(Closed) STD and Invitations – Attire, Adults Only, and Wording

posted 6 years ago in Paper
Post # 16
9001 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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I do not want jeans, camo, army/hunting boots/clothes and I’ve heard that some of FH extended family (that I have yet to meet) have shown up at weddings wearing these items. My venue has nicely asked not to have those in the venue or we would incur steep cleaning fees for chairs, chair covers and carpets.

I don’t blame you for wanting people to dress nice for your wedding, but it’s really rude to try to dictate what people wear. And I honestly don’t understand the cleaning fee thing. What exactly is on these jeans that’s going to require cleaning the chairs? That sounds like a crock to me. Has his family showed up at weddings in filthy clothes before? And if they feel that mud-caked clothes are appropriate wedding attire (which I have such a hard time believing), what are the chances they even own cocktail attire? What would they be saving it for? Your fiance can ask his parents to spread the word that your wedding will be fancy, but you should not put anything on the invitations.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Daisy_Mae.
Post # 18
2871 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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kristena84: There’s a place for etiquette and a place for practicality and you know what? I’m team practicality.

Look, you mean well and if people want to find offense where none was meant, they will find it. So you might as well make sure you’re covered and add something like “dress code enforced” for the guests who don’t clean up. 

point: “dress code enforced”

Adult only reception wording is fine. Because you know what? I have discovered that parents are very into their children which is great. The kids probably make it to adulthood for that reason. If you don’t spell things out for people, they may show up with their kids and create an awkward situation. 

point: “adult only reception to follow”

You found out that people were requesting registry information. They can find out where you’re registered in the same way you found out they wanted registry information. Through word of mouth. 

point: share registry information via word of mouth

Hope that helps! And if people think you’re rude, whatever. My give a damn for what others think is busted. 

Post # 19
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

If your wedding is in July I would just skip the save the date and sent invites early. Just let your guest know when your date is. 

Post # 20
13393 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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kristena84:  There is nothing about etiquette that is not practical, especially if you are looking at it through the eyes of those who  know how to behave socially. Since your job as a host, even at your own wedding,  is to consider your guests, there is no contradiction between etiquette and practicality,  even if it comes with the small risk that a few will be rude or oblivious. 

The bigger risk is offending all the people who know how to read an invitation and know how to dress for a wedding. 

Post # 21
372 posts
Helper bee

I wish I put adults only reception to follow as my dad has said my cousin is planning to bring his child and he’s now asking if I had noted it somewhere saying they would not read the invitation as intended. I’ve got my dad onto it to tell him in no uncertain words his child is not invited. Spell it out, people are oblivious and sometimes rude.

Post # 22
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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kristena84: im in the UK so can’t speak for US etiquette. We’re going to include a handwritten note only with the relevant invitations going out saying something like “Dear ___, unfortunately due to space restrictions we are only able to accommodate the children of family members. We hope this doesn’t cause a problem and hope to still be able to celebrate with you. Love, ____.” Obviously the wording isn’t right yet but that’s the general idea. The kids of our friends are all babies / toddlers and our family’s kids are all older so we thought it was a neat way of minimising the number of screaming kids!

Post # 23
736 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

While etiquette is clear, it doesn’t always work for every person and for every situation. Some people here think one thing is rude while others aren’t bothered by it.

If it were my wedding, I would be indicating adults only on the invitation, only because some people assume their children are invited to everything too. At least, if you’ve made it clear on the invitation, if people turn around and rsvp for their children, you can easily say “as per the invitation we sent, we are not having any children at our ceremony or reception, thank you for respecting our choice”.

Some of my family doesn’t know the difference between dressing for the grocery store and dressing for a wedding, so I would feel compelled to indicate some kind of dress code on the invitation, even though many people get it.


  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  geekgirl84.
Post # 24
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

At some point, you just need to relax and accept that when you invite guests, you invite a little chaos to your wedding!  If people are going to be rude, no invitation wording will stop them.  You can put “Venue cannot accomodate children” and people will still ask you to make an exception.    

1) I’d put the names on the envelopes (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and “# of Seats Reserved in your honour”.  

2) I’d ask your Future Mother-In-Law to call her family and make sure they know it’s a fancy wedding. 

