Civil naming ceremonies are non-religious alternatives to baptisms for families celebrating the birth of a new baby. They can also be held for children of any age, and are an ideal way of welcoming adopted or stepchildren into their new family. You’ll get a commemorative certificate as a permanent record of the occasion.
Your ceremony will last around 30 minutes and will be conducted by a fully trained celebrant. We’ll give you advice before the ceremony and do our very best to make sure that you have a celebration day to remember. Your ceremony can’t have any religious content and has no legal status.
Some ideas you may want to consider are:
- announcing the names that you have chosen and perhaps giving the reasons for your choice.
- making promises to be as good a parent as you can, loving, encouraging and supporting your child into adult life.
- choosing other adults prepared to commit themselves to a special and supportive relationship with your child.
- involving your child's grandparents.
- having a souvenir record of the ceremony that is signed and presented on the day.
Arranging a naming ceremony
You can have a naming ceremony in any venue which has a public entertainment licence, such as hotels, parish rooms, civic centres, function rooms, etc. Please check with the venue first to make sure it’s suitable.
We don’t offer naming ceremonies in the Town Hall, in private houses or outdoors.
Either parent can organise a naming ceremony, whether you are married or not, and you’ll need to provide the child’s birth certificate.
Changes due to COVID-19 (coronavirus)
We're not offering appointments for baby naming ceremonies currently between 24 March and 4 May 2020. Read more about our changes to registrar services due to COVID-19.
You won't be able to use our online form or call us to make an appointment during this period.
We'll contact you to discuss your requirements. Please make sure you include your preferred date and location of the ceremony.
See our fees page for details of the costs involved.