I was lucky enough to be asked to conduct Sylvie’s Naming Day. Dan and Kate have been friends of mine for quite some time and I conducted their wedding along with a number of weddings for other members of their family. Since then I have been named the family celebrant! I was privileged to be able to conduct Sylvie’s sister Astrid’s Naming Day when she turned 1 and so it was such a special thing for me to be able to conduct Sylvie’s Naming day too, also timed to Celebrate her 1st birthday!
Dan and Kate thought about the name Sylvie when Kate was pregnant with Astrid. Kate tried to convince Dan that Sylvie was a great name, but Dan wasn’t keen on Sylvia, which Kate insisted would be the ‘proper name’ so it never happened. Throughout Kate’s pregnancy with Sylvie, Kate and Dan worked through many name options and although Sylvie arrived so late they still hadn’t decided on her name. After she was born they played with three names and in the evening finally settled on Sylvie, Kate compromising and ditching the ‘a’ in Sylvia. Sylvie, from Sylvia, is a french name meaning from the forest. (See the gorgeous forest themed cake at the end of this post)
Sylvie has made Dan and Kate more relaxed, patient and understanding parents. Sylvie gets far more cuddles to sleep and co-sleeping as they are well aware of how fleeting these days are. Dan and Kate can now understand completely why the youngest child is always the baby to their parents. Sylvie’s favourite person has always been Astrid. From birth she has kept her eye on Astrid, eager to learn how to do all the things Astrid does, playing, walking and now dancing too! Sylvie has always loved to move and was on the go early. She even started walking while holding onto Astrid even though her sister was trying to escape!
Her big loves this first year have included looking at her favourite family photos, climbing, “reading”, playing in her sister’s kitchen, baby doll Cailin, getting messy outdoors and just being all over Astrid. She loves to make kissing noises, waving at anything that moves and is a big koala style snuggler. She loves Ryan Adams and starts “dancing” as soon as she spots the cover artwork.
Dan and Kate chose their very close friend Miranda to be Sylvie’s mentor. Miranda has been friends with Kate for almost a decade and they have travelled together. She was the witness at their wedding and has always supported both Kate and Dan on their parenting journey.
Dan and Kate had a passage chosen to be read during the ceremony for both girls. A lovely Mark Twain quote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
It was a beautiful day and a great time to catch up with lovely friends, and the the extended family of these wonderful people that I am lucky enough to see at these special occasions.
A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of conducting the Naming ceremony for a lovely little girl. Elliott’s Mum and Dad decided that her first birthday would be a good day to do her naming ceremony as well. I conducted Mum and Dad’s (Candice and Ashley’s) wedding a couple of years ago, so it was a pleasure and an honour to be able conduct Elliott’s naming day.
Elliott was given two wonderful sets of godparents and it was lovely to be able to speak about all the reasons that both sets of godparents were chosen along with the special relationship that both couples shared with Candice and Ashley.
It was important to Candice and Ashley to choose people who have each other’s back and who accept friends just for being the people that they are. To show Elliot that it is important to have, and to be, a friend that is on their side through all that life brings. In times of great joy, Elliot will see them celebrate together and in times of sorrow see the support only true friendship can bring. It was a beautiful and emotional little ceremony that was held at Elliott’s grandparents home. It was the perfect way to appoint her godparents and then everyone got to celebrate Elliot turning One year old.
How lucky am I to share wonderful events in peoples lives? It really is a wonderful thing to be able to conduct ceremonies like this for people that I have been friends with for so many years like Candice and Ashley, and for people that I just meet through the process of a naming day or a wedding. No matter who the ceremony is for, I always feel honoured to be a part of it.
Astrid’s naming day was held in January. The weather forecast suggested that it would rain all weekend so Kate and Dan decided early to change the venue of the naming day and have it at home. Luckily everyone managed to fit into their house and all had a lovely afternoon. I have known Dan for a number of years, and Kate a little less. I was so very lucky to conduct their wedding. (read all about it here) So as you can imagine, Astrid’s naming day was really special for me too.
The name Astrid means divine strength or divine beauty. Once Kate’s family knew they had chosen a European name, this was the first one that came to mind for them. However this wasn’t the name Kate and Dan called Astrid in the womb. In fact it wasn’t until the final days of her pregnancy that Kate convinced Dan to switch. The rather delicate name that they had chosen we now know would never have suited such a strong, cheeky young lady like Astrid.
Dan and Kate had always enjoyed talking about baby names and even before Astrid came along they joked about naming their first girl Ginger Rose after a horse at the Hanging Rock races which they attended early in their relationship. Shortly after Astrid arrived with her lovely red newborn hair Kate and Dan said there was definitely a “thank goodness we didn’t call her Ginger” moment.
It was a great opportunity for Kate and Dan to appoint Astrid’s Guardians and to publicly thank all of their family and friends for all of the support that they had given them over the first year of Astrid’s life. They have had some really tough times, and they were able to share a little bit about these in the ceremony and make sure that they told the important people in their lives how much they appreciated all that they had done for them during those times. It made for a really beautiful, honest and very personal ceremony.
