Post # 1
For those who had “adults only” receptions, which age did you use to define an adult?
Both my fiance and I have huge families with tons and tons of cousins and second cousins but we are trying to keep the guest list reasonable. My fiances family has cousins that range from older than us to newborns and all ages in between.
We have decided to have an adults only reception, but I’m struggling with coming up with a cut off age without feeling badly about it.
Which age do you consider an adult for a wedding reception?
Post # 2
Legal drinking age – 18 here
Post # 3
In the US you are considered an adult at 18 and I agree to that
Post # 4
We went with the age that you are legally considered an adult in our country (Australia), which is 18 – this is when you’re legally allowed to drink, get your driver’s license, you have to vote, etc.
Post # 5
I would say 18. However, if you choose to use a younger age, make sure you apply the rule uniformly with no exceptions (other than nursing infants or a child who needs continuous care, of course).
Post # 6
Drinking age for wedding purposes makes sense to me. Though if you’re in the States maybe not.
Post # 7
Just to clarify this is in Ohio, USA. Legally an adult at 18 but drinking age is 21.
Post # 8
With the rare exception, almost no one in our family/social circle questions a 21 and up wedding – the legal alcohol age, in our state. (BTW, my family started hosting adult weddings in the late 60s, when I was in junior high0.
My daughter’s wedding was 21 and up. Her dream venue charged the full, adult rate – no discount for 5 hours of open bar, for all guests 13 and up. If the guest was 12 and under and requested an adult entree = full adult rate. The venue also had the right to request/require a photo ID, of every guests asking for an alcoholic beverage, which would have been a real pain.
1st cousins were either 18 and under or 22 and up – no families were “split.” Family weddings after my daughter’s were 21 and up, also. We did extend an invitation to the only infant, who might be effected – one first cousin’s 2 month old, but they declined.
250 adults were invited and 225 attended. One couple said they didn’t have a babysitter, despite being given 10 months notice, with the save the date. Another couple boycotted, and didn’t RSVP, because their kids weren’t invited. Oh well …
Post # 9
emsie : We had an adult only wedding, and all of our guests were over the age of 21. For us it was easy, because all our friends and family have young kids – so it wasn’t a situation of inviting their 18 year old but not their 16 year old.
I am not one of those people who believes it has to be all or none, or some arbitary line. I think it’s your wedding and perfectly ok to choose your guest list based on who YOU want there.
Post # 10
I thought before I clicked you meant in general! Id say in terms of guests 18, legally allowed to drink, drive etc in Australia
Post # 11
Cut offs by age are completely acceptable, but I personally did not approach it that way. We invited children of siblings and young first cousins only. No children of cousins or friends since that would have opened up the floodgates . I find it a lot easier for people to understand when you make cuts according to category.
I would not have been comfortable inviting some first cousins and not others. Or only some children in a nuclear family.
All else being equal, my vote is for 21, but not because it’s the drinking age. I went to many weddings as a child and teenager.
Post # 12
emsie : well, i’m in the US where the legal drinking age is 21. since we’re having an open bar (which is part of our catering package, and so we’re paying for it regardless if a guest drinks), it was easy to say no one under 21. i dont need to worry about having underage kids getting trashed at my wedding.
Post # 13
emsie : For me, I suppose 19. That is the legal drinking age where I live. BUT I think I would consider 16 as a good age. They will be old enough to not have to be babysat. Won’t be running around, fussing or require a colouring book or other kid activities to keep them from bratting out.
Post # 14
I think an “adults only” atmosphere with 18 year olds could really create a mess with underaged kids drinking and parents/elders not watching closely enough to ensure all got home safe. I’d say 21+.
Post # 15
To me an adult is someone who is independent and self-supporting, ie not age dependent. I’ve known 18 year-olds who meet that criteria, but not many. For the purpose of wedding planning and legal drinking (adult meal/bar costs) I may consider 21 appropriate. Often it comes down to family criteria.