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Naming ceremonies

We are pleased to offer the opportunity for all parents to celebrate the birth of their child and welcome the new arrival into the family and the wider community.

Each ceremony is designed to meet the individual needs of the family. It provides the opportunity for parents to announce the names that have been chosen and to make promises of commitment to nurture and support the child into adulthood. You can also use a naming ceremony to celebrate an adoption or to welcome step-children into a family. Children of any age can have a naming ceremony - you may wish to include older children as well as your new child.

A ceremony will usually take about 20 minutes but this will vary depending upon the number of readings and options included. The basic format of a naming ceremony is:

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Reading
  • Naming of the child
  • Parents' promises
  • Promises by supporting adults
  • Signing and presentation of certificate
  • Closing words

You can also choose to add any of the following:

  • Reasons for the names
  • Grandparents' promises
  • One additional reading
  • Presentation of a gift to the child

Neither the naming ceremony nor the commemorative certificate have any legal status. Neither is the ceremony legally binding on those who take part in it. However the child's birth must have been registered and the birth certificate must be produced when booking a ceremony.

Ceremonies can be held at Hereford Register Office or at one of the venues approved by Herefordshire Council. If you choose to hold the ceremony at an approved venue, you will need to contact them first for their charges and availability before booking a ceremony.

Naming ceremony costs

  Registration office ceremony Approved venue ceremony
Weekday £150 £200
Saturday £175 £250
Sunday or bank holiday   £275

Please note: A non-refundable deposit of £50 will be payable to the council at the time of booking your ceremony.

Celebrate in Herefordshire guide (PDF)