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More Blog posts can be found in the Blog Categories to the right.

Naming Ceremony for a Transgender Person

A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person. Most of us may have had the experience where somebody has called us the wrong name... think about how that felt.... now imagine that people are calling you by a name you feel no identity with and perhaps feel negative emotions about, especially when you've specifically asked them not to use it. 

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The Importance of Naming Ceremonies

Have you ever thought about having a Naming Ceremony for your child? Today's blog has been written by TCN Celebrant Pamela Fynan who talks about what an important life ceremony a naming can be...

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Celebrating New Beginnings

Think about all the times in your life when you've started something new... School, university, work, moved house, bought a house, moved in with a partner, moved towns, cities, states and countries, a new project, marriage, children... the list goes on.  TCN Celebrant and today's guest blogger Shell Brown from Mandurah, WA takes us through how we can add ceremony to all our life celebrations.
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What is a Naming Ceremony?

The Naming Ceremony is a celebration where you formally introduce the newest member of your family to your extended family and friends. You can use this as an opportunity to share the names you’ve given to your child and the reasons why those names were chosen as well as the hopes and dreams you have for your bundle of joy.
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Baby Naming

As a celebrant, it is a great honour and pleasure to be asked to conduct a baby naming ceremony for a couple I have married.  It gives me a chance to see the couple again and hear of their activities and achievements since their wedding day. In addition, it means that I enter into a new relationship with them as their “family celebrant”...
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It's Time

It's Time!

Spring equinox 23rd September 2017

It's officially spring....
the flowers are blooming...
 new life is emerging....

Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to book your celebrant

If you are planning on getting married anytime in the next eighteen months (that’s how long your NOIM is valid for) then call and book your celebrant soon and get that paperwork done.

You can still get married this spring if you're quick, the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be lodged with your celebrant one month before the ceremony; plenty of time still for a November wedding.

Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to plan your summer celebrations

Clean up the garden, pack away the winter clothes, and make your bookings for festivals, concerts, holidays, backyard BBQs and beach weddings.

elaine blog3
Photo courtesy of The French Click 

IT'S TIME to have your say on marriage equality

Interesting Fact from Wikipedia: With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognise same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.  The Oxford English Dictionary has recognised same-sex marriage since 2000. 

 Haven't Voted Yet?
Fill in and post your Vote as soon as possible and if you would like more information visit

TCN's Marriage Equality section. 

elaine blog4

Remember not to add anything other than the response required (i.e. no comments, no glitter, etc) or your survey response could be invalid.

If you’ve lost or damaged your ballot, you can request a new one from the Australian Bureau of Statistics here any time before October 20th.

IT'S TIME to begin planning the final celebration

If you plan on living your life to the end, then you can start by talking to a celebrant about recording ‘your life story’ or filling in those important documents such as: Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship, a valid Will (who gets what) and emotional will (words of love and wisdom)

Don’t leave it to your family to make difficult decisions at an emotional time, have the conversation now.


Passage of Time

Sadness passes with time 
A hollow field blanketed with snow 
Soon fills with swaying blooms A darkened sky suddenly illuminates            
A weary traveller’s way 
And Spring follows a Winter’s road 
Which butterflies array 
Somewhere, somehow, shadows 
Give way to sunbeams 
Life’s fabric is painted with promised purpose 
And each day new freshness springs 
Laughter envelops an empty room 
And a broken heart sings 
With an abandonment of joy 
As it finally kisses the dawn 
Of a bright new day!

Little Pebbles and Stepping Stones, Compositions from the heart by Ruth Van Gramberg - 2005

For more information on any of the above or to contact a Celebrant near you visit
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Adoption Awareness Week

Next week is National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW), which exists to raise awareness of adoption and the importance of permanency for children, along with providing education on the support needs of children and families -


With this fabulous cause in mind, we wanted to share with you a couple of ways that you could welcome a new family member into your home.


As babies are too little to really understand that they have a new home, the welcoming is more aimed at the parents, siblings and close family.



Naming Ceremony - A lot of children who are adopted already have names given to them by their biological parents, so this ceremony can celebrate the child’s first name, a new family surname or can simply act as a welcoming ceremony, introducing the child to their new family.



When the kiddies are older, it becomes more about them and welcoming them into their new family and their new home.  Making them feel loved and safe and helping them to build personal relationships.


Welcoming Party/Ceremony - For older children, one way to show them that they play an important role in their new family is by having a welcoming party in their honour.



Some adoption experts say…


Find out about your child’s life before they were adopted - If they come from a different country, perhaps you could incorporate something they are familiar with.  Music, food or games.


Introduce family members slowly - Bombarding your child with all their new aunties, uncles and cousins at one BBQ could be quite overwhelming.


Preparing other children - If you have other children at home, preparing them for the arrival of the new addition is just as vital as welcoming a new child.



Speak to one of our TCN Celebrants who can help you to arrange the perfect welcoming ceremony for your family.


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Thank you for joining us....

?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  

There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  

? Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 

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Celebrants do more than just weddings...

It's true that a lot of civil celebrants only conduct marriage ceremonies or funerals but there are also many Family Celebrants who offer their services for a multitude of celebrations that will continue on throughout your lifetime.  

Betrothal / Engagement Ceremonies

Making the decision to get married is just as important and exciting as it is to actually get married, so why not celebrate it?  When you get engaged one of you is asking the other to spend the rest of your lives together.  And if the answer is yes, then that is cause for celebration.  A promise to one day soon be married (legally you need to wait at least one full month after you've signed the Notice of Intended Marriage form with your celebrant).  How wonderful it will be to find a TCN Celebrant who will become your Family Celebrant for all the celebratory milestones in your lives.

