So, since there are a lot of girls on this board who are just starting out, I thought I'd pass along a word of advice. I'll probably have more after the wedding, but this one has come up now, so I thought I'd share!
We decided not to invite kids to the wedding. I have a gigantic family, so adding kids could have potentially added 30+ to our guest list, and we did not have the space for that many more people. Plus, we're young, most of our friends don't have kids, it's in the evening and we wanted it to get kind of raucous and crazy and not worry about kids seeing too much.
Anyways, we debated on how to let people know. All the wedding books/websites said that just putting the parents' names specifically on the invites (not The Smith Family but Mr. and Mrs. Smith) would be enough to get the word across, and then we could call people if they asked. We asked both our moms to spread the word amongst family should it come up. Well, FI's mom refused, saying she didn't agree with our decision and didn't want to cause drama. Awesome.
Anyways, long story short, and we've had such trouble with people assuming their kids are invited and not even asking us, just writing them in. One cousin yelled at my mom about it. FI's cousin's wife told me she'd already spent $75 on a dress for her nine-month-old and really hoped she could come. UGH.
My advice? Screw etiquette. I wish we had put a card in with the invite that said kids weren't invited. I know it's tacky to put that on the invitation, but apparently people in our family are not savvy enough to have gotten that only the people on the invite are invited. FI is kind of gloating because he really thought we should do that, but I said no because it was tacky. Well, I wish we had!
Also wish we had just sucked it up and called people when the invites went out who had kids and said, hey, your kid's not invited. I also wanted to avoid conflict and didn't want to make all the calls, and somehow foolishly believed people would actually think to ASK before writing their kids down, buying their kids expensive attire or booking a flight. Apparently not.
Anyways, that's my long two cents on the matter! If you are thinking about restricting your guest list, I would put it out there instead of hope others are knowledgeable about wedding etiquette. Same goes for +1s. If you are inviting lots of singles without +1s, I would seriously call them as soon as the invite goes out and let them know they can't bring a date, before they write someone in. An awkward conversation to have, but trust me, it will save you headache three weeks before your wedding!