Danielle Manton-Kelly of wedding childcare company The Wedding Crechérz joins me today for a chat about all things children at weddings.
From brides with no knickers to kids needing a poo during the speeches we talk about the do’s and don’ts, well I ask the question and Danielle imparts her huge amount of insight and passion.
What are the main things/factors that couples should be considering when deciding about having children at their wedding?
Above all things, keep them fed – normal things, that they would be used to eating.
If in doubt beige it out.
Then providing them with activities/space to just be kids.
So much is expected of them on a wedding day, they need space to just feel normal – it’s really important to not place too much on their little shoulders.
So would you say it’s a good idea to make it as much like home as normal?
Bring all their favourite toys etc?
Toys are a must, as is having a little space where they can access them – I would say however that using toys they have never seen before is usually more successful – like when they go to a dentist’s waiting room, and become engrossed in whatever they find.
Lego and duplo are always winners too, as well as crafty bits.
That’s such a great advice, I think adults have got to realise that this is a completely alien environment for them so they need to make it as comfortable as possible.
So when couples are on the fence about inviting other children to their wedding what should they consider?
How much you think they will drink and how they will then respond to their children’s needs.
In most instances, it’s parents not responding to their children that is the problem, not the children themselves.
So chat to parents about what you’ve put in place for their children and place an emphasis on their responsibility for keeping them in check.
And presumably you’re not a replacement for a responsible parent but you are on hand to care of the little ones throughout the day?
Exactly – we are there so that the parents do get an allocated chunk of time to just enjoy the day.
Perhaps a slightly harder question, would you say it’s not worthwhile inviting children to a wedding if, as a couple, you’re not going to put anything on for them and leave the parents to fend for them alone?
In a nutshell, yes.
However it doesn’t always go down very well and there are lots of ways to ensure that everyone has the best of both worlds.
Well they’re only little but they’re STILL guests and should be treated as such, right?
Weddings are are hugely important for children to experience.
They really make the day, and, not only that, it’s often one of the only places where they get to see the whole family together.
Plus they come out with gems of lines at exactly the wrong moments too!
Utter comic genius.
What’s the best you’ve heard?
A flower girl told me once that the bride had no knickers on, because the dress was too tight.
It was all she could talk about!
I remember at a wedding during the speeches a boy of about 3 stood up and declared at the top of his voice that he needed a poo.
oh yes, we get that a lot!
Oh to be young and not care what anyone thinks, right?
haha! I spend too much time with children and often make the same mistakes – although not the poo one!
You always seem like such a happy go lucky kinda person in your work, is that a must have for someone working for the Wedding Crècherz?
Absolutely, not just for the children, but for the peace of mind of the parents and everyone involved in the wedding – as well as all of the staff.
We are there on the day to eliminate as much stress and apprehension as possible, so it’s really important that we are all genuinely happy, kind and confident people.
Are there necessary qualifications that your staff need too?
We ensure that every staff member has an up to date DBS certificate, we then check that they have and NVQ 3 or equivalent in childcare, as well as experience in looking after babies and children of all ages.
At least 80% of the staff attending each creche have these qualification or above, we may then have a small percentage of staff who are training in their chosen childcare profession (all still DBS checked and vetted) these individuals are always experienced, and looking to broaden that experience by working with us while they train or study.
In most instances, our staff members are also parents themselves.
They may be teachers or childcare practitioners who are looking to go back into more flexible work after having their own babies for example.
We love that we are able to provide these roles as an option for talented individuals, who still want to work, but who also want the flexibility to spend as much time with their children as possible.
This might be a tough question but what is your favourite thing about running the wedding crècherz?
I love the reaction that we get from the children, their parents and the wedding couple when they first walk into the creche and then hearing about how positively it has impacted their day.
It means the world. I also love the places it has taken us to – the events we have been able to attend, because of running the childcare, and the incredible people we have met.
It’s an awesome job!
Finally, when it comes to arranging childcare/crèche for a wedding what’s your number one tip that you’d give to couples? (You can’t just say book the wedding crècherz!)
If you are having childcare of any kind at your wedding, communicate this to other parents at the wedding, so that they know what is/isn’t on offer.
If you hire a nanny for example, but only for your child, make the other parents aware that the childcare you have hired is only for your child.
If you are hiring a creche, make sure that the timings and creche rules are clearly communicated to each parent, so that the creche company doesn’t land the tricky task of having to communicate all of this on the day of the wedding – when many parents will have possibly had a drink!
Where can people find out more about the wedding crècherz?
@theweddingcrechers is our instagram name, our website is www.theweddingcrecherz.com