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Baby welcoming ceremony

Coronavirus: Important information

Please read the following information before progressing:

  • Death registrations – All death registrations are now over the telephone. You will not be required to attend the register office in person. Please see our death registration guidance page for more information.
  • Marriage and Civil Partnerships - Unfortunately we are not able to carry out any marriages or civil partnerships until at least the 1 June 2020. Please see our marriage and civil partnerships guidance page for more information.
  • Birth registrations - Unfortunately we will not be able to carry out any birth registration appointments for the next 21 days. This will come into effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020 onwards. You can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered. The 42 day requirement to register a birth has been relaxed and no action will be taken if you have not registered within that time frame.
  • Certificates - We are currently only able to process certificate applications where the certificate is required for urgent legal or administrative purposes. We can issue a maximum of 3 certificates per person only. We are not able to deal with applications for certificates for the purposes of family history research at this time.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

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 offices in Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge. A fee is payable for this service.


Booking your ceremony

Ceremonies enquiry form (currently suspended)

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 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 the 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

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