Post # 1
We plan to have an adult only reception, but I have no problem with kids at the ceremony in the church (which is a public location anyways). We are also considering a casual BBQ rehearsal dinner where all guests and their families will be welcome. How do I communicate this politely in the invitation, preferably without actually writing “adult only” on the reception card? I am concerned if I address the invitation to “and family” it will be confusing. Would it be sufficient to have a rehearsal card that notes “You and your family”? Many people will be traveling from out of town so I’m not worried a random family member will be brought to the rehearsal dinner, and if it happens, oh well. On the website I plan to make it clear that we plan to provide assistance with finding a babysitter.
Post # 3
@kay01: There is no polite way to invite people to half of an event. Either they are invited or they are not. Besides, the reception is to thank people for coming out to celebrate with you at the ceremony. You can’t really say that some people aren’t worth thanking for coming out.
I would send a seperate invitation to the rehersal party either via a seperate mailing or by an insert in the wedding invitation.
Post # 4
@andielovesj: To clarify: The rehearsal dinner is not just for those at the rehearsal. Everyone that is invited to the reception, will be invited to the rehearsal dinner. We have a lot of out of town guests and we want to spend as much time with them as possible. I expect many of the (relatively – it’s still 2 hrs away) in-town guests will chose to join for only the wedding, but they are welcome the day before at the BBQ.
If it comes down to inviting kids to the reception or not to the ceremony, then we simply won’t invite them to the ceremony. (That said, as noted above, it’s a public venue so technically, they would be permitted in should they choose to go.) However, from talking to people, I believe they’d prefer to bring their kids along for the weekend and bring them to the rehearsal dinner and ceremony, and find a babysitter for the adult reception, rather than not have them invited to anything.
I would also say that each event is well, a separate event, albeit all happening on the same weekend, and thus it really ought to be possible to figure out a way to invite people to certain events and not others. The new british royals certainly did that! And people do that already with the rehearsal dinner, usually only inviting close intimates of the families.
Post # 5
I’m doing an adults only ceremony and reception. I told our family and friends months ago when we decided to do this. Also, both mothers spread the word to guests. In our invitations and wedding website, we are writing ‘Adults Only’ at the bottom in smaller print. I work in childcare so everyone with children has been passed along the messege that if they need help finding childcare, that I can help connect them to very good sitters.
I didn’t want to write the ‘adults only’ part, but when my future sister-in-law got married she wrote ‘No Children’ and addressed the envelopes accordly. She told me that a lot of people still called and asked if they could bring their children and explained why and some argued with them. They said no to everyone. You can’t make exceptions with this, otherwise people will be upset when they see a child there and they had to get a sitter.
Another option to think about is to have a child room at the reception, or to have the kids hang out at a suite in the hotel with a couple of sitters.
Post # 6
@naenae_CA: Thanks. I didn’t really elaborate on it, but my sister has hired a high school student to assist her that weekend with my nephew (who, I will say is the only child invited to the reception, but we’ll likely make him ring bearer to avoid crankiness on the part of people who simply can’t understand why we’d choose to invite him, despite the fact we see him very frequently, he’s close family, son of Maid/Matron of Honor, etc.). She wanted to be free to help me with anything I need. My sister doesn’t mind having the sitter watch a few extra kids the night of the reception, although she is hoping the other parents will chip in a bit for it. If it’s more than a few kids, we’ll see about recruiting sitters from our old college in the area. But there really isn’t a lot of space to create a kids only space at the hotel – the best we could do would be to turn a hotel room into one. That’s because the reception is at a historic inn built in the 1790s, with the event held outside under a tent. Things, people, and rooms were smaller then 🙂