Morgan A. Brown
A major question every bride has to deal with is, “are children allowed?”
Today, many brides choose to opt out of having children at their special day, which leaves many guests in an inconvenient situation. Instead of sending your invitations out stating “NO CHILDREN ALLOWED” or forcing your 14-year-old niece to “babysit”, make your wedding a true family celebration by providing on-site child care. What better way to say “thank you” to your guests by providing on-site child care on your big day. The bride and groom can relax, knowing that their special day won’t be interrupted by a child’s restlessness, parents can relax and partake in the celebration knowing that their children are safe, and the children will have a space where they can interact with others and have a great time. On-site child care is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Before booking a child care provider for your big day, here are a few things to remember:
Do Your Research
When selecting a child care company to provide on-site services, make sure to do your research. Morgan Brown, founder of Tiny Treasures Child Care, a luxury on-site child care company in Washington D.C., suggests asking these questions before hiring a company:
- Does your staff undergo background checks?
- Is your staff CPR/First Aid certified?
- Do you have a reference list of past clients that I can speak with?
- What age ranges do you have experience with?
- Have you ever had to handle a child emergency?
These questions are a great starting point. Feel free to add any additional questions during your interview process (such as cost!)
Tell Your Guests
When you send out your invitations to guests, be sure to include a note informing your guest that child care is being provided by the bride and groom. Adding a hand written note inside your invitations is a great personal touch. If you have already sent out invitations to your guests, call each of your guests with children and provide them with the information. Be explicit in communicating your specifications. It is okay (and recommended) to not extend the child care option to ALL guests and to have a cut off age (can you imagine inviting 150 guests and each guest had a child under 5 years old?). Extending child care to only immediate family of the bride and groom is a great guideline to follow.
Select a Venue with a Separate Space
When looking for potential venues, be sure to select one with a separate area for child care. Be sure that the space provides a safe environment, has adequate room and restroom access. If your plans are to hold your wedding reception at a hotel, arrange to secure an additional suite suitable for accommodating your tiny guests. Work with your child care provider and venue staff to ensure expectations are fully agreed upon.
Details! Details! Details!
Details are great for both parents and child care providers. Parents need details to feel comfortable about leaving their children in the hands of any child care provider. Give parents peace of mind by providing additional details about the child care provider. Include the website/profile of the child care company you are working with in the initial invitation to keep parents in the know.
On site child care providers love details! The more details the better. Details such as number of children, ages, allergies, and special needs are all important. Other details including event time, event location, and size of space are also questions to expect from child care companies.
Food and Fun
While companies such as Tiny Treasures, provide fun-filled activities and games to keep children entertained, most companies do not. Make sure to discuss planned activity with the child care provider to ensure a great time is had by all. This can include kid friendly movies, books and board games, as well as arts & crafts.
Providing meal options is an added way to guarantee a successful event. Work with you caterer to choose kid smart menus. By doing so you will benefit by not wasting plated meals and by saving money!
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI