How does the naming ceremony work?

As a non-religious ceremony with no legal requirements, you can personalise the day for you, your family and friends. All ceremonies will include:

  • Naming of the child or children
  • Promises by parent(s)
  • Promises by guiding adults

We can also include:

  • Readings
  • Grandparents’ promises
  • Reasons for the name
  • Hopes for the child’s future
  • Parents’ vows to each other

It is possible to combine a naming ceremony with a marriage, renewal of vows or civil partnership.


How do I arrange a naming ceremony?


  1. Choose your venue

Naming ceremonies can take place at any licensed venues and in Northumberland. All of our licensed locations can be found over on our Venues page. Once you have chosen your venue, book your Registrar as soon as possible to ensure that the ceremony can take place on your chosen day.


  1. Book the Registrar

Call our Ceremony Co-ordination team on 01665 602870 to book your Registrar. If you are combining your naming ceremony with a renewal, marriage or civil partnership ceremony, please let the Registrar know when you call.

When you book the Registrar, you will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee. View the current financial year price list here:

ceremony fees 2021-22

If you change the date, time or venue of your ceremony, you will need to pay an amendment fee, which will be charged at the current rate.


  1. Plan your day

There are lots of ways to personalise your day to make it extra special. We will send you a ceremony arrangement pack after you have booked in your registrar, which will show you the structure of your ceremony and give details on how to make it personal.

As part of the pack, we will also include a Ceremony Arrangement Form, which will need to be completed with your decisions at least six weeks before the ceremony.

Please remember that yours is a civil ceremony and there should be no religious content.


  1. Pay your fees and return your ceremony form

Once you have completed your Ceremony Arrangement Form, please return it to us at least six weeks before the service. Please include payment for any outstanding fees and anything that your conducting Registrar will need for the ceremony, such as readings.

Please return your completed Ceremony Arrangement Form

By email:

Or by post
The Ceremony Co-ordination Team
The Register Office
27 Fenkle Street
NE66 1HW

Your fees can be paid over the phone by credit or debit card by calling us on 01665 602870.


  1. What happens on the day of your naming ceremony?

Once the day of your ceremony arrives, all of your fees will have been paid and your paperwork completed, which leaves you free to enjoy your day!

The Registrars will arrive approximately 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. They will check any last-minute arrangements and speak to anyone playing a part in the ceremony to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Things to remember:

  • Your naming ceremony should start promptly to ensure our Registrars can travel safely to their next appointment
  • We reserve the right to leave your ceremony if we feel the following ceremony will be compromised – this decision will not be taken lightly and we will always consult with you and the venue first
  • Bring any of your own promises and readings with you on the day
  • Any music should be given directly to the venue, who will be able to advise on the right format

After the ceremony, we will present a commemorative certificate signed by the parents, guiding parents and the Registrar.


For more information on naming ceremonies, contact our Ceremony Co-ordination team