Deirdre O'Hare from D-Strings and Lorraine McCarthy of Celebrant Ireland
A new service which provides Irish parents with an alternative option to traditional baptisms and christenings has been set up by a group of Dundalk business people working in the wedding industry.
Through the website, BabyNamingIreland.com parents can now book an official welcoming or baby naming ceremony for their newborn baby, which will be delivered in a manner of their choice.
Lorraine performing a Baby Naming ceremony
The beauty of this option is that the event can cater to each family’s specific needs - a factor which is very appealing to a lot of modern-day families.
Ceremonies can include inputs from various religions, be completely secular, or else include certain spiritual elements.
Baby naming ceremonies can also be performed anywhere and also allow parents to hold the ceremony and the family get together in the one venue.
Despite having set up the Baby Naming Ireland business very recently, one of the owners, Deirdre O’Hare, (who is a musician with Dundalk-based wedding band D-Strings) says that they are already inundated with bookings from parents across the country.
Deirdre says that the demand for their service is reflective of the changes happening in Irish society.
She explained: “We have noticed in recent years how weddings have moved from the traditional church setting. We are now working at civil ceremonies, humanist ceremonies, spiritual ceremonies and celebrant-led ceremonies almost 50% of the time.
“The changes in our society promoting choice in other aspects of life, such as the marriage referendum, and the recent repeal the 8th campaign really motivated me to set up this business.”
A baby naming ceremony held recently in Dundalk
Another factor in pushing the demand for the service is the fact that it is no longer a requirement for Irish parents to produce a baptism certificate for their child to gain advantage for admission to a Catholic primary school.
And yet another benefit of opting for a baby naming ceremony is that the service is inclusive.
“It was the tradition in Ireland to have a baby baptized but people’s needs are changing. We find our service doesn’t exclude anyone,” says Deirdre.
The local lady also points out that many parents from the LGBT community, couples who have mixed religions and people who identify as atheists, are thrilled that there are finally people providing alternative options to cater to their needs.
Deirdre explained: “We are delighted to bring this inclusive service to people in Ireland and have already had enquiries across the country.
“We've also received support from various groups such as LGBT parenting and various Humanist and Athetist groups.”
“We only started the business very recently. It was something we had all talked about for a while, and then we decided to just go for it.
“We just put up our social media pages last weekend and it's amazing how much interest there's been already.
“Since we launched the social media last Saturday we have already been approached by two parenting magazines and three websites in the sector asking for details about our business.”
The group of business owners who came together with Deirdre to start Baby Naming Ireland are made up of the wedding celebrant from Celebrant Ireland, Katies Delight who makes wedding cakes, event planner Propose2Me and Paddy Clarke photography.
With their years of experience in working in the wedding industry, the group is perfectly poised to come together and offer parents a truly unique and specially-tailored service to welcome their little ones into the world.