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A ceremony can mark a special occasion in your life in which a person or event is remembered
Naming and welcoming ceremonies
A naming and welcoming ceremony gives you the opportunity to celebrate the birth of a child or to welcome adopted and stepchildren.
Although traditional christenings or baptisms are still popular, non-religious ceremonies are becoming increasingly a popular choice.You will work closely with a trained consultant to help tailor a ceremony that will be special for you and your family to remember.
Naming ceremonies give you the opportunity to:
- celebrate the naming of the child or children
- parents express their love and commitment to a child or children in front of friends and family
- brings the child/children into the community
- appoint mentors/god parents who will promise their help and support to the child as he/she grows up
- gives grandparents the opportunity to promise to support the parents in raising the grandchild/grandchildren
Any parent of legal guardian of the child/children may arrange a ceremony. Parents do not have to be married to do so.
Each ceremony is divided into sections and usually lasts 30 minutes:
- introduction and welcome
- name of the child/children
- parents' promises
- supporting adults/mentor's promises
- readings and music
- signing of register and certificates
- presentation of gifts
- closing words
We offer naming ceremonies in our registration office and at approved premises within the county. They may be celebrated on any day of the week except Christmas Day.
Ceremonies on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Boxing Day or New Year's Day will be subject to staffing availability.
If you would like to use a different venue, for example a village hall, or a marquee in the grounds of a hotel, this would need to be discussed beforehand and visited by a member of the Registration Service to ensure it is a suitable venue for the ceremony.
The fee will vary depending on the day and time that you choose. For a ceremony in approved premises, you will need to contact the specific venue of your choice regarding their availability and fees. Please note there will be a fee for us to send out a celebrant.
For further information, please contact Registration Service.
Please note that Naming ceremonies are non-statutory and therefore the ceremony itself and the issue of any certificates carry no legal status.
Funerals and remembrance ceremonies
A civil funeral or remembrance ceremony offers a unique and sensitive alternative to a church funeral.
The civil funeral ceremony is suitable for a cremation, burial or for burying ashes. They are generally non-religious, but may include hymns and prayers if you wish.
Civil funerals usually take place at a crematorium, cemetery chapel or at a non-religious graveside. However they can be held at any appropriate place.
Civil Funerals cannot take place at churches or religious buildings.
A remembrance ceremony celebrates the life of a loved one. It could take place at any time after a funeral, at any suitable venue.
A remembrance ceremony is particularly suitable for situations when a death happens overseas and no funeral is possible, or on the anniversary of a death.
Renewal of vows and wedding celebrations
A renewal of vows ceremony is an opportunity for a married couple or civil partners to reaffirm their love and commitment to each other.
There are many reasons why couples want to renew their vows, perhaps to:
- hold a ceremony for family and friends after marrying abroad
- celebrate a particular anniversary
- combine a renewal with a naming ceremony
Here are five steps that will help you plan your renewal ceremony:
1. Choose your venue
Renewal ceremonies can take place ar any of our licensed venues. Once you have chosed your venue, book the registrar as soon as possible, even if it is a few years in advance of your ceremony.
2. Book the registrar
Call the registar office on 0300 790 0341. At the time of booking you will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee.
3. Plan your day
Why not make your renewal more personal by:
- having readings or words from guests who originally attended the wedding
- music can add a special atmosphere to your ceremony
- having a themed renewal for a unique touch
4. Pay your fees and return your ceremony form
Return your completed form to us at least six weeks before the ceremony. You can pay your fees in the following ways:
- over the phone (0300 790 0341)
- in person or by post (make cheques payable to 'Luton Council'):
6 George Street West
5. What happens on the day
Once all the paperwork is completed and fees are paid all that is left if for you to enjoy the day.
The registrar will arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony and will speak to anyone playing a part in the ceremony, ensuring everything goes smoothly.
Things to remember:
- your ceremony should start promptly to ensure our registrars can travel safely to their next ceremony
- we reserve the right to leave if we feel the following ceremony will be compromised – this decision will not be taken lightly and we will always consult with you and the venue first
- bring any of your own promises and readings with you on the day – you could mount them on card and keep them as a memento of your day
- any music (CD/iPod) should be given directly to the venue