Having kids, but not having kids

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2136 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Lizzy723:  There’s likely going to be some hurt feelings when the ones whose kids aren’t invited pull up to the wedding and see kids hanging around…so prepare for that, but good luck!

Post # 5
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@Lizzy723:  Good luck. I don’t know what etiquette says on this but you are going to have upset parents. Two sets of rules never goes down well I’m afraid. I understand that it is your wedding and you can invite who you like but in the end you also have to then take whatever fall out arises from the whole thing. I wouldn’t put adult only on the invitations, I would just address it and specify on the RSVP card how many adults have seats reserved for them and how many children. If you get queries, just say the children have been restricted to immediate family only (or something along those lines). Chances are you will still have upset people but at least everyone will know ahead of time because I can assure you people will be more upset if on the day of what they thought was an adult only reception there are kids running around

Post # 6
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Lizzy723:  You shouldn’t have any problems with having just immediate family. This whole child thing makes me crazy, when people say how others will be upset! It’s your immediate family that should be there and it is your wedding day! You should not be expected to cater for everyone else’s children.  Just say on your invites that it is a no child affair other than immediate family and put how many seats you have reserved for the guests so they can’t add there children. I don’t get what makes people think children are automatically or should be automatically invited to weddings. I attend alot of adult functions which are no children and it is never an issue but mention a wedding and all of a sudden these people think there children should have to go! Seriously I think it is rude of people to expect this. 

For our wedding we are not having children we can’t afford to and why should we. however we do have a complete ban. We did call guests in advance to give them a heads up that it is no children and told them with a year in advance so they can plan for child care etc. 

Out of all our guests only one couple are not attending due to no children, did it bother me, no. 

Post # 7
246 posts
Helper bee

I second @BtoR‘s comment: You’ll have fewer hurt feelings when a) you specify to the parents that only they are invited (no explanations needed), and (b) you don’t give the impression that it will be a totally kid-free event.  

Post # 8
1527 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I dont have a problem with only inviting family children, but I do not think you should put adults only on rsvps.  I put actual names of invitess on rsvps, some people put X seats have been reserved in your name. 

I think it is is OK to only invite family children for a number of reasons.  One, there will be others around they are comfortable with — grandparents and uncles and aunts — so if mom and dad are dancing, there are people to keep on eye on them.  Another, is that  if you allow non-family children, seating becomes more diffcult.  You have to worry — can you put non child families with child families at a table (and no way would I allow seperate childrens tables).

Post # 9
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013


Immediate family = mother, father, sister, brother

Extended family = aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents

The “adults only” invites are the problem. I think you’re going to have a lot of hurt feelings when people realize it’s not that you don’t want kids, you just don’t want their kids.

I would reorder the invites so they don’t say “adults only.” Instead of “banning” kids, I would just invite the people you want. With your extended family (cousins,) invite them as a family. With the friends with children you don’t want to invite, just address it to the parents. By putting “adults only” on the invite, you’re leading them to believe there will be no children. They will be upset. 


Post # 10
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@AlwaysSunny:  couldn’t have said it better myself! You can’t say you’re having an “adult only” reception if there’s clearly going to be many kids (not just 1 or 2) 

Post # 11
7207 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@AlwaysSunny:  +1 

I’m all for childfree affairs but you are being delibertaly misleading. Not cool.

Simply spread the wordd, you have limited space and cant extend invites to entire families. If RSVP come back with more #of seats than you allocated, call them up and explain. Will there be uncomfortable convos, yes. But that what you signed up for when you host an event.

Post # 12
5391 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@AlwaysSunny:  +1.


@Lizzy723:  You absolutely should NOT say adult’s only, because, frankly, it isn’t an adult’s only event.

Etiquette-wise, nothing says you have to invite all children because you have invited some; so, you are doing nothing wrong in only inviting certain children. But you can’t say that the reason you are excluding them is because it’s ‘adult’s only’ when there will clearly be a lot of children there.

I would suggest taking the ‘adult’s only’ bit off the invitation, and addressing the invitations to the adults/putting x seats reserved in your honour, and also contacting your friends whose children are not invited, and letting them know in person that unfortunately only relative’s children are invited.

We are having 2 children, aged 11 (bridesmaid; OH’s cousin), and 12 (my cousin). We have 3 other guests with children aged 4 months-3 (all friends) and their children are not invited. In our case, we said it was no small children; equally, we could have said it was relative’s children only. No-one has had an issue; they ahve all been very understanding.

Post # 13
6447 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would be really confused (and a bit upset) if I received an invite that said adults only, left my kids at home, and saw kids at your wedding. I’m all for inviting only family kids but I really don’t think the invites should say “adults only.”


Post # 14
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I would be SO upset if I got an “adults only” invite and saw tons of kids at the wedding!

I’d either get new invites (removing the words “adults only”), or just invite the kids to the ceremony, and make the reception adults only for real.

Or add ALL the kids you want to invite to the wedding party!

Post # 15
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I agree that I would not put “adults only.” Just address the invitation to the adults and say that “____ seats have been reserved for you.” People may try and get around it, but that’s them being disrespectful, not you. If they RSVP their children or if they ask you, just say that you only have enough seating for the parents. People in my social group and family have seemed to totally understand…plus it’s a night out form the kids!

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