Wedding Etiquette Forum

Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?

My fiance and I come from a culture that often allows people to bring their children (small children) to wedding receptions. We do not want anyone to bring children to ours, because we're having an adult sit-down dinner.

What are some nice ways to send the message that kids are not invited?

Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?

  • Milk Duds is quoting the stickie that is at the top of this forum that says "Read first". 

    An additional way to is put on the RSVP card "We have reserved x amount of seats in your honor" or

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  • Don't put anything that states "adult only" or "no children" on the invitation or website. Address the invites to those you want to attend. Be prepared to have to answer questions or contact guests who add their children to the RSVP.  PP made a good suggestion of writing in your guests names on their rsvp card. Good luck.
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  • Maybe it is because I just received this* RSVP in the mail two minutes ago, but people that want to bring kids won't care how the hell you designed your invites, they will still want to bring their kids.

    *by this, I mean, the envelope was addressed to the parents only, but they still wrote the kids name on the RSVP AND the kid wrote a post-it and they attached it to the RSVP as well. It read: "Dear X I would like to join my parents at your wedding if it's ok with you".....

    great, you wanna attach a picture of a sick puppy too?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:c40ff678-2c11-4aca-88b1-7b1fa3971e39">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maybe it is because I just received this* RSVP in the mail two minutes ago, but people that want to bring kids won't care how the hell you designed your invites, they will still want to bring their kids. *<strong>by this, I mean, the envelope was addressed to the parents only, but they still wrote the kids name on the RSVP AND the kid wrote a post-it and they attached it to the RSVP as well. It read: "Dear X I would like to join my parents at your wedding if it's ok with you"...</strong>.. great, you wanna attach a picture of a sick puppy too?
    Posted by orianita3[/QUOTE]

    What parent lets their kid do that? How rude. It puts you in such an awkward situation.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited February 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:8790b321-8b7f-4ce7-8649-737eb9b6819b">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception? : You should take a cue from Sex and the City.  Send one back that says, "I'm sorry. I can't."
    Posted by edielaura[/QUOTE]

    Awesome reference.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:00f08a3f-7f8e-4eec-abba-33e9455b5609">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE].   So regardless of what proper protocol is, some people are legitimately clueless when it comes to wedding invitations.
    Posted by yaga13[/QUOTE]

    <div>I get that there are clueless people, but the polite thing to do is to always assume that the guests know the etiquette and then call if there's an issue after the fact. The very act of saying "no kids" because you don't think guests know what's proper is rude because it's assuming that the guests aren't etiquette savvy. </div>
  • I've always been baffled by people that do adult only weddings. It seems like such a hassle and headache!

    What age is the cut off? Some guests have kids that are 18, 16, and 10. So the 18yo goes and not the other two?

    What about a newborn? When you invite the girl she would have been prego, but between then and your wedding she has a baby... can she not invite her little nugget? Chances are she (and prolly hubby) won't go because of this.

    It's all so confusing!
    I wish you the best of luck.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:c40ff678-2c11-4aca-88b1-7b1fa3971e39">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maybe it is because I just received this* RSVP in the mail two minutes ago, but people that want to bring kids won't care how the hell you designed your invites, they will still want to bring their kids. *by this, I mean, the envelope was addressed to the parents only, but they still wrote the kids name on the RSVP AND the kid wrote a post-it and they attached it to the RSVP as well. It read: "Dear X I would like to join my parents at your wedding if it's ok with you"..... great, you wanna attach a picture of a sick puppy too?
    Posted by orianita3[/QUOTE]

    Ew. I want to know how that conversation goes when you call her up and tell her that that post-it was a giant waste of time. That is really awkward, because now, that kid is gonna get fed the "she doesn't want you there" line.
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  • Caterpillar, 

    we did an adult only wedding and the cut off was 18 (hence the term "adult") and there were no issues that I am aware of.

    Most people are quite understanding that their spawn aren't invited everywhere that they are.   

    And for the record if I were to have gotten flack from some parents about their kids not being invited I would avoid future drama by making sure to invite their children to the next strip poker tournament I decide to host. 
  • Hi...Running into this same problem....Didn't want to invite kidlets but unfortunately people are not understanding this sooooo as of now kidlets are invited but under duress and a very unhappy bride and groom.  If its "our" wedding why are we trying to make so many other people happy....geeez
  • edited February 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:c40ff678-2c11-4aca-88b1-7b1fa3971e39">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maybe it is because I just received this* RSVP in the mail two minutes ago, but people that want to bring kids won't care how the hell you designed your invites, they will still want to bring their kids. *by this, I mean, the envelope was addressed to the parents only, <strong>but they still wrote the kids name on the RSVP AND the kid wrote a post-it and they attached it to the RSVP as well. It read: "Dear X I would like to join my parents at your wedding if it's ok with you".....</strong> great, you wanna attach a picture of a sick puppy too?
    Posted by orianita3[/QUOTE]

    They did it that way so they can turn around & tell the child, see "they don't want you there" vs it just being an adult only wedding. Those people have a lot of audacity. I would phone that woman up & ask what the heck she was thinking, but that is just me & i am like that lol.
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  • I think the cultural aspect has to be addressed because when something is a cultural tradition the etiquette we advise and post here isn't necessarily seen as relevant.

