HELP! – People assuming their children are invited

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2457 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Call and explain. Sometimes you have to be direct. 

While brides research wedding etiquette so we know what do to and not to do.. the guests are not. At least half of them know next to nothing about wedding etiquette…. even if they’ve been married because things change over the time.

Post # 4
650 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I don’t know – you might run into a problem.   If the other child was 13 or older it might be ok.  It’s usually just kids or no kids.   You’re going to run into an issue if you say an 8 year old can but a 1 year old can’t.   It might get kind of tricky.

I would just say no kids and leave it at that.

Post # 6
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

You need to take an all or none stance.  Don’t say one child can come and not the other (especially if it’s the 1 year that can’t come because if mom is still breastfeeding she is going to want the 1 year nearby.)

Keep calm and give the guest a call.  Do not email or text this conversation.  Have it in person or over the phone.  Let her know that you are sorry but you and your FI decided not to invite children to your wedding because you wanted the adults to enjoy the evening out and cut loose a bit.  You would love it if she and her partner can make it but you understand if chooses not to attend because she cannot bring her children with her.  (Put the ball in her court.)  If she starts getting huffy or angry, just repeat “I’m sorry you feel that way but we don’t want children at our wedding.”  Then end the call by telling her “We would love to have you and your partner at our wedding, let me know if you still plan to attend.  Bye-bye.”

Post # 7
1931 posts
Buzzing bee

This is why our wedding invitations will say “Adult Reception Only”. We’re even preferring 21+ because of the open bar.

Call her and apologize for the misunderstanding, but “our wedding reception is an adult event and we’re so very sorry that we can’t see the kids at this time.”

Post # 8
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Did you write “adults only” anywhere on your invites?
Because honestly, if I had young children and I was close friends with the bride&groom, with no obvious “no kids allowed” on the invite, I would think that my kids were permitted to come.
I mean, personally I’d call up and ask.
But the thing is, when I was a kid and went to weddings, my name wasn’t on the invite (calligraphy is expensive!) – these are big, Italian weddings I’m talking about, with tons of kids. The children were just expected to tag along (and behave!) :/

You are going to have to call and explain that it’s an adults only reception, and that you’re excited to see them there. Be polite but straightforward. It’ll be fine!

Post # 9
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@musician32992:  Call her and apologize for the misunderstanding, but “our wedding reception is an adult event and we’re so very sorry that we can’t see the kids at this time.”


Post # 10
4576 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@musician32992:  +1

@beachbride1216:  +1

@DeeVine1217:  I swear to god I’m willing to lose friends over this issue. I simply do not understand what rock these people crawl out from under that think it’s ok to a)call and ask to bring someone who wasnt invited b)just add kids to the invite. But I digress…

I’ll piggyback on what the others have said: just be honest. “I saw you added your kiddos on, and as much as we enjoy seeing them, we are keeping this even adults only. I hope you can still attend, but understand if you cannot.”

If someone should be so stupid and rude as to press me further past my polite and non-insulting response, if it were me, I’d take that as a opening to get *real* honest with them: “I don’t care for children at my events, yours are no exception.”

Post # 12
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@DeeVine1217:  I would just say no children and leave it at that. Are you close enough to the 8 year old to justify why she is the only child allowed at your wedding? You could be in an awkward position if you have, say, a family member who was not allowed to bring their children.

ETA: just re-read your post…I thought you wanted no children, not just no small children. What is the age limit you set originally?

Post # 13
1826 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

What was the age limit that you set? Usually it’s adults only or 16+ or 13+ which would mean neither child would be invited. I know a lot of 8 year olds that are way louder and busy than a one year old.

Post # 14
1712 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@CakeyP:  If you’re following good ol’ Emily Post–it’s improper to write “Adults Only” or anything along those lines. The correct thing to do is address the outer envelope to the parents and on the inner envelope, write the parents’ names and childrens’ names (if they’re invited). People are supposed to take the hint from the names present (or not present) on the invite. No one should ever assume anything regarding wedding invitations…if you’re name’s not on the invite (even if you’re 2), you’re not invited.


When in doubt, call the host for clarification, but don’t expect children, SO’s, etc to be invited…


Post # 16
6674 posts
Bee Keeper

I would call and apologize for any misunderstanding or miscommunication.   Not that there was any,  you are just being polite.  Then I’d say that even though there are no young children  invited, but you are happy to investigate local sitters.  If she protests, I’d say that it wouldn’t be fair to all the other cousins, friends and family members who weren’t invited with young children if you made this exception for her.  If this person is very important to you,  and is otherwise unable to attend, I  see if I could organize child care.  

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