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 cermony 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

You can book the facilities at York Register Office to hold a naming ceremony, or use any of our approved venues.

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).

Religious ceremonies, christenings and baptisms

York Register Office cannot help with religious naming ceremonies; contact your local church, or religious community to arrange these.

Also see

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