Naming ceremony

A naming ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the birth of a baby or welcome a new child into your family. This secular ceremony is designed as an alternative to a religious celebration. Although this ceremony has no legal standing, it creates a special event at which to gather family and friends for a dignified but relaxed occasion.

Naming ceremonies celebrate the name of a new child or children and welcomes them into your family. This ceremony enables you to express love, care, and commitment to them in the presence of your family and friends. It is also an opportunity for supporting adults (guide parents) or grandparents to publicly promise to help and support your child(ren) as they grow up within our community.

Our experienced registrars will ensure your ceremony is personal and memorable. They will also present you with a commemorative certificate as a keepsake of the occasion.

You can hold your naming ceremony at our register office in Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge, or alternatively at any one of our licensed venues.

Ceremonies enquiry form

Please complete our online ceremonies enquiry form. Our ceremonies office will then check availability and will contact you by telephone. Please note that it may take up to six days to respond to your new booking enquiry.

A naming ceremony fee is payable in full at the time of booking. Fees are subject to change on 1 April each year.

Please ensure you have fully read and understood our ceremony booking terms and conditions.

Here's a rundown of what you can expect on your celebration day and the preparations you may need to make.

The information below will also help you to complete our checklist for your personalised ceremony.

If any attendees or members of their household are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, they must not attend the ceremony.

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Ceremony at a register office

Ceremonies will be held in the approved ceremony rooms within the register office building. It will not be possible to hold a ceremony outdoors in the grounds of the register office.


Arrival

Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your ceremony start time.

You must be ready to start your ceremony on time, it cannot be delayed by the late arrival of you or your guests. If you are late for your ceremony, you risk not being able to proceed as planned, a reduction to content may be necessary or we may have to conduct your ceremony at the end of the day.


Ceremony script

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. 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.


Readings

You may include a maximum of two readings which should be short in length and must not contain any religious content.

Readings can be a poem or piece of prose of your choice and will be read by one of your guests at the ceremony. Alternatively, you, a guest or family member may wish to write something to read at your ceremony. If they would like the reading to be a surprise, they can send it to us directly, with your names and ceremony date.


Music

You have the option to include music during your ceremony. If you choose to include music, please state the title of the song and the name of artist or group clearly on your checklist. We will ensure we have your selection ready on the day to play through our Bose music system.

You must ensure that any music chosen has no religious content.


Number of guests at a Register Office

There is no legal limit on attendee numbers or social distancing requirements, other than capacity limits of venues and their risk assessment for safety.

Register office ceremonies will be restricted to the maximum number of attendees, including babies and children, that can be safely accommodated within the building and ceremony room.

These numbers apply to register office ceremonies:

  • 48 attendees at Rylston, Weybridge.
  • 48 attendees at Artington House, Guildford.
  • 48 attendees at the Mansion, Leatherhead.

Additional attendees will not be permitted to enter any part of the register office building. Any attempt to exceed the number of attendees will mean that your ceremony will not take place, as this will pose an increased risk to other users of the register office site.


Recording the event

A photographer/videographer is allowed in the room to record the event. Further photographs may be taken in the garden after your ceremony.

If you would like one of your guests to film or live stream the ceremony, they may do so from their seat, using their own equipment.

Please note we cannot accept any responsibility for any damage or loss of any equipment whilst on any premises.


Ceremony at a licensed venue

Ceremonies can be held at Approved Premises venues in the room(s) within the built premises which are approved, and at outdoor areas if the venue has this option. Licensed venues are under no obligation to offer outdoor ceremonies and you should consult directly with your chosen venue to find out if this is an option they offer. It is not possible to hold an outdoor ceremony at a location that does not hold an approved premises licence.

In the event of wet or inclement weather, venues are required to provide a wet weather option, which can accommodate all guests, so that the ceremony can proceed on time, without any delays to move the ceremony indoors or to a covered, dry area.

Please note you can only have your ceremony outdoors during British summer time, which is the last Sunday in March until the last Saturday in October.


Arrival

Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your ceremony start time.

You must be ready to start your ceremony on time, it cannot be delayed by the late arrival of you or your guests. If you are late for your ceremony, you risk not being able to proceed as planned, a reduction to content may be necessary or we may have to conduct your ceremony at the end of the day.


Ceremony script

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)


Readings

You may include a maximum of two readings.

Readings can be a poem or piece of prose of your choice and will be read by one of your guests at the ceremony. Alternatively, you, a guest or family member may wish to write something to read at your ceremony. If they would like the reading to be a surprise, they can send it to us directly, with your names and ceremony date.

All readings should be short in length and must not contain any religious content.


Music

You can choose your own music for your ceremony. You must ensure that any music chosen has no religious content. Please state the title of the song and the name of artist or group clearly on your checklist.

Your venue will be responsible for playing your music, however, your music choices must be approved by us.


Number of guests

There is no legal limit on attendee numbers other than capacity limits of venues and their risk assessment for safety. Please check with your venue about their maximum capacity.


Recording the event

A photographer/videographer is allowed in the room to record the event.

If you would like one of your guests to film or live stream the ceremony, they may do so from their seat, using their own equipment.

Please note we cannot accept any responsibility for any damage or loss of any equipment whilst on any premises.


Checklists for your personalised ceremony

Please complete the relevant ceremony checklist online no earlier than four to six weeks prior to your ceremony date. The ceremony checklist will help us personalise your ceremony with details of your celebration, such as your choice of promises and music.

Checklist for your personalised ceremony


Files available to download