Wedding Etiquette Forum

A couple of questions from the MOB

Several of the families invited have kids but with the venue we have chosen is not really kid friendly.  It would be fine for teens, but not for young kids (whose parents don't watch them and they are little house apes. Not nice I know, but totally accurate.) We are thinking of not using inner envelopes. 
Do we just address the outer envelope to the adults? For the children in the wedding party, do we include them on the addressed envelope too?  We are thinking of putting where the reception info is shown "Adult only reception. Due to venue restrictions, 13 years and older only"  They aren't excluded from the wedding as it's in a separate venue.  If we end up doing inner envelopes, do we have all the children's names or just those 13 and up?  Yes I know it will split some families which is a no-no, but I don't know how else to handle it.

Re: A couple of questions from the MOB

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Several of the families invited have kids but with the venue we have chosen is not really kid friendly.  It would be fine for teens, but not for young kids (whose parents don't watch them and they are little house apes. Not nice I know, but totally accurate.) We are thinking of not using inner envelopes. 
    Do we just address the outer envelope to the adults? For the children in the wedding party, do we include them on the addressed envelope too?  We are thinking of putting where the reception info is shown "Adult only reception. Due to venue restrictions, 13 years and older only"  They aren't excluded from the wedding as it's in a separate venue.  If we end up doing inner envelopes, do we have all the children's names or just those 13 and up?  Yes I know it will split some families which is a no-no, but I don't know how else to handle it.

    It is perfectly within your rights to host an adult only wedding.  It is perfectly appropriate to invite children that are in the wedding party and no other children (from other families).  Things that are NOT appropriate.......
    **writing “Adult Only Reception” anywhere.
    **Inviting children to the ceremony and not the reception.
    **Breaking up families with children by including some (13+ years old) but not the others (12 years old and younger) from the same family. DO NOT SPLIT UP FAMILIES!!

    You address the envelope to whomever is invited.  If it is an adult couple, you address it to Mr. and Mrs. Adult Guests. If you choose not to use inner envelopes, then if Mr. and Mrs. Adult Guests have children being invited, then you add “Child # 1” by name, followed by each and every other child invited, on the outer envelope.
    If Mr. and Mrs. Adult Guest have children not invited, and you do not think they understand the envelope/etiquette “code” of only including those listed, then make sure the family/friend blabbermouth knows that this is an adult only wedding to pass along the word if asked.  
    You “handle” your choices by owning them, but the choices have to be appropriate.  
    downtondivaILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
  • ^^^This. Also, you will need to invite the kids in the WP to the reception, as well as any siblings they have, whether those are in the WP or not.

    And yes, I hear you on the badly behaved kids. But you won't be responsible for their behavior, so put that worry right out of your head. 
    MobKazILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
  • The kids and sibs in the wedding party will definitely be included in the reception.What if we said we had childcare provided?  If so many of the people weren't from out of town it would be easier.  This venue has 2 flights of stairs (It's a very old building) My daughter is just worried one of the kids will get hurt.  She saw them running with chopsticks at Christmas and no comment from the parents.

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The kids and sibs in the wedding party will definitely be included in the reception.What if we said we had childcare provided?  If so many of the people weren't from out of town it would be easier.  This venue has 2 flights of stairs (It's a very old building) My daughter is just worried one of the kids will get hurt.  She saw them running with chopsticks at Christmas and no comment from the parents.

    Many parents will not want to have their children watched by a stranger.  They are adults and need to make the decision that suits them best.  They can leave the kids at home with a trusted sitter.  They can bring their children along, as well as pay to bring their own sitter with, and have them remain at the hotel during the reception.  You cannot parent someone else’s children, nor expect parents to discipline their children to your expectations.  You need to decide whether or not you want children at the reception, and be realistic about behavior.  If any child did hurt themselves, most venues would hopefully have insurance.  If you will be too distracted by their behavior, the easiest choice is to have a child free wedding.
    charlotte989875ILoveBeachMusic
  • The kids and sibs in the wedding party will definitely be included in the reception.What if we said we had childcare provided?  If so many of the people weren't from out of town it would be easier.  This venue has 2 flights of stairs (It's a very old building) My daughter is just worried one of the kids will get hurt.  She saw them running with chopsticks at Christmas and no comment from the parents.

    Not chopsticks! (Clutches pearls).

    If you want to offer childcare that's fine but you can't require it and force any younger guests to use it.  And if the parents aren't familiar with the  childcare they may not use it.  I probably would not use unknown care for my kids without the knowledge of how it was vetted.

    Honestly I think your best bets are to invite in circles and make sure you're not breaking up families.

