Philip Wm. Spicksley - Registered Independent Celebrant
 
Baby Namings
 
Every Naming Ceremony, is an informal unique event and offers the flexibility to meet the individual needs and wishes of the family.

Ceremonies can be specially created using the family’s own selection of words, poems and readings from the wide selection provided. During the ceremony a Souvenir Certificate is signed by the parents, supporting adults and myself.

There are many ways to make your child's ceremony a very personal, meaningful and unique event for all those involved.You can hold your ceremony at any suitable venue. The venue does not have to be licensed in any way, nor does it have to be local to you. Perhaps you have a hotel in mind, or maybe a favourite restaurant or a village hall.
 
Of course, you might prefer to hold the ceremony at home, or at a friend or relative’s house (subject to suitability, see section below 'Ceremonies at Home'). Ceremonies can be held outside but there will need to be an inside room available in case of bad weather.
 
A naming ceremony is an ideal way of celebrating the birth of a new baby or to welcome a child into the family.  Many couples feel that it is appropriate to have a special occasion to celebrate the birth of a baby that can be shared with their family and friends. They can also be used to celebrate adoptive children and step children becoming part of a new family.
 
The event is a dignified and formal way to:

  • Welcome the child into the family unit
  • Announce the names that have been chosen for the child (and possibly the reasons behind the choice of names)
  • Make promises and commitments to nurture and support the child through to its adult life
  • Choose other adults and family members who are prepared to promise a special supportive relationship to the child
  • Give and receive gifts.
Any parent can arrange a naming ceremony, whether they are married or not and irrespective of spiritual, religious or cultural backgrounds.


 
Photo by Tracy Conway-Smith Photography,  BarnetbyThings to consider when planning a ceremony
  • Have a word with neighbours to ensure that they know when a ceremony is to be held at your home.  They will be able to plan for their activities i.e. by not cutting the grass or using other power tools.

(Photograph by Tracy Conway-Smith Photography)

  • Make arrangements to have pets looked after.  They can detract from the ceremony, make noises and pester the guests.
  • Think about decorating the event using baby naming napkins or balloons.
  • Make sure that you have a table available for use during the ceremony and for putting the presents on.
  • If someone is to read a poem or say a few words, make sure that they prepare their script.  Ask them not to make it too long.
  • Research readings and poems, making the right selection to suit your family. (I can assist you with this)
  • Siblings of the baby may wish to say a few words or read a nursery rhyme.
  • Think about what music you may wish to include in the ceremony.
  • You may wish to have a special guest book in which each guest can write their personal message to your baby.
  • Make sure that you consider the time of day.  Try to avoid your baby's regular feeding or sleeping times.
  • Decide who is going to hold the baby,  you may wish to have your baby held by one of the special friends selected to look over the child during its life.
  • Photography.  It is an idea to nominate one or two of the guests (if competent) to act as official photographers.  Too many people crowding around with cameras can be off putting for the rest of the guests and for the child.  An electronic photo album can be created and shared with guests via email or copied onto discs.
  • You may wish to plant a tree in the garden to commemorate the day.
  • You may wish to have a candle during the ceremony. If this is the case then provide a clear vase to put it in to ensure that the wind does not blow it out.
  • A naming ceremony can be an emotional time for all the family and is a time when parents can take the opportunity of making a vow or pledge to each other and a pledge of parenthood to the new arrival.  Siblings can make a promise to look after their little brother or sister.
 
 Example
 
Gina and Paul wanted to hold  a baby naming ceremony for their son Aaron.  They contacted the local registry office who informed them that it would cost £120 to conduct the ceremony in the Registry Office and almost £400 for the Registrar to go to a licensed venue to carry out the service.

It was their wish to have the ceremony at a function suite and were told that this was possible but it had to be at a Licensed for Ceremonies Venue approved by the Council.

This would have cost the young couple more than their budget.  Room hire and the cost of buffet per head put the idea out of reach.

They contacted me and we arranged for a ceremony at the local social club, where they paid £100 room hire fee (fee refunded if they spent £100 over the bar).  They were allowed to do their own catering.

When I arrived they had invited over 120 guests (which ensured the refund of their room hire fee) and had catered for their guest by making their own buffet.


Breaking News!  I have just been informed that North East Lincolnshire Council are no longer carrying out baby naming ceremonies.  They are all being directed to Lincoln or Hull at a premium cost.

Now available!   I now include a dvd copy (free of charge) of your ceremony for you to treasure and place in your keep safe box.
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