As you’d imagine, I spend a lot of time talking to venue managers, event suppliers and families about naming ceremonies and there are a few questions that often crop up. So, if you’ve ever wondered if you can hold your ceremony in your garden, or whether your auntie can read a prayer; then read on. The answers are all here!.
What exactly is a naming ceremony?
The easiest way to describe a naming ceremony is probably as a non-religious christening. It has all the elements that you’d expect in a traditional christening (naming of the child, readings, promises etc.), but importantly, it also tells the unique story of your family.
Many people choose a naming ceremony because they don’t have a particular faith, but that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t have religious content. There are no rules. Blessings and prayers are a wonderful way to include friends and family and honour their beliefs.
Can we still have godparents?
Oh yes. That’s one of the most important elements of the day. These are the treasured people in your life that will support you as parents and help to guide your child as they grow older. You can call them godparents, or you might want to choose a different name: guide parent, sponsor, mentor or supporting adult are all good options or perhaps something fun, like odd parent or even sparent!.
Where do naming ceremonies take place?
Anywhere! That’s one of the most brilliant things about naming ceremonies. Unlike a wedding, there’s no legal aspect to the event, so the venue doesn’t have to be licensed. So, if you want to gather friends and family in your mum’s garden, that’s perfect. If you’re real ale enthusiasts – how about Hook Norton Brewery? If it’s all about the great outdoors, how about a naming ceremony at the top of a hill, with spectacular views all around. Take a look at Outdoor Ceremonies for gorgeous outdoor venues in your area.
For other ideas, my little black book is bulging with venues in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, so let’s explore together!
My children are five and two, are they too old for a naming ceremony?
Not at all. People traditionally think of christenings as taking place when children are babies, but these events are about so much more than announcing the names that have been chosen. They’re about celebrating the powerful bonds between family and friends. You could hold a naming ceremony for both children at the same time or opt for a unity ceremony. These events are perfect for older children and blended families and are all about recognising the special relationships that have grown between family and friends.
My partner and I are from different cultural backgrounds. How do we honour both?
Your naming ceremony is all about you and your unique family story. So if you’re from different backgrounds, take a little inspiration from both! Let’s say your heritage is a blend of Swedish and Irish, then how about an Irish blessing during the ceremony and smorgastarta (Swedish sandwich cake) to celebrate afterwards. Perhaps your families are Scottish and Welsh, then why not use a Scottish oathing stone to ‘set your promises in stone’ and give your guests mini love spoons as a memento of the day.
We want to involve everyone in our ceremony – how can we do this?
There are lots of ways to include all your guests, from wishing trees gathering words of love and advice, to a good old sing-along!. Light signifies hope and new awakenings, so you could hold your ceremony at dusk, light a candle for your child and ask each guest to light their own from it, until the room is filled with flickering light.
For more answers and ideas, get in touch to discuss creating a beautiful naming ceremony together.
Bluebell Ceremonies – Creating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies to celebrate the special moments in your life.
Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Cotswolds.