    Also, many who can let their kids go crazy in their home don't let it fly outside and those who know that their kids make for a less interesting or fun night may just not fly with them or at all.


    short+sassy
  • The problem is there isn't a diplomatic way to split up families.  (I.e. they've got a 13yo, 12yo, and 6yo for example, and the 12yo is the most responsible of the bunch)...  And that's where the challenge of what you're wanting to do comes into play.  The big thing is to let the family "Chatty Cathy" know it's going to be an "adults only" event so it's no surprises to anyone.  If they're choosing this route, they MUST own the decision and stick with it understanding that some people will not be able to attend.  Then there are others you think won't attend that will take the opportunity for a child-free weekend away.  

    As much as the idea of hiring a daycare worker from a nearby well respected daycare center is great, the problem comes in that a lot of people won't allow their littles to be watched by a stranger to them even if that's who your family has a history with as a DCP.  Time was society was much more agreeable to such things with B&G having a "kids only reception" at a nearby hotel with the DCP in charge, stopping with Happy Meals for all the kids and having a kiddie cake to cut, times have unfortunately changed, the above plus food sensitivities, etc. 

    My recommendation is going to be you need to word your invitations carefully and it's going to take more work and expense on the outset, however you're going to thank yourselves in the long run.  

    YES, do the Inner-envelope (seriously, the envelopes portion of invitations are the cheapest!) with the specific names invited.  THEN, on the RSVP card, List the names specifically along with their meal choice. 
    For example:
    John Q. Smith  ____yes ____no
    Meal choice (Please X One Option)
    ___Stuff on a shingle (Beef Option)
    ___ Grilled Veggies (Vegan Option)
    ___ Chicken Nuggets (Chicken Option)

    Janine A. Smith ____yes ____no
    Meal choice (Please X One Option)
    ___Stuff on a shingle (Beef Option)
    ___ Grilled Veggies (Vegan Option)
    ___ Chicken Nuggets (Chicken Option)

    Taylor Smith ____yes ____no
    Meal choice (Please X One Option)
    ___Stuff on a shingle (Beef Option)
    ___ Grilled Veggies (Vegan Option)
    ___ Chicken Nuggets (Chicken Option)
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • edited February 2020
    I know you all are thinking my being so picky is silly, but it's 30 kids under 13 at a small reception venue, about 1/4th of the guest list being kids if they all came. Some kids I have heard horror stories about from OTHER wedding receptions so you know the parents don't care, they will not make them behave properly, so the problem is real.
    Thinking about the idea of inviting kids in a specific circle, those from out of town who live too far away to go home for the evening and would need more than a babysitter for the day might work. That would cut down the number of kids to about 11 or 12 and would keep us from dividing families. There is no real blabbermouth to spread the word I don't think.  The groom's mom and dad are the only ones I know of his family (and their family are 3/4ths of the guest list so it's a little like throwing a family reunion for them.) The wedding is early in the day so there won't be a sit down dinner at the reception or the idea above might work. 


  • I know you all are thinking my being so picky is silly, but it's 30 kids under 13 at a small reception venue, about 1/4th of the guest list being kids if they all came. Some kids I have heard horror stories about from OTHER wedding receptions so you know the parents don't care, they will not make them behave properly, so the problem is real.
    Thinking about the idea of inviting kids in a specific circle, those from out of town who live too far away to go home for the evening and would need more than a babysitter for the day might work. That would cut down the number of kids to about 11 or 12 and would keep us from dividing families. There is no real blabbermouth to spread the word I don't think.  The groom's mom and dad are the only ones I know of his family (and their family are 3/4ths of the guest list so it's a little like throwing a family reunion for them.) The wedding is early in the day so there won't be a sit down dinner at the reception or the idea above might work. 


    Who are the kids in the WP?  

    Can you do things like invite the kids of the siblings of the B & G only?   Are the WP very close friends? 

    Where it gets tricky:  If the kids in the WP are kids of cousins and other cousins' children aren't invited it can ruffle feathers.   But if the WP are either VERY close friends themselves (including kids) or the children of siblings you have a clean cutoff.

    I would not use a geographical cutoff as the means of who you don't invite.   Then you can hurt families and again, feathers get ruffled.  

    What we did:  When DH and I were married 12.5 years ago we invited the children of cousins but not the children of friends.   At the time there were only a small handful of cousins with kids so that worked.   My children now have over 50 second cousins so this would NOT work today!  We didn't invite the children of friends.   That helped reduce guest list size.   We also didn't have kids in the wedding. 

    Bottom line now: start to draft that list, see if you can keep the dividing lines clean and then start to look at who can and can't make the list. 
    MobKazILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
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