Blessingway Ceremonies

This is a lovely ceremony for when you're pregnant or adopting a child.  It is a beautiful and relaxed way to honour the mother in her preparation for the arrival of her baby/child.  There are rituals that can be performed and advice offered from experienced friends and relatives.


Naming Ceremonies

This is the non relgious version of a Christening or Baptism for your baby/child or your newly adopted baby or child to welcome them into their family and their community.  Naming Ceremonies are also for people who are transitioning from one gender to another or simply wanting a new beginning in their lives where a new name is part of that transition.


Coming of Adolescence Ceremonies

In some cultures, there are specific rituals for boys who are coming into manhood and young ladies have always had biological changes welcoming them into womanhood, although this is more often a secret tha tis not spoken about let alone celebrated.  However in Australia we don't really have a custom or tradition where the young men and woman are ackknowledged or eased into this special and sometimes confusing time in their lives.  In the past we had debutant balls and coming out parties which were designed to introduce young ladies into society, but that tradition is surely fading.  The Coming of Adolescence Ceremony is ackowledging and celebrating the transitions that your teenagers are passing through.  No longer a child, but not quite yet an adult and yet they are acheiving milestones that should be recognised.

Coming Out Ceremonies

Whether you are gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender or one of the many other gender identies, that is nobody's business but your own.  However, if you want to share and celebrate this joyous occasion and you or your child have been brave enough and found the confidence to come out to your family and friends, then why not celebrate?  Coming out is all about accepting yourself the way you are and living a life that is true for you.  You are you.  You are beautiful and you should be celebrated and be celebrated!

Coming of Age Ceremonies - 18th, 21st

Since the 1960's when the legal age of 21 was reduced down to 18 in Australia [read more about this here] we typically celebrate by getting as drunk as we possibly can.  With all the alcohol related violence, it is way overdue that we look at our coming of age celebrations and rethink what it actually means to become an adult.  It means amoungst a long list of responsibilities: voting, signing legal documents and travelling.  Yes, it means that you can drink legally, but it also means that you need to be mature enough to do it responsibly.  So why not make your coming of age party more meaningful with a ceremony that honours who you are, where you've come from and where you're going in your life.

Special Birthday Celebrations

Is Nanna turning 80?  Is Granddad 75 already? What fabulously interesting lives they must have lead in their time. Why not celebrate in a style befitting family elders and leaders by giving your loved one a Party with a Purpose.  A "This is your life" tribute honours their lives, their accomplishments, their hardships, their knowledge and their experiences.

Anniversary Celebrations & Wedding Vow Renewals

Each year that a couple has worked at their marriage should be celebrated.  Check out the Wedding Anniversary symbols page for some ideas on your next anniversary party theme and how you could incorporate a meaningful ceremony with the help of your TCN Celebrant.  When you've been married for a while, you can look back on the vows you made at your marriage ceremony and decide whether they are still fitting for your relationship now or whether you'd like to add some new ones to match how your relationship has evolved.

Moving in Together

Without the legal paperwork, buying a house or moving in together is a commitment that can in some ways be just like a marriage.  You'll need to communicate effectively to feed the pets and work together to pay the bills.  This momentous occasion should be celebrated.  You could invite everyone around and combine your housewarming party with a commitment ceremony and really party with a purpose!


Why not talk to one of our TCN Celebrants to help you make your next celebration more meaningful?


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Welcome new baby with a naming ceremony

How are you going to celebrate your new baby and welcome her or him into your family and community?  For some couples the answer is easy - baby will be welcomed into their Church family, probably with the same ceremony that was used for the parents years before, and there will often be a family party to celebrate the occasion.

There is an alternative available for couples who prefer not to have a religious ceremony - a Naming or Name-giving ceremony conducted by a Civil Celebrant.  This personalised ceremony can be held in any location the parents choose - a park or garden, in a home, at a hall or restaurant - wherever suits your plans.  Baby can be welcomed in to the family or the wider friendship group in a beautiful ceremony that reflects the beliefs and wishes of the parents.  If you want to you can include some religious content such as a prayer or blessing.  Older siblings can participate in various ways, the parents might choose friends or family members to be mentors/guardians/guide parents/godparents to the baby. Music and poetry or stories will probably be included. 

There are more ideas here

Celebrants from the The Celebrants Network can help you by creating and delivering a beautiful and memorable ceremony to welcome your baby into the world.


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A Circle of Love

A Circle of Love

Naming, celebrating, honouring and welcoming a Child into a family community.

What a wonderful way to spend Easter Saturday morning – with a family of four generations who were together to officially name their baby girl, to celebrate her birth and survival after  a very premature birth, to honour her position in the family and to welcome her into the family circle of love.

A circle has no beginning and no end and to celebrate the family circle connection Abigail worn a Christening Gown made by her great, great great grandmother and there was a direct line to seven of those present who had also worn the gown.  What a wonderful way to pass on the spirit of the family in a tangible way – the circle of family love is never ending.

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Baby Namings can be spiritual too!

Celebrants receive all sorts of requests from families when they have a new baby in their midst.

Many people do not realise that just because a Naming ceremony is not a "Christening" the style of the ceremony does not have anti-god nor bland.

By Pat Slee
Civil Marriage and Family Celebrant
Brisbane and Suburbs Queensland
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

4-bears-namingWhat a great day to be a Celebrant..

A Naming Ceremony for a little lad, with all of his family all around in a beautiful location on the headland at Elliott Heads in Queensland.The request was for a "Spiritual.. not Religious" ceremony, so I dug into my English Heritage and borrowed from the ancient Wiccan philosophies.

I used the aspect of the 4 Elements as blessings and we (the little one's mother that is..) decorated the 4 Bears to reflect this powerful imagery.

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