(Closed) Adult-only reception. Opinions welcome :)

posted 9 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Is an "adult reception" fair under these circumstances?

    Yes, put on the invitations "Adult reception to follow". I AGREE WITH YOU!

    Just don't include children on the invitations so people get the hint, but you're not rude

    No, it is not fair to allow those kids, and not all kids

    Another suggestion (comment below)

  • Post # 17
    23 posts
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I our case, the bride’s family is paying for everything. Father of the bride set out a few rules: doesn’t want to know how much it’s costing (the MOB has a hand on the finances), doesn’t want to know how many people are invited, and no one under 21.

    Venue charges full-adult rate for those over 12 – over 160 each, and may go up with add-ons. No discount for the 5 hours of open bar, etc. Chicken fingers and fries are available for those 12 and under for over $50 each. No way.

    The flowergirl and ringbearer are going up to their family’s hotel room after the cocktail hour, from 6:00-7:00 PM. With a reception starting 7:00 PM, we’re looking at a main entree being served around 9:00 PM. Totally not suitable for the younger ones.

    There’s only 1 exception – a 16.5 year old bridesmaid, who is the brides honorary little sister. Kids who are bored end up playing with their phones/hand held games, running all over the place, getting into mischief, etc. This is a black-tie event, not Chuck-E-Cheese.

    Save-the-Dates were address to only the adults, not “and family.” The website was set-up before they were mailed-out. Page 1 of the website stated “The ceremony and celebration have been planned for adult guests 21+.” The invitations will be addressed to the adults.

    We’re using the RSVP feature on our wedding website. The RSVP information card, that is part of the pocket invitation, will re-iterate the “Adult guests 21+”. We have to input all the names of invited guests. It will not accept RSVPs for names that are not on the list.

    I agree that if you invite some outside the wedding party, the couple’s children, or their nieces and nephews of the couple, you may be stuck inviting all. This includes 1st cousins. Set a minimum age like 18 or 21, or guests will get upset. 

    Post # 18
    8506 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We put “adult reception to follow” on the bottom of our invites in small print. Maybe it’s not proper etiquette, but it certainly saved me a massive headache and nobody seemed to mind. That being said, I do think it’s kind of rude to allow some kids and not others. Don’t be surprised if some people get huffy about it.

    Post # 19
    1069 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    @harvwife31:  I took the approach it sounds like you want to take: On the invitation response card I put: “We are requesting an adult reception.  Thank you for your understanding and support.”

    Except we invited all first counsins (I have 5 between 2-10, while DH’s are all adults) and DH’s neices & nephews (9 total but baby stayed at home).  So while the majority of guests were asked not to bring their kids, there were 13 there.

    As far as I know, no one (or at least those in attendance) had a problem with it.  But I was also very confident in my decision and wouldn’t have had any reservation explaining to those if questioned why certain kids were invited and most were not.

    Truthfully, this whole issue really irratates me.  I just can’t understand how some people get so offended if you don’t have the means or space to invite their kids to a wedding.  I fully understand and accept (with no hard feelings) if you cannot or don’t want to attend a wedding if your child(ren) are not invited, and in return I hoped people understood and respected our wishes (and then just didn’t care if some were pissed). 

    Post # 20
    196 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I put on my website the following:

    Our wedding will be an adults-only event. We are happy to assist in finding appropriate child care for the evening.


    More than half of our guests are flying in from across the country. We live in CA and his family is all in CA or MI. I grew up in Philly and the wedding is in Philly. We’re guessing that some of his family who have a busload of kids won’t come, and that’s fine with us. The only one we’re worried about is FI’s sister, who has a 1-year old. My cousin, who is local and has a child a few months younger, is getting child care and I may see if FI’s neice can go there, too.

    If we end up having space, I’d like to invite a couple friends from Europe. They each have a spouse and children, and I’m guessing that if they come to the U.S. they’ll make a family vacay out of it. In that case, I’m not sure what we’ll do.


    Post # 21
    29 posts
    • Wedding: September 2013

    We are totally putting adult reception to follow on the invitation! I don’t care if it’s not the most proper thing to do but I KNOW some people wouldn’t get the hint of only the names listed on the invite are invited and bring their kids. I’m not willing to risk that. We have venue constraints and we cannot have more than 150 people. You guys do whats best for you and I hope it all works out!

