Wedding Etiquette Forum

The dreaded....adult only reception!!

Alright ladies, I'm lookin for some advice on having an adult only reception.

My older sister and bro both had them when they got married, and since myself, my FI, and my family don't really like the idea of screaming kids at our wedding/reception, I would like an AR as well.

There is a problem though...FI's family has quite a few small, VERY unruly kids.  I'm talking, these two boys almost broke the flat screen on Easter just by banging on it with their fists...while their dad stood there and watched.

SO I'm cool with saying "Adult Reception to follow", and if they can't make it because they can't get a baby sitter, then that's a bummer but I'll understand (they all live 3.5 hours away and will have to be staying overnight in a hotel).  However, his GM (who is also his cousin who he is super close to) has a baby that will be 22 months at our wedding.  I'd feel really bad saying that they can't bring their baby, but again, I don't want it screaming throughout the ceremony and reception.  I really want it to be a fun, adult time.

I got a lot of flack on here when I mentioned that I wanted to get a babysitter for at the hotel room so if they DID feel comfortable leaving their kids with a reputable sitter they could come for a bit, but that's the only solution I can think of besides inviting the kiddos to the ceremony and reception (not gonna happen).

I hope I don't sound like a bad person - we are just not kid people, and I want my wedding to be as enjoyable as possible.  Thoughts?
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Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!!

  • achiduckachiduck member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited March 2012
    1) You shouldn't say "adult reception" unless you're having strippers perform after dinner.

    2) A lot of parents don't like leaving their kids with a babysitter they don't know.

    3) The best way to deal with it is through a) word of mouth and b) to address the invites to just the people who are invited. Having a line that says " X seast have been reserved in your honour" on your RSVP card is fine.

    Like every bride, you will get people who think they're the reception to the rule or that you made a mistake and you will have to call them and say that you just couldn't include little ones and that you hope they can still make it. Be prepared that some people won't come without their kids.

    ETA: It's perfectly fine to want a child-free reception and it doesn't make you a bad person. We are not inviting children except for the 2 women who will have young babies that are still breastfeeding. Oh yes, that's the other thing. You need to let women who are breastfeeding bring their babies if they want - you can't separate a baby from it's food source.
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  • I completely agree and am in the same boat.. my FI and I wanted a child free wedding but his uncle flat out told us that he wouldn't show without his children. I personally don't care, however I know my FI does, and took it kind of personal...We talked to my FI's mother, whose nephew and niece are the unruly children, and she told us she had no qualms about keeping an eye on the children and removing them from the ceremony. I just don't want her to miss the ceremony due to them. I am definitely going to look into a babysitter though... thats a great idea!
  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited March 2012
    These are the choices you have to make.  If you don't want kids, then hold firm.  "Sorry, you'll be missed" will become a new phrase for you.

    The same holds true for the GM with a 22 month old.  I think most parents (aside from the crazies) realize that with kids come sacrifices.  Kids can't go everywhere and are sometimes not invited.  Babysitters exist.
  • Thanks everyone!  I know we're going to lose some people for this, but when we're paying over $20k for a wedding, I want it to be amazing...and that includes no kids!!  I appreciate everyone's advice :)
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  • I'm completely on board with no kids, even though it wasn't a direction we went in.  As someone who did go the hire a sitter route (as an option for after dinner in our case), can I suggest that you offer to hire the sitter the parents are comfortable with for the 22 month old?  Since the GM in question is a family member, I'm making the assumption you could work something out by the wedding based on a combination of recommendations from local parents and others.

    This was what DH and I did - we hired sitters suggested to us by the local parents and that seemed to go a long way toward making all of the parents more comfortable, not just those who had worked with the sitters before.
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  • pgcppgcp member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    It would be fine to offer to find a babysitter for the relatives kids.  I would actually talk with them though, don't including anything in the invitation.  If you never talk with them then have your fiance or fils ask them.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_the-dreadedadult-only-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c43e86b-a8fc-4f9a-888a-15b897cd00d2Post:2bf320da-b297-4da7-bd7f-cb960a23c4a4">Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!! : I'm asking this out of pure curiosity, and I apologize if I look stupid: Why is this the party line? My SIL pumps and always has some milk in the freezer as backup for emergencies, going out, or whatever. I can understand if the couple is traveling for the weekend and obviously won't have enough milk or a way to freeze it, but what about guests who live in the same town? If a mother can't separate herself from her baby for a wedding, how does she handle having the baby in day care all day? I'm not trying to be argumentative. This is a legitimate, curious question. I'm not a mother and know very little about breastfeeding. I'm not trying to play the devil's advocate, promise. :)
    Posted by burntofferings[/QUOTE]

    You don't need to do that.  BFing mom's go back to work when their baby's are a couple of months old and continue to BF.  BFing moms can be separated from their babies.  And, for the record, I"m not a heartless biitch, I BF'd all my kids and worked.  I also enjoyed a night out here and there.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_the-dreadedadult-only-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c43e86b-a8fc-4f9a-888a-15b897cd00d2Post:2bf320da-b297-4da7-bd7f-cb960a23c4a4">Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!! : I'm asking this out of pure curiosity, and I apologize if I look stupid: Why is this the party line? My SIL pumps and always has some milk in the freezer as backup for emergencies, going out, or whatever. I can understand if the couple is traveling for the weekend and obviously won't have enough milk or a way to freeze it, but what about guests who live in the same town? If a mother can't separate herself from her baby for a wedding, how does she handle having the baby in day care all day? I'm not trying to be argumentative. This is a legitimate, curious question. I'm not a mother and know very little about breastfeeding. I'm not trying to play the devil's advocate, promise. :)
    Posted by burntofferings[/QUOTE]

