(Closed) Adult only reception after 10 pm

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Since your Mom thinks it should be adult only … how about her telling them?   Do you have sitters for them all too or are your siblings going to leave then?

Post # 4
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@cayday19:  I think you will need to figure out a way to pay for childcare or figure that most people are going to leave with their kids.  You can’t expect people to just ditch their kids come 10pm if there is no easy way for them to do so.  Most people will end up leaving if you tell them their kids can’t be there past 10.

Post # 5
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

Well, they will leave when their kids leave, so there’s really no good way to get around that, unless you plan to pay for a “kid room” on site to care for them. 

Beyond that, since it’s all close people, just explain that after 10pm you’re planning a more adult oriented night, and you’d prefer if the kids went home at that point.  Chances are with kids that young they’ll be long gone by then anyway. 

Post # 6
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Honestly, I dont think theres a good way of telling people this.  How are they going to arrange for someone to watch their kids beginning at 10 pm? If I were the parents, I would just leave with my kids, not go at all, or have a babysitter and not bring my kids with me at all.

Post # 7
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Two words: ADULT RECEPTION.  Let the kids parents (your siblings) enjoy a night “off” and party down. Let the parents of the children figure out babysitting. It’s not your responsibility to accomodate uninvited guests. 

Post # 8
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

If you don’t want the kids there, I’m pretty sure the parents (your siblings) will leave right along with them.  Also, I’ve never heard of this.  I think you need to choose one way or another.

Post # 9
3267 posts
Sugar bee

@cayday19:  You cannot tell people their invitation is only for a portion of the festivities. 

You either invite them to the whole thing, or you do not invite them at all.

I would hope that parents of young children would have the sense to take sleepy, grumpy children home.  Though experience tells me they do not always use common sense.

Post # 10
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think this is a lovely compromise that lets younger family be present at the really important parts of the day, and still lets you have an adult party in the evening. Good job thinking of it. 🙂

Are you going to provide a crash room for the kids with a sitter, or will you be expecting parents to leave to take the kids home then, and possibly come back?

I know you asked for help with the wording, but it kind of depends on what arrangements there are for the kids… like if you have a sitter,  I’d say something like “Drinks and dancing to begin at ten, and our younger family members are cordially invited to attend a pajama party in room 305 at this time.” or something to that effect.

(There are other ways of getting a sitter than paying for your venue’s on site child care. What about just getting a room and a sitter or two of your own, depending on how many kids will be there? You could ask the parents attending for recommendations even.)



Post # 11
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Elvis:  Oooh love the pajama party part!

Post # 12
7679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think the first thing to do is to talk to the parents, not (as far as I can tell) well meaning people close to you who are not parents of young kids. Many kids under 5 don’t easily settle to bed, so the pyjama party might be impractical. So you might find that given that option, some or most of the parents will find it easier to just go home at 10pm. Or, otherwise well behaved kids will make a fuss when they’re told they have to go.

You say you “know” that kids run riot. Have you seen that personally? I’ve been to a number of evening weddings with kids and I’ve never seen that. When they’ve been very young (like under 5 or so) they tend to just fall asleep anyway, in my experience.

Granted you know your family better than mine, but my instinct is to trust the parents to do the right thing. (i.e. control their kids or let them go to sleep)

Post # 13
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Agree with the others… although this sounds good on paper, making it actually happen is going to be difficult.

Due in part to the fact, that once you are “Invited” you are IN for the duration.

The most common solution is just to say… that it is an ADULT RECEPTION.  Then Parents know up front what is expected of them… and come or not based on knowing the full picture

Alternatively, a babysitting service is the way to go (either on-site or back at the Hotel where the OOTs will be staying) … OR you have a PJ party in another room for the kiddies… as someone else suggested (if that option, I’d make it 9 PM not 10 PM, but that might be just me… knowing that a lot of kids… even older ones, tire out by 9 PM)

Be aware tho… just setting the tone for an ADULTS ONLY RECEPTION is going to impact your Guest List.  There will be folks who won’t come at all… and those who do but leave early to get back to their kids.  It is what it is.

Another solution, might be to just wrap up your whole “Reception” earlier… and move on to another spot for an “After Party”… these are very common now.  The After Party could be at a totally different locale, or just another room at your venue (ie move from Ballroom / Dining Room to the Bar area)

Hope this helps,


Post # 14
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012


I’m sorry but there really isn’t anything you can do.  It’s really rude to say that to guests, what you should do is, end your reception at a good hour and then have an “after party” in another location, that is what we’re doing. People understand the definition of “after party” and they won’t bother bringing children there, that’s for the adults.





Post # 15
19 posts
  • Wedding: March 2013

personally, if I planned to stay for the entire reception, I would either not take my children to the wedding or reception or drop them with a sitter after the ceremony or main reception events.  Parents need a free night of dancing too!  They may appreciate the night out without kids and arrange for a babysitter or they most likely wouldn’t be there past 10pm anyway.  I don’t think they’ll get offended.  In fact, I would appreciate you for letting me know that the reception would be a fairly clean one before 10 and I can let loose if I wanted to after that.  It really might make for a fun date night for the parents :). Trust me, if you think the kids running around will bother you or the guests, it REALLY bothers the parents when they’re trying to enjoy themselves too.  I wouldn’t want to keep my kids up that late anyway, especially if it means I have to chase after them in heels and a dress lol!  

Good luck!

Post # 16
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I can’t help with the wording but I just wanted to say that I have had two weddings with my son being the ring bearer and both brides have said to me “we really aren’t having kids, but it’s up to you since he is the ring bearer”, I was likE, no problem, I can arrange for a relative to pick him ua rafter dinner, he got to enjoy the wedding, cocktail hour, dinner,  and and then Ihas able to party freely after, I thought it was a great compromise 🙂

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