(Closed) Dealing with uninvited guests (kids) without indication of more on the RSVP

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

To help avoid this situation I have written “Adult reception to follow” on the invitation and on the website to hopefully get the point across!

I think that it is your right to want an adult only wedding and if they aren’t ok with that than they don’t have to come!

Post # 4
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I know that people typically say not to do this but…  I would put “Adult Reception” somewhere on the reception card.  Have you already sent out the invites?  I learned that the whole address situation really doesnt work – especially if guests are over a certain age (read grand parents) or under a certain age (read never planned a wedding).

Post # 6
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

hmmm…. and you told Future Mother-In-Law it was adult only?  and its on the website?  any chance you could include a small enclosure card with the invite without your mom knowing?  How is the RSVP worded?  Did you do the whole __ guests invited thing, where you fill in the number?  Chances are, you may have to call people that RSVP with their kids individually.  sucks, but this is what i had to do.

Post # 7
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Two ideas:

1) If you haven’t had your RSVP cards printed yet, I would do it like this. For Mr. and Mrs. Smith with 3 little kids, have the RSVP card say:

Mr. Smith __ declines

              ___ accepts, chicken dinner

             ____ accepts, steak dinner

Mrs. Smith ___ declines

           ___ accepts, chicken dinner

          ___ accepts, steak dinner

that way it is SUPER clear that there is no room for kids

2) otherwise (and maybe in addition), call the families that have children and ask if they’ve been able to find local babysitters or if they need some recommendations. this is helpful while being straight-forward.


Post # 8
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think this is where you have to count on Future Mother-In-Law spreading the news.

Also, it seems to me like people with the babies tend to sit near the cry room door (most big churches have a Cry Room) or near the back so they can duck out if the babies scream. Newborns are pretty quiet. They make a few noises but nothing compared to the screaming tantrums the toddlers seem to throw, IMO.

How are you doing your RSVPs? If you lay them out carefully, like Mrs.DG did I think it’d help dispell any discrepancies. IE, if you invited Mr. and Mrs. Jones only:

___ out of (2) people will be attending.

Then if they write in their own number, you can call them and be like “oh i’m sorry” and come up with some excuse.

I was really explicit up front about how kids were a no-no at our wedding. One lady called to invite her 15 yo daughter, which i obliged only b/c she wasn’t bringing her husband and i told her i wasn’t having kids, but if she kept it on the DL it was okay. She was realy a nice lady and i was lucky it didn’t open up a can of worms for a lot more people.

Are there specific people you anticipate it being a problem with to the point tnat maybe your Future Mother-In-Law could make some calls and be like “oh we can’t wait to see you and John at the wedding! I hope you were able to find a sitter for ___” or, you could include phone #’s for a babysitter in the area. Even if nobody calls that number, it gets the point across pretty clearly.

But yeah, I had my Mother-In-Law ‘investigate’ the people with kids to ensure they weren’t bringing any. Except our nephew who was our ring bearer, that was okay, lol.

Post # 9
3709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I agree with Future…maybe you can enclose a separate card in with the invite if your mom is totally again having it on the actual invite. Also, you can your FI’s family members with kids individually once you are sure they have recived invites to let them know that it will be an adults only reception? I would consider one or both of those things just to make sure your point gets across. There may be some hurt feelings but it’s better than the alternative.

I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man and my daughter was the Flower Girl in a wedding that was overun with so many kids that my daughter didn’t have a place to sit!! She was in the wedding party and my sister ended up having to take her to WENDYS to eat!

Post # 13
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t know if this will help, but I’m adamant that our RSVP cards will say “2 seats have been reserved in your honor.” and that the invitations will say “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.” rather than “The Smith Family.” 

I’m hoping that this will help us control the kiddo population.  I’m sorry, but I don’t want children screaming/talking through my vows.  If I get questions about it, my line is, “The venue is really not child friendly, as it is an old cotton mill.” Hopefully that will trigger their “oh, duh” response.  If they still insist I’ve decided that rather than make it a big issue, I’ll just have them  bring the kid, and if it gets a massive splinter or something it’s so not my fault.   


ETA: whoops, lots of others posted about adult reception only.  This is what happens when you start a post, get distracted, and then come back to it. 

Post # 14
25 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

My worry with the “Adult reception” wording is that it implies that the ceremony is kid-friendly; it makes it sound like bringing kids to the ceremony & then dropping them off at a babysitter’s on the way to the reception is a viable option. Seems obvious to us, but people’s minds work in weird ways, and wedding etiquette isn’t something people get a lot of practice at.

I have the same issue, and as suggested above, I’m going to bite the bullet and proactively offer those with children some assistance arranging babysitting. (Many of the kid-havers in our wedding are also traveling long distances, so really it would be a challenge for them to figure out without our help.) I’d really rather not, I have bigger fish to fry right now, but it’s the most direct way of making it clear that there’s no room for the kiddos at the wedding.

Whether you offer babysitting help or not, I think the only real surefire way to keep it from being an issue is to have individual conversations with every at-risk guest. It may take a few hours of phone calls, but it should give you the peace of mind you’re seeking. 

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