(Closed) Torn…some kids, no kids, or all kids

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1794 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@mikaj313:  I think if you allow some kids and not others, you run a high risk of offending those who aren’t allowed to bring their kids when they see other kids there. It’s usually better to make a firm age cutoff and apply it to everyone. You could also look into hiring babysitters to watch kids separately from the reception.

Post # 4
1098 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m having a No Kids wedding. Mainly because my dad is 1 of 13 children, therefore I have alot of second cousins, third cousins, etc.  I’m at 175 and thats with a big cut I had to do bc of budget that did not include kids… also my venue has a lake and I don’t want to worry about unattended children. My immediate family is allowed to bring family but noone else. And that will only be about 10 kids. Everyone will get the same invitaiton, but the cousins who know they are the exception are my 2 cousins coming from Vegas with 2 kids each.

Post # 5
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It’s your wedding; there are no right answers on the kids question, and whatever you decide your guests will have to accept.  Do what’s best for your budget/venue/preference. That said, some guests may feel betrayed if they receive an invitation reading “Adults Only Reception” and find that the reception is not in fact Adults Only. You may want to skip that wording, address the invitation only to the adults, and get the word out through parents or in an email letting guests know that only children of immediate family will be attending and/or perhaps state somewhere on your website that due to space constraints (or whatever) you are only able to welcome those guests named on the invitations. 


Post # 6
5656 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

The way we handled this so far is we invited specifically only the adults, knowing that if someone asks to bring their kids we are ok with it. I don’t see that as allowing some and not other’s. It’s simply that if someone brings their kids it was important enough to them to ask if they could ( I would hope). We haven’t had any complaints so far, and we have actually had quite a few people say heck no i’m not bringing my kids I want a nice night alone! So there you have it 😉


On the rsvp card we are stating “we have reserved 2 seats in your honor” or however many, so that people don’t assume its a free for all, without specifically stating no kids.

Post # 7
3352 posts
Sugar bee

As the hosts you can invite whomever you choose. On this board it is often recommended to have a blanket rule. Etiquette doesn’t demand this. Polite guests wouldn’t dare question the hosts right to invite whomever they choose.

I did not apply a blanket rule. We had 3 close family member kids and one friend kid present. The friend got to bring her baby (who was like 3 weeks old) but not her older child as it was primarily not a function for children.

Post # 8
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Our isn’t a kid-friendly venue (museum, and you can NOT touch!), nor a kid-friendly time (evening wedding.) I’ve already told the out of town moms that it’s an adults only event, and that I will help them find babysitters, if needed. These are all little ones, less than 2-years old, so having a separate kids reception wouldn’t work (they’d all be asleep by the time we serve food.) Most of the moms are looking for a night out without the kids- it’s really only a concern for those traveling, and we can have the babysitters come to the hotel.

Post # 9
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would say that you have to invite all or none. We are personally not inviting children because we want people to come, eat, drink and have fun and with little children running around, this can take away from the fun.

We’re not concerned about people not attending due to not having children because we sent STDs so we figured people who know what to expect.

Post # 10
11533 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

You do not need to invite all or none. You are able to choose. My DH and I invited his children, all of our nieces and nephews, the children of my two matrons of honor — who have called me their aunt their entire lives — and any minor children of my first cousins who still live at home with their parents. (This approach worked for me, because neither of those kids had any older siblings.) No other children were invited.

Will you be using inner envelopes with your invitations? Not very many people do these days. However, this is the best and simplest way of letting people know exactly who is being invited to your wedding. If the inner envelopes say “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” it is much less likely for the them to think that their three children are also included.

ETA:  Also, regarding the expense of children at the reception: I had a very expensive plated dinner of surf and turf for the adults. However, my venue offered special children’s meals at half of the cost of the adult meals.  Perhaps yours will as well?

Post # 11
1826 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

View original reply
@bythebook:  I agree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with only inviting the children of immediate family only. It is your wedding and of course ALL of your family should be there. I would avoid saying Adults only for the same reason… It’s not.

Post # 12
255 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Sorry…it’s either all or nothing!

Post # 13
1512 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I say all or none. I would be offended if I was invited and had to leave my daughter at home , and then when I arrived there were other children.

Post # 14
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m only allowing kids from our family and Out of Town guest which I think is a total of 8.  I have already told my friends in town that the reception is Adult Only

Post # 15
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We are allowing children to attend our ceremony but adults only for the reception. That way the kids still feel as if they came to the wedding.

I agree with the above posters. Apply the same rule to everyone or you run the high risk of offending people.

Post # 16
2963 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@mikaj313: i totally understand where you’re coming from.

we’re not inviting kids to the reception unless they’re close family. i don’t have any nieces or nephews and there are only a few younger cousins who i’m close to and would like to have there. they’re well behaved, so i’m not worried about them being disruptive.

my fiance, on the other hand, has 12 nieces and nephews ranging in age from 2 to 18. and they all love him to pieces, so we can’t not invite them. and they’re….well, let’s just say they’re a lively bunch, haha, and i’m hoping and praying that they will behave themselves.

i know some people are going to be upset that we’re “playing favorites,” but we simply don’t have the space or the money to have everyone’s kids there.


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