A sign on an easel reads "welcome to Leo's naming day 30th April 2023" Balloons decorated with animal print pattern in blue, green and gold sit around it.

Our naming ceremony: Tracey, Craig and baby Leo

Tracey and Craig knew they wanted to celebrate the arrival of their baby boy Leo but initially didn’t know about humanist naming ceremonies. When a family member suggested this to them, they agreed it would be a special way to welcome their little one. After doing some research on the Humanist Society Scotland website, they booked humanist celebrant Helen Marie Tuohy and got planning!

Why did you decide to have a humanist naming ceremony?

We wanted to celebrate our beautiful boy coming into the world but we aren’t religious. After finding out about humanist naming ceremonies, we thought it would be a fantastic way to celebrate with our loved ones and we really liked how personalised a humanist naming ceremony can be.

Which humanist celebrant did you choose for your ceremony and why?

Our celebrant was Helen Marie Tuohy. We loved Helen from the moment we met her! She was so enthusiastic and friendly and we knew straight away that she was the perfect fit for our ceremony. She took so much of her time to get to know us and our little one and we felt so comfortable with her!

I just love a naming ceremony! They’re such a wonderful celebration of life, love and togetherness. They provide an opportunity for friends and family to come together, truly unite and celebrate the arrival of a new addition into their world.

Head and shoulder photo of celebrant Helen, she is smiling and resting her chin on her hands.

Where did you hold the naming ceremony and why?

The ceremony was held at Parkville Hotel in Blantyre. We know the hotel well and the venue space was perfect for our event.

Can you tell us a bit about Leo’s guideparents and why you chose them?

We had two guideparents, one from each partner’s family. I [Tracey] chose my cousin Julie, whom I was very close to growing up and saw as a big sister figure. She was a huge role model for me in my life and I know she will be the same for Leo.

Leo’s dad Craig chose his cousin George who he felt would be a great guideparent to Leo. He is someone who we are very close to and trust.

Julie and George read out a poem written by Julie during the ceremony which was lovely. They also made guideparent pledges, that they would offer him guidance and support to live a happy and rewarding life.

Photo of a pair of light blue baby shoes on a white carpet.

What was your favourite part of the ceremony?

Our favourite part of the ceremony was our celebrant Helen’s speech. She did such a fantastic job at retelling our special story and made it personal to us. Everyone in the room was listening and it felt like a really special moment in our day.

We also enjoyed having a ‘Wishes and Wisdom Book’. This was passed round for guests to sign with a ‘word of wisdom’ and will be a keepsake given to Leo to read when he is older.

Leo, who was only four months at the time, was more fascinated by the lights and music than anything else!

Do you have any advice for others who are thinking of having a naming ceremony?

Go for it! For us, it was the perfect way to celebrate our baby boy with our loved ones. We couldn’t believe how special and personal a naming ceremony was and we are so glad we chose to do it. We will absolutely be doing another if we have more children!

Coloured baby blocks with a letter on each block are arranged in a line to read "hello"

I met Tracey and Craig when Leo was just six weeks old – he was teeny! This was just an initial, very informal, chat to find out more about naming ceremonies. I could see how utterly in love they were with their little boy, and that they wanted to share this love with their nearest and dearest. I was delighted when they asked me to be little Leo’s celebrant a few days later.

“When I walked into the hall that they had booked for him, one Sunday afternoon, I was blown away by the noise and laughter. The celebrations were in full swing and the love in the room was tangible.

Helen Marie Tuohy, celebrant, Humanist Society Scotland
A small child's feet held in two sets of carers' hands, forming a love heart.

Naming Ceremonies

A naming ceremony is a popular way to mark a child’s arrival into your family, and a humanist ceremony lets you create a naming ceremony that is unique and personal.

Two male adults and three children waving and celebrating

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