When the Couple Likes Your Child — Just Not at Their Wedding

But more brides and grooms are budgeting for babysitters for their guests’ children, hiring child care through online caregiving registries like Care.com or SitterCity.com and local agencies like Peace of Mind, which has seen a steady increase in requests over the last three years, or personal connections. (At Care.com, on-demand babysitting jobs for weddings doubled in 2023, compared with 2022.)

Paige Tatulli, 33, an automotive publicist in Weehawken, N.J., and her fiancé, Michael O’Hare, 37, feel confident in their decision to omit children from their August 2024 cocktail hour and wedding reception in Monroe Township, N.J. The couple are inviting 270 guests — about half of whom are parents — and “we see a wedding as an excuse for everyone to let loose,” she said. “We want to make sure they get a night out to enjoy themselves with their partner and their friends.”

Given the size of the wedding, the couple plans to cover the caregiving costs for their relatives’ 12 children, who range in age from 9 months to 12 years old, and will help connect friends with babysitters. Instead of formally hiring support, at least four friends of friends have volunteered to babysit in the hotel rooms. Ms. Tatulli is budgeting $300 to $500 worth of gift cards for each.

Other agencies also try to provide a good time for the children. Peace of Mind Nannies wedding sitters set up a space, serve dinner, and supply developmentally appropriate activities to children, such as finger paint, Play-Doh, limbo and ring toss. The average cost is $3,000 to $5,000 per wedding, with a four-hour minimum, depending on how many children are present and their ages.

Hotel wedding venues will often help brides and grooms find local child care. Wedding planners at the Resort at Pelican Hill, in Newport Beach, Calif., coordinate child care services with a licensed third-party for 15 percent of weddings on-site. The Four Seasons Anguilla makes referrals to KidzKare, a local team of child care providers who provide games and toys that charge $18 to $50 per hour to supervise one child.

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