Post # 1
Okay so we are in the early stages of planning our list so far has almost 180 people but we could greatly reduce that if we don’t let kids go and there’s a good chance some people will come to the ceremony that won’t go to the reception and some that won’t go at all (but I have to invite because it is a family thing.)
So did any of you have an issue where you knew some people would come to the ceremony and not reception or vice versa. How did you word or set up your invites and STDs. For example we were thinking of maybe doing a checkbox for ceremony, reception or both.
We actually wouldn’t mind if more people came to the ceremony and not the reception, ours is sort of informal and we only want people there who we are close to and know would have a good time. Parking is also kind of limited.
And if you had an overabudance of kids did you just suck it up and allow them or did you do “no kids” ban. FI doesn’t want kids there at all but honestly I don’t think its possible. I don’t mind the kids but I don’t want screaming babies. And there are some kids I want there and some I don’t. FI says we could maybe put something that says if you could make alternate arrangements for your children please do so but isnt that kind of rude? And maybe we could have kids but hire a babysitter for them all or something?
Post # 3
We have about 90 guests and we are allowing children to come…only a few though. The children in our wedding party are our three nephews and the remaining 10 kids are beyond the age of 6 and they are pretty well behaved. If they weren’t well behave then we would clerly say “adult reception only” but even so, I would expect someone to sneak their kid in. You can always look into hiring a babysitter and if your venue is pretty big then maybe you can give them their own separate area to play around.
Post # 4
My advice: either invite children or don’t invite children. Don’t leave it up to your guests. If you are extending the invite to some, but not all, that might end up being a sticky situation. I would suggest (as the PP did above) that you either limit the children to those IN your wedding party or suck it up and just let them all come (not because it’s right or wrong either way – but for your own sanity). 🙂
If you do end up inviting children, you can work with your venue to arrange for an on-site babysitter and say as much on your enclosure card and wedding website. Keep in mind that some parents are hesitant to allow their kids to stay with a stranger – so you might get pushback in that regard.
Post # 5
You can invite some kids and not others if you have bright line rules, like no kids under 12, or no non-family kids, or no kids other than the flower girl/ring bearer.
I would not include any kind of note – on the invitation or elsewhere – that essentially says guests can bring kids if they must but you’d really rather they didn’t. Invite none, invite all and get a babysitter, or invite only those that fit into easily definable criteria.
Post # 6
I would just plan on everyone attending both events. Since you really can’t invite them to only one, it is easiest to plan that way!
Only you and your FI can decide whether or not to have kids at the wedding, or which kids. It does help to set ‘rules’. as Sailor mentioned. To differentiate, on the invitation envelopes if you are inviting JUST the couple be sure to put Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but if you’re inviting kids, add Jeanie and Johnny’s names, or put The Smith Family.
Post # 7
Save the Dates are a non-issue you can send them out or not… your choice. They are not a MUST DO in regards to Etiquette (and quite frankly they do seem to cause more problems sometimes than they are worth… especially when it comes to Weddings & Receptions where one is wanting to trim the Guest Lists, incorporate B-Lists, or perhaps have an All-Adult Event)
There is nothing wrong with having an Adult Only Reception (by spelling that out on the Invites by using “we have saved 2 Seats for you” – Adults Only Reception etc).
BUT it is also perfectly fine to at the same time being open to having the Wedding Ceremony itself be a “family event”… where kids are welcome.
Honestly, I think this is the best of both worlds, and the surest way to offend the least amount of people.
Post # 8
We put 3 options on our R.s.v.p.:
___ Ceremony only: my/our heart(s) will dance as you say your vows!
___ Yes, I/we will dance at your wedding reception!
___ Decline with regrets. Dancing with you in spirit, from afar.
(We didn’t want to put “reception only” as an option. Realistically, we know that some people will come to the reception only, partly because we are having a midday ceremony and an evening reception due to unavoidable scheduling constraints at the church … but we figured if guests do that, we at least weren’t going to blatantly invite it. We did want the “ceremony only” option in order to know NOT to pay catering for the handful of people who won’t be staying into the evening.)
Also, re. the kids, see if your venue will do a children’s menu. Ours charges us only one-third the price for the children’s meal, which is going a long way toward helping us afford to have all the kids there (kids are between one-quarter and one-third of our guest list, and there was never a question of not including them for FI and I, but I know others feel differently).
Oh, and we skipped save-the-dates entirely (other than an email to close friends and family) and didn’t feel the need to do anything special with the invitations. The response card options were sufficient for our needs. I would add a note to the invitation about adults only if you decide to go that route.
Post # 9
@MsMindle: The reception is going to be at my mom’s house, the ceremony is at my grandma’s church (who is the reverend and is officiating.) I was thinking of adding a kid friendly option for food like pasta, we are doing the food ourselves it looks like, getting help from some friends to cook the food that needs to be cooked the day off and using supplies from the church to do it buffet style, and hiring servers to worry about stocking the food, cups, etc.
I really don’t mind having the kids at the reception honestly since the are at every family event anyway, I think that if they don’t come most of the guests won’t come because they cant afford childcare or don’t want someone else watching their kids. I was even planning of having a kid table with coloring books and games and what not to keep them busy. FI really doesn’t want kids there at all and I have told him this might be an issue for some people so he said why don’t we put get childcare and I thought um no thats rude. So thank you for your suggestions on that because I thought it was kinda rude. FI knows that some of his family will make other arrangements if he tells them to so I think maybe I should tell him to handle that personally. I’m still making up my mind about it but I like the let the bridal party bring the kids thing and no non family kids because I feel strongly about that. I don’t mind my family bringing kids but I don’t want any kids that are not part of the family. Even that situation could get sticky because FI grew up in foster care and considers some of those people family, which is fine but they will take that as an invitation to bring their kids. I’m on the fence for allow kids and leave it up to guests since I don’t want to put anyone out or risk them not coming especially since we are both in agreement that kids are allowed at the ceremony. So im thinking for the reception I will just allow kids outright or say no kids (except bridal party) and let the rule breakers break the rules.
The last rambiling on bit about kids is that most likely the people that bother to come to reception will most likely be close to us so we would feel comfortable with them and their families anyway.
As far as STDs we are going to send them because we have picked the date of 7/6/13 and want to give guests a heads up incase they want to go but have to change plans due to some July 4th thing. In our minds too we realize that might mean that less people show up but thats fine with us.
I like that idea of the checkboxes because like you said it lets us know how much food we need and that would be really helpful since we are doing it ourselves.
My mom has stated that we could have a formal reception with cake and whatnot after the ceremony at the church so everyone can participate and then have the rest of the reception/an informal party at her house (since the church doesn’t allow liquor.) But I’m not loving that idea either.
Post # 10
If it doesn’t matter who is coming to the church, then I see no reason to ask for it.
I always take the RSVP as for the reception, since that is the part that the hosts need to know #’s for.
Post # 11
@andielovesj: Hmm that is a thought. I will consider that. It’s true it doesn’t really matter who comes to the church. Theres ample parking and we can fit people in there somehow.
Post # 12
We have decided instead to have both the ceremony and the reception at the church, so that everyone can participate. Then afterward we will have an “after-party” at my mom’s house and invite a select few people.