Naming Ceremonies (from $325)
by Brisbane's most experienced Naming Celebrant
 (more than 300 children named)
  • Baby Naming Ceremony
  • First Birthday Naming Ceremony
  • Naming of older children
  • Adoption Naming Ceremony
  • DIY Naming Ceremony
for more information by fees and inclusions for naming ceremonies by Jennifer Cram, Brisbane Celebrant Naming Ceremony Packages ...

NB I am fully vaccinated for the protection of your child
and other children attending the ceremony.

Naming Ceremonies (sometimes called name-giving ceremonies or baby naming days) are highly personal and meaningful events.  A naming ceremony is usually the centrepiece of a much wider family event, often referred to as a naming day. It might also be part of your child's first birthday celebration.

The baby naming ceremonies I create individually for each occasion celebrate the birth or adoption of your child and give you an opportunity to express your personal values and your commitment to parenting your child in front of your family and friends. The ceremony is extremely flexible. It can be structured as you wish, and include readings, rituals and personal recognition of anyone you wish.

Jennifer, you provide such a professional and personal ceremony, we wish we had you for our wedding 6 years ago. You make the ceremonies humorous and fun and really know how to engage an audience. Our guests once again commented on what a fantastic personal ceremony you did. Many thanks for being part of our day. Regards - Brad and Kristy

Jenny, we wanted to sincerely thank you for conducting our daughter's naming ceremony. The personalised touches and your overall presence/nature made it absolutely perfect. We cannot fault you in any way. We were particularly blown away by the amount of information you were able to direct us towards and how all the answers you got from us were turned into a TRULY personal ceremony. The mementos (certificates and copy of the ceremony) were also a beautiful touch and will be treasured. Thank you, thank you, thank you! - Bree and Manning

Thank you for making Benji's Naming Day such a special experience. Cam and I received so many comments about how beautiful and personalised  the ceremony was. We also loved the opportunity to honour Benji's grandparents during the ceremony Naming Ceremony and enjoyed the fact that all the guests were made to feel included. - Bethany and Cameron

Naming ceremonies are sometimes called secular christenings, and are ideal for parents who have no religious convictions. However, where parents believe that children should choose their own spiritual path and values when they are mature enough to do so, or where the family belongs to a denomination that does not believe in infant baptism, having a naming ceremony allows you to joyfully welcome your child into your family and have a religious christening or baptism at a later date if you wish.

A naming ceremony can also be held to
  • complement a church baptism, as part of the christening celebration at home, and as a means of formally welcoming the child into the family and the community.
  • celebrate other situations such as fostering or the creation of new family relationships through marriage.
Unless you specifically request religious inclusions I assume that the naming ceremony will be secular. However, if you wish to include some religious references or contact you may.  This may be a good compromise where you yourselves are not religious but someone important to you is. Or it can be a way of acknowledging dual religious or cultural heritages within a largely secular  (non-religious) ceremony.

The ceremony itself performs no legal function (but then, neither does a christening). It does not replace your legal obligation to register your child's birth with the Registry Office in your state. Nor is the appointment of guardians as part of the ceremony legal and binding.

 A naming ceremony does, however, perform a very important social function.
  • It can help you clarify how you want to support your child as he or she grows
  • It is a joyous expression of welcome, both to the family and to the wider community
  • It provides an opportunity to share the wonder, joy and pride you feel
  • It is a reminder of the great responsibility involved in raising a child
  • It is a formal mechanism to appoint godparents (defined in modern dictionaries as someone who acts as a godparent or is a sponsor or protector) and honour other significant adults, such as grandparents, who will have important roles in the nurturing and supporting the child
  • It provides you, as the parent(s) with an opportunity to acknowledge your gratitude to  family, friends, and particularly godparents (also called guardians, sponsors,  mentors, guideparents. life guides or any term you choose) for their involvement in your child's life
  • It provides a formal opportunity for significant adults to commit to supporting and nurturing the child and each other.
There are no age limits. You can hold a baby naming ceremony for a young baby, at any time during the child's first year, or, as is very common, in conjunction with the child's first birthday celebrations, or when the child is older. Each age has its special characteristics. Where the child is older he or she should be included in the ceremony planning process so that his or her own views about what is said and done in the ceremony are taken into account.

