Name Giving Ceremonies

To be honest, I had never been to a naming ceremony before I did my training to be a civil celebrant. But when I went to my first one I realised what a great occasion it could be.


First and foremost, it is a wonderful and joyous occasion where families gather to officially welcome their child into a loving circle of family and friends.


To give a child a name is a particularly important part of receiving them. If you wish you can use the occasion to give the reason why these names were chosen and their significance.


I also love that the ceremony can take place anywhere – inside your home, in the backyard, a restaurant or in a park.


As it is non-religious and without any legal standing it removes the need for solemnity or unnecessary ritual.


It can be a wonderful opportunity to introduce special people you have chosen (Godparents, mentors or guardians) to make a promise of providing a supportive relationship with your child. It provides a setting in which they can make promises of commitment to nurture and support the child into adulthood.


By holding a naming ceremony, you are expressing that your child is a very important member of your family and gives those present the opportunity to personally express their hopes, dreams and joys for the future life of that special child.


Some suggestions that you might like to consider to add colour & creativity to the proceedings and make the ceremony interactive;


  • releasing balloons (particularly if the ceremony is outside!)

  • gifting the baby (such as a message with guest’s photo or giving your baby a family heirloom )

  • keepsake box,

  • planting a shrub or small tree

  • releasing butterflies

  • time capsule

  • ‘magic’ bubbles

  • lighting candles


The ceremony can follow a similar format to a wedding ceremony;


  • IntroductionBackground on the family or birth of the child

  • Recognition of other siblings if appropriate

  • The meaning of the name

  • Blessing or gift giving ritual

  • Acknowledgement and promises by the parents/grandparents/guardians/godparents

  • Readings/poems/songNaming of the child

  • Additional creative moments (see below)

  • Presentation of the certificate (the child will receive a Name Giving certificate and godparents too (if desired)

  • Conclusion


This is your special ceremony for your child and together we can create a heartfelt and pesonalised ceremony; one that will reflect important family values such as love, trust, compassion and integrity and reflects your hopes, wishes and dreams for your precious child.