Post # 1
In dealing with my future in-laws and their extended family, I have found that it is not normal for kids to not be invited to weddings. We are having an adult only wedding and reception and even though I have made this abundantly clear on my website and in discussions with FMIL, I still get the impression that people plan to travel with their kids and bring them to the wedding. I don’t feel as though we need to provide a babysitter, although I would help find one if that is the case, but I’m not really sure what to do if they bring all of their little kids (newborns through 9 year olds).
I think we are only going to have 1 or 2 newborns and I understand that they are still dependent on their mother. How does this work? We are having a full Catholic ceremony and I don’t want a screaming baby ruining our vows. I have virtually no experience with children. Are newborns pretty well behaved during chuch ceremonies? Also, what does the mother do with them during the reception? Hold them the entire time? I’m not so concered with these really small children because they can’t get into any trouble other than crying during our vows, which I would really hate.
How about with the somewhat older children. Ages 3 to 9? I’ve been to weddings where kids are running around the whole time during the reception and this is also something I really don’t want.
My fear is that these people respond back to the invitation indicating that only they are their spouse would be attending (it would be made clear that by not including the child’s name, the child is not invited), but what if they fly out here and show up with kids? What then? I’m afraid that they will get extremely upset with me if I tell them that their children are not invited and that they need to stay with a babysitter.
Post # 3
To help avoid this situation I have written “Adult reception to follow” on the invitation and on the website to hopefully get the point across!
I think that it is your right to want an adult only wedding and if they aren’t ok with that than they don’t have to come!
Post # 4
I know that people typically say not to do this but… I would put “Adult Reception” somewhere on the reception card. Have you already sent out the invites? I learned that the whole address situation really doesnt work – especially if guests are over a certain age (read grand parents) or under a certain age (read never planned a wedding).
Post # 5
We haven’t sent out the invites yet, but my mother is adamently opposed to putting that wording on the reception card. I put it on the website, mentioned it to my FMIL and my mom even told my FMIL when they talked on the phone a while back.
If it was up to me, I would put that on the reception card, but my mom simply will not allow it. My parents are paying 100% for the wedding, so I’m not going to fight her on this. She also does not want random kids everywhere, but she is very conservative and traditional and believes that it is “crass” to put that on the reception card. At one point when we got into a disagreement over this, in a heated moment, I told her that she gets to babysit the kids then, which did not go over well, and I have since dropped it.
Another reason is that at our venue, the same price is charged regardless of age. Our per head rate is a little over $275, which a whole additional issue aside from just having random kids running around.
I don’t want to sound selfish, but my family also has a large number of children and while I love them, I mentioned to my couisins (their parents) that this would be an adult only wedding and they totally understood. I’m just afraid that on FI’s side, these kids will all show up from out of state and when we offer to help find a babysitter (I totally understand not wanting to go across the country for 3 days and leave your kid with someone), they will refuse the offer for the babysitter and mandate that their children attend the wedding. It just seems like its a very different wedding culture with them versus my family.
Post # 6
hmmm…. and you told FMIL it was adult only? and its on the website? any chance you could include a small enclosure card with the invite without your mom knowing? How is the RSVP worded? Did you do the whole __ guests invited thing, where you fill in the number? Chances are, you may have to call people that RSVP with their kids individually. sucks, but this is what i had to do.
Post # 7
1) If you haven’t had your RSVP cards printed yet, I would do it like this. For Mr. and Mrs. Smith with 3 little kids, have the RSVP card say:
Mr. Smith __ declines
___ accepts, chicken dinner
____ accepts, steak dinner
Mrs. Smith ___ declines
___ accepts, chicken dinner
___ accepts, steak dinner
that way it is SUPER clear that there is no room for kids
2) otherwise (and maybe in addition), call the families that have children and ask if they’ve been able to find local babysitters or if they need some recommendations. this is helpful while being straight-forward.
Post # 8
I think this is where you have to count on FMIL spreading the news.
Also, it seems to me like people with the babies tend to sit near the cry room door (most big churches have a Cry Room) or near the back so they can duck out if the babies scream. Newborns are pretty quiet. They make a few noises but nothing compared to the screaming tantrums the toddlers seem to throw, IMO.
How are you doing your RSVPs? If you lay them out carefully, like Mrs.DG did I think it’d help dispell any discrepancies. IE, if you invited Mr. and Mrs. Jones only:
___ out of (2) people will be attending.
Then if they write in their own number, you can call them and be like “oh i’m sorry” and come up with some excuse.
