Naming and welcoming ceremonies have been part of family and community life for centuries. Almost every culture has a ceremony or a ritual designed to celebrate or mark the occasion of birth.

Naming a child not only gives a sense of personal identity, even if they may not be fully aware of it at the time, but it also gives a sense of family and cultural identity, all of which are important for a child’s sense of belonging.

One of the wonderful things about a naming ceremony is that there are no ‘rules’ – there is no right or wrong way to conduct a ceremony. It may include stories, poetry or readings, song, or maybe even a puppet show. Symbols and rituals, family customs and traditional ways may all be incorporated.

Often a symbolic gesture is also made such as the lighting of a candle, planting of a tree etc. In addition, certificates are presented to parents and other special people as a record of the occasion.

While the Naming Ceremony and accompanying documents don’t have any legal status, they are a wonderful way to welcome your child and celebrate them as they begin their journey through life.  Each ceremony is unique and is tailored to suit your individual needs.

What happens at a naming ceremony?

An example of what your naming ceremony might consist of:

– Introduction and welcome
– Reading
– Naming of the child (or children)
– Parent’s promises
– Promises by supporting adults
– Closing words

You can choose to add any of the following additional sections:

Reasons for the names, hopes for the child’s future, parent’s vows to each other, grandparent’s promises, absent guests, further readings and presentations of a gift to the child.

There are many ways to make your child’s ceremony a very personal and unique event.

How long does the ceremony last?

A ceremony usually takes about 15 minutes but can be up to 30 minutes if more readings and options are included. During the ceremony a presentation certificate of the ceremony is signed by parents, supporting adults and the celebrant.

Who makes the arrangements, and can I include my other children?

Any parent can make the arrangements, or anyone else who has parental responsibility or legal guardianship of the child. Parents do not have to be married, neither is a naming ceremony just for babies, children of any age can have a naming ceremony. You may wish to include your older children in the ceremony as well as your new child.

Can we hold a naming ceremony at the same time as we get married?

Yes. A naming ceremony can be held after the marriage ceremony.

Do naming ceremonies have any legal status?

No. They are simply something that you, as parents, choose to do as a public gesture of love and commitment to your child. Unlike a birth certificate, which is a compulsory legal document, the record of the ceremony cannot be used.

You bring the love and the guests, I will bring the energy, charm and magic to make your special day perfect!

My aim is to make your day all you could wish for – your ideas and dreams are what motivate me.

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