Baby welcoming ceremony

Coronavirus: Important information

Birth registrations will be carried out by face-to-face appointments. Appointments are available at Guildford Register Office (appointments available from 9 September), Leatherhead Register Office (appointments available from 27 August) and Weybridge Register Office (appointments available from 3 September).

If you are registering a multiple birth, please contact us and we will assist you in making an appointment.

Registration system: Changes implemented to the Government registration system used to register births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships has introduced system instability. This means that your appointment may take longer than usual or the registrar may need to complete a manual registration; unfortunately in some cases we may be unable to issue a certificate at the time of registration. You may also have to wait longer than usual for an appointment due to appointments having to be extended to cope with the system instability.
We are sorry for any inconvenience or distress that this may cause, the General Register Office is currently unable to provide a timescale for when the system will be restored to a reliable and stable state.

A baby welcoming ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the birth of a baby or welcome adopted or stepchildren into your wider family circle. This secular ceremony is designed as an alternative to a religious celebration and whilst it has no legal standing, it creates a special event at which to gather together family and friends for a dignified but relaxed occasion.

A baby welcoming ceremony:

  • welcomes a new child or children into your family and enables you to express love, care and commitment to them in front of your family and friends,
  • celebrates the name of a new child or children,
  • enables supporting adults or grandparents to publicly promise to help and support your child or children as they grow up within our community.

You may choose to personalise the ceremony by including a reading of verse or a suitable piece of prose, and we have a selection of suggested readings (PDF). Please note however, that due to legal constraints the piece must have no religious content and be approved at least seven days prior to your ceremony.

The ceremony will last approximately 20-30 minutes and is delivered by a member of the Surrey registration staff. A commemorative certificate will be presented to mark the event.

A baby welcoming ceremony can take place at any one of our licensed venues or register office in Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge. A fee is payable for this service.

Booking your ceremony

Ceremonies enquiry form

You can pre-book your ceremony or make an enquiry regarding your ceremony, by completing our ceremonies enquiry form above. Our ceremonies office will then check availability or respond to your enquiry within two working days.

You will be required to pay the fee that is applicable for the date of your ceremony. All ceremony fees will be payable in full at the time of booking. Fees are subject to change on 1 April each year. Please see our webpage: Fees for other types of ceremonies.

Ceremony checklists

You must complete the relevant ceremony requirements form online no later than six weeks prior to your ceremony date. The form will provide us with the details of your celebration, such as your choice of vows or promises, music and readings.

Files available to download