Mum Life

Baby Blogging: Annabelle’s Naming Day Ceremony!

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What’s a naming day ceremony is usually the first question we get asked when we mention that instead of a christening we opted for a Humanist Naming Day.

The answer is simple, it is a simple, heartfelt, personal ceremony where the child, Annabelle in our case, is officially named in front of family and friends.

For our Naming Day the ceremony included the following:

  • A Humanist Celebrant, Blake, who lead the ceremony and had helped us come up with what to include
  • Readings by Sarah’s sister and close friends Allie and Anita
  • Introduction of the Guideparents (think God parents without the religion)
  • Time for the Grandparents to place handwritten letters to Annabelle in an envelope that we sealed and will open on her 18th birthday
  • A ceremonial rose planting from Laura and I
  • Parents promises to Annabelle
  • Bracelet warming
In total the ceremony lasted half an hour and we were lucky enough to have a stunning, autumnal, sunshining day so were able to have it in my parents back garden surrounded by loved ones.

With a selection of chairs placed on the lawn we started the ceremony. Thankfully Annabelle slept through the entire thing. Laura and I were emotional from the very beginning and cried more than a few times. By the end we were being told it was far more personal than any christening anyone had attended. And at least half the attendees had shed a tear.

Annabelle wore a dress we had been gifted and a cardigan I had worn at my Christening, knitted by my Mum.
We had met Blake a few weeks previously to talk through the ceremony and listen to his suggestions about what to include. We combined these ideas with our own touches. For example the bracelet warming was just like our ring warming at the wedding. We placed the bracelet/rings on a heart and passed this amoungst the guests. Each guest had to pass on positive thoughts and wishes whilst holding the bracelet/rings and then pass it on. It is a lovely way to include everyone.
The readings we chose included a more general one about our hopes for Annabelle as she grows – strength, compassion, empathy, love, laughter and a million other things that will make her into a well rounded person.
Allie and Anita did a reading – they have been super supportive since Annabelle arrived
The second readings were lyrics taken from Jason Mraz ‘Have It All’. It was the song Annabelle arrived into the world to and will always be special to us. We mentioned it in her birth story here. The lyrics include:
May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May you take no effort in your being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath
And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow
Well here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
Here’s to you always making me laugh
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all
*Tears rolling just writing this*
The Guideparents were all chosen for different reasons. When asking each person we had created a box that included the reasons we were asking them. From being thoughtful, charming, ‘all in’, empowering, strong, generous we gave reasons we wanted Annabelle to be like them. Unlike God parents this wasn’t about asking them to teach Annabelle about God, it was asking them to guide her as she grows. 
The rose planting was symbolic as we have a rose planted for each of our Mum’s, (my Mum is red, Laura’s Mum is yellow) our wedding (white) and our anniversary (pink). We chose an apricot rose for Annabelle. The sentiment is that as Annabelle grows so will the rose. We will help her take care of it, as we will help to care of her. My Mum has had roses she takes with her whenever she moves house, we plan to do the same (if we ever move).
We set our parents the biggest challenge as we asked them to write a letter of advice, of lessons learnt, of things they want her know. It meant the world to us that they put so much time and effort into the letters and look forward to reading them with Annabelle.
We also explained why we had picked the name, Anna = graceful, Belle = beautiful. We also liked the fact (that unlike Sarah and Laura) Annabelle can be shortened to different names. We actually picked it at the 20 week scan when we found out she was a girl and I was wearing a top that said ‘tu est Belle’. Her middle name Robin, is in tribute to Laura’s Mum who is battling cancer.
Our guests had traveled from Scotland, Brighton and tons of places in between so we also asked each guest to sign a puzzle piece and add a note so that when Annabelle is old enough she can play with the puzzle and see who was there on her naming day.
After the ceremony we had ‘Annabelle’s afternoon tea’. Laura had made scones, that we added clotted cream and a selection of jam to. We also had a Victoria sponge, other nibbles and a Bellini bar!
The ceremony was even more perfect than we could have hoped and the memories made are ones we look forward to sharing with Annabelle as she grows.

Sarah is from Reading, in England, her loves (as well as Laura) include potatoes -a meal simply isn’t a meal without them- cheesy music, musicals, relaxing baths and long country dog walks. Sarah is our main blogger, does most of our Instagram Stories and Twitter, and tends to write any articles we are asked to put together for other sites. Sarah works full time as the head of a team of relationship managers at a company based in London, and she loves playing netball weekly with her team, the Netchix.

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