Post # 1
Hi bees! I know this is a sensitive topic, so I am looking for some advice.
I am throwing my dad a surprise birthday party in a few months, and am hosting it in a banquet room of his favorite restaurant. It can only fit 40-50, and I was hoping to keep the number around 40. There are nine children in my extended family, and honestly, I dont’ want them to come. Most of them are terrible little brats, and they have no manners and have ruined several weddings and Christmas parties by throwing tantrums during the vows and gift exchanges. Please note, these kids aren’t toddlers, they are between the ages of 5-10, so it’s simply unacceptable for their age.
I had a child-free wedding (best decision ever) and several of these parents refused to come if their children did not, even though I hired a sitter for the wedding. Go figure. Well anyways, it’s been almost a year since my wedding and it’s still a sore subject for some of these parents. So I am trying to figure out a way to say “no children” without a repeat of my wedding, and making the parents feel alienated. Space is very limited since we have such a large family, but I used that reasoning for why we didn’t have kids at my wedding and people were still offended.
Does anyone know of a polite way to go child-free? The party has to be early (630pm) since my dad works so early in the morning and a late party past the kids bedtime isn’t plausible.
Post # 2
Do you think your DAD, who the party is for, wants his grandkids there?
It’s not about what you want, it’s a party for him.
This isn’t a ‘I love kids’ thing- I don’t. Your wedding was for you. This party is for your Dad. If he shares your opinion on all of his grandkids being bratty and preferring they and their parents (his children) don’t attend, then by all means, make it no kids. But I doubt that’s the truth!
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
“Adults Only Celebration” ..or something like that. You will likely get the same response from the same parents that didn’t go to your wedding, but it is what it is. Not to mention, I feel like an adult’s birthday party is one of the last places you’d want to bring a child, but I guess that’s neither here nor there haha. Good luck!
Post # 4
knickergold : Oh I’m sorry for the miscommunication, these aren’t his grandkids! They are his brothers and sisters grandkids. So his…grandnieces and grandnephews…?
And he skipped the last three family reunions because he said the kids ruin them for everyone with all their tantrums, so I know he doesn’t want them there. It will be no kids, I just am trying to figure out a polite way of making it known.
stephanie091512 : That’s a good idea! I agree with you, but these parents like to view their cousins and extended relatives as free babysitters. 😉
“Adults only celebration” I like that! Thanks!
Post # 5
jimonabee89 : Addresss the invitations by name to those who are invited.
Include the number of seats reserved on the rsvp card.
If someone adds their kids “I’m sorry, there must have been a misunderstanding. The invitation was for you and ____. If this means you will be unable to attend, we will miss you at the party.”
Post # 6
jimonabee89 : Ah ok, makes more sense now 🙂
Post # 7
“Thank you for understanding that this is an adults only event. Looking forward to seeing you there.” Make sure names of invites only are on invites and they can list who is attending by name on RSVPs.
You could put something on there about offering to make arrangements for children?
Post # 8
jimonabee89 : Also I think it’s really in poor taste for parents to be offended or kick up a fuss because their precious little ones can’t come to a wedding or party. You are not obligated to invite children, and invites are sent way in advance so that arrangements can be made. It’s ONE day/night FFS.
Post # 9
Are they all brats or just some of them? Just curious.
There really isn’t a polite way of saying “childfree” especially as people have been offended by a previous “childfree event” (your wedding). They are definitely going to be offended all over again.
I suggest that you ask your elder brother to send the invitations so that he can take the flak rather than you. In a previous thread you have said that you feel like your are parenting your entire family even though you are the youngest. You don’t have to do this. Nor do you have to be the person who always has to be responsible for everyone or the person who always has to take the blame.
Post # 10
I’m not sure if it is proper or not, but I would personally add something to the bottom to the effect of “adult only reception,” or “we are sorry for any inconvenience, but we can only accomodate guests over the age of 21.”
What type of venue is the party at? You can always use space as a reason (for when those couples call you to complain) or if it is at a bar/restaurant, you can use the excuse that since alcohol is present, and to be consumed, it is the wishes of those involved that guests all be a specific age….
or you can just say your dad wants it to be adult only. The truth might hurt a few, but at some point it needs to be said. I have two kids. I LOVE them to pieces, but I really don’t get those who can’t go anywhere without theirs.
Post # 11
What Julies said. That’s very polite. And it’s perfectly fine to have child-free events. If the parents kick up a fuss because they can’t be away from their ten year old for one night, that’s their problem.
Post # 12
just address the invititations to who you want to invite. i don’t think you should put no children.
if someone rsvps that their child is coming, contact them as say, only x and y were invited, i understand if this makes it not possible for you to attend.
Post # 13
There is not a polite way to point out who is not invited on the invitation.
If you opt to go the kid free route, you know from experience there will be drama. Bite the bullet and call people who don’t get the hint that it’s a kid-free event and RSVP on their behalf.
Post # 14
I think something along the lines of “you’re invited to an adult cocktail reception”, as others have suggested, is probably the safest route. Throwing adult and something related to alcohol should help people understand the tone of the event. The fact that this is going to the same parents who were miffed about your child-free wedding, is pretty much guaranteeing drama no matter what you do since you are also hosting this event. To me, it is what it is, and you know you’re doing what will make your dad enjoy his night the most, so its justified.
Post # 15
I like the adult cocktail reception idea. Or you can say, “Alcohol will be served, 21 and over only” Or something. I don’t understand what the fuss is. I would want a night with adults too.