Naming ceremonies

A naming ceremony is a formal event giving parents, and grandparents if they wish, the opportunity to welcome a new addition to the family.

Parents will be asked to make a public gesture of love and commitment to their child before family and friends.

You can include other adults in the ceremony who you may wish to have a special relationship of influence on your child’s life, these are known as supporting adults.

The celebrant 

A Newport Registration Service celebrant will carry out the ceremony according to the choices you make.

The celebrant conducting the ceremony will not be acting in any official capacity, even if they also work as the Registrar.

Celebrants are trained and experienced in conducting many different ceremonies so please ask their advice on anything you are unsure about.

Religious ceremonies

Please note that naming ceremonies are secular and do not contain any religious references.

If you wish to hold a religious ceremony, please contact your local church or religious community.

The ceremony

Naming ceremonies have six essential sections:

  • introduction and welcome
  • reading
  • naming of the child (or children)
  • parents' promises
  • promises by supporting adults
  • closing words

You can choose to add additional sections as there are many ways to make your child's ceremony a very personal and unique event.

The ceremony usually takes about 15 minutes but can be up to 30 minutes if more readings and options are included.

A souvenir record of the ceremony is signed by parents, supporting adults and the celebrant.

Venues

A naming ceremony can be held at Newport Register Office or at an approved venue in Newport.

Costs

A non-returnable fee of £70.00 is payable at the time of booking.

The fees for the celebrant to attend your ceremony will vary according to the day of the week and venue chosen.

Read more about fees.

Arranging the ceremony

Any parent can make the arrangements, or anyone else who has parental responsibility or legal guardianship of the child.

Parents do not have to be married and children of any age can have a naming ceremony.

For enquiries about naming ceremonies or to arrange a pre-ceremony meeting please contact Newport Register Office.

Important notice

Neither the naming ceremony nor any commemorative certificate has any legal status.

You may change a child’s forename only if you have parental responsibility for the child and you should normally have the agreement of the child’s other parent.

The natural mother of a child will automatically have parental responsibility.

For births registered after 1 December 2003, the natural father also has parental responsibility if either he is married to the mother or if he signed the birth register along with the mother.

If the mother registered the birth alone, the natural father will not automatically have parental responsibility.

Another person may be given parental responsibility and evidence of this would need to be produced.

You may not use a naming ceremony to change a child’s forename unless you have the authority to do so.

In some circumstances, it is necessary for the courts to authorise a change of forename.

If you are uncertain whether you may change your child’s forename you must seek legal advice before booking the ceremony.