A naming ceremony can also be held in conjunction with a wedding ceremony, a commitment ceremony, or a reaffirmation of vows.

Naming ceremonies are suitable for natural or adopted children of families of all kinds, including heterosexual parent families, same-sex families, single-parent families and families where the adults are the guardians of the child. A variation on a naming ceremony can also be used to embrace a step-child.

The value of the ceremony is in the ceremony itself, in the way it can strengthen the bonds between
  • parents and the child(ren)
  • parents and grandparents
  • parents and other supporting adults
  • significant adults and the child(ren)
A successful naming ceremony is depends on a number of factors including the amount of effort the celebrant is prepared to put into getting to know you and into the development of a very personal ceremony, and the skill and warmth with which the celebrant performs the ceremony on the day.

It is therefore very important that you choose a celebrant with whom you feel comfortable, in whom you feel confident,  and who emotionally connects with you. A celebrant who doesn't feel like a stranger. A celebrant who will make the effort to get to know you and to create for your approval a ceremony that reflects your commitment to your child.

When you do me the honour of choosing me to be your celebrant, I can guarantee that you will have a naming ceremony that is
  • personal
  • inclusive
  • relationship-strengthening
  • light-hearted in the appropriate places
  • authentic to your beliefs and values
I accept full responsibility for the creation and stage-management of your ceremony, but only as your facilitator. I will be honest and straightforward in giving you my best advice, but it is your ceremony so I will do nothing to disempower you or compromise your right to make your ceremony uniquely yours.

In preparing for a naming ceremony I will spend time getting to know your family to ensure I create a ceremony which perfectly reflects your needs, your beliefs, your values and  the unique qualities of your child and your child's heritage. As with all my ceremonies, I will ensure that the ceremony is inclusive and participatory, and that, in addition to the godparents/mentors the ceremony includes all significant family members - parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the baby, for example, and friends. Part of ensuring that all significant family members feel included is presentation of thank-you certificates which include a photograph of the child.

You will also be provided with resources and information to help you plan and organise your child's naming day - including
  • Your godchild your godparent responsibilities: a guide to share with those you have chosen to fulfill this important role in your child's life
  • Guidelines for arranging a naming ceremony in a private home/garden
  • and much more.....
At the ceremony you will receive a beautifully presented keepsake copy of the ceremony and a naming certificate tailored to the number of godparents, guardians, mentors (you choose what you wish to call them) and to your family situation.  If you are a single parent, non-parent guardian, or a same-sex couple you can be assured that the ceremony will be sensitive to your needs and situation.

Creative use of symbols such as candles, wishing stones, trees, mementos, gifts,  items of family significance, together with innovative inclusion of references to your child's ancestry and cultural background are a feature of all of my ceremonies.

Creating a custom-created naming ceremony takes commitment, creativity, knowledge and time that goes far beyond the visible half hour of the actual ceremony.

 The invisible hours (15+ on average) include:
  • Communicating with you by phone and/or email.
  • Providing you with information about the framework for the ceremony and exploring with you ideas and opportunities to ensure that your ceremony fits with the overall style of your child's naming day celebrations but also provides substance.
  • Preparing and completing all the certificates
  • Creating the first draft of the ceremony and reworking as we finalise it.
  • Creating and printing the keepsake copy of the ceremony
  • Travel to and from the ceremony venue
  • Briefing the godparents, grandparents and readers
While fees and services of celebrants vary widely, you would expect to pay a higher fee for a custom-created ceremony with substance that, through both its language and its style reflects who you are, and creates a blueprint for your parenting of your child.

If distance and/or budget is a consideration I offer DIY Naming Ceremonies - a professionally created ceremony without the expense of having a celebrant conduct it.