(Closed) (Invitation Question) Inviting some kids and not others?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
3108 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would just address the invitations to the people who are actually invited. If the RSVP cards come back with additional children added (and hopefully they won’t because people will understand who is invited by the envelope), then you can let those people know that you can’t accomodate their children. 

Post # 3
625 posts
Busy bee


It’s rude to put “adults only” on the invitation regardless, but a lot of people ignore that.

It’s confusing, and will probably tick people off, to put it on the invitation and then have it clearly and obviously not be true.


It is not rude to invite only adults, nor is it rude to invite some children and not others. Invite who you want to invite, specify their names on the invitation, and make sure that the RSVP cards indicate the actual number of seats you are reserving and/or the exact names of who is invited. That way you can cut off any ‘misunderstandings’ at the pass.

Post # 4
3292 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You should address each invitation to the specific people you are inviting, which in most cases will be adults only. So just address it to “John & Jane Doe,” not “The Does,” for example, which would be ambiguous if they have kids.

For the families where you want kids invited, address it to everyone: “John, Jane, Li’l Jane Doe.”

Everyone will most likely tell you that putting “Adults only” (or something to that effect) is considered rude (because it’s exclusionary language on an invitation), and it’s especially rude to say “adults only” but then invite children. 

Post # 6
625 posts
Busy bee


View original reply
vivaciousbride1989:  But….it *isn’t* an adult reception. You really shouldn’t be trying to call it that, when it clearly isn’t, and it will be obvious that it isn’t on the day.

You don’t want rude people to bring uninvited guests. That’s completely understandable. But labeling your event ‘adults only’, either on the invitation or the website, will be inaccurate, confusing, and probably offensive.

Post # 7
1062 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015


vivaciousbride1989:  Definitely on the wedding website not the invitation.

Post # 8
3170 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
vivaciousbride1989:  We are going to invite some people’s children but not others’ (kids of family members only). I’m planning on having the RSVP cards say “___ seats have been reserved in your honor” and filling in the blank with the number of people the invitation is intended for. It seems from some of the threads on here that guests often don’t pick up on the fact that the invitation is not addressed to their entire family even if you only put the parents’ names on the envelope.

I wouldn’t put “adults only reception” anywhere – not on the invitations or your website – for the simple fact that it’s not true if there will be some kids there. People seem to be really touchy about their kids not being invited, so your guests may notice and be annoyed. Good luck!

Post # 9
13802 posts
Honey Beekeeper

It is not rude to invite some children and not others, but it’s a good idea to draw the lines consistently, ie all children of cousins or none, if you want to avoid hurt feelings. That goes for people who think children  in the wedding party are an exception, which they aren’t. 

Address the invitations in the names of those whom you are inviting. Children’s names can go on the inner envelope, if there is one, and on the outer if there is not. Some people prefer to send a separate kids invitation. 

As I said in the other thread, it is always rude to use an invitation to do anything but offer hospitality. “Adults Reception” etc. is never appropriate.  Imagine that your guests are intelligent and polite enough not to add guests ininvited and deal with anyone who is not individually.  

Post # 11
161 posts
Blushing bee

I think one way to do it would be put a “FAQ” section on your website where it could say something like:

Q: Can I bring my children and/or a guest to the wedding?

A: We would love to accomodate everyone, but unfortunately, because of space constraints, we can only accomodate guests who were named on the invitation. Please reach out to us if you have any specific questions!

Some people still might miss that, but if it’s on the FAQ it’s not as “in your face” as putting “ADULTS ONLY.”

Post # 12
6610 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
vivaciousbride1989:  We had a line on our invites that said “Number of guests attending” for guests to fill in. If that number was more than the number of people invited, we made a polite but awkward phone call.

Post # 13
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Whatever you do, just don’t give mixed messages.

If you intend to invite some children, but not all children, invite those children as you’d invite the adults by including their names on the invite.

Do not do this and still have all your invites say “adults only”.  Do not do this and have on the website “adults only” / “adult only reception”.  This will only bring confusion to the families whose children you invited, and will look sneaky to those whose children you didn’t invite (when they see other children present). 

I’d rather risk being a little rude by seeming very upfront than having an awkward situation where uninvited children show up — therefore, I’d make mention on the site something like “We’re so looking forward to spending our big day with all of you.  We have reached the venue’s capacity, so please be sure to RSVP.”  Something like this should tip off people that there simply ISN’T room to bring their +1 or +2s.

Alternatively, if all the children you’re looking to invite are all of a certain age, you can make a cut-off, like “Children over the age of 9 are welcome to attend.”  Some may think that’s “rude”, but again, it’s your day, and you call the shots. 


Post # 14
391 posts
Helper bee

I wouldn’t put Adults Only because you are inviting children. Instead use a RSVP card like this:

And fill in how many seats they have. This should be enough to prevent anyone from assuming their kids are invited. If a guests can’t figure this out, I doubt an ‘Adults Only’ label will be any more helpful. I’d be wary of labeling it as such because I’d be annoyed if I paid for childcare for an Adults only reception and there are a bunch of kids running around. 


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