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Naming ceremonies

Rhondda Cynon Taf offers naming ceremonies as a way of formally celebrating the arrival of a new baby or older child into the family, enabling your family and closest friends to share this happy and joyous event.

What is a naming ceremony?

A naming ceremony is an expression of commitment to your child in the presence of family and friends, providing the opportunity of bonding together the people who will play an important role in your child's life.

It's a unique and dignified occasion providing the opportunity for everyone to feel involved and for adult friends or relatives to confirm their special relationship with your child, through offering their support in your child’s future development. These are known as Supporting Adults.

Naming ceremonies can also be used to celebrate and welcome adoption or stepchildren into an extended family. Children of any age may have a naming ceremony - parents may wish to include older children as well as the new child in the ceremony, or they may consider holding a naming ceremony immediately after their marriage ceremony. Whatever you decide a Naming Ceremony is a unique and personal ceremony, designed to meet the individual needs of the family.

Neither the naming ceremony nor any commemorative certificate has any legal status.

Naming ceremonies are secular and will not contain any religious references. If you wish to hold a religious ceremony, please contact your local church or religious community.

A naming ceremony is an ideal alternative if you don’t feel a religious baptism would be appropriate.

We are not married - can we still have a naming ceremony for our child?

Parents can arrange a naming ceremony whether they are married or not. You can also have a naming ceremony if you a single parent. Ceremonies can be arranged by anyone who has parental responsibility or legal guardianship for the child.

The natural mother of a child will automatically have parental responsibility.

For births registered after 1st December 2003, the natural father also has parental responsibility either if he is married to the mother or if he signed the birth register along with the mother. If the mother registered the birth alone, the natural father will not automatically have parental responsibility.

Another person may be given parental responsibility. Evidence of this would need to be produced.

As naming ceremonies hold no legal status, you may not use a naming ceremony to change a child’s forename unless you have authority to do so. In some circumstances, it is necessary for the courts to authorise a change of forename.

If you are uncertain whether you may change your child’s forename, you must seek legal advice before booking the ceremony.

Can we have a naming ceremony at the same time as we get married, form a civil partnership or re-affirm our marriage vows?

It is possible for a couple to book a naming ceremony to follow their marriage, civil partnership or re-affirmation of vows ceremony. This may be requested where the couple have an adopted child, when stepchildren are involved or where a couple have been together for some time. The Superintendent Registrar conducting your marriage, civil partnership or re-affirmation of vows will be able to advise you further

Where can a naming ceremony be held?

Naming ceremonies can be held at the Register Office or at one of the “Approved Premises” situated at various locations within the County Borough

We offer a wide choice of ceremony formats, from a simple informal ceremony with just a few guests, to more formal ceremonies with many guests and supporting adults.

Whatever kind of ceremony you may wish to have, our expert and dedicated team will help you plan the ceremony, making it a happy and memorable occasion.


(Fees applicable to a naming ceremony at the Register Office and at Approved Premises)

  • Booking Fee - This small non-refundable fee is a separate charge to secure your favoured date and time in advance of your ceremony
  • Consultation Fee - This fee is paid to the celebrant when you come to discuss the content of your ceremony it cannot be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled
  • Ceremony Fee - This fee is for the attendance of celebrants at your ceremony and is required in advance at the time of consultation. This fee can be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled as long as notice of cancellation is received in writing at least one month prior to the proposed ceremony
  • Certificate Fee - You may purchase a Commemorative Certificate to mark the occasion if you wish

Fees are set by the Local Authority. All fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change

Making a provisional booking

It is always advisable to make a booking as soon as you can. This applies whether you are holding your ceremony at the Register Office or in one of our approved premises.

Most venues within the district run a provisional booking system, this allows you to book your ceremony further ahead enabling couples to make all the necessary arrangements in good time.

A provisional booking should be made in writing to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you intend to hold your ceremony.

Booking details

To book a ceremony within Rhondda Cynon Taf, at either the Register Office Pontypridd or at one our approved premises, please contact:

Superintendent Registrar

Register Office,

Municipal Buildings

Gelliwastad Road


CF37 2DP

Tel: 01443 494024