Thanks to their sheer joy and awesome dance moves, children often make some of the very best wedding guests. When it comes to keeping them safe, occupied, and under control during the reception, hiring big-day babysitters to keep track of little guests can alleviate the stress on parents and keep the party going strong. Here are all the reasons we think having babysitters on-hand is totally worth the expense, plus one great alternative in the event that childcare isn't in the budget.
You'll be giving parents a break.
Parents will love you for providing childcare, as it means they'll get a break from their little ones and can focus on celebrating the wedding and enjoying adult interaction. When a great babysitter, or group of babysitters, is present, they know their kids will be in good hands. Plus, parents often have to leave a wedding early in order to let their babysitter off the hook. If you're providing on-site childcare, Mom and Dad are able to stay for the entire event.
The kids will have a great time.
Weddings are fun for kids, especially because they're a chance for little ones to hang out with extended relatives and to make new friends. Setting up a babysitting zone and kids' area gives children a chance to interact, play together, and enjoy themselves during the wedding reception. And their parents will thank you for allowing them to keep their sons and daughters nearby. If there are any meltdowns, the babysitters can easily find a child's parents for help.
The parents can still be the go-to during the ceremony.
Alicia Fritz, a wedding planner and the owner of A Day in May Events, says that kids don't have to be sent immediately to their designated play spot upon arriving at the wedding. "Including children in the wedding ceremony is a picture-perfect photo op, but we advise our clients to have the parents or interceptors on-hand at the ceremony," she suggests. If they're part of the processional, save them a seat next to their parents or along an aisle to they can easily find their mom or dad should they need them.
Consider the next-best alternative.
Connecting parents with childcare services is the next-best thing you can do if hiring on-site babysitters isn't in the cards. "If the budget is tight and the couple still wishes to help their guests who are traveling with children, keep in mind that the best gift you can give is a connection," Fritz says. Provide parents with as much information as you can about childcare services at their hotel, saving them research time so it's easy for them to decide what they'll do with their kids during the wedding.