    OP - our last DD had a no kid wedding which we totally supported.  ANYTIME someone in the circle asked about the wedding we found a way to once again state that we weren't inviting children.  We started this a year out.  Her biomom and stepdad wanted all the cousins and cousins kids invited (DD has 42 aunts and uncles) but they weren't paying for anything so they got no vote.  They were seriously ticked for a few months but they got over it.

    You and FI need to start getting the word out now and you need to hold your ground and be firm.  While I agree about not putting "no children" on anything, you are talking about something cultural/generational that is expected in your families and this will probably take more than just not addressing it to the kids.  Start talking about this now.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:c40ff678-2c11-4aca-88b1-7b1fa3971e39">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maybe it is because I just received this* RSVP in the mail two minutes ago, but people that want to bring kids won't care how the hell you designed your invites, they will still want to bring their kids. *by this, I mean, the envelope was addressed to the parents only, but they still wrote the kids name on the RSVP AND the kid wrote a post-it and they attached it to the RSVP as well. It read: "Dear X I would like to join my parents at your wedding if it's ok with you"..... great, you wanna attach a picture of a sick puppy too?
    Posted by orianita3[/QUOTE]

    LOL...are you serious?! That is so rude! I agree, it depends on who you are dealing with. I am one of the last to get married in my family so I have had several opportunities to see that the RSVP addressed only to the people invited (parents) does not work for my extended family. I have opted to use a separate insert in my invitation (it has pockets) that says "Adult Reception will be held at....." The card provides address, parking info, etc. In addition, I am using response cards that are personally addressed. Below is an example of someone who is invited and may bring a guest. If it was a couple, I spelled out both names.

       Mr. John Doe     Accept with Pleasure__________  Decline with Regret_________
     M___________    Accept with Pleasure__________  Decline with Regret__________
  • I completely understand you not wanting any children at your wedding. My fiance and I have the same opinions of adult only. Many of our friends have recently had babies the last couple years, so our friends have very small children. I do not want any babies at my ceremony or reception and have already had to confront one of my good friends from high school about this that their 9 mos old son is more than welcome to come to San Diego for the weekend with them, but they will have to make babysitter arrangements during the weddding. Most of my family and friends on my side live in LA area and the wedding is in San Diego. With our wedding being an evening wedding starting at 6pm it is an overnight mini destination wedding for my side of the family. I know we are going to have many questions about if my friends can bring their children (about 12 of them have kids who will be under the age of 1 1/2) I want my friends to come and have a good time at my evening wedding. If children were allowed I feel like right after dinner was over around 830pm they would all leave to put their kids to bed and would miss my reception and dancing. I feel like I'm giving my friends a date night/weekend and they should be able to get away ONE night from their child. if they can't figure out a babysitter with over 6 months notice, then unfortunately they aren't good enough friends. I love children and hope to have my own in the next couple years and my fiance has a 3 year old daughter who will be our flower girl. She will be the only child at our wedding and we are hiring a babysitter to be present at our ceremony and reception to be able to leave with her at anytime if she acts up. I think we have every right to determine who is and isn't invited to our wedding. It's OUR day and a lot of time and money are going into making it perfect. A wedding is not a bday party or backyard bbq. If I wanted children running around I would have gotten married at Chuck E Cheese. If your boss invited you to a dinner or for your compnay holiday party, people would never ask if they could bring their kids would they?

