email to thank you again for a lovely day. We all had the most fantastic time. You were so friendly and relaxed and created just the right atmosphere for our family. ” (Parents of twin girls, August 2017)
“I’ve been meaning to email for ages now but have never managed to get round to it! I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the gorgeous ceremony that you gave to Faye for her naming day. It meant the world to us that you could be there for both of our daughters on their special occasions and so many of our family and friends commented on how nice the ceremony was and how beautiful the words were” (October, 2017)
Amanda and I wanted to thank you again for the lovely ceremony – it hit the perfect tone. We both loved it, and had loads of positive comments from our guests too. Thanks also for rolling your sleeves up to help in the kitchen, the food was very well received – a successful event all round! (June 2018)
What’s in a Naming Ceremony?
A humanist naming ceremony is a great way to welcome your baby into your family and circle of friends.
A naming ceremony can suit many occasions from the arrival of a new born baby, to the arrival of an adopted child or children.
Each naming ceremony is unique to the family. There is no set pattern or script. And, if baby is asleep during it, or your child would rather spend time on the swings or slide than sit still and hear your aspirations for them, well, that’s all part of the fun.
The arrival of a child is an incredible life-changing event and is a great event to be celebrated.
A typical naming ceremony might last approximately 20 minutes and include
- a welcome to the guests;
- some background to your relationship;
- some thoughts on parenthood with readings or poems read by family or friends;
- what being a parent has meant to you;
- your promises / aspirations for your child;
- presentation of the support/guide parents and their role;
- the naming of the child and, perhaps, a non-religious blessing.
- It is your day, so you can also include music, readings, a small performance if you have a big enough, extrovert family!
Some families also like to include other symbolic acts (planting of a tree, mingling of sands) . Such symbolic acts sometimes help to include other children (siblings, cousins, family friends). It is not at all unusual for this wonderful event to melt into a big party afterwards.
You can hold a naming ceremony wherever you wish. Back gardens and kitchens are common, but if you want to hire a marquee or arrange for everyone to turn up in the local park with picnic blankets, then that’s fine too.
My fee for 2018 is £280:00. If the ceremony is further than 20 miles from Southampton than it may be necessary to also charge travel expenses. The fee includes:
- an initial phone call to discuss your wishes
- an introductory meeting to get to know each other and for me to learn what kind of ceremony you want
- writing a unique ceremony with as many email edits as it takes to get it right for you
- my services on the day
- a presentation copy of the script for you to keep and a certificate marking the day and for your child to keep
If this sounds like what you would like, please get in touch Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org OR 07792 821550 / 02380 785823
A postscript about Venues. Clients choose all kinds of venues. If they are lucky then homes and gardens are common venues. But if you need something bigger, here are a few links to places I’ve conducted naming ceremonies in/around Southampton.
West End Parish Centre http://www.westend-pc.gov.uk/West_End_Parish_Centre.aspx
Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton https://www.hangerfarm.co.uk/
Emery Down Village Hall, Lyndhurst http://emerydownhall.org.uk/
Otterbourne Village Hall http://www.otterbournevillagehall.org.uk/
Hiltinburgy Community Centre http://www.thehilt.org.uk/
Totton and Eling Cricket Club http://www.tottonandelingcc.co.uk/
Botleigh Grange Hotel http://www.botleighgrange.com/
Woodlands Lodge Hotel http://www.woodlands-lodge.co.uk/
The Red Lion Hotel, Fareham https://www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/the-red-lion-hotel-fareham