It’s Spotlight day, where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding vendors and share the stories behind these companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
Hiring the right wedding vendors is so important on your wedding day. The event sitter allows little ones to have as much fun as the wedding guests.
It gives us great pleasure to introduce this week’s vendor spotlight, Marcia Van de Kieft & Tyneshia Perine of Tootles Event Sitters and Entertainment.
When people ask “what do you do?” how do you answer?
Tootles Event Sitters provides on-site and in-room babysitting services and baby gear rentals for weddings, events, and traveling families throughout Florida.
What did you do before you did this?
Both of us have worked in the childcare field for over 25 years. Marcia worked as a childcare teacher, a professional nanny, and a nanny agency regional manager. Tyneshia taught, directed, and managed several childcare centers throughout Central Florida.
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
In 2010, we decided to combine Tootles Tea Parties and Marcia’s Nanny Agency to create Tootles Event Sitters. We knew we wanted to help event hosts increase attendance by providing babysitting services to their guests. Being that we live here in Orlando, we knew destination weddings were where our services would be needed the most and we haven’t looked back.
How long would you say you’ve been doing what you do today?
We launched Tootles in 2010. At the time, Marcia was running a nanny agency and Tyneshia was doing children’s tea parties. After attending several networking events where we were told that we should put the two companies together for events, we did!
Out of the almost ten years we’ve been in business, we have celebrated some victories, mourned losses, and thank our lucky stars for the many blessing we have (five between us, to be exact!). In October 2018, our hearts broke into a million pieces as we said goodbye to one of our biggest supporters (Tyneshia’s husband). It was then that we looked at each other, grabbed a hand, and said… let’s jump! And that’s when Tootles Event Sitters was created. We relaunched with a new name and a new logo in January 2019. And, there was a sudden light reignited in the middle of our grief.
Tell us about your most memorable event so far and why it was.
Our favorite will always be the Rockin’ New Years Eve party at Bella Collina. It was for their members. We had the pleasure of caring for their guests’ children during the event. From our VIP check-in and rocking out the photo booth, dance party, vinyl record picture frame craft, and a kid-approved dinner buffet… it was the most rockin’ event we’ve ever had the honor of being a part of!
What’s the best part of your job?
Putting smiles on children’s faces. It never gets old! And, we remember every single little face that we have the honor of caring for. Once they are in our care, they become a part of the Tootles family.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
We are speedy in our responses, amazingly easy to talk and relate to, and our passion shows from the first email until the job is completed.
What motivates you to do this every day?
Tootles is not just a business to us. It’s what reignites our passion for life every day. It’s what connects us to our youth through the sweet faces we get to meet. It’s what has brought us some absolutely amazing business relationships that have flourished into friendships. Tootles may be a business to some. But to us, it’s full of brains, heart, and soul. It is the product of our hard work, dedication, and love for children of all ages.
How did you decide on the name of your company?
During the course of an event, we become connected to the little guests in our care. At the end, it’s tough for all of us to part. And we wanted a child-friendly, fun, and engaging way of saying, “Thanks for having fun with us and we wish you the best!” The name “TOOTLES!” came after hearing some travelers from England say good-bye. It kept a smile on our faces for days and we knew then that TOOTLES was the perfect name for our child-friendly business.
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
We aren’t just babysitters. We are two women who have worked in the childcare industry for over 25 years. We have children ourselves and consider safety & security to be our top priority in our business (with fun as a close second). We bring everything that is needed to keep children safely contained and entertained for many hours during an event.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
Our babysitting services. Engaged couples aren’t looking for our services when they begin their wedding planning. It’s once they’ve met us and heard about what we do when they realize that we are the service they didn’t even know they wanted, but absolutely need.
What types of events do you specialize in?
Weddings, destination weddings, conventions, corporate events, and family reunions.
What make your business stand out from others in your category?