    <div>While some women are capable of pumping, some women are physically unable to pump milk. Some breastfeeding infants also refuse to take a bottle, since they've only ever had milk straight from the breast.  Other women could pump, but choose not to because using a bottle can lead problems with breastfeeding for some infants. Mothers in these situations could be SAHMs, or they may work in an enviroment that allows them to bring the child to work/ school with them. </div>
  • It is your wedding you do what you want to do.  We are having an adults only reception.  i know some people will be annoyed, but you cannot please everyone.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_the-dreadedadult-only-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c43e86b-a8fc-4f9a-888a-15b897cd00d2Post:d1dd81f8-8394-41b4-b912-0dff9617f129">Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!! : While some women are capable of pumping, some women are physically unable to pump milk. Some breastfeeding infants also refuse to take a bottle, since they've only ever had milk straight from the breast.  Other women could pump, but choose not to because using a bottle can lead problems with breastfeeding for some infants. Mothers in these situations could be SAHMs, or they may work in an enviroment that allows them to bring the child to work/ school with them. 
    Posted by MoonlightSilver[/QUOTE]

    This is 100% true. But it still doesn't mean someone HAS to invite a breast-feeding baby. If a woman has to nurse a baby every 2 hours and is not invited to bring the baby with her, she can decline. If someone wants a truly child-free wedding and would be okay with people declining because they will not make exceptions, it's their choice.

    OP - other than the "adult reception to follow" (not polite wording), those are all fine ideas. Ask the GM how he feels about a sitter (does he live close or 3.5 hours away?). Also, one of our GMs came alone, without his wife and children, even though they were invited, due to travel cost and logistics. If he comes alone, he comes alone. I don't think having the <em>option </em>of either leaving children at home with a family member or sitter of their choice or using your sitter for a few hours is a bad idea at all. I think it's quite thoughtful.

    Just address invitations to the adults. You can put something about a child care service for the ceremony and reception (say, 4pm-midnight, depending on the time of your wedding) being available at the hotel on your website with details about how to schedule it.
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  • I know BFing moms can be away from their babies (I was able to with my second son, but not as much with my first). The thing to keep in mind is that not all BFing moms have an easy time BFing and/or switching between breast and bottle. My oldest son struggled to learn how to nurse. I couldn't pump much milk as a new mom, and he wasn't demanding a lot since he didn't know how to latch and didn't have the stamina to hang on long enough to bring the milk in (thanks to the nipple confusion that happened when he was given bottles at the hospital and during the first weeks of his life). So I was practically attached to both baby AND pump every hour or two for the first few weeks just to keep my supply from going away. I almost dried up. Because of how difficult that was for us, for the first 5 months of his life, there were NO bottles while we established a healthy nursing relationship. With my second son, it was a breeze -- he was a pro and we didn't have any problems going back and forth. So while it's easy for some moms to pump and switch between breast and bottle, it isn't so for ALL moms and babies, and you may not be aware of these intimate details unless you specifically ask them how nursing is going.

    All that aside, if you don't want kids/babies at your reception, it's your wedding, so it's definitely your decision. If you allow the babies to be there, then you sign up for the fact that there may be crying. If you don't want any chance of that happening and go with 100% child-free, then just be accepting of the fact that some people may not come. Don't take it personally, and try not to be hurt. You can't please everyone -- but it's your day so you decide what's most important in order for it to provide you with the memories you dream of most.
    "Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, It will set you free..."
    ~Mumford and Sons
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  • How long does a baby BF for? (me = clueless) I'm still struggling with one of my BMs  thinking she's brining her baby who will be 11 1/2 months.
  • OP, you should have an adult-only reception if it's what you want! I'm having one as well and yes, it's causing some pouting amongst a handful of my relatives who have kids, but I'm holding my ground. I love kids, but not at weddings.

    It's a bummer that your fiance's uncle is refusing to come, but that's his loss. You never know, he might get over it and decide to come. If not, it's one less person to pay for! :)
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_the-dreadedadult-only-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c43e86b-a8fc-4f9a-888a-15b897cd00d2Post:c5ee8696-f957-45c1-bc4f-e95a8e14f273">Re: The dreaded....adult only reception!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]How long does a baby BF for? (me = clueless) I'm still struggling with one of my BMs  thinking she's brining her baby who will be 11 1/2 months.
    Posted by wowand135[/QUOTE]

    Well, World Health Organization recommends BFing for 1 year+. Babies breast feed <em>exclusively </em>for 4-6 months, which means before they start solid food. Babies usually have breast milk and other foods (like fruit and veggie purees) after that time. And after 1 year, some still BF, but others wean and switch to whole milk until age 2 or so.
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  • Every mom is different when it comes to BFing.  Mine were breastfed for a year but there was some formula supplemented in there also. I have friends who have gone longer than a year and friends who said 6 weeks and done.
  • I don't get why so many Knotties think there's a rule that a BF child can't be separated from his mother.

    It's fine to have an adult reception and you don't have to make exceptions for breast feeding infants.  When parents make the choice to be parents, they know that their children aren't welcome to every event that they're invited to attend.

    It's nice to invite moms to bring their breastfeeding infants but it's by no means required or rude not to - especially when you're talking about a child who is more than 6 weeks old.
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