Celebrant Derek smiles at the camera holding Paige wearing her pink birthday dress. Derek wears a black suit, blue tie and has glasses on.

Real ceremony stories: Paige’s naming ceremony

Parents Emma and Steven celebrated the arrival of daughter Paige with a joint first birthday and humanist naming ceremony celebration attended by friends and family in Greenock.

Real ceremony stories: Paige’s naming ceremony
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…

Our naming ceremony: Tracey, Craig and baby Leo
Andrew smiles at the camera as he holds Sébastien.

Our naming ceremony: Julie, Andrew and baby Sébastien

After marrying at Mansion House Edinburgh Zoo in 2018, parents Julie and Andrew returned for a humanist naming ceremony to welcome their baby son Sébastien.

Our naming ceremony: Julie, Andrew and baby Sébastien
Biodegradable invitation with biodegradable envelope and sustainable decorations

Biodegradable stationery

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find stationery that’s printed on recycled paper or uses alternative materials, such as vegetable inks. Seed paper is a biodegradable material that sprouts into flowers when planted in a pot of soil.  You could…

Biodegradable stationery
Outdoor barn style venue decorated with reclaimed barrels and lights

DIY decor

No matter how beautiful your venue is, you might want to decorate it to set the backdrop for your ceremony and reception. The most commonly used elements (besides flowers) are signs, centrepieces, mirrors, picture frames, and candles. Some venues might…

DIY decor
Fresh local produce including potatoes and tomatoes in a brown recyclable paper bag

Fair food and drink

Ask your venue or your outside catering company to consider seasonal, local, organic and fairtrade ingredients. Also source any wine, beer and other drinks from suppliers that are as local to your venue as possible. The more local, the smaller…

Fair food and drink
Eco-friendly symbols

Sustainable ceremonies

Thinking about how you can make your ceremony and celebration more sustainable and eco-friendly?  As humanists, we believe that we have just this one life. We have a responsibility not only to our fellow human beings but also to other…

Sustainable ceremonies
A child with parents and guideparents

Guideparents and guardians

Like all Humanist Society Scotland ceremonies, our naming and welcoming ceremonies are inclusive and you can incorporate whoever you like, however you like. That includes the non-religious equivalent of a ‘godparent’ – often known as guideparents and guardians. They can…

Guideparents and guardians
A couple laughing with their celebrant during a wedding ceremony

The difference between a humanist and a celebrant

What’s the difference between a humanist and a celebrant? People often think humanists and celebrants are the same thing. A humanist is a person with humanist beliefs, and a humanist celebrant is a person that conducts humanist weddings, funerals, and…

The difference between a humanist and a celebrant
A hand and foot print of a child of 14 weeks old

Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes

Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes are really popular ways to make ceremonies even more personal and memorable for families. Here we explore some of the better known and most popular rituals or symbolic gestures included a Humanist Society Scotland welcoming…

Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes
Cartoon from the children's song 'Baby Shark'

Poems, readings and Baby Shark!

Humanist Society Scotland welcoming and naming ceremonies are all individually crafted to reflect what’s important for you or your family, and they can be as creative as your imagination allows. You may want to include some poems, readings or music. …

Poems, readings and Baby Shark!