The day arrived for Millie’s Naming Day. As forecast, it was a beautiful morning.
The guests were requested to arrive at 2pm for the ceremony to start at 3pm with the exception of Stuart’s parents whom arrived the night before and a couple of friends had said they would journey down early to avoid the traffic and spend the morning on the beach so would arrive at ours about lunchtime to get ready. During the morning, we also received texts by friends announcing their train would arrive around 1pm and so there was a steady trickle of guests from 1pm really.
There was a moment when the weather clouded over & we feared it wasn’t going to be the gorgeous sunny day we were promised but the cloud was short lived and the sun popped its head out of the clouds again after an hour or so. We don’t get a lot of direct sunlight in our back garden anyway but it is still nice to have a sunny day and we certainly didn’t want rain.
I was a bit frantic at the start, trying to get final bits ready – thankfully, my Mum and Aunt took control of making the Pimms & Sangria and Millie was napping until about 1.30pm. When Millie woke, I got her dressed in her beautiful Monsoon dress.
The Humanist Celebrant, Brenda, arrived about 2.15pm and we went over anything outstanding and I introduced her to the Guiding Adults. As most of the guests were there already by 2.30pm we looked at starting he ceremony earlier than planned. We waited a little longer for a couple of stragglers but then actually made a start around 2.45pm. Brenda had suggested we put a couple of chairs out where the ceremony was to be held for Stuart and I to sit in. We had to stand for all of Callum’s so I was quite relieved we’d be sitting this time, especially as my heels had started to kill my feet after just 1 hour of wearing them! We took our places and the ceremony started. Stuart and I had already read the words that were to be said prior to the day but it was lovely to listen to them and to see the reaction of the audience.
Brenda introduced members of our larger family, Callum & Millie exchanged gifts of friendship bracelets, the story behind Millie’s name and its meaning was explained, the Guiding Adults, of which there were 5 – Clare, Lorna, Daniel, Lisa, Keith, awkwardly did their part, bless them, and Stuart read his poem.
There were only a couple of parts of the ceremony that didn’t go entirely to plan and that was the bubbles – we wanted bubbles to be blown by the children whenever there was applause but the bubbles we bought (from Asda!!!) were rubbish and I hadn’t thought to try them out before or refill them with the fantastic refill bottle I had at the ready (from Tesco ) which would’ve worked brilliantly. I think the children pretty quickly lost interest when they couldn’t make their bubbles work. Also, midway through the ceremony someone in the park behind our house decided to start flying their remote control aeroplane! However, we made light of these incidents and the rest of the ceremony went beautifully. We then listened to a chosen song of Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters (the first song I remember hearing in the delivery room after Millie was born) while the Cava was poured and distributed (on hindsight it would’ve been a better idea to have had this poured before the ceremony started as there was a little delay while this was going on). Keith, one of the Guiding Adults, delivered the toast to our beautiful daughter Amelia May.
After a polite stay, Brenda said her goodbyes and we waited for the hog roast take-away server to arrive. It took a while to set up and it looked like we had a lot of hungry guests, especially as the wonderful smells were starting to drift but finally the food was declared open – with a few sneaky steals of crackling before the official start! I was nervous about the food but thankfully it went down really well except perhaps the vegetarian, although being a tasty option, perhaps not large enough for some.
The kids had a whale of a time, running around, playing with balloons, dressing up, chasing the Child Catcher (Keith). They were so well behaved!
All the guests appeared to be enjoying themselves and getting merry.
I did find I continued to be quite frantic throughout and whenever I tried to sit down or chill I would find someone coming up to me informing me the toilet wasn’t flushing or a child asking me for a drink or informing telling me the food was ready to be packed up or a child was running out the front unsupervised to chase a balloon and, when people would comment on what a wonderful day it was and that I must be so pleased with how it had turned out, I just felt a bit frazzled. I felt like I had hardly chatted with anyone and everything had turned into a bit of a haze. Later in the evening once all the guests that weren’t staying had left, I got to chill with many large drinks and I could finally take a step back and reflect on how the day had gone and I was absolutely thrilled it went so well, proud of my friends and family and very flattered that so many people made their (for many) long and arduous journeys to get to, what was for us, a very special day to welcome our daughter. To have such amazing friends and family made me feel truly very rich in life. A couple of people the next day said, for me, it must have been very similar to a wedding which passes by in a bit of a blur with you feeling like you didn’t get to spend any quality time with anyone. That is exactly what it was like for me.
Unfortunately, one dear set of friends didn’t make it as sadly they had to spend most of their day in A&E with their poorly baby daughter. Of course, they were missed but I felt for them as they kept me informed and dearly hoped to make it however late and if that was me, I’d just be wanting to spend time with my family recovering. Eventually, I suggested they drop their elder daughter round to have a play while the couple spent time catching up on some rest & looking after the other poorly daughter. It was a bit crazy for her, bless her, when she arrived but I tried to settle her in and introduced her to a few of the children & hopefully she had a good time while she was there and hopefully it gave her parents (and sister) a bit of time to regroup.
One of my friends kindly took charge of my phone and took photos and a video of the ceremony itself so here’s the video of the ceremony if you care to watch (00:16:33):
The next day came with a few sore heads but once the overnight guests had departed we opened the presents. Millie was thoroughly spoilt and we can’t thank people enough for their generosity and, for some, their creativity.
To all our guests, and specifically our Guiding Adults, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making our daughter’s Naming Day such a special day and one we will remember forever.