Lindsey has been a nanny for three years; she knows what children need, and what parents want. Her tips for hiring babysitters for your wedding:
Hiring child care for your wedding is a great compromise in the “should I invite kids to the wedding debate” because it allows you the freedom to choose exactly what parts of the wedding you’d like children to be included in, and what parts you don’t. Child care allows your guests to enjoy the wedding, without having to take turns stepping outside with a toddler during boredom-induced temper tantrums. In return, this lets your friends actually see the ceremony, hear the speeches, and watch the cutting of the cake. Child care allows your day to be less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone……including yourself.
Where will the kids be?
Many churches have day care rooms or nurseries that are available for you to use if you ask ahead. If your wedding or reception is at a hotel, you can rent out a room for the kids and sitters.
Who should I hire?
Rule of thumb is to hire one sitter for every three children. You can choose to hire sitters by word of mouth, by websites like Sittercity.com and Care.com, or you can choose to hire sitters from companies that specialize in event child care.
If you choose to hire outside of a company, make sure to first interview the sitters face to face, then perform reference and background checks. Sittercity.com and Care.com provide profiles, resumes, background checks, and reference numbers for you to print out and keep. Copies of these would be nice to hand out to parents, just to make them feel a little more comfortable.
How much should I pay?
You can choose to pay hourly or by flat rate. If you choose to pay hourly, typically, sitters charge between $10-$40 an hour for events. Sittercity.com offers a calculator that allows you to enter your zip code, sitter’s experience, and number of children for an estimate of what you should be paying hourly.
If you choose to pay a flat rate, courtesy is to always calculate a few extra hours into the total. This ensures fairness, in case the reception goes on a little longer than expected and the sitter(s) end up working overtime. Remember, if you hire more than one sitter, they do not split that hourly rate.
EXAMPLE: 6 children require two sitters at $20.00 an hour. Reception from 6-12pm. $20 (rate) x2 (sitters) = $40 an hour. 7 (hours) x $40 an hour = $280 for your total.
What do I need to supply the sitters with?
Dates of the wedding, and timeline of the night.
Phone numbers and location of reception/wedding (designate a few people from your bridal party to keep their cell phones on and to check in on the kids a few times during the night).
Snacks and drinks for kids and sitters.
DVDs, games, books, activities.
List of children’s names, parent’s phone numbers, and any allergies.
What should I tell the parents?
Include information about childcare in the invitation. Stress the fact that RSVP’ing for babysitting is mandatory. Add information about the sitters and where the children will be located. Let the parents know that the children will be playing games, watching movies, and enjoying fun activities. If you have a wedding site, this is a great place to post this information! Ask parents if children have any allergies or issues that the sitter should be aware of.
Are you hiring sitters for your wedding? Have questions or concerns? Tell us all about it in the comments!