    Post # 22
    5486 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Although I agree with you, be prepared to ruffle a few feathers with this one….

    Unruly kids don’t have any business attending a formal affair in my opinion.. The last thing you want to remember about your wedding day is someone’s kid ruining it for you. 

    However, are you prepared to explain yourself when some parents ask why??

    Post # 23
    281 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    we have lots of friends w/kiddos, it would just cost too much :/ we are inviting 2 nieces and 2 nephews, the details page on our website says adults only please and our limit on rsvp-ing (online) is a max of 2… we may also say ‘adult only’ somewhere on our invite,  so hopefully folks get the drift. Plus, who wants a bunch of kids running around, parents need a night out anyways 🙂 

    our friends totally understand… we’ve talked to them a bit about it ahead of time. 

    Post # 24
    175 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Your reasoning makes a lot of sense just be prepared for some people to be offended when they go and see other kids there. Just a precaution. Almost everyone attending my wedding has kids so there was no way I could leave them off the list however I am lucky because my venue is booked for the whole weekend and even the couple coming that has unruley kids will be staying at the venue . . . so no driving. If you feel strongly about it then add that its an adult reception just be prepared for a few people to feel a bit offended over the issue.

    Post # 25
    2501 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We had an adults-only reception and the only two children were very well-behaved and close family members. We made them flowergirls so that we didn’t even have to pull out the “they’re family” card but the “they’re IN the bridal party” card. It worked out fine.

    Personally, while I think it’s theoretically okay to put “adults only” reception and then verbally tell the family their kids are invited, I think you or they will get flack from other people. My DH would tell you, “So what? Who cares? It’s your day. They can shove it”, but it still sets the stage for some potentially awkward situations.

    Post # 26
    1141 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @harvwife31:  I’m with many of the bees, set up some sort of childcare during the reception for the children of your out of town guests and your neice and nephew. This is exactly what we’re doing. We’re only telling select guests about the childcare though.

    For the invitation wording, I suggest a more tasteful approach. How about this:

    “Our adult guests are invited to continue the celebration at the Summit Inn Resort following the ceremony. Cocktail hour to being at…”

    Also, maybe list names on your RSVP cards. If the childs name isn’t on the envolope OR the RSVP card.. I think they will understand!!

    Post # 27
    28 posts
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We have the same situation, where there will be our flowergirl and her older sister who is 10 who will be attending, and also FI’s younger sister who will be 13. NO other children / under 18’s are invited to the wedding

    @fzesguer I agree – put on the invites – we have reserved ..x.. number of seats in your honour. This way there is no confusion about who is invited to the reception and you don’t have to have the awkward conversation with any guests.

    Post # 28
    5995 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    You can’t write “Adult reception” because it won’t be adults only. You’ve listed a few kids who will be there. And those exceptions are ok because they are for good reasons. (Close relatives, out of town guests). (p.s. siblings of flower girls / ring bearers should be invited, you mustn’t split up families).

    Simply name the people invited on the invitation. If people RSVP for too many, phone them back and explain their kids are not invited.

    Post # 29
    2894 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    If it’s not “adults only,” then don’t say it is. I don’t like misrepresenting the truth to people, so I’d never recommend you insinuate that NO kids are coming because when it becomes obvious that at least some children are present, I think your guests will feel deceived/disrespected/taken advantage of.  You can disallow people from bringing children without citing a rule that doesn’t exist. If you include a line saying something like:

    We anticipate an adult atmosphere and therefore respectfully request that you enjoy this night with us sans the little ones

    that’s not implying anything that’s not true. If anyone thinks the request doesn’t apply to them and RSVPs with their kids anyway that’s when you have to put on your big girl panties and say “hey, we’ve really thought about this and we can appreciate that it might not be the most convenient option, but we truly aren’t comfortable with being responsible for your children’s safety. We hope you can still make it.” 


    Post # 30
    1223 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    On my RSVP’s I put; We have reserved 2 seats in your honor”. Had the entree selections after that, the response date, and “Adult Reception Only”.

    However I did invite some children, from families on both our sides, so the RSVP card information was changed accordingly. We invited 15 kids total, with 122 adults.

    Luckily I made my own invitations so there was no issue changing the RSVP card to suit each household.

    The topic ‘Adult-only reception. Opinions welcome :)’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors