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On-site child care can assist wedding guests
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Out-of-town wedding guests travelling with children should add “child care” to the list of arrangements they have to make when planning the trip.
Caring for children on the big day can add stress to the enjoyable event, especially when the guests are unfamiliar with the place they are visiting. Many people avoid the issue entirely by either bringing someone to care for their child while they are at the wedding or leaving the child at home with a caregiver.
Jennifer Russell, child and family area agent in Leflore County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, suggested couples invite children to weddings only if child care is being provided on-site for the young ones.
“Many churches have a nursery or a room to entertain children,” Russell said. “Although the day is primarily for the bride and groom, parents of young children should be able to enjoy themselves as well.”
To ensure a reliable individual will care for the children of out-of-town guests, the wedding couple can provide on-site child care and spare their guests this expense. Wedding planners can ask the church coordinator to recommend a staff member who could be paid for three to four hours to care for children during the wedding and reception.
“This would allow the couple to accommodate those who have come so far to share in their day,” Russell said. “If the couple can afford it, it is a small price to pay to have those they love with them on one of the most important days of their lives.”
Tashmia Prowell, Extension child and family area agent in Madison County, encouraged couples not wishing to have children as guests at the wedding to make their wishes clear on the invitation. Any child care provided also should be noted on the invitation.
“I believe weddings can be a positive learning experience for children,” Prowell said. “If guests are considering not attending a wedding ceremony because child care is not available, the couple should consider providing this service for parents.”
A small note on the wedding reply, or R.S.V.P., card could inquire about the need for child care and request a count for how many children would need these arrangements. Always give a reply deadline.
“Getting a head count in plenty of time will assist in determining the amount of supplies and the number of people who will be needed to care for the children,” Prowell said. “Providing child care at a wedding is a great idea and one that I'm sure parents would greatly appreciate.”
Contact: Jennifer Russell, (662) 453-6803