You have a big wedding anniversary coming up and you’ve hired your coordinator, DJ, photographer, and booked your venue. Have you decided if this will be a family event for all ages or just the adults? If you have children or grandchildren, you’re probably the regular designated babysitter. But if it’s your party, you’ll have to have backup! (or welcome the kids in on the fun)
We know of a great company who can be your designated babysitter. She’ll come to the event with you or she’ll come to your home. Amber Thomas, with STL Wedding Sitters, offers a fun & creative alternative to child care for special events. STL Wedding Sitters will tend to your to children at weddings & parties with onsite games, crafts, toys, and movies. It’s a perfect resolution for those who have close families and may have a hard time finding a sitter for a special occasion!
So to help you make the decision about whether or not to welcome children to your event, we asked Amber for her advice:
“I think it really comes down to budget and venue.
Budget – First and foremost I think deciding your budget upfront is Step #1. If you’re budget is tight in general, you may not have the extra money for kiddos. Children do take up space. Making sure you have room for them…. literally (tables, chairs, linens, etc) as well as food for them to eat, requires money. To save a little on extra seating/table linens for children, have only the older children (8 and older) sit separately from their parents. Younger children can sit on their parents’ lap. When it comes to feeding the children ask the venue if they offer a children’s menu. Many times the cost is half or less than the pp cost for adults.
Venue – The venue itself can also assist you in your decision of whether or not to invite children. If the venue is on the small side or you’re looking for a more intimate setting/event, again children take up space and of course they may not add to the romantic/intimate feeling you’re aiming for if their running around or screaming during vows or toasts. The good news again is that there are ways around all these concerns. By offering child care in the same building but in a different room or in a nearby hotel can allow for space, intimacy and safety issues to be eliminated or upheld. Some local nanny agencies offer “special event” sitters, an older teenage relative (16 y/o or older) can also serve as a reliable sitter, as well as professional on-site child care providers that bring entertainment with them can serve as reasonable alternatives to the children being at the wedding. These options are both respectful to the bride and groom and their wishes, but also is respectful to their loved ones by allowing them to celebrate together in their special day and know their kiddos are nearby safe and having their own party.”
So what if you decided not to invite children and someone gets offended? Here’s how Amber suggests you respond:
• “Money is so tight, space is so tight, and we made the very difficult decision to have more loved ones at the event then have fewer loved ones replaced by children.”
• “We feel badly that so many people want to bring their children and are offering to help with babysitting costs.” (Not apologizing for no kids, but expressing empathy with the situation and offering a solution that does NOT involve the kids showing up!)
• “We had to weigh a lot of choices and in the end our late evening wedding is not a kid-friendly location or time of day. We hope parents will be able to make it but we’re giving plenty of notice to help them find babysitters.”
See? I told you she was good! Check out her blog (http://stlweddingsitters1.blogspot.com/)!