Post # 1
man, I am a busy poster this am!
My fiancee & I have witnessed firsthand young kids at more formal events struggling to maintain their composure, ultimately causing friction between hosts & guests. I know that guests can be hurt if we invite them but not their children but don’t we have to budget $ in the catering costs for the children, no matter their ages? Please advise.
I don’t wanna get bashed by any bees….I don’t dislike children but I think based on wedding costs this could be a cost-effective measure. I don’t wish to alienate anybody but I get nervous about the following: young kids making a mess, interrupting the ceremony, injuring themselves during the reception and last but not least…..guests unable to fully enjoy themselves because they have to constantly oversee their children. I have read a lot here where this decision led to longterm family fights and brides getting called out and rifts between couples.
Please share your thoughts but respectfully. Again, this is just a preliminary thought and not fully decided at this time. thanks!
Post # 2
Just have an inner envelope that lists the names of those invited. You could reinforce that by saying _ seats are reserved in your honor on the RSVP card. If people RSVP with kids then you call and clear up the misunderstanding. I think “no kids” or “adults only” on an invite is just aggressive. You shouldnt be highlighting who isnt invited on an invitation.
Post # 3
Do you have a weddin website? I’ll share what we did. We addressed the invites to only those invited, let a couple of key people know it wasn’t a child friendly event, and popped some into under FAQs on our website. A friend asked to bring her breastfeeding baby which was of course fine. No other problems whatsoever
Post # 4
There is nothing wrong with having a child free wedding, if that’s what you want. Keep in mind in case it’s relevant, that inviting kids does not have to be an all or nothing thing and that many people invite only the kids of immediate family.
That said, it’s totally improper to make any reference to a child-free or adult only reception on your invitation. Invitations are inclusive, not exclusive. They are addressed by name, specifically, and you are supposed to assume your guests are literate and can read an invitation.
When RSVPs come back, if someone does reply with kids, you call them, apologize for any miscommunication, and tell them the invitation was meant only for them. You can always offer to help with sitters or to provide them near the venue or on site.
Post # 5
My family has been hosting adult mostly events, since the late 1960s, including my own wedding, in the late 1970s. My daughter’s wedding was 21 and up; it was the responsibility of the fathers of the couple to explain to their siblings that cousins who were 22 and up were invited and those 18 and under were not. The groom’s side didn’t have a problem, in fact, every family wedding since then has been 21 and up. My brother in law’s family are the poster family for a narcissistic sense of entitelement, so they boycotted and didn’t even have the courtesy to RSVP. For the last family wedding before this, they brought their uninvited kids anyway, who refused the kids meals, that were offered to them (age 7 & 10).
My daughter mailed out their save the dates 10 months before the wedding, addressed to adults only. The wedding website was on the STDs. The first page of the website – the one you see when you enter the address – had a phrase like “Our ceremony and reception have been planned for guests 21 and over.” Invitations were addressed to only adults. They requested responses through the RSVP page, of their website, so if the guests didn’t see the first page before, they saw it then. Only the names of those invited came up on the RSVP function, when the guest input their last name, so no one could add their children. Only one couple couldn’t secure a babysitter, given 10 months notice. Overall, they only had a 10% decline rate, including a couple who has kids and had to drive a full day, to attend. The only invited guest who had an infant, was invited to bring the baby, but they didn’t.
Post # 6
we did as some other posters did, by just addressing the inner envelope to those invited. But we still had some confused guests on that and people putting their kids down anyways. So we had to contact them and let them no it’s a kid free wedding. Also, I’ve heard of putting it on your wedding website, but I honestly don’t think many people go and look at it. Maybe on the reception card put that it is a kid free wedding, I know they say not to do this, but it seems like the only way to get the point across nowadays.
Post # 7
i just put two name/meal lines on my rsvp and on the wedding website, had a whole separate tab entitled “little people AKA children” and said:
We will be unable to accommodate children under the age of fifteen at the ceremony or reception.
If you do choose to bring your little ones along for the trip, please be aware that child care will not be provided.
We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.”
Post # 8
“Adult reception to follow” on the invite.
No it’s not the proper etiquette, but I can guarantee you it will save you a ton of headache.
Or do the “we have reserved 2 seats in your honor” with only their names on the RSVP.
Many, many people assume their kids are automatically invited unless you very clear. Trust me.
Post # 9
I agree with PPs, just address the invitation to the adults! If you have a wedding website you could mention something on there about it being adults only.
I disagree about putting ‘we have reserved _ seats in your honour’ on the invitation or putting ‘_ of _ will be coming’. Even if you address it to the adults either of these things will enable guests to try to substitute their kids for their spouses or other people altogether as it is just numbers. If they put 2 of 2, they could be planning on bringing their 5 year old if their partner is unable to make it!
I don’t know for sure whether I will do this but I am thinking of putting: ‘guest’s name’ will/will not be attending on the RSVP’s for each guest invited so there are no confusion or substitution or additions!
Post # 10
Thanks for all the well-thought out responses and not bashing me 🙂 Ultimately, a wedding is up to the bride & groom. I highly doubt this would happen but since our venue requires us to have insurance wouldn’t any child-related injury then fall on me? Def. the last thing I would need!
also, since we’re working so hard to provide each other with a memorable wedding experience I really don’t want to have to speak up and repeat myself over a fussy young child during our vows. That would really bring us down. I think a lot of you provided helpful tips and I will take them under advisement.
Lastly, if we change our minds and have kids of all ages attend are we obligated in any way to provide babysitting options? I find that crazy! and ugh….another expense for us. Please do not think I am being bratty but this beautiful event really is about the bride & groom. I once witnessed friends struggling with their young child during their vows; daughter hitting the father in his face while exchanging the vows! I felt bad for them. The mother-in-law attempted to remove and comfort the child but to no avail. ugh.
Post # 11
You aren’t, of course, obligated to provide sitters, but it can be a thoughtful and generous thing to do.
Post # 12
No one is obligated to provide childcare for other people.
If you don’t want children, just don’t invite children. The pp’s have given you all the information you need to handle the invitations.
IF someone responds by writing in their child’s name or increases the number of guests attending, on the rsvp card, you will have to contact them. Have a script ready.
“There must have been a misunderstanding. The invitation was for the two of you. We are unable to accomodate extra guests. If that means you are unable to attend, we will understand and will miss you at the wedding.”
Post # 13
I thought we made it clear enough by addressing the invitation to Mom and Dad only. For 95% of our guests that was clear enough. But we had a few who wound up writing in their kids, which was super awkward when I had to let them know that we were having a child-free wedding, and then we had to wait while they scrambled to see if they could find arrangements for their children that night, and one wound up not being able to come as a result. So yeah, I felt bad and wish we’d done more to convey the “no kids” thing before anyone had to go through all that.
We only had outer envelopes, but an inner envelope with only the parents’ names might have helped. We also didn’t put it on our website (not sure anyone actually looked at it) but that’s something to try. And then you’ve also gotten the suggestion to put on the RSVP card something like, “2 seats have been reserved in your honor.” Again, we wish we’d done that. Although my Fiance checked with his guests who have kids just to make sure they realized their kids weren’t invited and most of them said, “Yeah, it was clear from the invitation that they weren’t invited. We’re cool with it and have arranged for a pack of wolves to watch our kids that night. It’s all good.” So maybe my two guests who didn’t get that are just oddballs and you won’t have any problem!
Post # 14
Unfortunately, there seems to be one couple, on every guest list.
Post # 15
Etiquette also disapproves ‘X seats reserved in your honor.” It also implies “we don’t think you can read.” Not to mention that rude or clueless people will ignore it anyway.