Post # 1
Hi bees! I really need your help in what is the right thing to do in this situation, as it is becoming a huge family feud and a major source of stress for FI and I, and I just want everyone to be happy! We are having an “Adults Only” reception, which will state clearly on the invitation. Having said that, the FI has four nieces and nephews with whom he and I are very close, two sets of siblings. Two of the four children wanted to be in the wedding, and those two are his godchildren, so it worked it great- or so we thought. My question is WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS WITH CHILDREN AT AN ADULTS ONLY RECEPTION? I’ve been reading that children, regardless of in the Bridal Party or not, should leave after dinner? Can all four children stay for the whole reception, even though it is an adults only reception, and only two of the four are in the biridal party? Will this offend other guests? Should we put all four of them in BP, will this make a difference? Please help, bees! Thank you sooooooo much!
Post # 3
You can do this a few ways ways. Bridal party only (the two children you already mentioned). Family, though if you invite those nieces and nephews and there are other equally close children in the family then they will need to be invited too. Or children X age and over. I suggest the second option because it is seriously not worth getting in a family fight over.
I have mentioned it before but age 12 I wasn’t invited to my male cousins wedding. It caused a major family feud too. My mum and grandma cried over it. To this day (over 10 years later) the bride isn’t in the best of favour with the family. So I know the feeling.
Post # 4
First of all, DO NOT put “adults only” on the invitation or anywhere else. You only say who IS invited, not who’s not. That solves 1) an etiquette problem and 2) your issue of only inviting a few kids.
Second, you can invite whoever you want, kids or not! I only invited my 3 nieces, who were all in the wedding party, and the 3 kids of our closest family friends. No other kids were invited, because those were the only ones we wanted there.
So just address the invitations to exactly who’s invited.
I have never heard of this thing of kids leaving after dinner – they usually seem to have a great time on the dance floor! Also, if the kids leave, that usually means their parents leave too. I wouldn’t ask or expect that.
Post # 5
PPs have good advice on how to do this. I would caution though, selecting some kids and not others will look like favoritism, and may cause some unncessary drama.
Post # 6
Thanks bees! That helps a lot! Yes, that is the problem of favoritism and it is causing drama. One of the bridesmaid’s husbands isnt even coming to the wedding so he can stay home with their children, because kids are not invited! I’m just concerned with people’s feelings getting hurt when they see these 4 children at the reception, especially when two of the four are not in the BP.
Post # 7
At the end of the day, it is your wedding. There are no “rules”. It’s the one and only day you and your husband get to have things exactly the way you want it. It is really not a good idea to specify that it is an adult only wedding on the invites, if it clearly isnt going to be. That will set a lot of wagging tongues, particularly amongst the guests who were invited and their kids not. On your invites, invite only the adults you want e.g. Dear Tarah and Ben……. Then do your RSVP’s something like this —
________________________ (you insert guest names here, e.g. Tarah and Ben)
We have reserved ________ (insert number of guests invited, e.g. 2) seats in your honour.
Accept with pleasure __
Decline with regret __
(They would then tick whether they accept or decline the invite.)
That way, you aren’t saying it is an adult only venue, but you are only giving people the opportunity to attend whose names are on the invites, and made it indirectly clear that the invitation does not extend to kids or anyone else beyond whoever’s name is on the invite and however many seats you have reserved in their honour. Hope I’ve explained that okay. Good luck!
Post # 8
We had an adult only reception, but our nieces and nephews were invited. No one questioned it. Guests should understand you inviting nieces and nephews and not allowing other kids. If they don’t, that’s too bad for them!
Post # 10
With the kids being in the bridal party, I would let them stay until after dinner. If you want an adult only reception, that means either one or both of the parents will need to leave with them, missing the rest of the reception, or you could look into providing on site child care for the evening, like a hotel room with a sitter.
Post # 11
I put “adults only reception to follow” on my wedding invitations – etiquette be damned! And it’s a good thing I did, because even despite it, a few people have asked me for clarification about bringing their kids. The children in my wedding party (the ring bearer and the flower girl are both family and both @ 6 years old) are welcome to stay the whole night. I don’t want the parents to have to leave with them, and since they are in the wedding party, I feel it’s an expected exception to make.
Post # 12
It was different with me…although some say it’s bad etiquette, I did mentioned “Adult Only” on my save the dates to let people know 6 months ahead of time. No one questioned or had a problem. If anything, couples were looking forward to an adult only evening 🙂 I only had the bridal party children attend wedding, 4 total. No one questioned us, no problems. Everything turned out well.
Post # 13
Thank you guys so much!! I will talk to my fiance tonight and see if we cant come to an agreement! I”m glad to know that the majority of you think that four small children from the immediate family wont be that big of a deal- it’s been such an issue these past few days! It also helps to know that others have gone through this problem, too!
Post # 14
Adult only means just that…. adults only!! You will avoid possible hurt feelings, as well as your nieces and nephews feeling out of place, or causing awkward moments due to adult language and/or actions (after all, the guests are expecting it to be an adult only event)
I always have had a problem with weddings that I attend that stated adults only or no children, only to show up and there are kids IN THE WEDDING!?!?! To me it just seems crazy….. and as the bride, I would never want to put myself in that position.
Post # 15
We did the “Adult Only Reception” thing and then, a few weeks ago I find out that FI thinks this doesn’t apply to his nieces and nephew and not only are they coming but also staying past dinner. Staying for dinner I could’ve maybe been ok with, but after dinner?!?!? No way, my family would’ve lost their minds! We had a huge fight over the matter, and in the end we had to invite my family’s kids after all because FI wouldn’t budge on his nieces and nephews. He still insists “it’s different” and they should be the only exception. *Rolls eyes* So now our adult only reception is a kid free for all. Sad panda.
Post # 16
We had a kid free wedding, and honestly I think some people would have been pretty put off if some kids were allowed and their’s were not.