What Is A Wedding Creche? Michelle Peters from Bluey And Baloo shares how children can be a part of your Wedding AND have a good time… without the stress!
Listen to Michelle on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…
James: [00:00:01] Hi Michelle thanks so much for joining me today.
Michelle: [00:00:03] Hiya. How are you doing?
James: [00:00:05] I’m doing very well and yourself?
Michelle: [00:00:07] Yeah. Not too bad. Keeping busy!
James: [00:00:11] Your company is “Bluey and Baloo” and you provide Wedding Creches, amongst other things, you provide Wedding Creches, which is what we’re really interested in here today. I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s a fantastic idea. Now when we went online to see where brides and grooms were in terms of how much they understand about this,
I was amazed to find out that the number one most searched question on the Internet by brides and grooms is “what is a wedding creche?”
So would you like to answer that for us?
Michelle: [00:00:48] Well it varies across the sector, but in a nutshell it’s basically, it’s a party for the children. But where we act in loco parentis, so we’re looking after the children.
It’s effectively like a nursery that pops up all over the place. We have the same care standards that you would expect. But we have children that are all ages.
And there’s so much more that I could say, but I think there’s other questions that might be asked anyway, in relation to what is a wedding creche.
James: [00:01:28] So we tell this story a lot. At our wedding we organised to have a creche for the kids at the wedding.
I think people come from two different schools. They either really want the kids involved in the ceremony, or they think that the kids might cause a distraction.
Or sometimes, certainly from our perspective, when we were filming weddings, you could almost guarantee that as soon as the vows are about to be said, a child will run across the camera. It happened more than you’d like to admit.
James: [00:02:04] So there are definitely two different schools of thought towards the approach. And we were of the school of thought that we thought well, our photos are very important to us. And our video is very important to us. So we understand that the ceremony is probably a bit too long, depending on the age of the children, it’s probably a bit too long. Not really very interesting for them. So we put on a creche and it was meant to be, sort of, you know, there were going to be films and games and all sorts of things.
But I think the mistake we made going into it, and it was the only mistake I think we made for the wedding, but we booked a creche, we didn’t book a wedding creche.
I think there’s a difference because obviously you will have experience of running a creche at a wedding. And our creche organiser basically didn’t have that experience, and she turned up and essentially didn’t go to the right place, didn’t go there at the right time. The creche never happened, and it was actually one of the parents that had to look after the children. So it kind of collapsed in on itself which was a disaster. But I think from the wedding perspective….
Michelle: [00:03:10] Your heart was in the right place, you did more than most. You thought about it!
James: [00:03:14] We tried! But we could have done more!
So I think from a parent’s perspective at a wedding then, how important is it to have a wedding creche?
Michelle: [00:03:30] So from the points you’ve raised, having a company that does it all the time is very different. Event childcare is different. In a regular childcare setting you’re in the same place, there’s a comfort zone where the children go to the same things, they pick up whatever they want. We’re in a new place with new children. We have things like timelines.
A wedding day is filled with things happening that we have to be sensitive to. And not only that, the children don’t come to us. We have to go to them and then we have to move around with the children.
We’re at a venue with enormous grounds. We don’t sit there and say you cannot go to play outside. We can go outside, and we can also be wary of whether they need to be out for photographs. Let’s not go on a Woodland walk at that point.
Michelle: [00:04:32] So the other side to it is, what do children want to do? And what do adults want to do at a wedding?
Do children want to sit, have conversations and drink champagne? Probably not.
They’d probably like a cheeky swig, but that’s not really what you want them to be doing. If they were anything like me as a child, I used to go around swigging from my nan’s Bailey’s glass, but we’re not encouraging that behaviour, of course. The other side of it is what do adults want? Do they want crazy children running around in amongst loads of glasses? Loads of people drinking? That’s what kids do. Why should they be told off for being who they really are. And that is sometimes busy and sometimes not. So a wedding creche will be able to respond and to focus children’s energies on something they want to do. It’s all about choice. There you go. Does that give a good answer?
James: [00:05:32] It really does! And I think it’s a fantastic perspective to say that well, let’s make sure that the kids have a really good day too.
I mean if you want kids at your wedding, It’s also pretty cool to make sure they have a really, really good time.
