What is a naming ceremony?

If you would like to celebrate the birth of your baby but don’t fancy having a Christening or perhaps you aren’t religious, a naming day could be for you.

What is a naming ceremony?

A naming ceremony is a day where a child or adult is officially assigned a name. It is non religious and can be carried out pretty much anywhere you like; a park, your back garden, a hotel, favourite restaurant – you just need to have permission.


Who runs the ceremony?

In the UK, you can have a humanist naming day. A simple search in your local area can put you in touch with a ceremony-accredited celebrant.

They will want to meet you and your child to get to know you all ahead of the ceremony. This will include your family history, birth story, reasons for choosing your child’s name, things they like and personality traits.

Guide parents

Similarly to a Christening, you may want to appoint 2-3 people to be there for your child and guide them through life. These might be close friends or extended family members.

With a naming ceremony, these people are called guide parents. You can change the title if you wish but their role will remain the same.



One of the nicest things about having a naming day is the promises you can make to your child and hear the ones given by guide parents. You could promise to pick them up on their first day of school, accept them for who they are throughout life and promise to love them.

You could add in some funny things as well as sentimental promises to keep it lighthearted and fun.


To make the ceremony even more tailored, you could invite close family members or friends to share a reading in the service. This could be something about family, the meaning of your child’s name or the outlook of life from a grandparent’s perspective.

Naming certificate

At the end of the service, parents and guide parents will be invited up to the front to sign a certificate with the child’s name and date of the ceremony. This will be given to you along with a printout of the day’s script in a folder – this makes a really lovely keepsake!


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