(Closed) how to indicate Attire & adult only wedding

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Attire information should not be on invitations unless you are having a truly black tie event (including band, top shelf open bar, formal invitations, etc.)

You can put information like that on your wedding web site, maybe in an FAQs section.  I would hesitate to say children are not welcome, as stating who is not welcome is seen as rude.  Simply address the invitations to those they are meant for, and if they respond with their childrens’ names you call them up and say that you cannot accommodate children.

Post # 4
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@alicialoveschase:  I put adult reception to follow on my invites. It is against etiquette but I don’t care. People are supposed to know that only the names listed on the invites are the people invited but it seems like people don’t understand that.

Post # 5
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I don’t see anything wrong with putting ‘formal or black tie reception to follow’.  When we were invited to Fi’s cousin’s wedding 5 years ago, she stated on an invitation insert “please do not bring children”.  BUT she had also let everyone know by word of mouth as well, that the wedding was a children free event (mainly because of space). 

Put the specifics on the website and have the website address on an insert. 

Post # 6
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

As if all of your guests know the etiquette…you can put this on the invites and people still won’t abide.

Cocktail attire preferred.

This is an adults only wedding and reception. We kindly ask that you make childcare arrangements in advance.

Post # 7
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ok, I know everyone cares about etiquette, I’m not really sure why though, because most of it is horribly outdated.

I say, do what you want, its your wedding! If people are going to judge you over where you put particular information pertaining to your wedding, then they don’t deserve to come to your wedding.

If it were me, I would put a *please see insert for pertinent information* at the botton of the invite, and then have an insert with attire, and the fact that it is adults only affair

Putting it on your website is touch and go, unless that is the way you are getting RSVP’s.  most people do not look at the site unless they have a reason to

Post # 8
3267 posts
Sugar bee

The way you convey formality of the event is in the formality level of the invitations.  Have fancy, engraved invitations, and guests will know it is a fancy affair. 

Don’t paint all your guests with the boor brush, by putting something on the invitations saying adult only.  Most people KNOW that only those named should be invited.  But if people proove themselves to be dolts, then follow up with those people individually.

You don’t preemptively correct your guests’ gaffes, before they happen. Otherwise you would see a lot more “Please excuse yourself before you toot” or “We invite you to not eat with your fingers” reminders on invites.

Post # 9
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I put on our STD, “Strictly formal- adults only”. I had to after a friend told me they need enough notice because they have 4 kids to bring. I’m sure many raised their eyebrows but only 1 asked me why. When I explained, she understood and agreed, having had a gazillion kids at her own wedding.

I skipped any attire or no-kids reminder on our formal invites, but they will be in the FAQs of our wedding website.

I’ve heard about people not coming because their kids are not invited. That’s unfortunate but we’re not making exceptions besides immediate nieces/nephews.

Post # 10
8395 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We’re putting “adult reception to follow” in small text at the bottom of our invites. I know it’s not “proper”, but I’ve already had multiple people assume that if they are invited, then so are their kids. Several had no idea that the invite was only meant for the names specifically listed.

Post # 11
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

we put it on both our website and our invitation (since some of our older guests don’t use the internet). our invitation is pretty simple and straight forward. on the reception card it says “adult reception to follow” and on the bottom we put “cocktail attire requested.”

on our website we went into a little more detail. i explained that we anticipate a mature atmosphere and also that it’s not a kid friendly environment. as for the attire, i asked that everyone leave the t-shirt, sneakers, & baseball caps at home.


Post # 12
2603 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@futuremrsfitz18:  YUP.

@andielovesj:  YUP.


OP–the more ‘graceful’ option instead of “adults only” is to use certain verbiage on the RSVP card:

___ # of adults attending


We have reserved ___ seats in your honor (in which you write in the number of seats in for them, so a couple of two knows that their three kids are not invited)

Technically, MOST people are supposed to gage the formality of your event from the formality of your invitation and the time of the event. That doesn’t mean that you have to go crazy expensive on the invite, but it does mean that your invite should be classic and elegant before it’s kitschy. You can’t go wrong with plain black script on white/ecru cardstock with classic wording and beautiful black calligraphy on the envelope.

Post # 13
1736 posts
Bumble bee

I am in the same camp, OP. I do not want children at my wedding (I am not having a ring bearer or flower girl either). Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. Adore them. But my venue is NOT appropropriate for them and I would be beside myself with worry that they would get lost or fall into the pond out back!

On the enclosure card for my invitations, I put “black tie optional” as part of the reception directives. I don’t want my guests to feel under-dressed at the venue or as compared to the wedding party and family. I am in the camp that a lot of these etiquette directives are a little outdated (some are plain common sense that should be followed, but others are really for certain social circles and not the general masses).

I did a FAQs section on my wedding website as well to make sure that people know about the children thing (I didn’t put that on info on my invites or other enclosure cards). I just put:

Q: Are children invited to attend?
A: ____________________________

Q: What is the recommended attire for the occasion?
A: The wedding party and immediate family of the bride and groom will be in black tie dress. For all guests, the dress is black tie optional. Any suit or cocktail dress will do!

Post # 14
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We put formal reception to follow on the invitation itself and the invitations are addressed specifically to the adults (e.g. Mr. and Mrs. so and so, NOT Mr. so and so and family). On our wedding website, we put “fomal, adult reception” almost every time reception is mentioned and the online RSVP does not have the option to select children or infants, just adults. So far, it seems to be okay. The only two children are part of the immediate family and are Flower Girl.

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