Baby naming ceremonies
Throughout history and across cultures, people have wanted ceremonies and rituals to mark the arrival of a new baby. And today, many parents are looking for ways to celebrate and reflect on the birth of their children that connect with their own beliefs and values.
A ceremony that feels right to you
A lot of parents say something like: 'We sort of want a christening but we're not really religious.' But a Christian baptism is just one kind of naming ceremony. If that doesn't feel right for you, that doesn't mean you can't do something special to welcome your baby to the world. You can have a unique naming ceremony that does everything you want it to do and keeps you and your family at its heart.
If you want a chance to make public promises to your child, to invite trusted friends to pledge to help you or maybe you just want an opportunity to present your precious new baby to your community and shout out: 'Look what we made!', I can help you to create a ceremony that feels just right.
Wherever, whenever and however you want it
You can hold the ceremony wherever you like. It can be in your own home, at a venue like a hotel or village hall, or even somewhere fun and child centred, like a zoo or an adventure playground.
The ceremony can follow whatever structure you like and you borrow from other traditions if you want to; for example you can include the tradition of wetting the baby's head or the appointment of godparents. (Some non religious parents choose the term guideparents, guardians or even oddparents!)
Lots of parents select music, poems and readings and some also choose to weave a symbolic act - like planting a tree or presenting the child with a significant gift like a piece of jewellery - into the ceremony. You have complete freedom to decide what you want to include.
A personal service
If you would like me to work with you to create, write and deliver a baby naming ceremony, I'll visit you in your home - or meet you wherever's convenient for you - and we'll talk through your ideas and hopes for the ceremony. Whatever your family set-up, we can make it work. Some people choose to do naming ceremonies as part of a first birthday party - or to conduct a ceremony for several siblings at once, including for much older children. Whatever you want, we'll talk through the most fitting way to do it.
You're in charge
When you've told me just what you want, I'll go away and write up a draft and I'll send it through to you by email and await your comments. You can have as many tweaks and redrafts as you want. There's nothing I want more than for you to be absolutely delighted with the end result.
After the ceremony, I'll present you with a commemorative baby naming certificate (not a legal document but it will be extremely pretty!) and a beautifully typeset presentation copy of your full ceremony script.
Ceremonies for older children
There are no rules to determine how, why and when you might want to mark a family milestone with a ceremony. If you've got an idea for a ceremony that you'd like to involve your children in, please just get in touch and we'll talk it through. Anything is possible. If your children are of an age where they'd like to be part of the planning and play a big part in the ceremony itself, that's great. I'd be delighted to work with them as well as you. A couple of ceremonies involving older children that are becoming increasingly popular are adoption ceremonies and blended family ceremonies.
Many adoptive new parents just want a baby naming ceremony, as described above, but there may be circumstances, perhaps when you are adopting an older child, when it's not appropriate to call it a 'naming' and you want the adoption itself to be central to the ceremony. For example you may wish to make promises to your adopted child and enable other siblings and family members to do the same.
If you'd like something like this, just get in touch and we'll talk it through and we'll create a meaningful bespoke ceremony that's just right for you.
Blended family ceremonies
If a new relationship means you're bringing step brothers and sisters together to live together for some or all of the time, a blended family ceremony can be incredibly helpful. It enables you to say what needs saying - and to listen to each other - and it helps to define the roles of the parents, stepparents and all the children in the family.
It gives you all a chance to formally welcome one another, to acknowledge the sensitivities that everyone might be dealing with and to agree on common hopes and goals to steer your new blended family forwards on a positive and harmonious path.
My 2019 fee for a family celebration ceremony anywhere in the North West of the UK is £350.
If your venue is further afield, please ask for a quote for travel expenses.
These fees apply to any ceremony booked in 2019, whenever your ceremony will take place.
Unlimited contact with me
That's usually a mixture of face-to-face or Skype meetings, phone calls and emails. My lines of communication are always open, so I can get to know you and create a really unique ceremony that's just what you were hoping for. The contact continues once I've started writing your ceremony script: you'll see every draft and if you want to make any changes or you come up with a new idea, you can have as many rewrites as it takes.
A truly unique ceremony - written just for you and your family
Your ceremony will be fully bespoke. Every ceremony I write is different - my style is really your style - but the added value I bring is that I am a real storyteller and I will make sure your ceremony is entertaining for adults and children and interactive - if that's what you want.
An exquisite record of your ceremony
When we work together to create your unique ceremony, we'll talk about what little keepsakes you'd like to help you remember your day. After the hard mental work of writing story-led ceremonies, it gives me great pleasure to hand-make beautiful stationery for all my families. You'll receive your whole ceremony script, hand-bound in a bespoke booklet and, if they're appropriate for your ceremony, I'll also make other keepsakes such as naming day, guardians' or adoption certificates (these are not legal documents - but rather beautiful, commemorative certificates that you can sign at your ceremony and frame afterwards).
Your celebrant there by your side on the day of your ceremony
On the day of your ceremony, I'll be there early to make sure everything is set up perfectly and every detail is double checked. If your venue doesn't provide a speaker system, I'll bring one. I'll welcome your guests, make sure everyone knows where they're meant to be and - when we're ready to go - I'll lead your service with warmth, confidence and professionalism.