(Closed) Invitation Etiquette – Not wanting small children at the reception

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
46258 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

People should know that the only ones invited are the ones whose names are on the invitation. Unfortunately, too many people either don’t know or choose to ignore etiquette.

The best that you can do is:

Address the invitations to specific names

Add “Adult reception” where you give the information about the reception

Be very specific on your rsvp cards:

“we have reserved ___________ seats in your honor (Fill in 1, 2 etc before you mail)

                                                                             choice of entree  

M ________________     accepts         declines       chicken   beef   pasta

    (fill in the name  before you mail)

M_______________      etc etc etc

You can add something to your website if you are having one where you give more information about the adult recpetion and the unsuitability of the venue for children if you like.

In the end, you will still have people adding in other names, adding guests, substituting guests and telling you they are bringing their children.

You will have to make phone calls to reiterate ” I’m sorry, but we are unable to accomodate- your extra guests, your children etc.



Post # 5
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Technically, only the people mentioned on the invitation are invited.  But some people choose to ignore that, such as these ladies:



How many guests with small children do you have?  If it is in your budget, could you offer a babysitter that takes care of all the little ones during your wedding?

Post # 7
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My ceremony and reception are at the same place so on my invitation I just wrote “Adult Reception to Follow”

Post # 9
907 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Just put the names of the guests you are inviting on the invitation. If someone replies with more than 2 (or whatever the number is) or you hear through the grapevine that they’re planning on bringing their kids, then call them and explain that you are so sorry, but children are not able to attend the wedding.

Post # 10
5110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

Some people think its rude, but I put “Adult reception to follow” right on the bottom of the invites!!! I think the more blunt the better that way there is no confusion!

Post # 11
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Add “Adults Only please” to your invites and rsvp cards

Post # 12
1843 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I asked this same question prior to sending out our invites and people DO NOT seem to understand that the invitation is only for those listed on the actual invitation.  We’ve had at least 6 couples RSVP for their children, who were NOT invited.

If I had to do it over again, I would have put “Adult Only Reception” on the actual invitation … but then you have to stick to it – that means absolutely, positively NO KIDS.

We’ve had to send emails and make phone calls to let our guests know their little ones aren’t invited and it has not been going over very well.  We all assume that guests know proper etiquette and how to know who is invited, but I’m here to tell you – they don’t (or at least my guests don’t).  I’ve got another 2 weeks left on my RSVP date and who knows how many more parents I’ll have to call/email and let them know their children can’t come.

Post # 13
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Are you wanting no small children or no children at all?  If you say no children and the parents of a 3 year old see a 10 year old at the reception, they may feel hurt/angry and may take it personally.  If it is small children and not all children I think you should find the appropriate wording for that.    

Post # 14
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I put “adult reception to follow” on ours.

Post # 16
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Mannyttu41: I would say children in the wedding party are exempt from such rules..Ive seen others who disagree with this but in the end its your day..

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