3) I’d include the hotel insert just with the invites, not the STDs.  

4) Tell people about your registry though word of mouth.  There’s plenty of time from now until July for grandma to call up and ask.  

Post # 25
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Cottage on the Creek

yeah some people get so worked up over things being rude on invites. I think it SO depends on your crowd. If the people you are inviting are old fashioned, proper, or uppity, then yeah follow Emily Post.

If it’s a bunc of your friends who just want to know what to wear and who to bring, put it in the invite. Don’t stress! 

Post # 26
184 posts
Blushing bee

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kristena84:  The best wording I have seen to indicate no children came from a bride on here and I thought it was ingenious.

Respectfully, this is an Adults Only Occasion



Post # 27
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

2 suggestions:

If you decide to include “adults only reception” on the invites, consider dropping the word only. “Adult reception to follow” sounds more neutral and less offensive because you’re eliminating the negative connotation of the word only while still getting the point across in a more grammatically correct way. 

This next idea may may be frowned upon, but I have similar concerns about children and excess guests. I am toying with the idea of writing each guest’s name on their RSVP card prior to mailing them. Many people won’t pay attention to the envelope wording and while there will be a few outliers that write in extra names, it seems like a subtle way to say “hey don’t bring your kids”. Some people suggest numbering your RSVP cards and keeping a log because some people neglect to write their names on the RSVP anyway. Like a previous poster said, you have to balance etiquette with practicality in the way that makes sense for your wedding and guests. 

Post # 28
4038 posts
Honey bee

My daughters had wedding websites 90% complete, including travel information, room blocks, and their registry (BB&B), 10 months before the wedding, when the StDs went out. The first one to marry put black-tie, on the StD; we didn’t for the 2nd one (on the website and invitation), as there were a number of duplicate guests. Other questions were fielded by MOB and MOG, and GOB. 

Both were adults only, except for the bridal parties (i.e. honorary little sister (16) as bridesmaid in one, the groom’s niece/nephew (12 & 15) as bridesmaid/groomsman in the other). One guest (#2) wanted to substitute her granddaughter, for her husband. MOG forgot the adult only rule, so there was an uncomfortable e-mail exchange, and she had to call the guest. They ended up not attending, didn’t send their congratulations, etc.

For the 1st wedding, the MOG personally informed relatives that under 21s were not invited. Drinking age was 21+, and most were 18 and below. Guests 13 and up were charged the full adult rate, at the venue, so the FOB (hosted 100%) said he wasn’t paying for kids. No one volunteered to pay, so 21+ it was. The StDs were addressed to the adults only.

For #1 there was one exception -my husband sent a nice e-mail, to his brother, and sent the StD via a PowerPoint slide. It had the added words “Adult guests 21+” on it.” In this case, it was 150% necessary to do it that way. They wouldn’t have put a StD magnet on their fridge, if their kids weren’t invited. And, they had bullied their way into another relative’s wedding. At the time, their kids were 7 & 10. The groom’s step-nieces were the same age, and weren’t even there. They were so furious at us, they didn’t even bother to RSVP. Didn’t sent as much as a congratulatory e-mail, or acknowledge the marriage, in any way. Oh well …


Post # 29
1848 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

We are inviting ONLY children who will be flower girls/ring bearers. I explicitly wrote out every name I wanted to be notified on the STDs and we have a “__ seats have been reserved in your honor” line on the invitation. I don’t really care if that fits the etiquette…it’s to the point and most of our guests don’t have kids, anyway.

Do not list attire requirements unless you are having a truly black tie or white tie occasion. Your guests will (hopefully) know not to come to your event looking like a hot mess. I’ve never gotten an invitation with dress code restrictions, and always wore a cocktail dress. I know what to do as a guest, so have faith that they will, too.

I learned not to ever put registry info on any printed paper. Guests will ask where you’re registered – tell them verbally. I put my info on the website only because people pestered me about not being registered anywhere. I put like 4 things on the registry and left it at that. If I don’t get anything from there, that’s cool because I wasn’t expecting anything anyway. Your guests know the bride and groom will probably be registered somewhere, and will ask or find out by word of mouth.

Travel accommodations are always welcome. I don’t see why you can’t include that.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  sealevels.

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