(Closed) HELP!! How to deal with people rsvp-ing their children?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

If I were you, I would let the grapevine get to them and have a friend of yours casually bring up that children were not invited. I would also make it very explicit on your wedding website that it is an "Adult Dinner Reception." Right below that, list phone numbers of reputable babysitting services.

It is not too late. It is your formal wedding. 🙂

Post # 4
11 posts
  • Wedding: November 2009

I have this SAME worry for my November wedding. After going through the guest list, we had anywhere from 20-40 KIDS that were kids of our adult guests!!! Many of our close friends have children already (even 3 of my bridesmaids have children under the age of 1 year), and we decided to make our event an adult only event. (Excluding the grooms brother and sisters who are in our wedding party as the flower girl and ring barer.) This was a hard decision because of the fear of offending those with children. However, I truly think that an evening formal reception (especially when alcohol is served) should be considered an adult only event, wedding included. It is YOUR day, and YOU are paying for it (or at least choosing where the money is spent) and that’s why your guests are called "guests" and not "hosts." It’s okay to put your foot down (in a very nice way) and explain that the event is adults only. You could even maybe send them a quick response via email saying something like, "Hi! I was SO excited to receive your RSVP and am so happy you are going to spend our special day with us! I’m looking forward to seeing you and John so much. Also wanted to double check that you knew the reception is an adult only reception, but we do have childcare options available on the website that others are choosing to use as well. Let me know if you need any other info about the babysitters, it’s no problem at all! I can’t believe our day is only 2 months away, it’s going to FLY by. Looking forward to seeing you soon 😉

An email like that makes it not JUST about the children, but that you are SO excited to receive their RSVP. Maybe even include that they were the first ones and it made your day. I would do it yourself though because if you get someone else to "hint" at it, and they don’t do a good job at "hinting" then those guests are going to feel like you were talking about their children behind their backs, and that could create awkwardness.  I don’t know…just be SUPER nice and they can’t really be upset with you! (At least that is what I’m hoping for when we deal with this issue in 2 months!!!) GOOD LUCK!

Post # 5
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I would hesitate on using the grapevine to clearly communicate that their children cannot attend.  I would probably call them and let them know.  It may be an uncomfortable 5 minute phone call, but it doesn’t have to be an argument or anything.  Really, it’s their faux pas for rsvping for more than they were alloted, so your phone call to them would be a gracious courtesy.  And then you know for sure that they know.  

Post # 6
984 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I agree with JennyBryde, a phone call clearly states to these people that this event is adult only. It may be uncomfortable but I think letting them know that their children might not have a good time at such a formal event and you thought it would be a nice evening out for them without the kids, might make it a little more lighthearted. I would mention that it’s a slippery slope with the whole children vs. no children, they may see that you allowed your siblings children and be a little put off. That being said, it is your wedding and you need to do what’s best for you, make the phone call and hopefully you dont’ have anymore confusion about who is and is not invited. Good luck!

Post # 7
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I would also be nervous about using the grapevine to spread the news.  If this couple hears from a bridesmaid or another friend that children weren’t invited, they’ll almost certainly think, "oh, but we already RSVPd and included our children, and no one said anything.  It must be OK to bring them."

I think you’re going to have to call or e-mail them directly.  It’s going to be a little awkward, but remember that they’re the ones who made the mistake (RSVPing for more than were invited) and you’re just gently correcting it.  Say something like "Hi James and Marcie, I just saw your RSVP on the website, and I’m really looking forward to seeing you!  This is a little awkward, but I need to talk to you about something.  I noticed you added Freddie and Janie to the RSVP.  Our wedding is very formal and we decided a while ago that we would not be able to include any children except our nieces and nephews.  The invitation was only intended for the two of you; I’d love to see Freddie and Janie another time, but it just won’t be possible to have them at the wedding.  I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, and I hope you can still make it!"  If you’re having a babysitter or know of a good service, mention that too.

And it couldn’t hurt to put up something on your wedding website that specifies the reception is adults only — it might help ward off future mistakes!

Post # 8
299 posts
Helper bee

I agree with the idea of calling or emailing directly- things get lost or re-created in the grapevine, and your message may never reach. I actually find it incredibly rude to just assume that you can bring your children when only the husband/wife’s names were included on the invite- but some parent’s just don’t understand that not everyone wants their pride and joy around

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