It was wonderful to be able to catch up again with Kate and Dan’s lovely family. Luckily for me, I have a few events locked in with some other members of their family! Stay tuned for some blog posts about those too.
I am lucky enough to be conducting a baby naming in the New Year, of a very special little lady-pants. I was honoured to be able to conduct the wedding of her parents last year. (See the blog about Dan and Kate’s beautiful day here.)
Kate and Dan know that it is a busy time of the year and that some of their family go away, so they have decided to send out a baby naming save the date. They will be having the baby naming to coincide with little lady-pants’ 1st birthday, it is a great idea to combine the two events.
Those of you who read my blog regularly will know how much I love a great invitation and I just had to share how fun this save the date was. I’m looking forward to sharing with you all about her naming day too!
One thing that has been on my mind of late after having my baby, is baby naming ceremonies. Should I have a naming ceremony? Should I have a christening? There are so many questions and so many things that need to be considered.
Being a Celebrant I love the idea of a Naming ceremony. You can include as many people as you want and have whatever you want incorporated into the service. It can be conducted anywhere you choose. So many positive things can be incorporated and you are not being restricted to having it in a church where you may be restricted on numbers or who can be a godparent, or mentor or whatever you choose to call them. Check out my previous blog about naming ceremonies here.
There are positives to having a baptism too, for me they are not so much about the ‘church’ part, but for schooling possibilities. Some schools require that the child is a baptised catholic to be accepted, though I don’t know if I agree that it this should be the only reason for going down that route. Sometimes you are told that you cannot have more than 2 godparents and most of the time at least one of them must also be a baptised catholic. I know that with our godson’s baptism they let him have 4 godparents but it was required that someone was a baptised catholic. (Lucky my husband went to catholic school!)
What I think is important and what most people don’t think about, is if you do have Godparents or mentors, and they are the people that you want to raise your children if something happens to you, you really need to think about putting these wishes into your will. Godparents aren’t just about looking after your children if something happens to you. But if your choice of Godparents are not the people that you want looking after your children, you really need to think about putting who you do into your will so that your wishes are known. It may seem like a morbid topic, but these are things that you never think about until you have children.
What do you think are pros and cons for a Naming Day compared with a Baptism?
A sand ceremony is perfect if the couple have children together already, or have children from a previous relationship. It is a great way for children to be involved in the ceremony, especially if there are a lot of children ranging in age.
Each child has a small vase sand, as do the bride and groom. There is a large vase that everyone pours their sand into to represent the family.You can have a different colour for each person or it can just be sand that has been collected prior to the wedding. If you are having a ceremony on the beach sand from that beach can be used. The couple pour the sand into the vase and then the children pour their sand into the vase next. Words can be recited explaining how the foundation of the family will be the parents and that the children will have room to grow and thrive in the family. Which is linked back to the idea that there will be a foundation of love and acceptance that the parents promise to have in their family.
It is also a nice idea to choose a member of the extended family or a grandparent read a poem of play a song that holds a familiar significance to the family. It is a great way to explain that the sand is now unable to be separated, in fact it would be impossible to do so. It can then be kept for the family as it is and displayed where all members of the family can see it or some of the mixed sand could be put into individual containers and presented to the children. If you want to take the concept even further you could also speak about the children being able to look at this if they ever feel alone, or just need to remember that no matter what happens they are all a family now and nothing can separate them.
There are so many ways that you can include children in your wedding ceremony, what ever you can imagine can be done. With children, I think it is just so important to let them know that there is plenty of love to share, and that you and your partner love them too. The creative part is finding unique ways to represent this in your wedding ceremony.
If baptisms and christenings aren’t your thing, it might be a good idea to look into having a baby naming ceremony. There are very similar things in a baby naming ceremony that are done in a christening or a baptism. This is a great chance to name the god Parents, or they can be referred to as Mentors or Sponsors. You can have readings, music and promises that you can make to your child and promises that the god parents can also make to the child. Just as any ceremony that you create the only thing that can stop you is your imagination.
There are all sorts of unique things that can be included in the ceremony. A nice idea is to have something that the godparents can present to the child so that they can always be aware of the significance of the day and the promises that were made to them on that day. It could be something traditional, like jewellery or another sentimental keepsake. A book might be made up with best wishes and advice for life written in it from everyone present on the day, and maybe photos could be added to give to the child at a milestone birthday, or at an age when they are old enough to appreciate it. A very thoughtful idea is to make a time capsule, with all sorts of things that are from the year the child was born, everyone present could contribute to the capsule and it could be sealed or buried by the parents and godparents on the day of the ceremony.
If you, or people that you know are musical, someone may even want to write a song especially for the child which could be performed during the ceremony. Depending on your beliefs and ideals, you could say a prayer, light candles, burn incense, have a astrological chart, a painting by someone artistic, or something that could involve all of the guests present on the day, people may want to make a video with all of the people present sending a message to the child for later in their life. You might want to plant a tree, or send seedlings home with people to plant.
All in all, it is the thought that counts. It is as much about the baby as it is about you welcoming a new life into your lives. Make it something that you can look back on as a beautiful time in your child’s life where they were surrounded by people that love them.