Congratulations! – you’ve had a baby, or maybe even adopted. Now the dust has a settled (just a little!) and you’re getting accustomed to life as a family, Spring is a wonderful time to celebrate with a naming ceremony. If life feels a bit chaotic, don’t worry, we’ve got an A – Z checklist from Anne O’Brien at Bluebell Naming Ceremonies to make sure you’ve got everything covered (even if you’ve got your t-shirt on back to front!).
A – Announcement
Let everyone know your happy plans by sending out a save the date message.
B – Blooms
Whatever your vibe for the day, flowers are a gorgeous addition to your naming ceremony.
C – Celebrant
Work with a celebrant to guide you through the process and deliver a beautifully crafted script on the day.
D – Décor
Thoughtful extras can transform your setting. Keep things simple if space is limited or push the boat out with an event stylist.
E – Eats and treats
Choose catering that suits your budget and style. Picnics and BBQs are wonderful for outdoor ceremonies, canapes and fizz are perfect for afternoon events. Don’t forget the cake!.
F – Family and friends
This is what this day is all about. Ask for help if you need it and get ready for a lot of hugging and a few tears!.
G – Get everyone involved
Sponsors and readers will have a special role to play on the day, but guests can also take part by making a group promise or leaving messages of support on a wishing tree.
H – Have fun!
Children are central to your naming ceremony, so why not embrace the fun and lay on some family-friendly activities. Giant-sized Jenga anyone!?.
I – Invitations
Whether it’s traditional invitations in the post, or contemporary digital options – your friends and family will be there for you, however they hear the news!.
J – Joyful gifts
Gifts for sponsors and grandparents are a lovely way to say thank you. Candles can be lit during the ceremony and given as gifts afterwards.
K – Keepsakes
An order of service makes a beautiful keepsake, especially if it includes copies of readings and promises; or guests can be given wildflower seeds or bulbs in pots to plant at home.
L – Light a candle
Lighting a candle creates a beautiful moment of reflection. Light one for your child and ask guests to light theirs from a single flame until the room is filled with flickering light.
M – Mix it up
If you’re a couple with contrasting faiths and cultures, don’t worry, there are no rules. You can include both religious and non-religious content, plus all kinds of traditions.
N – New beginnings
However your family is formed (adoption, birth, or blending two families), planting a tree is a powerful symbol of growth and potential.
O – Outdoor naming ceremonies
Rural and woodland settings are wonderful locations for naming ceremonies. They provide a connection to nature and create an informal atmosphere – perfect for family gatherings.
P – Promises
Oh heck, there’s always a few tears when parents, sponsors and family members pledge their love and support. Give these words careful thought or ask your celebrant for help.
Q – Questions…to help you plan
There’s really only one. What’s the feeling that you want for your event?. This will help guide all your decisions. Have fun, it’s going to be beautiful.
R – Readings
Readings really add colour to your ceremony. They can be funny and witty or thoughtful and reflective. Choose readings that make you smile. If you’re brave enough, try writing something yourself.
S – Sponsors
Sponsors and Guide Parents are the equivalent to God Parents. They help to watch over your child as they grow, acting as a loving presence in their life. Choose treasured friends or family for this important role.
T – Themes
Themes are a great way to bring together creative ideas. If family fun is your inspiration, then how about Alice in Wonderland?, with decorations in vibrant colours and a vintage tea party after the ceremony.
U – Unity ceremony
These are lovely moments which symbolise togetherness. A sand ceremony is a perfect way to involve siblings and other children. Different coloured sands are poured into a single holder to signify the unity of family life.
V – Venue
A naming ceremony is a unique and heart-felt occasion, wherever it takes place. Choose a location that reflects your personalities, budget and style for the day.
W – Wishes and thoughts
Wishing trees, prints and jigsaws make wonderful alternatives to traditional guest books and can be framed to remember all the special people in your child’s life.
X – Xs, hugs and tears
There’ll be plenty of these throughout the day, so be sure to have a great photographer on hand to capture these beautiful moments.
Y – Your story
Your ceremony tells the story of your family. Spend time talking to your celebrant about what makes your family tick. From the challenges that you’ve overcome to the moments of laughter, these are experiences to share and celebrate.
Z – Zero hero
To help keep your impact to a minimum, hire decor, source natural materials and choose a venue that takes care of its resource use. Yours could be the first uber-stylish, zero carbon naming ceremony!
About Bluebell Naming Ceremonies
Bluebell Naming Ceremonies is a new adventure for me, but something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time. The idea first came to mind when we organised my daughter’s naming ceremony. I thought what a privilege it would be to create and deliver such a wonderful celebration. Families are formed in all sorts of ways (my youngest daughter is adopted) and it’s my ambition to create beautiful events which celebrate these important moments in life, in whatever form they might take.
Like many people, I don’t have a particular faith, so a naming ceremony was the perfect way for me to welcome my children into the world. I love language and the power and subtlety of words, so my quest is to create modern naming ceremonies that are personal to you, that recognise the joy, diversity and informality of family life in the 21st century, but that carry moments of reflection too.