Baby naming, child welcoming & family affirmation ceremonies

A humanist naming ceremony is a perfect way to celebrate the arrival or adoption of your baby, or to welcome a toddler or child into their family and community of friends. 

We call this occasion a ‘naming’, but a humanist naming ceremony is really a ‘welcoming’ - a chance to express emotion, thank people, and say things that can sometimes go unsaid in families and amongst friends. There is usually a mixture of emotion - tears and laughter. 

Families come together at this special time, and celebrate the new member of the family and the new status of the child's parent/s. For some it may be a celebration at a first birthday or for older children, adoptive or step-children. 

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Family affirmation ceremonies for older children of any age are a chance to celebrate family and friendship, express your thanks for all the support and love you have received from family and friends, and declare your love and hopes for your child or children.


Naming and affirmation ceremonies are not biased in any direction and humanism is not stressed. People with different outlooks and beliefs invariably find it touching and enjoyable. 

The ceremonies can be held anywhere – a house with a big enough space, a room in a pub or hotel, a restaurant, a garden, a park. 

The ceremony can be as formal or informal as you choose, and you can speak as much or as little as you wish. 


Special supporting adults make a commitment to be part of the child’s life.    

' We wanted to thank you for all your help in making [Baby's] Naming so unique and special. We had a fabulous day and so many people have told us how lovely the ceremony was.' 

'..we've had so many positive comments. We could not have done it without you. Thank you for leading the ceremony so well and guiding our own contributions as well as coming up with some lovely ideas for the day.' 

Contact Rosemary on 020 8943 2941 or 07946 465 701 

[email protected]

A tailor-made ceremony

The ceremony is unique, created to meet your needs and wishes. I always visit families to build up a picture of the child being welcomed, and work with the family to plan a personal and appropriate ceremony. 

I will offer suggestions, prepare a script with you usually by email, and conduct the ceremony for you on the day. 

You and your family and friends can take part and speak as much or as little as you wish. 

Naming and welcoming ceremonies are usually at the start of a celebratory party held at home or at a special venue. The ceremony can be as long or short as you like and typically lasts between 25-40 minutes.

'We wanted to thank you for doing such a great job for us, everyone has said what a wonderful time they had and how much they enjoyed the actual ceremony. I think that lots of our family were touched that it was so personal.'   

  • Select the words you want to say or the promises you want to make when you state your love and commitment to your child's future
  • Choose poems and readings
  • Play live music; sing songs together that the children enjoy
  • Other adults such as the grandparents can take part by saying something, reading a poem.
  • Supporting Adults make promises to the child, perhaps say some words or read a poem. You can call them Sponsors, Mentors, Guideparents, godparents, (with a small g!) or without the g - Oddparents, Supporting Adults or any other name that you like. (Guardian is not recommended as it has legal connotations.)
  • Other children can join in and perhaps give a gift they have made, read a short poem, sing a song, or perform a dance

Mark the occasion

You might mark the occasion with a Naming Day Book and a naming cake. You may choose to plant a tree, light candles or release balloons. You might exchange gifts; propose a toast at the end.

Script to keep

You will receive a presentation script of the whole ceremony, and a certificate for you and each of your special adults. 

Combined ceremonies

You can combine ceremonies such as the couple below who began their humanist wedding ceremony with a naming for their little boy. 

You can renew your wedding vows at the beginning of a naming ceremony.  

Groups of friends can hold a ceremony to celebrate all their children, to thank family and friends for support over the years and appoint each other as 'godparents'. 

Contact & fees

Please contact me if you wish to enquire about my availability. I always visit the family and typically, many hours of work are involved in preparing and conducting a naming ceremony. My fees reflect the complexity and highly personalised nature of this type of ceremony. I will do my utmost for you and deliver a meaningful, enjoyable and memorable ceremony.

In line with Humanists UK recommended fee structure, my fee for 2019 is £300 with expenses for travel over 20 miles or over £20. 

I contribute a percentage of each ceremony fee to the BHA as a levy towards celebrants’ training and quality assurance standards and to the promotion and development of the Humanist Ceremonies network. This contribution also pays for full Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance for each celebrant.

Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with tolerance,

They learn to be patient;

If children live with encouragement,

They learn to have confidence;

If children live with praise,

They learn to appreciate;

If children live with fairness,

They learn justice;

If children live with security,

They learn to have faith;

If children live with approval,

They learn to like themselves;

If children live with love around them,

They learn to give love to the world.

Contact Rosemary on 020 8943 2941 or 07946 465 701

[email protected]