April 5, 2019


Recently, I ran across a “Dear Amy” post from the Chicago Tribune about an “Odd Babysitting Arrangement” concern. 

Here’s an excerpt from that post: 

“Our older son and his wife are bringing her parents to our younger son’s out-of-town wedding to babysit their 1-year-old. This babysitting doesn’t feel necessary to anyone except the young parents. The marrying couple don’t mind if the young parents bring their baby to the wedding and have told them it is fine. The in-law babysitters are not invited to the wedding.” 

Deeper into the post, she talks about her concern regarding her daughter-in-law’s parents. She’s concerned that her younger son and his soon-to-be wife are now being pressured to invite the DL’s parents to the wedding and the other festivities for the weekend.  


I almost began searching for the original posters phone number so I could tell her my own thoughts, but got distracted by Dear Amy’s on point response: “It sounds like your son and daughter-in-law included her parents as babysitters in this out-of-town wedding because they don’t want to go to a wedding with a 1-year-old. I’ve gone to weddings with 1-year-olds — more than once — and I can testify that it’s not always a rollicking good time.” She continues with, “Your family now feels some pressure to invite these in-laws to the wedding, in which case the two young parents would now be attending the wedding with a baby and her parents. This might not be at all what they had in mind when they started the ball rolling.”

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)


Way to tell Mom to sit down and just let the parents have a night off! LOVE! 

You wouldn’t believe the number of times we hear “But, we love kids and want them included in our wedding. We don’t think we’ll be needing any babysitters.” 

We get that! Heck, we LOVE children ourselves!

In fact, I had kids at my own wedding. I know. Unbelievable since I now own an event babysitting service.

I get your surprise.

But, I’ve worked with kids since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Ok, maybe not. But, I’ve been doing this a LONG time.

Anyhow, I knew from the beginning that I wanted kids at my wedding. But, it wasn’t until I was actually at my wedding when I began to realize that my best friend (a single mom) would have done anything to have a few hours to herself to enjoy her best friend (for over 25 years now! Wow!) wedding. And, my husband’s cousins probably would have stayed later into the night if they had a babysitter available in their hotel room.

My Matron-of-Honor and her daughter at my wedding. (Sirata Beach Resort – August 2006)

Therefore, many of your guests may not want their children (or someone else’s) at your wedding either. It could be that they are new parents and haven’t had a night out by themselves in weeks and are using your wedding as an excuse to have some time off. Or, maybe they are even seasoned parents who just know that a formal event (like a wedding) is just not the place that they would want to bring their children into. Nor, feel relaxed during. 

As cute as kids are during weddings, they still require an incredible amount of attention from their parents while you are enjoying your big day. Cutting up food, feeding bottles, separating siblings from fighting, running around the venue to catch a toddler with ketchup on his fingers before he touches the brides white dress… you get our point here??!! 

Kids are amazing! But, for some, they just don’t add to the occasion. And, for others, they just don’t give them that special night away they’d been hoping for. Especially if they spend your entire event being on high alert. 

My husband’s cousin is getting married this fall in New York. Do you think we are taking our kids along? Heck no! 

My parents will be staying here in Florida to watch the kids while we head up to NY for the long weekend. I would’ve considered a babysitter (maybe for a millisecond – I love them dearly, believe me. But, Momma needs a break! ha!), but there hasn’t been any mention of whether the children are invited, if there’s a babysitting service available AND my children have school. (And, I’m kind of a stickler on not missing school unless absolutely necessary.  Yes, I’m that mom. Ha!) 

Plus, I want the opportunity to have a long weekend away with my husband. Something we don’t get to do very often. So, in our case, not bringing the kids at all is the better choice. 

If the wedding were being held here in Central Florida or somewhere “kid-friendly”, we would inquire about an on-site babysitter at the wedding.  

But, it’s not. And therefore, we’ll be setting flight to a weekend sans kids very soon!  

Can Momma get another “AMEN!” for that?!  

By: Marcia Van de Kieft

If you are considering hiring an on-site babysitter for your wedding and are concerned about fitting it in the budget, we suggest reading our post about “Who Pays?!”

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