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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Naming ceremonies

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If you're interesting in holding a naming ceremony for your child, contact us - our registrars will be happy to guide you through your options.

It's a great opportunity to bring friends and family together, and we can help you to make it a really special day.

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Photo of a sleeping baby.

Whilst many people still hold strong beliefs and favour a formal religious welcome for their child, there is an increasing demand for alternatives. A naming ceremony is one such alternative.

A naming ceremony is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the birth of a child, to welcome adopted children or children from previous relationships and make them feel part of your family.

This happy occasion is a unique opportunity for everyone to feel involved as they promise love and support for the new arrival and their parents.

Any parent, legal guardian or person with legal responsibility for the child/children may arrange a ceremony. Parents do not have to be married to do so. The ceremony has no legal status and cannot be used to change the name of a child.

Designing your ceremony

Each ceremony is tailored individually.

You will work closely with your celebrant choosing options available to create your own special ceremony which your family will remember and treasure in the years that follow, as your children grow.

Each ceremony is divided into sections giving you the chance to create something personal and very special:

  • introduction and welcome

  • naming of child/children

  • promises made by parents/guardians

  • promises made by grandparents/supporting adults

  • readings and music

  • signing and presentation of certificate

  • closing words.

You do not need to include all these elements. Your ceremony is designed to be flexible, to reflect your wishes and be as simple or as complex as you wish.

You will be presented with a commemorative certificate as a keepsake of your ceremony and you may wish to pay for extra certificates for grandparents and other guests.

Ceremonies can include religious references if you wish - for example readings.

Please note: the ceremony has no legal status and may not be used to change a child’s name.


Any of the main register offices in the county (Nottingham City is separate) can hold naming ceremonies. You can also hold ceremonies at venues approved by Nottinghamshire County Council.

For more information or to make an appointment please call the register office of your choice.

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