Naming ceremonies are currently suspended to help protect yourself and our staff during this time. We'll update this information when government guidance allows us to reopen more of our services safely.
Naming ceremonies celebrate a new arrival into your family; they can be arranged for babies, adoptive children and step-children of any age, and provide a non-religious alternative to baptism.
Arranging a naming ceremony
A parent, person with parental responsibility, or legal guardian can organise a naming ceremony - contact York Register Office; to book you'll need:
- the child's birth to have been registered
- a copy of the child's birth certificate
A naming ceremony can be tailored to your requirements; it will take approximately 25 minutes and you'll receive a signed certificate.
As part of the ceremony you can choose to:
- announce names
- declare your promise to be a good parent
- include poems, readings and music
- exchange gifts
- nominate up to 4 adults, who promise a special relationship with the child, offering guidance and support throughout life
Naming ceremony locations
Alternatively contact York Register Office with queries about other locations (venues must have current fire and safety certificates, and public liability insurance).
Cost of naming ceremonies
See Register Office fees for details of costs relating to naming ceremonies.
Legal implications of a naming ceremony
Neither the ceremony nor any documents issued following a naming ceremony have any legal status.
A naming ceremony is not a legal change of name (see: GOV.UK/change-name-deed-poll).
Pre-ceremony consultation service
York Register Officer offers a 'pre-ceremony consultation service' giving you the opportunity to discuss all aspects of your ceremony with an experienced Celebration Officer who will be able to answer any questions you have.
Contact York Register Office to book your 20 minute pre-ceremony consultation, subject to availability, Monday to Friday.
Religious ceremonies, christenings and baptisms
York Register Office cannot help with religious naming ceremonies; contact your local church, or religious community to arrange these.