Naming ceremony, Devon celebrant, Starcross Yacht club

On 14th April this year, I headed to Starcross Yacht Club and presented a Naming Ceremony for Tim and Shiona’s beautiful daughter Ula.  This was a double celebration as it was also Ula’s first birthday the following day.

Both Shiona and Tim have a massive affinity with the sea and many happy days have been spent by them at the yacht club. It was therefore a perfect venue for Ula’s Naming Ceremony and goodness what a setting it was.

Naming ceremony, Devon celebrant, Starcross Yacht clubI think the shipping forecast would have used words along the lines of a south-westerly 3 or 4 rising – good for sailing but rather brisk conditions for a naming ceremony right on the edge of the estuary (I’ll know not to wear a wraparound dress another time on a blustery day in such an exposed location– thank heavens for the safety pins in the yacht club’s first aid box!).

Naming ceremony, Devon celebrant, Starcross Yacht clubIt was a real family affair with all hands-on deck (spot the sailing pun) with a bit of a retro feel (I very happily joining in the fun – I haven’t stuck cheese and pineapple on a cocktail stick for a long time) to get everything ready for the feast that was to follow the ceremony.

Naming ceremony, Devon celebrant, Starcross Yacht clubUla, which in Celtic means ‘jewel of sea’, surrounded by her parents, guide parents, family and friends was as good as gold.  The ceremony included two wonderful readings ‘Before you came’ by Beverley Butcher, read by her uncle and ‘You are my I love you’ by Maryann Cusimano Love, read by her Great Aunt.  We celebrated her actual naming, Ula Petrea Julia, by a rapturous three cheers followed by some energetic bubble blowing.

All in all, the happiest of days and my one and only Naming of the year.  I hope I am asked to do another soon.

hand print and balloon release

The arrival of a new baby is incredibly exciting for all the family including the siblings.

It is important that a naming ceremony reflects the essence of what the occasion is all about but also that there are elements within it that include the siblings and encourage them to be actively involved. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the importance and unique closeness of the family unit.

Here are some ideas for sibling participation at a Naming Ceremony…

sand ceremonySource: Left, Right

A sand ceremony involves pouring layers of coloured sands into a vase for keeping. Parents and the children can make promises as each layer is added. Colours have different meanings. A deeply meaningful ceremony, with a lasting keepsake and the closest members of the family participating.

tree planting and wishing trees wishing treesSource: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right

Planting a tree or shrub. All children like to get their hands dirty, hand them a spade and they would love to be involved. Plants represent new life. Nurturing and growth and of course a lasting legacy of love and commitment to a child.

Wishing Tree. Make a silhouette of a leafless tree. The details of the ceremony are printed beneath. Everyone presses a finger on colour box with ink pads the colours of the rainbow, makes a wish for the child and puts their print on the end of each branch creating finger print leaves

blowing bubblesSource: Left, Middle, Right

Blowing bubbles whilst wishes and promises are being made. Fun meaningful and spectacular. Make sure someone is not blowing bubbles but is armed with a camera!

Make sure that there are photographs of the child with its siblings on their own. Not only will it make the brother or sister feel proud and responsible but it will be a wonderful record for everyone in years to come.

A hand print collage. This is messy but a lovely idea whereby everyone makes a handprint on canvas. Yes, it can be a bit chaotic but with good organisation and preparation it’s very definitely do-able and worth it with something to keep as a memento afterwards.

End the ceremony with a balloon release.

hand print and balloon releaseSource: Left, Right

Have a look at our Pinterest page for more ideas on how to include all your children in a naming ceremony.