No-Kids Reception Issue

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
299 posts
Helper bee

Hello! My wedding isn’t until March next year we have 76 to the day including our 3 kids and OH’s brothers 3 kids. If all the guests brought theres there would be a further 40. Weve said no kids because its our wedding and thats how we want it, most guests feel happy as they can enjoy It properly. No one has said anything negative so far. I’m hiring a childminder for the day too and i intend for her to sit with the kids at bedtime until our parents go to bed.


Hope that helps xx

Post # 3
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

We are doing the same thing you are – just flower girl and ring bearer, no other children.  Wedding hasn’t happened yet but so far, no backlash from anyone – it helps that the ring bearer (nephew) is the only kid in the immediate family – most of my friends have kids but no one has said a word (and I’ve been to other no-kid weddings with them when I wasn’t the bride, and they didn’t say anything then either so I don’t think they’re complaining to other people and not me).

Post # 4
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Definitely not in poor taste to only allow the ring bearer and flower girl to your reception IMO.. since their parents had to pay for them to participate I don’t see people kicking up a stink if they are allowed. This is just IMO maybe tradition or etiquette may say something else?

We are having no kids and the biggest question I keep getting some people (and its usually family) is “what am I supposed to do with my kids” to which I am silent and give them a BBM straight face on the phone (they tend to get the point). I say expect people to be upset and expect them to decline. I am also fine with them declining if they cannot find adequate babysitting to be able to attend.

We decided to hire a babysitter for immediate family only as that would be at least 8-10 kids. Can’t afford to have more than that being taken care of by us.

Post # 5
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

sauve2015:  It is perfectly acceptable to have the children in the wedding party be the only children at the reception.

Just be clear, that if you do not include children, you will have more guests decline to attend. There are parents who simply will not be separated from their children, OOT guests who do not choose to leave their children at home with someone else, or do not have anyone to leave them with, and OOT parents who do not choose to leave their children with a strange sitter at the wedding location.

If you are ok with that, stick to your plan. You will have people who add in their children on the rsvp card who you will have to deal with. Sample wording for those phone calls: “There must have been a misunderstanding. We are not having children at the wedding. If this means you will be unable to attend, we will miss you.”

Post # 6
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Agreed, it’s your wedding! Do what you want!

We’re not inviting kids… but we’re also not telling people they can’t bring them if they ask. We’re hoping most people just won’t bring them and get the hint by the invitation.

Post # 7
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013


sauve2015:  i wanted no kids, DH wanted his 3 cousins (8,6,2 at the time) invited.  we compromised that the 8 and 6 year olds could be flower girls but they were not invited to the reception.

no issues except DH had the biggest issue with this. 

the girls’ mother probably was very happy to have a night off with her husband from the girls.


Post # 8
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


sauve2015:  It is acceptable to have the ring bearer and flower girl at the reception. 

My feeling is that wedding receptions should be child free events.  Night time weddings that go until 11pm are no place for young children.

I had a child free wedding and yes I had some heavy backlash but in the end I was allowed to have the wedding that I wanted.  My feeling is, with enough notice people should be able to find appropriate  babysitting arrangements.  If arrangements cannot be made, then guests can RSVP no……

My only suggestion….. do not make exceptions for people…..

Post # 9
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

sauve2015:  Hi. I just got married in May and had a child-free wedding. I worried over this for months and months!!! I love all my younger cousins, but having kids would’ve upped our guest list to 37 more and really just changed the vibe of the wedding. We wanted the adults to let loose and have a good time. I personally don’t understand why parents can’t be separated from their children for one evening and get all upset about it. It’s not a personal attack on anyone’s children, its just this is the type of evening, adults are allowed to have adult events!!!

I had 2 flower girls and a ring bearer. I told their parents they COULD attend the reception and I felt no one would be angry about that since they were in the wedding, but I will admit it still made me a little nervous. Their parents actually said they’d rather have them get picked up by her sister after the ceremony so they could enjoy their evening and party!! haha, so they did! Which worked out for me.

We did have one of his distant cousins call and ask if she could bring her kid and we had to awkwardly tell her no. We certainly weren’t going to allow any exceptions like that (thats where you get into trouble) and especially for someone we arent close with. 

But overall, It was okay, we didn’t really get any heavy backlash, it seemed most parents were happy to have a night out, but we did get some no RSVPs from out of town people and I assumed it was because their kids couldn’t come, but I can’t blame them, its hard to travel really far without them or bring them but have to keep them in hotel room or whatever. But those who didnt’ travel for that reason didnt get upset about it, they just simply didn’t attend and all was fine. 

good luck! have the wedding YOU want to have!

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