I was really explicit up front about how kids were a no-no at our wedding. One lady called to invite her 15 yo daughter, which i obliged only b/c she wasn’t bringing her husband and i told her i wasn’t having kids, but if she kept it on the DL it was okay. She was realy a nice lady and i was lucky it didn’t open up a can of worms for a lot more people.
Are there specific people you anticipate it being a problem with to the point tnat maybe your FMIL could make some calls and be like “oh we can’t wait to see you and John at the wedding! I hope you were able to find a sitter for ___” or, you could include phone #’s for a babysitter in the area. Even if nobody calls that number, it gets the point across pretty clearly.
But yeah, I had my MIL ‘investigate’ the people with kids to ensure they weren’t bringing any. Except our nephew who was our ring bearer, that was okay, lol.
Post # 9
I agree with Future…maybe you can enclose a separate card in with the invite if your mom is totally again having it on the actual invite. Also, you can your FI’s family members with kids individually once you are sure they have recived invites to let them know that it will be an adults only reception? I would consider one or both of those things just to make sure your point gets across. There may be some hurt feelings but it’s better than the alternative.
I was a BM and my daughter was the FG in a wedding that was overun with so many kids that my daughter didn’t have a place to sit!! She was in the wedding party and my sister ended up having to take her to WENDYS to eat!
Post # 10
We are doing our invitations in the most traditional way where we have the M. ________ regretfully declines or accepts.
I don’t think they they will write names in to be perfectly honest. I think they will just SHOW UP with their kids in tow.
I kinda get the impression that even though I have told FMIL about the “adult only” wedding, she is going to let everyone do whatever they do.
Post # 11
@ejy – there will be a couple older kids there, but I am fine with that. Anyone over the age of 15 or so, will be fine. They won’t be running around the dance floor or crying at that age. Actually, one of FI’s (FI is 30) brothers is only 16 and he is a groomsman. It’s the little ones who I am worried about.
I am also glad to hear that newborns aren’t so much trouble. What do they do during the reception? Does the mom just hold them? As much as I don’t want kids, I don’t think that I could ask someone to leave their 6 month old with a total stranger to babysit.
Post # 12
@Jamaica – Your daughter had to eat at Wendy’s and she was the FG?! That is AWFUL!!!
Another thing is I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I think part of the reason they will plan on bringing their kids anyways is because this is what they do in their family. While mine totally understood when I said no kids, I just don’t think theirs does and the last thing I want to do is start out by offending his whole family. Even FI doesn’t really like the idea of an adult only wedding because ALL of their family weddings have kids. He is telling his mom that its adults only to back me up, but I know that he doesn’t even really like that idea.
Post # 13
I don’t know if this will help, but I’m adamant that our RSVP cards will say “2 seats have been reserved in your honor.” and that the invitations will say “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.” rather than “The Smith Family.”
I’m hoping that this will help us control the kiddo population. I’m sorry, but I don’t want children screaming/talking through my vows. If I get questions about it, my line is, “The venue is really not child friendly, as it is an old cotton mill.” Hopefully that will trigger their “oh, duh” response. If they still insist I’ve decided that rather than make it a big issue, I’ll just have them bring the kid, and if it gets a massive splinter or something it’s so not my fault.
ETA: whoops, lots of others posted about adult reception only. This is what happens when you start a post, get distracted, and then come back to it.
Post # 14
My worry with the “Adult reception” wording is that it implies that the ceremony is kid-friendly; it makes it sound like bringing kids to the ceremony & then dropping them off at a babysitter’s on the way to the reception is a viable option. Seems obvious to us, but people’s minds work in weird ways, and wedding etiquette isn’t something people get a lot of practice at.
I have the same issue, and as suggested above, I’m going to bite the bullet and proactively offer those with children some assistance arranging babysitting. (Many of the kid-havers in our wedding are also traveling long distances, so really it would be a challenge for them to figure out without our help.) I’d really rather not, I have bigger fish to fry right now, but it’s the most direct way of making it clear that there’s no room for the kiddos at the wedding.
Whether you offer babysitting help or not, I think the only real surefire way to keep it from being an issue is to have individual conversations with every at-risk guest. It may take a few hours of phone calls, but it should give you the peace of mind you’re seeking.