Baby welcoming ceremony

Important information

We are currently experiencing a high level of staff sickness across the service. This has severely impacted the number of appointments we are able to offer. It will take longer than usual to get an appointment.

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

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 (guide parents) and grandparents to publicly promise to help and support your child or children as they grow up within our community.

Please see the attached script which gives the ceremony wording plus the options for parents, guide parents and grandparents promises to be made to the child(ren). The script cannot be altered, and we will not use scripts provided by anyone else.

Naming ceremony script (PDF)

You may wish to enhance your ceremony by including a reading, poem or personal message and music. This could include a small passage about the family, personal journey, or special moments. We have a selection of suggested readings (PDF). Please note however, that due to legal constraints, any inclusions must not contain any 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 an experienced member of the Surrey registration service.

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 the register office in Guildford, the register office in Leatherhead or the register office in Weybridge. A fee is payable for this service.

Booking your ceremony

Ceremonies enquiry form

Please complete our online ceremonies enquiry form. Our ceremonies office will check availability and respond to your enquiry within 10 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

Please submit your checklist no earlier than four to six weeks prior to your ceremony date. The information you have provided will be checked for suitability for inclusion in your ceremony. We will only contact you further if there is a query.

Naming checklist form

Files available to download