Naming ceremonies

Naming enquiries and booking

A naming ceremony is an occasion for parents, family and friends to pledge their love and commitment to an individual. It is an opportunity to celebrate the birth of a new baby or to welcome an adoptive child or step-child into a new relationship and to form a bonding within an extended family.

A naming ceremony allows supporting adults, grandparents and older siblings to offer assurance and guidance through their promises to the individual. You can choose poems or readings to enhance the ceremony and may present gifts to mark the occasion.

Naming ceremonies can be arranged by anyone, whether married or not, from any cultural background and with any spiritual or religious beliefs. There is no age limit to a naming ceremony and more than one individual may be named at the same time.

What happens during the ceremony

The ceremony will:

  • welcome the individual into the family or wider community
  • announce the names that have been given, and maybe the reasons behind the choice
  • involve family and friends in making promises of commitment, and to support their upbringing.

The ceremony can include music, readings, personal vows and promises of your choice, and it usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.

Every naming ceremony is entirely personal and tailored to individual needs. The ceremony can be combined with a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, or a renewal of vows ceremony.

Please note that the ceremony has no legal status. This is a secular (non-religious) ceremony, and it has no legal standing, but it is a unique opportunity to gather family and friends together for an enjoyable and memorable occasion.

Any certificates issued after a ceremony has taken place are purely commemorative.

To discuss this further with a member of the registration team please call 020 8921 5015.

View a list of our register office fees

Contact the Register Office

Births, Deaths and Marriages,
Woolwich Town Hall,
Wellington Street,
Woolwich SE18 6PW.

Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

020 8921 5015

Learn more: Maternity and paternity benefits

If you're expecting a baby, you may also wish to find out more about the benefits available to new families.

Benefits for families expecting a baby