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The Baby naming Society Programme

This is the simplest option for naming your baby, as all the work is done for you. Launched in 1994 - the International Year of the Family - the Baby Naming Society (BNS) will help you put together a religious or non-religious ceremony.

You can conduct the ceremony yourself, nominate a friend, or, if you prefer, the BNS will find someone to do this for you (who may charge for their services).

"As the ceremony is not performing any legal function", says Rosie Styles, founder of the BNS, "the value is in the ceremony itself, so its important to get it right."

For £35, the Baby Naming Society provides you with a pack that lists everything you might want to think about when creating your own ceremony, offering a wider range of choices than currently available in a local authority ceremony. When you've made your basic decisions, you send your instructions to the BNS.

Within 3 weeks of giving the BNS these details, you will receive:

-a personalised script of your chose ceremony
-an 'order of service' to copy for all your guests
-an individually prepared certificate for you to sign and keep
-copies of any readings chosen from the BNS selection

The Venue
You can hold a Naming anywhere that you can have access to or where what you're saying doesn't contravene the rules of use for the building.

Who to invite
If there are Grandparents they will want to come, and its always a good idea to check whether key guests - such as the god parents - will be available for the big day before confirming any bookings or ordering the invitations. Children are almost always honoured guests at Namings.

The baby is the star of the show at a Naming. You may want to dress him or her in a traditional style long gown and shawl, but you may also choose something completely different to emphasize the non-religious aspect. The parents, god parents and guests should take their cue from the occasion and venue - a more formal service and church will demand more formal wear, whereas more informal attire can be worn at a more relaxed church and service. Formalwear here usually means lounge suits.

For more details, telephone the Baby Naming Society on 01905 371070.

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