Cara-Mae’s Naming Ceremony at home with Zoe and Gavin

A naming ceremony is very like a wedding but much more relaxed. There are always nerves on a wedding day, whereas the anxious times are pretty much over when a couple are ready to name their child. I find this tends to happen around their first birthday, when life has settled to its new rhythms, and everyone is ready to celebrate the presence of this new life in their lives.

The story of how Cara-Mae came to be here was a funny and moving one. Zoe and Gavin had been trying for a baby for a while but nothing was happening, so they thought they might buy a camper van and head off into the sunset, but almost as they came to that conclusion, Cara-Mae decided she wanted to be here!

Zoe wanted Cara-Mae to have a natural birth, and I loved how she described her delight to learn she’d won a space in the massively over-subscribed birthing centre. And then how she suddenly regretted her decision, because it was only when she was in the birthing centre that she realised she wanted all the drugs they had!

As you can see from these photographs, we were blessed with a warm, sunny day in the back garden of their house, and Cara-Mae was on top form: giggly, happy and true to character, ever curious.

The tears flowed almost as lavishly as the pink champagne, mine included, when Claire (or ‘Coach McGeary’ as she used to be before she married Gareth last year) read Neil Gaiman’s wonderful poem, Blueberry Girl, and Cara-Mae’s Guide Parents, Gemma and Gary spoke their promises.

 These are just some of the things that Gavin and Zoe promised Cara-Mae

We promise to keep you safe, but encourage you to find your own way in this wonderful world.
We promise to nurture your curiosity, enthusiasm, and confidence.
 We promise to teach you that you always have choices, and that you can be whoever you want to be.

And these are some of the things they said to me in the lovely message they sent this morning

We so enjoyed the day. We loved the fact that it was informal, funny, touching, and most of all very personal to us – you had really listened to us and everything we wanted was reflected in the ceremony.  

All of our family and friends enjoyed it too and we had lots of comments about what a special occasion it was, even from those who had been a bit unsure/sceptical initially (we had so many people beforehand asking ‘so what IS a naming ceremony?!’). 

People seemed to especially like the promises made by us and our chosen guideparents – this is where it really differed from a christening I think, as got to personally pledge what we will do to support C-M as she grows.

Thank you once again, Zoe, Gav, Cara-Mae and family x

Not at all Zoe: it was a pleasure! Thanks to Gareth for the great photos, and thank you again for asking me to be a part of your wonderful day.

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