    I think a nice way to reiterate the no children are invited is to write "Adult Reception to Follow" on your invitations. It's a subtle statement that shouldn't offend anyone. Also word of mouth from your family and bridesmaids to anyone that questions it.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nice-ways-tell-people-not-bring-their-kids-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:7cf57474-e9e9-4f56-b933-968895aa6815Post:37606cde-dc68-4da9-ab99-af3b4cc418ac">Re: Nice ways to tell people not to bring their kids to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I completely understand you not wanting any children at your wedding. My fiance and I have the same opinions of adult only. Many of our friends have recently had babies the last couple years, so our friends have very small children. I do not want any babies at my ceremony or reception and have already had to confront one of my good friends from high school about this that their 9 mos old son is more than welcome to come to San Diego for the weekend with them, but they will have to make babysitter arrangements during the weddding. Most of my family and friends on my side live in LA area and the wedding is in San Diego. With our wedding being an evening wedding starting at 6pm it is an overnight mini destination wedding for my side of the family. I know we are going to have many questions about if my friends can bring their children (about 12 of them have kids who will be under the age of 1 1/2) I want my friends to come and have a good time at my evening wedding. If children were allowed I feel like right after dinner was over around 830pm they would all leave to put their kids to bed and would miss my reception and dancing. I feel like I'm giving my friends a date night/weekend and they should be able to get away ONE night from their child. <strong>if they can't figure out a babysitter with over 6 months notice, then unfortunately they aren't good enough friends.</strong> I love children and hope to have my own in the next couple years and my fiance has a 3 year old daughter who will be our flower girl. She will be the only child at our wedding and we are hiring a babysitter to be present at our ceremony and reception to be able to leave with her at anytime if she acts up. I think we have every right to determine who is and isn't invited to our wedding. It's OUR day and a lot of time and money are going into making it perfect. A wedding is not a bday party or backyard bbq. If I wanted children running around I would have gotten married at Chuck E Cheese. If your boss invited you to a dinner or for your compnay holiday party, people would never ask if they could bring their kids would they? I think a nice way to reiterate the no children are invited is to write "Adult Reception to Follow" on your invitations. It's a subtle statement that shouldn't offend anyone. Also word of mouth from your family and bridesmaids to anyone that questions it.
    Posted by lvissers[/QUOTE]

    OK, that bolded statement is just dead wrong.  Someone not being able to get a sitter has NOTHING to do with whether or not they are good friends!  Why would you make such a shallow statement?  When you have those couple of kids in a few years you will get a big lesson in how difficult it can be to find a sitter.  I'm a Nana of 6 and am rarely available to take the kids for a weekend like that.  Trusted babysitters that will take children for an entire weekend don't grown on trees.

    That was just dead wrong.
  • In the first response to this thread Duds quoted from the sticky that it would be poor etiquette to use "Adults only" wording on an invitation.  It doesn't matter that it's YOUR day <-- this phrase makes me physically ill.
     
    Yeah, we get it - we're all planning OUR fuucking day, this does not make you special.  You are inviting other people to celebrate with you and thus it would be inconsiderate to offend them.  This is the very reason for following etiquette.

    It has been said on this board ad nauseum - address the invitation to the invited person(s).  If more than the invited guests are written in on the response card, you will have to call and politely explain that you cannot accomodate the additional guests due to space/budget/whatever.
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  • Wow. A lot to think about... Lol. Thanks for opinions. :)
  • Writing "adult reception to follow" is not rude or bad etiquette. I've spoken with celebrity wedding planners on this. Writing "No Kids" or "Adult Only" is different. I am not shallow and would personally rather not have my friends that have kids come to my wedding at all if they will have their kids with them.It is a personal preference. It's just a one day celebration, so if they can't make it, they can't make it. I'll see them another day and there are plenty of my friends that wil be there to celebrate with me. It may not be politically/socially correct to say what I'm saying, but I know I am not the only bride to be that feels this way and I have no shame in it. I'm being honest and keeping strict on my no children policy at my wedding. #1 there isn't any room for kids at my wedding on our guest list or tables, #2  I think kids "steal" the attention and show away from the bride and groom, #3 I want my guests to kick back an dhave a good time at stay past dinder and #4 I refuse to have a crying baby interrupt my ceremony.  If you girls like kids at your wedding, that is 100% fine and your decision, just realize not everyone has the same vision for their wedding.
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  • You are backtracking here.  You said in your first post that if your friends couldn't find a sitter to attend your wedding then they weren't good enough friends.  That was shallow.


    I am a huge supporter of no kid weddings and was the watchdog on it when our last DD got married.  They didn't want kids so we didn't invite any and we didn't cave on the "I can't make it if Sugar Buns can't come too."  We told them we would miss them but would share pictures later.  There is no shame in sticking to no kids for a wedding.  There is in judging your friends on whether or not they can get a sitter.


    I'm not even going to bother with your point how kids steal the spotlight.  That is just beyond shallow.

  • Yeah, I'm not sure about the kids "stealing" the spotlight. I just know that most mothers can't kick back and have a good time at the recpetion if they're watching three toddlers. :)

    We did the "adult reception" thing. I guess it was already too late when I posted this, because I had already ordered inivitations. I hope I don't offend anyone. But I think it'll be easier if we're really upfront.
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