Post # 1
My fiance and I are thinking about having an “adults only” wedding, but I have a lot of cousins in their mid-teens, so I’m not sure how to draw the line as far as age is concerned. We would love to have everyone there, but with entrees starting at $87/person, this just isn’t feasible. I don’t hate kids, it’s just a budget issue.
If any of you have been to or have had a kid-free wedding, what was the cut-off age? The way I see it, there are four options — 12 and under, under 16, under 18, or under 21. What would you consider to be the typical cut-off age in this situation?
Post # 3
We are doing either 18 or 21. We might fib and say it’s 21 even if we slip in a 19 year old who doesn’t know the other side.
Post # 4
I think 21 is totally inappropriate. 18- and 19-year olds are adults, and they should not be not invited because they are “kids.”
18 is fair, 16 is fair, 12 is fair. Decide based on numbers and then stick to it. Think about splitting families (if you’ve got a family with an 8, 10, and 12 year-old, you may not want to use 12, because then one sibling is invited and two aren’t).
Post # 5
I say under 16. By 16 you’re working and looking at colleges–plenty old enough to attend a wedding and act like the young adult you’re becoming!
Post # 6
Our rule was if they needed a babysitter, they weren’t coming. I think the youngest person at our reception was 14 or 15.
Post # 7
Ours was less about age and more about relationship.
I have a HUGE family, so I have one cousin that’s 12 and another that just turned 18. Both are invited without guests. My nieces (11 and 3 months) and nephew (3 years) are also invited.
We just made it clear that no one’s offsprings can come unless they were first cousins or nieces and nephews.
So, no cut off age. But limiting the “no offspring” chopped off around 30 kids of all different ages.
Post # 8
Since we are paying alcohol per person regardless if they are 21 or 8 I would say it would make sense for an adults only to be over 21, but being 20 I would be very offended that I would be considered a kid even though I have a degree, house, fiance’ etc. So it’s really hard to say. But for our wedding we decided no kids under 16 that were not relatives, even distantly.
Post # 9
@Jess1483: That’s a good way to think about it — I hadn’t considered the breakdown of the individual families… nice call.
Another issue is that since my family is local and my fiance’s is out of state, should the rules be bent for the the out-of-towners who may find it more difficult to leave their children behind for a weekend as opposed to a few hours? My family is huge and his is pretty small. I don’t think he has more than 8 cousins under the age of 16, whereas I have at least double that. So it wouldn’t be a huge issue if his family brought a few kids… but this doesn’t seem very fair to me.
Post # 10
IMO 16. because of what@BrandNewBride: said.
Post # 11
I would say 18 or 21 (I assume you’re in the US where you used 21 in your poll). 18 is technically an adult but if you’re having open bar I would cut it off at whatever legal age is where you are.
Post # 12
Legal drinking age. So for us it’s anyone under 18 is not invited.
Post # 13
We’re doing adult only just so we can say no kids – we don’t have a problem with teens but our family is a little older so the youngest person there will be 19 years old.
So when my aunt and his cousin start bitching a fit about their kids not being invited we can say “sorry – nobody under 18 is coming.” It sounds a lot better than nobody under “12” is coming.
Post # 14
It depends on the general make-up, I think. I like the rule about the “babysitters” but again so much of it depends on the actual kid.
Our youngest guest is 16 (not counting the two breast-feeding newborns). After her, the next-youngest kids are 9, 8, 3, and 2. It was easy for us to say “no kids,” with the 16-year-old being the youngest. I guess we lucked out!
Post # 15
If I was 20 and wasn’t invited to a wedding simply because I didn’t make the legal drinking age, I would be so incredibly insulted. Especially considering there are plenty of people above that age who don’t drink.
18 is the legal adult age here and would create a very nice solid boundary, in my opinion.
Post # 16
I believe that children are important to have at weddings. However, if you have to make a cut off then I second @Westwood: if they need a babysitter, then no. Otherwise, yes.
12 YOs don’t need a babysitter. I’m also not a priss about alcohol and about kids being around it. But then… I am European. We tend not to think that alcohol and family life are separate spheres of existence to the same extent.