Our business stands out in terms of referrals and reviews, our established relationships with Central Florida’s best vendors and venues, our priority for the safety & security of the children within our care, and our attention to the requests of every event host.
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
The couple that is looking to create an experience for their guests. They have a lot of friends and an even bigger family. Most of their guests are coming from out of town, have children, and want to create a vacation out of their wedding weekend. Plus, they want to guarantee that their loved ones will be in attendance and can enjoy the night as much as they will. By hiring us, they are giving their friends/family with children a night off and providing the opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Why do couples hire you?
Because they want to guarantee that their guests won’t cancel last minute due to not having a sitter. They want to provide their family and friends with an on-site babysitting service that is safe, secure, and entertaining.
What does your most popular package include?
We create an experience for the children by providing on-site mobile childcare. With each package, we include set-up & break-down, highly qualified caregivers during the event, snacks, beverages, and a favor for each child. Event hosts have the option to add on services such as cupcake/cookie decoration station, face painting, photo booth, children’s musician, etc. We will work within the event budget to create an event that will be enjoyed by all the little guests.
Tell us briefly about some of your package options. What is the price range for these packages?
Our services start at $75 per hour. Everything can be customized and created to enhance the event experience for everyone. We invite interested event hosts to check out our website and complete our online inquiry form. We will then take a look at your needs, budget, and timeline and create a proposal that’s specific to their event.
Why do you think your business is successful?
Because our service gives event hosts and their guests the peace of mind they’ve been looking for and need.
Tootles Events shares some helpful information for engaged couples…..
What are the most common questions you get asked by brides and/or grooms?
They aren’t typically directed in the form of a question but rather a statement. For instance, “But, we aren’t having kids are at wedding,” “Oh, we are inviting kids to our wedding,” “My aunt said she’s going to watch the children during the wedding.”
Our answer to all of these is: “It is your special day. You are or will be working on it over the course of a year and it deserves to be the most momentous event of your life. That includes spending it surrounded by the people who mean the most to you. And that may include your nieces/nephews, your best friend’s children or even your own. However, adult-created events are not enjoyed by all children. At some point, they are going to get hungry, tired, and/or bored. And, that aunt who offered to care for the children during the wedding… she’s going to want to enjoy herself and participate in your day. Our service is available to be used in a designated space on-site or within the event space itself. There are several options to keep the children safely entertained and your guests enjoying your day as much as you are.”
What is your best piece of advice for brides or grooms?
It is your day, but don’t forget to consider the needs of your guests during the planning process.
What current trends have you seen at weddings that personally like the most?
The soft reveal! We love this new tradition where the bride and groom get to see each other privately before the ceremony. It’s the sweetest thing.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about your vendor category?
That our service is something they can coordinate on their own. That’s until it’s wedding day and their hired sitter is sick or can’t be located and there’s no one to watch the children.
Here is what some of their previous couples had to say:
“Great service. Took care of all the kids seven years and under for our wedding and they all had a BLAST!!! Parents had even more fun knowing their children were well taken care of and in a safe environment. I’d use Tootles a hundred more times if I could!!” – P. Stefan Gilliam, Albin Polasek Museum
“The girls who work at Tootles are fantastic. They genuinely enjoy being with the children and work hard to give them a great experience. I highly recommend them.” – Joan Allabaugh, Bella Collina
“Tootles creates a fantastic, energetic and fun atmosphere for children of all ages!” – Yvette Johnson, Highland Manor
Name three unique venues that you enjoy working at and why.
Bella Collina: It looks like you’re driving into Italy the moment you enter their gates. The landscaping is gorgeous, the hilly views are amazing, and inside the doors of the club, there are so many amazingly beautiful rooms to explore.
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach: What’s not to love about a hotel that literally sits on the sandy beaches of Florida? The hotel has so much to offer in terms of entertainment, decor, and amazing views.
Highland Manor: There’s so much history in this venue alone. However, the hardwood floors and lush landscaping draw us in from the moment you drive over their bridge onto the property.