(Closed) Do people assume they can bring their kids?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I wouldn’t put it on the invites. People should have the common sense to realize that if a name isnt on the invitation, theyre not invited. If you are very concerned, i’d put a blurb on your wedding website, and enlist your in-laws and family to spread the word it’s child-free. 

Post # 4
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I disagree, I think you should put “adults only” take a search through the posts you will see that far too many people do NOT have common sense as the poster above thinks.

I had 2 couples ask to bring children when the RSVP said:

John Dude: Attend Decline

Jane Miss: Attend Decline

Jane STILL asked if her kids could come…

Post # 5
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Based on all the pots I read here about people bringing uninvited guests, I don’t trust my guests to be able to read and understand that Bob and Norma really just means Bob and Norma, not their 6 kids and their friends and dates and whatever.  To be safe, hell yah say “adults only reception” or something on the invite. 

Post # 6
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would hope that people understand that if their kids aren’t on the invitation, their kids are not invited. However…that’s not always the case. Ugh. 

And actually, we had this happen at FI’s cousin’s wedding, except worse. His uncle asked if he could bring a friend for his daughter (his 16 year old daughter…who has close female cousins…and was going to be around at least 50% family). He was told no. He brought the friend anyway, and she annoyed the crap out of a huge family that she didn’t know. 

Post # 8
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

+1 to writing “adult only reception” on the invite

I just went to a wedding that had “adult only reception” on the invite and there were kids there.

Post # 9
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

Are you inviting specific guests or generic “John Smith and Guest”? If you are specifying their bf/gf/whatever then only that person is invited. If you’re saying just “and Guest” it’s harder to dictate who the person brings. What I did with my friends who are getting an “and Guest” was email them and ask if there was someone they specifically wanted to invite, or if they were going to wait until closer to the wedding to find a date. And I specifically said “date” not “guest” because they would not be dating children. We also put a note saying it was an adult reception on the website, and made a point to direct everyone to the website for transportation info, hotel info, etc etc so they could not miss it.

I am also not above calling people if they RSVP with kids and saying nicely but firmly that unfortunately we are not having kids but we are providing childcare at the hotel (my compromise with my mom, who would have invited kids’ friends if she had her way) and we do understand if they cannot make it.

Post # 10
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I personally spoke to the majority of the moms who were invited, well before the invites went out (after save the dates), giving them a heads up. For guests on DH’s side, we enclosed a little card in the invites-

“As much as we love the little ones in our lives, this is an adults only evening. If your family will require babysitting services while in Baltimore, contact Rebwana at:”

No one took me up on the offer, and having a kids-free wedding didn’t keep anyone from coming.

Post # 11
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

It’s really not proper to mention who is not invited on your invitations.  it’ most polite to address them to the invited guests (by name!) and assume that people will know what that means/respect the invitation/be polite.  Of course, it’s not always the case… and then you have to deal with the requests one-on-one.

Dealing with any “confused” guests privately is more polite though.  You don’t offend or insult anyone who DOES know that only guests named on an invitation are invited, and when Aunt Sue calls to ask about inviting her 8 year old grandson (who has been known to swing from chandeliers!) you can explain to her “I’m so sorry, it’s not possible for us to extend the invitation to include little Johnny.  I hope that you’ll still be able to join us.”

If you think that your guests really won’t get it, and you’ll have to take (or make) a lot of phone calls explaining the situation, I’d suggest you put the information on your website rather than on the invitations.  Not everyone will see it, you might still have a few requests for kiddos – but you have a bit more room to write “We’ve planned an evening that should be quite fun for adults!  Unfortunately, children probably won’t enjoy it quite as much.  For this reason we’ve decided to host an adults only reception.”  I’d much rather see a statement like that, than a message on an invitation telling me to leave my univited kids at home.

Post # 12
2781 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Perfectly acceptable to put “adults only reception to follow” if your reception truly is adults only, as you are actually including some kids and not others, I think you have to just leave off the kids names and if the guests try to rsvp with their kids just let them know then.

It’s not a true adult only reception if you have any kids there, and that includes your 2 flower girls, IMO. You will end up with guests that are annoyed by it either way, but it’s always worse when some kids get the ‘exception to the rule’ and all the rest don’t. 

Post # 13
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yes!! OMG. DH’s coworkers brought their kids when the invitation SPECIFICALLY stated that it was only the coworker and his wife that was invited!! SUPER ANNOYING!

Post # 14
2603 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Among my peeps, it’s considered poor form to write anything to the effect of “no kids”–including “adults only” or whatever–on the invite. An invite is about extending your hospitality; it is not about stating who you DON’T want at the wedding. Consider calling up friends to invite them to a dinner party. You wouldn’t preemptively say, “Hey, come by around 8, but please–don’t bring the kids!” You would have to wait for THEM to say, “Is it alright if the kids come?” unfortunately. But that’s sort of how it works–you have to wait until some dolt of a guest breaches etiquette and requests to bring their kids or writes them in on the RSVP card or whatever, and then you put the smack down. It’s not friendly or polite to assume that ALL your guests are going to commit a faux pas before any of them do (and the vast majority won’t–what’s the use of offending all?) If it happens, have a family member or someone else in the wedding party (besides you or FI) call the offenders and politely recommend a babysitting service.

Now this is more traditional etiquette that lends itself to helping you look classy (saying “No kids allowed” on your wedding invite isn’t exactly classy, sorry). If you dont’ care, or it’s more of a standard and acceptable phrase amongst your peeps and in your region, by all means, write it in.

PS–one other thing, generally, children who are IN the wedding, ie, flowergirls and ring bearers, are considered exceptions to the “no kids” rule for the reception. This is in part to extend a courtesy to their parents (who have to accompany them anyway) and an acknowledgment of their service in the wedding. Most guests, even those who have kids themselves, recognize this exception.




Post # 15
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I would highly suggest doing it.  I am just starting to get RSVP’s back, but truthfully (and sadly) we are counting on some of the OTT guests not coming b/c we did not invite their children.  Don’t get me wrong…love kids and love the people, but our LARGE guest lists NEEDS some people to say no.

Also, think of the people with infants.  We have a number of friends and family members with children under 2.  Now, they problably wouldn’t RSVP a dinner for that child, but I could see them still bringing the baby along if it wasn’t specified that you would like an adult reception.

We put it on the response cards.  It’s kind of hidden (didn’t want it to be obnoxious) but hopefully people see it.  So far so good.  

Post # 16
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Yes, if you want an adult only reception, I would suggest putting so on the invites. I addressed the invitation to the adults only.  On the RSVP Cards I put “We have reserved 2 seats in your honour” and at the bottom of the cards I specifically put “Due to limited seating, only children of the immediate family are invited”.  Well guess what? I still have about 4 couples who put their kids’ names on the RSVP cards!


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