The Twins Naming Day Celebration

Back in May of this year, we marked the birth of our baby boys with a naming day celebration. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times over the summer. I wrote about the baby naming ceremony invitations that I designed, months after the event happened. But up until now have not had the time to sit and write a post for the day itself.

Dickie and I are not religious. We do have spiritual beliefs but are not believers of any organised religion.

That said, we felt it was important to mark the birth of the boys in a significant way.

And a naming day celebration seemed fitting.

We looked at various websites for naming day ideas. There, we found lots of information on how to organise a naming ceremony and great advice. You can read about that here.

And as I have said before, it was an extraordinary day.

What is a Naming Day?

A naming day is a special event held to celebrate and formally announce the name of a child and celebrate a birth. It is a secular tradition observed in many societies around the world and is an alternative to a religious Christening or baptism.

The ceremony often involves gathering friends and family to witness the child’s naming and may include blessings and rituals — and the appointment of ‘guideparents’ a non religious alternative to godparents.

It’s a celebration of life and marks the beginning of the child’s identity within their community and family.

Planning Our Naming Day Celebration

The run-up to the day was hectic, to say the least! We had around 150 people coming along — 50 of them under the age of 14.

Planning the ceremony and reception was more time-consuming than organising our wedding! Months of preparation: we had to organise a venue, caterers, decorations… the list went on and on.

And on.

But somehow, we managed to pull it off. And on Saturday May 17th 2014 we hosted the most perfect, glorious day; worthy of our beautiful babies.

Twins Naming Day Celebration — a picture perfect day.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Twins Naming Day Celebration — a picture perfect day.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Signpost at the twins Naming Day Celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The Naming Day Venue

You can hold a naming day anywhere! As it’s a non-religious event, you don’t need a church or a blessed space. We were lucky enough to hold the event at Staverton Hall.

Our lovely friends, Rupert and Serena, generously agreed that we could take over their home and grounds for the entire weekend, so we spent the day before getting everything ready.

The marquee people came, put up the big tent, then left us with stacks and stacks of chairs and tables.

Decorations for Our Baby Naming Ceremony

When it came to planning the decorations for baby naming ceremony, we are very lucky that one of the twins’ guide fathers owns an events company called Eventologists. He generously loaned us two incredible full-size trees to dress the marquee.

Decorations for Baby Naming Ceremony — LOVE lights, full sized blossom trees and yards of bunting.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Decorations for Baby Naming Ceremony — LOVE lights, full sized blossom trees and yards of bunting.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Plus, my favourite thing: some incredible, giant LOVE lights.

Decorations for Baby Naming Ceremony — LOVE lights, full sized blossom trees and yards of bunting.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

At 7pm the night before, I started to despair that we would ever be ready for the next day; the marquee looked like a bombsite and certainly not as ‘Pinterest pretty’ as I’d envisaged.

But armed with yards and yards of bunting, hundreds of tulips and buckets of wild-flowers, a little team of 6 friends turned a big draughty tent into a gorgeous haven, fitting for our babies’ naming day celebration.

Decorations for Baby Naming Ceremony — yellow and white flowers in simple glass vases.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The big day dawned. Cornflower blue skies — as far as the eye could see — the house looking resplendent in it’s springtime finery.

Yellow climbing roses decorated Staverton’s walls and the rape-fields in the distance cleverly joined in, to coordinate beautifully with our colour-scheme.

Signpost at the twins Naming Day Celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The Naming Ceremony

The twins’ baby naming day ceremony began at 11.30am.

Our guests started to arrive and, one-by-one, began to take their seats in the drawing room.

Guests at the baby naming day.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The soundtrack to the day was Mindy Gledhill’s ‘Anchor’. It makes me cry even now; music is so emotive and this track encapsulates everything I felt on that beautiful spring morning.

Pride and elation, love, achievement, grief for the babies we lost, eclipsed by a sense of overwhelming gratitude; to name just a little of what the occasion meant.

Appointing The Guideparents

We’d chosen the boys’ guideparents well in advance. Everyone had been asked when the twins were born, but the naming ceremony made it a little more formal, exactly as a religious Christening would.

We had a two wick candle, representing the boys, with smaller candles surrounding it. Each of these single-wick candles represented one of the guideparents, who lit their candle and made a promise to always be there for the twins.

Candle lighting
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
The twins guideparents.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Even though it was a non-religious ceremony, it still felt very solemn and ‘important’ — for want of a better word.

Our family — the boys, us and our parents.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The Naming Day Celebration

The afternoon rolled on — the hottest day of the year so far — sunny and warm, we couldn’t have asked for better.

The food was excellent, the wine flowed and my boy delivered a belter of a speech.

Speeches at the naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Speeches at the naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

It was a garden party and a half; surrounded by our favourite people in a beautiful setting.

And in the midst of it all, two tiny figures.

The guests of honour.

Our darling boys.

Bertie and Grampy at the naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Cosmo at the naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Naming Day Food & Drink

We booked a local farmer who made an incredible hog roast.

They served this with fresh salads; potato salad and coleslaw, green salad and fresh crusty bread. The food was excellent and

Ian Brodie — the farmer who made the most amazing hog-roast!
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

My sister in law had made some beautiful Alice in Wonderland inspired cakes.

Cakes for naming ceremony — Alice in Wonderland inspired cakes
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Cakes for naming ceremony — Alice in Wonderland inspired cakes
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

And another lovely friend had made some ‘twinkle twinkle’ cupcakes.

Cakes for naming ceremony —  'twinkle twinkle' cupcakes.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

A Baby Naming Day To Remember

The baby naming party continued into the wee small hours.

A big fire was lit; and we all sat around toasting marshmallows. Drinking and talking, until the very last of the sun’s heat had gone.

It was a day to remember for sure.

A day that we never thought we’d see and one I’ll never, ever forget.

Guests at our boys' naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
The four of us at our twins naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

For more naming ceremony ideas and baby naming day ideas you can visit Pinterest.

You’ll find lots of inspiration on colour schemes and how to style the day.

For advice on how to organise a naming ceremony or how it works, see the British Humanist Association website.

The four of us at our twins naming day celebration.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Caro Davies editor of The Listed Home
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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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2 thoughts on “The Twins Naming Day Celebration”

  1. Just LOOK at your dress! You gorgeous thing, you.

    It sounds like a wonderful day was had by all, and the photographs are tremendous. What a lovely ceremony to have!

    • Aaah too kind – thanks so much!! It was an amazing day. We’d waited to be parents for so long, it was natural to want to celebrate the twins arrival! Their naming day was so beautiful – we couldn’t have honoured them in any better way xx

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