Kids at Your Wedding, Part III: Babysitters

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While etiquette dictates that the bride and groom are under no obligation to make special arrangements for guests’ children, the reality can be a bit trickier. If parents of young children are included on your guest list – particularly if they are travelling from out of town – then various issues surrounding their tykes are bound to enter your mind.

One question we hear fairly often is, “Should I hire a babysitter to look after / entertain the young guests so their parents can have fun at my wedding?” In all but the most extreme circumstances (i.e. most of your guests will be bringing young children), such a well-meaning gesture is actually quite unnecessary. The more practical (and simpler – yay!) solution is to steer your guests towards a few well-vetted babysitters and then let them decide whether or not to bring their tiny darlings, or perhaps send them home early with a sitter so Mom and Dad can cut a rug on the dance floor.

Don’t have Supernanny’s number on your speed dial? Not to worry. You are bound to know a few someones who can provide good sitter recommendations. Think about work colleagues who may have a daughter / niece / granddaughter / neighbor with excellent babysitting credentials. Get your parents to ask their friends and colleagues for recommendations. Once you’ve got a few sitters on your radar, do your guests the favor of a little pre-screen. Touch base with the sitter in advance of recommending them to give them a heads up that your friends and relatives may be calling for your wedding date. This way the sitter can keep that date open on her calendar and you can feel better about recommending someone that you’ve spoken to and gotten a feel for.

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