In a bid to offer a non-religious alternative to a Christening, Claire Berry started to organise baby naming ceremonies for just her friends and family.
“I’ve been doing it unofficially for a number of years. I even did it for my own daughter back in 1999,” said Claire.
“A friend of mine told me it’s already huge in Australia and America. The more I looked into it, I realised there’s definitely a gap in the market for people who want to do it, but don’t know how.”
With families coming forward from across Sussex, Claire has been inundated with requests for her new service, which she calls Brighton Baby Naming.
“We describe it as a welcoming to the community and family. It’s bestowing the name of the child,” she said.
Claire has also performed the service for adopted children and even people’s pets.
“It’s along the lines of a baptism and christening but non-religious,” said Claire. “It’s writing and delivering a ceremony personally to them.”
Some of the most requested services on the day include a sand ceremony, which involves each member of the family pouring their own coloured sand into a jar to make a keepsake.
“It’s a really popular element and it has been selected for every ceremony that I’ve undertaken so far,” said Claire, who charges £150 for the ceremony.
The releasing of balloons is also a popular option.
“The balloon launch element was an especially poignant one at this particular ceremony, as the grandmother had recently passed away and so they released an extra balloon in her memory, which was a really special touch.”
With families from Lancing, Worthing, Portslade and Littlehampton – just to name a few – Claire said her business had gone from strength to strength since staring it last summer.
“It’s been fantastic. We can do the ceremony anywhere. It’s popular for people to have it at home. I’ve done it in halls and on the beach. I’ve even had a tea party in a meadow,” said Claire.
Although the 39-year-old has to juggle a full-time job, her baby naming venture and three children, she said it was something she loved to do.
“It’s like taking part in a wedding, because you are there amidst all the family’s happiness and joy,” she added.
For more details about Brighton Baby Naming, call 07745 236911, or visit www.brightonbabynaming.weebly.com or www.facebook.com/BrightonBabyNaming