Naming Ceremony – a fantastic alternative to a traditional Christening

A naming ceremony is a fantastic alternative to a traditional Christening and provides an opportunity to welcome a child into your family.

If you’ve just welcomed a new life into the world or perhaps a new child into your family, you may be wondering how you can celebrate.  Well wonder no more, and have a naming ceremony – a fantastic alterative to a traditional Christening.

A naming ceremony is a great opportunity to gather your family and friends together to welcome your child into the world and into your life.  Like families, no two naming ceremonies are the same.  They can be as long (or as short) as you want and can take place at a location of your choice.

Unlike a Christening a naming ceremony is bespoke and represents you as a family and the best bit is there are no rules!!!

Your ceremony can be a simple act of making promises or can be combined with a number of fun and symbolic elements, such as a sand ceremonies, tree-planting, candle-lighting, or hand or foot printing.

As my ceremonies are not religious, we don’t have godparents, but we can incorporate promises from grandparents, life mentors or any other people of your choosing.

To create your perfect ceremony, I will spend time getting to know your family so that I can be sure that it is personal and meaningful.  We will discuss promises, readings, poems, rituals and any music you might like.  To help you in getting started here are some examples of the fun that I can incorporate into your ceremony.

Naming Ribbon

The naming ribbon is a great way to include all or some of your guests in the ceremony.  Using your choice of colour, ribbon is fastened around the child’s wrist, it is then wrapped around each guests wrist until everyone is bound together and the end of the ribbon tied to the child’s other wrist.  Your guests can then agree to support your child through their life, offer them love and comfort and bestow their name upon them.

Hand or Feet Printing


One of the most popular elements to include is hand or feet printing.   in advance of the ceremony your child places a handprint or footprint in the centre of a canvass.  All your guests are asked to add their prints around it.  Not only is it fun (and sometimes a bit messy) but it’s a lovely keepsake for both you and your child.


Unity sand is popular in a variety of ceremonies and it a fun way to symbolise the joining of a family.  Using different coloured sand, the parents and the child take turns pouring their pot of coloured sand into one clear vessel.  The coming together and mixing of the colours, symbolises the joining of the family.  This can also be adapted to include siblings, either with the whole family taking part of just the children.



Wishing Jars

A simple but effective keepsake.  Guests are provided with cards or other material of your choice such as fabrics, wood, or even a piece of the naming ribbon, and asked to write a message of support for the child.  These are then placed in a jar and given as a gift to the child.

Whatever you choose, you can be assured of a fun filled occasion and a day you will never forget.



I’m Claire, an independent family celebrant creating beautiful bespoke ceremonies across the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley and I can’t wait to get started on planning your special occasion.

If you are interested in finding out more about how I can help you create you perfect ceremony, please get in touch.


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