Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Baby Naming Days

Todays guest blogger is Diana Saxby from Grace The Day. She's talking today about Baby Naming Days. Have a look at what she has to say.
"I trained in 2010 to be an Independent Family Celebrant and my training included writing and conducting wedding ceremonies, renewal of vows ceremonies, civil partnership ceremonies, and also Naming Day ceremonies. Since then I've established a reputation for my achingly romantic and sincere ceremonies.

The Naming Days or Welcoming Ceremonies are top of my favourite list as I love working with small children and welcome a chance to get to know a baby better and of course to have a cuddle!  Although all 3 of my offspring are old enough to make me a granny, none of them has yet found it necessary to present me with a grandchild!  So I welcome the opportunity to have a cuddle with someone else's and to chat about different parenting techniques.


When taking a booking, I like to meet at some point with both parents and of course the baby or child whose Naming Ceremony I am designing.  It's a good opportunity to bond and pick up on the positive qualities within the family and translate these into my script.

Some of the families I've worked with have had double naming ceremonies for twins, others for siblings of different ages, and others for their first or only child.  Each time I've encouraged both parents to have significant input and I love the different dimension a father provides.

Every naming day is different, every one is special and every child is unique and a joy to work with.  I've conducted Naming Day ceremonies in the the same beautiful Cotswold stone manor in which the parents had the wedding a few years previously,  in the grounds of private schools, in family homes, and more recently a marquee on the beach in Bournemouth, usually used for weddings, when the ceremony was followed by sandcastle building with the little children!  Decorated with colourful bunting, sea shells and little buckets of flowers hanging at the end of each row of chairs, buckets and spades provided by the venue, a sweet cart displaying tuck shop style sweets and candies,  this venue lent itself perfectly to a family celebration such as a Naming Day.
This particular ceremony was uploaded onto YouTube with the parents permission.
http://www.youtube.com/user/DianaSaxby and is also on my own website www.gracetheday.com

Every ceremony I conduct is personally written and designed by me.  No two ceremonies will be the same as all scripts are bespoke and written personally for the family and the child, after several meetings with the parents and myself.  Unlike other celebrants, I refuse to use formatted scripts or to contract my work out.  While I employ a PA to manage my booking diary and reply to client enquiries in my absence, all client meetings and ceremonies are conducted personally by me.  This way, beautiful relationships are formed with my clients, and I'm finding parents are coming back to me with requests for new naming ceremonies as their families grow and new offspring arrive!

A very great compliment recently came from a well known wedding planner in the Cotswolds who has booked me to design a Naming Ceremony for her first child, a baby daughter. This ceremony is booked for October this year and will be held in private grounds belonging to a relative of the couple.  To become the celebrant who a wedding planner books for their own private occasion is a huge honour and I'm looking forward to seeing the blogging and professional photographs which the parents have organised to celebrate this particular event.

I'm always mindful that to create a memorable day for the children involved, the parents need to be open with me and recall facts and events which are very personal to them.  We build on these to design a ceremony which is totally personal to the parents and their child or children, which welcomes the child into the family, and recognises the important role family and friends have in supporting both parents and child in their development through each stage of infancy and childhood until adulthood is reached.

Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies do not prevent a child from seeking their own truth during their lifetime, but they are considered alternatives to traditional christenings and baptisms for parents who perhaps want to express their own thoughts and sentiments within the ceremonies and who want the freedom to hold ceremonies in places which are special to them.  They can be followed by a drinks reception or party afterwards, or simply be the ceremony only.

Naming Ceremonies can include music, readings, poetry, and pledges to the child from parents and guardians.  I am often asked to conclude with a butterfly or balloon release which is a lovely way to close a ceremony, and there are some beautiful readings to accompany these significant actions, and the releases make lovely photo opportunities too. There are certain considerations for the environment which I  observe and am always happy to share advice during the planning of these extra inclusions.

Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies can be held in public venues, outdoor spaces, in your own home or garden, on the beach, in a nursery school or village or church hall, or any place the family choose.

For authentic testimonials from clients, please take a look at some of the lovely comments on my Guest Book



Thanks Diana for such a great blog! If you're looking for something special as a gift for a baby's naming day or you want something to keep the kids occupied on the day then have you seen our Activity Bags for Children. These were designed with weddings in mind but are perfect for any occasion were you would like to make sure the kids are occupied too!

Speak to you soon folks.



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