The social impact on ceremonies has dramatically changed over the last 20 years with the rise of non-church and non-traditional wedding and funerals, The legalisation of same sex marriages, naming Ceremonies, the recognition now of pets and our loved animals with pet ceremonies, divorce ceremonies, renewal of marriage vows ceremonies and many more. 


The fact that social media plays a roll in our lives where these ceremonies can now be streamed live and seen all over the world, there is more freedom of choice for couples, respect can still be given to people’s faiths and religionist beliefs within ceremonies. 

The impact of Social media has affected positively and negatively, the use of phones and digital cameras has become more common place, the traditional photographer of weddings for example can now show photos without printing out before hand, thus saving the environment, families can record the good and bad moments to remember in the future. 

The negative impact is also the fact that people are judged more on social media, by how they act and what they wear for example. This can have a negative impact on those taking part in the various ceremonies. This has to be planed for in any ceremonies where the wishes of those taking part are taken care off. 

The growth of naming ceremonies has put the social responsibilities of parents to the fore front where even non married or same sex couples can make vows along with their supporting adults, to support their child and show commitment and love to that child. 

The white Paper ‘Supporting Families, ‘inspired by the late Micheal Young ( Lord of Dartington) around 1999 which had the core principles of strong family values, had a massive social and cultural impact in todays world, he also formed the Baby Naming Society. 

This resulted in a more loving and caring society, people are becoming better educated out with the morals of the various religions, its not only the changes away from nonchurch etc, the social changes in the way we treat the environment with the use of environmentally reuseable products can influence ceremonies or people’s choices.  

The support for couples before and after ceremonies has increased and the choice of venues not just in the UK have had an effect on ceremonies in general, where 20 years ago the thought of being married abroad etc would not have not even been considered by many people. 

Permission can now be granted from the appropriate bodies to hold ceremonies out with the registered premises, this has led to a big social change and choice for many of the general public this can only be seen as a positive step forward. 

A name provides an identity within society, a sense of belonging to a family group, but it also distinguishes each of us as an individual. As well as giving this child a name, it also provides an opportunity for the parents to promote the special relationship between the parent and child. gives close family and friends, the supporting adults, the opportunity to consider their role they will to play in the upbringing of the child.  


A naming ceremony focuses on the child rather than the faiths, races or gender of the parents and wider family. This has a positive influence on the child’s upbringing and future development. In today’s multi-cultural society, this can only have a positive influence and overcome the boundaries with in modern day family’s, but still respecting core principles of strong family values and the cultural differences within modern day families.  


Civil naming ceremonies have no legal character and instead confer moral obligations to the parents, close family and the supporting Adults. 


Summing up the cultural effect of ceremonies used in the past were cemented by the religious ceremonies that took place, but due to social change this is no longer the case, the naming ceremonies have given a opportunity in today’s world where the number of absent fathers resulting from a rising divorce rate has risen.  The naming ceremonies have increased over the last 10 years and has had a very positive effect on families who want to love, support, celebrate and welcome their new baby. 

Also, the changes legally and socially have had a dramatic effect on the common ceremonies of the last 20 years, it can be argued that its been generally seen as a positive loving step forward for humans, Animals and mother nature with the ever-increasing use of environmentally friendly products, ethically and socially accepted practises 


Derek McGillivray