Post # 1
We have a somewhat tricky question about inviting children to the wedding, and addressing our save the dates (which we hope to send out this weekend — yay!) and invitations.
My fiance has two young nephews (3 and 7) that we really want to have attend the wedding and have in photos, but we don’t particularly want to have children at our reception for a variety of reasons — it’s starting at 8:30 or 9, we want parents to be able to have fun w/o their kids, don’t want to pay for kids to eat expensive catered food, etc. We both also have several cousins under our somewhat arbitrary cutoff age of 14, 15, 16 (haven’t quite decided yet). As an alternative to having kids at the reception, and because we are having a destination wedding, we intend to provide childcare at the hotel across the street from our venue during the reception.
My question is, how do we indicate on our save the dates that we welcome children to attend the ceremony but not the reception? Should we address the std to the whole family, and then call people individually to explain the ceremony v. reception issue? Or should we do it the other way around, and just address the invite to parents and then explain over the phone that we would love for people to bring their kids to town for the weekend and they can come to the ceremony, but that we will be providing childcare during the reception?
Any advice, comparable experience, war stories, etc., greatly appreciated!!
Post # 3
On the save the dates is not the place to put it. ANd people will not remember it if it is…trust me.
As a matter of fact some will say you shoulnd’t put it anywhere because it’s rude, I however believe you need to change with the times, and I do not really think that a wedding is a place for young children (toddlers…what not), especially when the receptions starts so late.
What I would do, is start word of mouth. Mention it in conversation that it’s an adult only reception, you’ll be surprised how quickly it will travel. Get you’re parents in on it too…and just bceause they can’t come to the reception doens’t mea they can’t come tot he ceremony, and have photos take…
Then on your invite I would add in "adult only reception beginning at:" and have RSVP’s that say "We’ve reserved 2 seats in your honor" (or however many you’re inviting from that family.) Crowd control! This will stop them from adding in everyone they know and also not offering a children friendly mean is a good indicator. Seeing only two slots when there are a family with 2 young kids…will get them seeing that their kids are not invited.
Most people were respctful of the no kids thing I ahd at my wedding, some were not and brought their kids anyway and asked whey there was no seat for them….at thetime I was so busy running around the 2 kids that were there uninvited wern’t even a bother….I hardly noticed!
Careful – this post is going to spark major controversy…so always remember to go with your heart! DO WHAT YOU want, it’s your day!
Post # 4
Thanks for your input. I actually should have mentioned in my original post that most of the parents I’m referring to actually DON’T want their kids their anyway, so my question is really more about the etiquitte of how to handle addressing things. My std doesn’t actually say "no children" but the question is more about addressing it — should it be addressed to "The Smith Family" or to "Joe and Jane Smith," specifically leaving kids off?
My intention is not to be controversial — just to get some practical advice. Trust me, I will personally speak with each person this affects because they are all close family and we don’t want to upset anyone — just make sure that everyone has a great time at the wedding, but that we also get to hang out — kids and all — for the rest of the weekend!
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2007 - Bride's family summer home in the Adirondacks
I think it’s much nicer to address it to Joe & Jane Smith and then tell them that they are welcome to bring kids to the ceremony if they want, than it would be to "invite" the kids (by saying The Smith Family) and then "take it back" by saying "but not the reception." Also, by saying "oh and just so you know, you can feel free to bring the kids to the ceremony!" you are making it clear that you mean not the reception, but you don’t have to sound mean about it. 🙂 I also agree that marking on the RSVP cards how many guests are invited is a good way to ensure people get the hint!
Post # 6
That makes a lot of sense — thanks!
Post # 7
I love sweenyey2b’s response to crowd control! I was wondering how I could word the RSVP card to indicate that only a certain amount of seats for each family was reserved, and now I know! Thanks!
Post # 8
You could also make arrangements to have a baby sitter on-site, but out of sight. If you tell the parents that this option is available, they will probably be really grateful and get the hint.