Babysitters can offer guests an alternative.
Kids and weddings. For many brides and grooms, the two don’t mix. And often for good reason — children, no matter how well-behaved they may be, often grow bored, tired and agitated during long ceremonies and receptions.
Of course, it seems inevitable that if you have an “adults only” wedding, some invited guest somewhere will protest, leading to couples feeling guilty and guests feeling slighted.
There’s a new trend, though, in the wedding industry that may help appease both those getting married, and their friends and relatives who want to bring kids: wedding babysitters.
A growing trend
Wedding sitters used to be hired only for those with big-budget weddings but are now popping up for weddings of all sizes. Micah Johnson, co-founder of Anywhere Childcare, which provides special-events childcare in southern New Jersey and Nashville, Tenn., says her business has boomed in the past couple of years. She started Anywhere Childcare with her twin sister, Micha, 10 years ago after they babysat for a friend’s wedding. The friend had gotten grief that her friends’ and relatives’ kids weren’t on the wedding invitation. After many discussions with guests who appreciated the childcare, the Johnson sisters saw a business opportunity.
Johnson says that wedding babysitters are especially ideal for couples who have family and friends travelling long distances and do not want to leave their kids at home.
Wedding sitters can stay either on-site in a special room at the reception, or off-site at a nearby hotel or home. Johnson says her company is often hired for outdoor weddings where children can have the time and space to run around without interrupting the ceremony.
How to find one
Johnson says it is important for couples to conduct a background check on their sitters.
“Whether they are using a company or an individual, whoever is hiring the wedding sitter should check up on references and make sure they know CPR, first aid and can pass a criminal background check,” said Johnson. “Anyone can claim to take care of children; you’ll want to know that the people are really professional.”
Johnson says there are circumstances to consider when hiring a sitter. Evening weddings should definitely stay adults-only, and any sitters should be off-site.