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  • Meg Senior

The best naming ceremony venues in South Yorkshire

Planning a naming ceremony in South Yorkshire

Best naming ceremony venues in South Yorkshire - A family with Meg Senior, celebrant
Photo credit: Jane Louise Photography

Naming ceremonies are such a lovely way to celebrate our littlest humans! You might be surprised to learn that most families who book me as their naming ceremony celebrant, haven’t ever been to a naming ceremony before they decide to host one for their child.

If you’ve never seen a naming ceremony in action, and you don’t have a friend to ask about planning one, it can all feel a little bit daunting. You don’t need to do it all on your own though. If you get in touch with me, we can set up a phone chat and I’ll help you figure out how it all works. To be honest a naming ceremony can be whatever you want it to be, but I know it's helpful to have a framework so we can talk through the options and hopefully relieve any unnecessary stress (I mean you have enough on your plate already, right?)

If you’re not quite ready to make an enquiry with me yet, here’s a little naming ceremony planning tip with no strings attached:

Start by choosing a date and a venue

To help you, check out this run-down of my favourite venues for naming ceremonies.

The best naming ceremony venues in South Yorkshire

Naturally as a celebrant I have conducted naming ceremonies in dozens of venues across the country, and particularly up here in sunny South Yorkshire. I’ve rounded up the best venues in the region to help you choose a spot for your family’s naming ceremony.

Best naming ceremony venues in South Yorkshire - Mum and son ringing a bell to start the ceremony
Percy's mum and big brother at a his naming ceremony in South Yorkshire

Naming ceremony venue category: Village halls

First prize goes to Bradfield Village Hall, near Sheffield

Specially commended venue is Tickhill Parish Hall, near Doncaster

These are just two of the many halls in our beautiful county. Bradfield Village Hall is a standout favourite for me because there is an enormous field straight outside which provides lots of space for kids to roam when they need to run off some energy. If you’re local to Tickhill Parish Hall, it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s a medieval building which gives it an incredible atmosphere for a special occasion.

Why choose a village hall as your naming ceremony venue?

  • You can usually bring your own catering, which really helps with keeping costs manageable

  • There’s often a stage which provides the perfect backdrop to the ceremony (you don’t have to stand on it if you don’t want to!)

Naming ceremony venue category: Quirky cafes

First prize goes to Over The Rainbow Café, Rotherham

Specially commended venue is Audrey’s Café, Doncaster

Both of these venues are magical environments for children. Over The Rainbow café has fluffy clouds hanging from the ceiling and a sparkly emerald-city inspired loo. The walls of Audrey’s café are lined with bookshelves and there’s even a secret door to find.

Why choose an unusual naming ceremony venue?

  • Children (and grownups) love something a bit different. It’s much more memorable and out-of-the ordinary than a function room

  • You can plan a related activity for your little guests. For instance I once did a naming ceremony at a safari park, and the children went out in a jeep to visit the animals afterwards!

Best naming ceremony venues in South Yorkshire - Meg Senior, celebrant, at Over The Rainbow café
Naming ceremony at Over The Rainbow café, Rotherham

Naming ceremony venue category: Pubs

First prize goes to Old George Inn, Sykehouse near Doncaster

Specially commended venue is The Barn at The Rockingham Arms, Wentworth near Rotherham

Who hasn’t got fond memories from family parties in pub function rooms during their childhood? The Old George has been beloved by punters in the Sykehouse area for a long time, but recently had a glow-up making it an especially pleasant setting for a naming ceremony. The Barn at The Rockingham Arms isn’t half bad either – As chain pubs go, this one has a big splash of character and charm.

Why choose to host your naming ceremony in a pub?

  • Pubs are the ultimate laid-back environment. Your guests can order their own drinks from the bar and everyone can relax

  • They’re pretty much the polar opposite of those freezing cold churches you’ve been to for Christenings. No one has to stand on ceremony because (if you choose a good pub) they’re a judgement-free zone

Naming ceremony venue category: Sports clubs

First prize goes to Hallam Football Club, Sheffield

Specially commended venue is Doncaster Golf Club, Bawtry

Full disclosure: Hallam FC is just around the corner from my house so I have a soft spot for it. It genuinely is a fantastic naming ceremony venue though, with space to set up an activity area for little guests, a decent bar and comfy seating. In the competition for best sports club function room Doncaster Golf Club is a very close second. The staff team there are the friendliest bunch I’ve met and can’t do enough to make everything go smoothly for families (and celebrants!)

Why choose to host your naming ceremony in a sports club?

  • Running functions is second nature to sports clubs. Yes sport is important to their existence, but they usually need income from parties to keep afloat. You’ll be supporting local community heroes by spending your party budget with them

  • They have all the best bits from other types of venues combined: They’re relaxed environments, with outdoor space for kids to run around, you can arrange related activities for little ones and you can often bring your own catering

Best naming ceremony venues in South Yorkshire - Meg Senior, celebrant at Audrey's café
Naming ceremony at Audrey's café

Where can you have a naming ceremony?

Don’t forget that there are no rules when it comes to where you can have a naming ceremony. As well as the ideas above, you could consider wedding venues, public parks and (if you don’t mind doing the washing up afterwards) your family home or garden 😊

I hope this post has given you a starting point for planning your celebration. I’d love to hear about what you have in mind so do get in touch. I’ll be posting shortly with more naming ceremony planning tips – watch this space.

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