Should I put "Adult Reception to follow at 6"

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
10902 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

From an etiquette perspective, it is considered to be impolite to refer to who is not being invited to an event. It is perfectly fine to choose to invite only adults to attend your wedding and reception; however, you should not use the “adults only” language.

Post # 4
4812 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

They may still bring children to the ceremony if there is time in between the ceremony and the reception, yes.  They probably would want to pay for the least amount of baysitting possible, especially if they live nearby.

Post # 5
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I think that wording is fine.

Post # 6
45 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Brielle:  +1

Remember that you can tell people no if they RSVP for a child (or anyone else extra) if they are not on the invitation. They’re the rude ones trying to bring uninvited guests, not you for choosing whom to invite to your event. Just be polite and firm.

As for the wording, I’d remove “to follow” if the reception is not actually following the ceremony, as it might be a bit confusing. How about “Reception at six”

I don’t know that people would bring their kids to the ceremony if they aren’t invited to the wedding. If you’re getting married at a church, though, anyone could technically show up since it’s an open space.

Post # 7
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m not over keen on the words “adult only” but I do think that if you absolutely don’t want children at the reception but they are invited to the ceremony, then somewhere you have to make reference to this fact. Otherwise people will bring their children to the reception.

I know that in theory, good manners suggest that an invitation is only extended to the people whose names are on it but you’d be surprised at how many people think that this doesn’t apply to their children. 

As for whether people will bring their children to the ceremony only (assuming they realise that their children aren’t invited to the reception) this rather depends on whether they’ve had to travel. For out of town guests it is probably easier to just leave their children at home for the whole day. Or, if childcare is a problem, they’ll not attend any part of the day.

Post # 9
4 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

No. It’s rude to put who’s welcome/not welcome on the invitations, or to have tiered receptions- meaning some people (in this instance children) being only invited to a portion of the wedding.

Have them be invited to the entire day and evening or not at all.

On the envelopes, address the invites to the parents only.

When they RSVP, if they include the children, simply call the parents and tell them that you can not accomodate the children but hope they can still make it. Easy peasy and it doesn’t break etiquette rules like your original plan does.

Post # 10
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I can never understand why this is such an issue today. Growing up during the 80’s, my parents were invited to many weddings, and it was assumed that us, as children, were NOT invited. (It was different if the child invited was apart of the wedding party- flower girl) If your wedding has 20 married couples, and each had 2 children, suddenly your guest list rises by 40 individuals. (and most venues charge the same price for children as adults). It seems to me, that parents today seem to think that their own children are the exception to the rule, and the bride and groom end up paying for it.

Post # 12
4 posts
  • Wedding: January 2014

I’m having an adults only wedding and reception, and what another Bee suggested was to put on the response card “____ of _____ adults attending” and address the invitations specifically to the adults in the family. If anyone RSVPs for more, have someone other than you call them and explain that space is unfortunately limited and children cannot be accomodated. 

Post # 13
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@katepoppy:  I Completely agree with you.  We never went to weddings growing up.  There were a few where we went to the church portion (my aunt & Uncle, one of my babysitters) but then we went home and mom and dad went to the reception without us.

Post # 14
6969 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We put “adult reception to follow” but I think “adult reception to begin at 6 o’clock” or something similar would be totally fine. Yes, technically it’s not perfect etiquette, but if you don’t want people to bring their kids you need to be clear IMO. Even with that wording we still had people trying to write in their kids on the invite. Some people just can’t take a hint apparently.

Post # 16
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We are inviting zero children.


We are simply addressing the invites to the adults of the household only. Our ceremony begins at 2:30, with a 6:30 reception at a different venue. So, our invitations will be for the ceremony and there will be a seperate reception card tucked in. The reception card will say something to the effect of “Please join us for a cocktail reception (or you could sub “reception” or “dinner and dancing”) at 6:30pm at XYZ Venue, 123 Street”.


Honestly I’m a little tired of the hand-holding that has to go along with wedding invitations today (this is not directed at you, OP, but just to the population in general). The ___ of ___ seats thing, the “adults only” the dress code – can people really not figure this out, or are we just assuming they can’t? I mean, I get that there will be one in every bunch who just doesn’t “get” it, but, at least in my family….we get basic ettiquette.


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