Wedding Etiquette Forum

If Adult Only Reception, What age equals an Adult?

First issue: I have a family member that is already crying about me not addressing the Save the Dates to a couple of her kids at home. They are both in highschool, and I am not sure of the exact ages. In my mind, I figured I would just wait until closer to the ceremony to determine whether they are 18, and if they are 18 or over they are invited. What is the etiquette here? What if one is 18 and the other is not? (They are close in age). Second issue: My only nieces are my flower girls. My brother recently became engaged, and the fiance has three kids. The reception is adult only, accept from my nieces of course.  I don't want the other kids because it opens a pandoras box. How do I address this in a subtle way? What are some examples of random comments? Thanks!

Re: If Adult Only Reception, What age equals an Adult?

  • legally old enough to drink.
    kablah.....that is all.
  • I'd say out of high school= adult. But, in your case where you have siblings where one may be out of HS and the other one isn't, invite them both.
  • that's why we family based on relationship level.  All first cousins are invited (we are all over 30).. No kids of cousin are invited, no friends kids were invited, yet my nieces/nephews were invited.   It's a non-issue in my family.Question about these 2 high schoolers?  What is their relationship to you?  Are they nly ones in that 'level' excluded?   If yes, then I would  invite them. If there are others in that 'level' not invited I would not invite them.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I am sort of in the same boat...I'd like to see everyone's opinion :) sorry I'm not help though
  • To me an adult is legally allowed to drink.  With the sibblings either invite both or neither.  Set an age and stick to it no exceptions. 
  • FFmaid and Leah- What is hard to understand about it? I want my neices to be my flower girls, and no other kids. What am I going to say- Well, I want Adults Only so I guess I won't have flower girls? No way. It is still adults only, just because we are having flower girls does not mean we should allow every child to come. They are the only exception, and my only nieces, so I am very close to them.  I know some people comment on here based on their oppinions without really being helpful because that is what they do all day, but both comments annoyed me.  I like the 21 and over club, but we already invited someone between the 18 and 21 category, so that will not work. I also agree that inviting one sibling and not the other would be odd- BUT, I am not sure what the status is on my in-laws side. There might be others that fall into this category, and they were left off. I will not be inviting all the fiance's kids- both my attendants have children I am much closer to that will not be attending. How do I carefully make that point? Thanks!
  • Whast so hard to understand. Do not call it adults only if you are inviting kids because kids will be there. I get neices only. I just see no reason to lie about it. If people ask they are being rude. Either say " It simply is not possible to include bart lisa and maggy  but we hope you and homer attend" or say " we are only inviting our neices and neohews. If you say "it is adults only" you are lying. Just do not lie make teh cutoff wherever you want just do not be a liar.
  • also on your future neices and nephews you might as well tell your brother that his step kids do not count as much as your biological neices and nephews. We are only inviting our neices and nephews is a clear line. Actually you can invite only those kids you know and like just be prepared for saying " well I bart is not close to us but millhouse is" as a reason  
  • 1. I have a job- You are being mean.2. If any kid is invited to the wedding it is not an adults only event 3. If you call something that is not an adults only event an adults only event you are lying4. When you lie you are a liar5. If you want your neices and no other kids just have your neices and no other kids6. If someone you invite questions your invite list they are being rude7. If they do question it then say it simply was not possible to include the little kids or whomever else they want included8. Including your biological neices but not your brothers soon to be stepkids is a clear statement that you do not consider his soon to be stepkids to be family  in the making and is a great reason for your brother any other sibling and your parents to decline your wedding because you are being mean to your future neices and nephewsClear enough for ya?
  • You've pretty much made a grey-area for yourself on this issue since it seems like there are a lot of people that are kind of on the border of making your list and getting cut. For your sake, it might be easier to establish as a firm rule that people who are of legal drinking age and over will be invited, and those younger than that are not. I realize you have already invited someone who falls below that age line, and since you can't take your invite back, I'd simply avoid inviting anyone else who's in that category and play dumb if someone calls you out on the age of that person.Once you make an exception for one person, there's no easy way to get out of making that exception for someone else. Since you've decided to put restrictions on your guest list, you're going to have to make the call on this one because we can't help you decide that one person should come ahead of the other, especially when it comes to children who may someday be related to you. At best, you can probably say that children who accompany immediate family will be included, but that's it.
  • My criteria for an adult would be:*Are they old enough to date without it being creepy?*Will they eat the food that is put infront of them?*Will they independently enjoy themselves with the entertainment provided?If siblings are close in age, invite them both.As far as the question about your nieces, I say - it's your wedding, do what you please.  Nobody knows the specifics of your family situation but you, and as far as I can tell, you didn't ask for opinions on whether or not it should be an Adults Only reception...nor did you express concern about being a "liar".  Put Adults Only.  Tell your brother that the only kids allowed at the reception are the two girls that are already in the ceremony because of costs associated with the wedding.  If NO OTHER KIDS, no matter who they are related to, are invited, then it shouldn't be an issue.  And if anybody has enough time on their hands to sit and ponder whether or not you are a "liar" based on a technicality, then revoke their invitation.
  • Don't write anywhere that it's an adults only wedding.  If people ask you can say, "We're keeping it to only adults except for my nieces."
  • Good point ten.  If you keep it to nieces and nephews (whether biologically or by marriage) it's an easy distinction.If you  exclude the children who will be your brother's step children, I have a feeling that your invitation may come in a 'special' delivery package when it's time for your brother to get married.
  • I think a lot of people are making this a bigger issue than it really is. It is fairly common in an adults-only reception to still have a flower girl/ring bearer in your wedding and have them attend the reception. It doesn't make her evil or thoughtless. There have been more than a few girls on here who did not invite their own brother or sister's children to their own wedding. I'm not saying whether it is right or wrong, but it is easiest to just create a rule in black and white so you can justify this to your guests. Melbee- I would just say no kids under 21 except the wedding party. You dont have to justify that your flower girls are your neices. The flower girls would be invited to the reception whether or not they were blood related. FWIW, we have the same rule as someone else already mentioned.... no 2nd cousins. It cut out a lot of the small children and guests who we really didn't there anyway but felt obligated to invite. GL
  • Sammi and Beth, thank you for the feedback. Tenofcups, they got engaged after I had this planned out and I didn't ask what anyone thought of it. I am much closer to my attendants children, and yes I love kids, but this was already decided and I am not changing my mind and don't care what you think. It would not be fair for the her kids to show up, but tell everyone else no kids. Get over it. This seems personal to some people, maybe you have kids that are step family, and you would be hurt. Get OVER IT. It's not your wedding.
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