Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator

Naming ceremony checklist

Naming ceremony checklist

A naming ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a new arrival into your family in a non-religious way; they can be arranged for babies, adoptive children or stepchildren of any age. Naming ceremonies are a unique and personal way of welcoming a child into the family and wider community for those who prefer a secular (non-religious) ceremony.

Every naming ceremony is entirely personal and tailored to individual needs. The ceremony can include music, readings, personal vows and promises of your choice, and usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.

As part of the ceremony, you can choose to:

  • announce names
  • declare your promise to be a good parent
  • include poems, readings, and music
  • exchange gifts
  • nominate up to 4 adults, who promise a special relationship with the child, offering guidance and support throughout life

Our celebrants will help you every step of the way and a commemorative certificate will be provided.

Read more about:

Arranging a naming ceremony

A parent, person with parental responsibility, or legal guardian can organise a naming ceremony - contact us; to book you'll need the child's birth to have been registered.

Birth certificate(s) must be produced when booking. Please note that the ceremony cannot be used to change a child’s name or surname. See advice on name changes by deed poll on GOV.UK.

Top of page

Pre-ceremony consultation service

We provide a 'pre-ceremony consultation service' giving you the opportunity to discuss all aspects of your ceremony with an experienced celebrant who'll be able to answer any questions you have about your ceremony.

Contact us to book your 40-minute pre-ceremony consultation, subject to availability, Monday to Friday.

See pre-ceremony consultation fees.

Top of page

Naming ceremony venues

You can book the Bootham Suite or use any of our approved venues.

Alternatively, contact us with queries about other locations (venues must have current fire and safety certificates, and public liability insurance).

When you have chosen a venue for your ceremony you should contact us to check our availability and provisionally book a celebrant. You will also be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit which will be deducted from the final cost of the ceremony.

Your booking is confirmed when you have made final payment and returned your ceremony planner.

Top of page

Your naming ceremony

You'll have the opportunity to make the ceremony unique for you and your family. You may wish to have music and/or present the child with a special gift to mark the occasion. We'll provide you with a choice of poems and readings or you can include your own readings. A celebrant will conduct the ceremony, the content of which will be based upon the personal choices you make.

You'll be asked to complete a ceremony planner and a questionnaire so we can tailor the ceremony to you.

You can have up to 2 readings or poems, or if you have other ideas, you can submit these, and we’ll review them. No religious content is allowed as part of this ceremony.

Our celebrants are happy to provide guidance if you so wish.

If you wish to change the date, time, or location of your ceremony you must request this in writing by email or post. Alternate dates will be subject to our availability.

Top of page

Neither the ceremony nor any documents issued following a naming ceremony have any legal status.

A naming ceremony is not a legal change of name. See advice on name changes by deed poll on GOV.UK.

Top of page

Religious ceremonies, christenings, and baptisms

We cannot help with religious naming ceremonies; contact your local church, or religious community to arrange these.

Top of page

A baby in a grey hat yawning next to a white teddy bear

Naming ceremony fees

Naming ceremony fees