Naming ceremonies

Find out more about naming ceremonies, what they involve and how to arrange one.

Our naming ceremony offers an opportunity for you to celebrate the birth of a child or to welcome adopted children or stepchildren into your family. Although traditional christenings or baptisms are still popular, there is an increasing demand for an alternative, non-religious ceremony.

Neither the naming ceremony nor any other document issued following the ceremony has any legal status. The ceremony will be a civil ceremony and cannot be of a religious nature.

Your naming ceremony 

Each ceremony is unique to you and your family. You will have the chance to work closely with an experienced celebrant to select from the options available and tailor a ceremony that is special for you and your family. Every ceremony is different, so you can create something unique for your family to remember and treasure as your children grow.

A naming ceremony gives you the opportunity to:

  • celebrate the naming of a child or children
  • express commitment to the child
  • bring the child into the family and community
  • appoint mentors or supporting adults, a bit like nominating godparents
  • give grandparents the opportunity to make promises to support the parents in the raising of their new grandchild

Any parent, legal guardian or person who has parental responsibility of the child or children may arrange a ceremony.

What happens in a naming ceremony

Each ceremony is divided into sections and can include:

  • introduction and welcome
  • naming of the child or children
  • parents' promises
  • supporting adults or mentors' promises
  • readings and music
  • signing of commemorative certificates
  • presentation of gifts
  • presentation of certificate
  • closing words

Each section can be as simple or as complex as you wish.

The length of ceremony depends on the type of ceremony and the different options you choose. We suggest that you allow 30 minutes for your ceremony.

Naming ceremony venues

You can also choose from any of our register office ceremony rooms or any of the various approved premises in Cumbria. These are excellent locations for naming ceremonies as these premises are experienced at holding such events.

If you would like to use a different venue, for example a village hall, this would need to be discussed beforehand and visited by a member of the registration service to ensure it is a suitable venue for the ceremony.

They may be celebrated on any day of the week except:

  • Good Friday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year's Day

Naming ceremony fee

The fee will vary depending on the day and time that you choose. For a ceremony in approved premises, you will need to contact the specific venue of your choice regarding their availability and fees.

This is in addition to the naming ceremony fee.

Contact this service



Cumberland Registration Service
Lady Gillford's House
Petteril Bank Road
United Kingdom


54.874155345816, -2.9108572724873