Michelle: [00:05:47] I’m unashamedly in the kids camp! Prior to the booking, my clients are the adults. Their needs are priority. But when you put me and my staff in a room with the children, unashamedly, they are my number one priority. And not the adults, who I’m sad to say cannot come and play in the creche. Even though they’d quite like to be in the room with us. I’m saying no. Sorry! It’s not happening!
James: [00:06:21] So actually from the perspective of being a new parent myself right now I’m having all these new ideas.
Michelle: [00:06:29] I’ve heard about your new baby. How old is he now?
James: [00:06:31] He’s six months. So if we went to a wedding, I would be, let’s say, not apprehensive, but I would be alert or aware about handing my child off to basically a complete stranger, at a wedding. Now in that kind of scenario what assurances could the bride and groom provide to their guests beforehand, to say it really is above board and you know, we’ve booked with the best people.
I think there needs to be more sharing who you’ve booked, so that we are approachable by everybody. I would not be upset if one of the family of my clients wanted to get in touch and ask me questions.
But that doesn’t seem to happen so much. And while I do have registration forms with my details on, I think it would be better if people could get in touch with me to ask me questions, so they can discover that they haven’t just hired a local teenage babysitter. This is a company that has reviews and feedback and has operated for, well, I’m celebrating my 12th birthday on Monday, so we’ve been doing this for years. So yeah I think it’s good for parents to be able to get in touch with me, but we don’t seem to have that process yet. But yeah I understand. And you don’t want parents to feel bamboozled when separating from their children. It shouldn’t be as negative as it is. Having time off from your child. You shouldn’t be sat there drinking champagne wondering if your child is diving headfirst, you know off a table or something like that.
James: [00:08:28] I think you said basically your accreditations and your massive history, all on your website, says it all really doesn’t it? That’s putting the kids in a very safe place.
Michelle: [00:08:41] Absolutely yeah. I mean safety is so important. But actually that you know we’re only there for the children. We are not there as guests. We’re not there to have a drink ourselves. We are there purely to support those children, to have a great time. And usually that comes when they’re focused on certain things and they’re being observed. The safety is us being there to respond to any health and safety, when you’re in that stance of always observing. We don’t always step in. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not superwomen and supermen, but we don’t just sit down and we’re not lazy. I mean we’re very busy moving around the room, constantly picking things up and the children want to interact with us as well, which we’re very happy about. I mean that’s a bit more than probably I need to say, but that’s just a side of things that people don’t realise just exactly what’s going on.
And a lot of it is what you do automatically and they can’t see. I’m not just stood there watching, standing around. I’m always scanning and you know, I’m part of the room after all. We all are.
James: [00:10:17] I have to ask, the name “Bluey and Baloo”, where does that come from?
Michelle: [00:10:21] Oh yeah that’s a lovely story. So back in 2006 when I was starting my business, I thought that I would use my voluntary experience at brownies. And at that brownie group, I was named “Bluey”, which is actually short for Bluetit. And I refused. It was my daughter, her little six, which is like a little group you get at brownies, decided to pick that name for me. And I’m like “oh lovely”. Well I’m not going to not have it, but I’m not going to answer to Bluetit. Thank you very much. As you can imagine. I mean what’s wrong with Tawny Owl?
Michelle: [00:11:05] And then my other half had quite a lot of voluntary experience in the scouts. So I said well what’s the name of a leader’s name in scouting. And he said oh it will be jungle book names. So I thought oh, Bluey and Baloo. That’ll be a good name. Do you think? And he said yes, sounds all right. So there you go. That was it!
James: [00:11:29] Brilliant. Well that’s fantastic!
Michelle: [00:11:31] So yeah it’s been good. I didn’t want to be called, you know, children’s art and craft Wirral. I’ve never been interested in having to be fixed into one place. So it’s been a very good thing because my brand has followed me throughout our entire time. So yeah there you go.
Michelle: [00:11:51] That’s been fantastic, thank you so much for sharing with us today.
Michelle: [00:11:55] Oh no thank you. Thanks James. Take care.
James: [00:11:58] We’ll speak to you soon, take care. Bye.
Michelle: [00:12:00] Bye.