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Kids vs. No Kids

I can't decide!!!I know it usually boils down to personal preference, but I was wondering how many of you had/are having adult only receptions? My FI has 8 nieces and nephews that I feel obligated to invite, but would it be rude of me to have them there and then not allow anyone else to bring their little ones? My cousins have 7 kids, collectively, too, that I should invite.  Is it all-or-none? Can I just have those 15 kids, or is that rude to be selective? Weigh in; I'm curious! ;)
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Re: Kids vs. No Kids

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    jennybean2010jennybean2010 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    some of the girls will pipe in and say that etiquette states all or none. others will tell you it's a personal preference.personally, we opted to do no kids, with the exception of family. which is really easy for us, because that amounts to: one 7 yr old nephew; one 1 yr old niece; one 7 yr old cousin and one 4 month old cousin. our invite states adult reception only, but we have already noted to the family that their children are the exception. all of FI's friends are married with kids, and we just didn't want to deal with it. in our opinion, the little kids in tuxes and dresses running and sliding across the dance floor is only cute for a max of 10 minutes. after that it isn't cute anymore. that's just us though. between both of our families there are virtually no kids to worry about. my opinion is to do whatever it is that you want. if you feel obligated to invite the children within the family, but no others, go for it. in my personal opinion amber, 15 kids is enough!
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    edited December 2011
    We are having an adult reception with the exception of two cousins who are 15 and 13.  Everyone else is over the age of 21.   The two who are exceptions are handing out programs at the wedding, so if anyone peeps about it, they are technically "in" the wedding.  I personally wanted the adults to enjoy a nice day w/o chasing after children, and I don't consider the 15 and 13 y.o kids, but by definition they are substantially younger than our other guests.  We did not split any families - we just got lucky, everyone in the family was either 21 + or under 21. 
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    elishanbelishanb member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    This was a tough think for me to think about for about twenty minutes.. and then we started counting. There were 5 children that we are super close to. So we thought at first to try to fit them into the wedding party. but they are all under the age of 6, and all female. So 5 flower girls seemd a bit unreasonable. It really came down to the fact that we couldn't let these kids come and not allow others to bring their kids. And some parents would prefer to get a sitter for the night and have a fun night out. So it's no kids for us
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    themissizzthemissizz member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We had an adults-only reception.  The number of children that we would have invited was so minimal that we opted not to have kids there.If there are only 5-10 more kids that you would be inviting over the 15 that you feel obligated to invite, I would invite them.  If there are more than that, I wouldn't.  Some parents will opt to not bring their children anyway.
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think that it is an all or none. You can definitely be selective. Nieces and nephews are on a different familial plane than cousins once removed. It's like choosing between your near cousins and far cousins. We chose the children that we were close to, which amounted to my nieces and nephews and my MOH's daughter. We never see my cousin's children or his cousin's children (some we've never even met), so we didn't feel obligated to invite them. If you feel comfortable with the first 8, go with them. If you feel comfortable with extending that to the next 7, invite them too. It's perfectly acceptable to limit the number of children at a wedding, at least in MHO.
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    edited December 2011
    We invited family kids & let the parents decide whether they wanted a night for just themselves or if they wanted the kids there.  I wont lie..the kids made it a TON of fun.  They were adorable out on the dance for all night.  DH's nephews were the hit of the party moonwalking & doing the worm.  It was fun with them  I think you have to evaluate what you want the night to be like & go from there.  Personally, I couldn't imagine the night without them so they were invited.
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    AMK2009AMK2009 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    For me, excluding my younger family members was never an option.  I'm close to them all, and could never do that.  They all came to my wedding, danced, and had a great time.  I don't think it's all or nothing though, I invited all the children in my family, but did not invite the children of like my parent's friends and coworkers who were invited.  Being that all 15 of the kids are family, I would invite them all.  And since they are all family, I'd say all or nothing.
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    pugnpenguinpugnpenguin member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Just about all of our friends have kids (over the age of 3, we didn't count the herd of babies that have been born this past year) that we have relationships with so we invited them, but won't feel horrible if they decide to leave them at home. If a lot of kids end up at the wedding, we're going to hire a student from my work to hang out in a separate room where there will be movies and activities for the kids so they don't have to sit through the reception if they get bored.
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    edited December 2011
    Yeah, the nieces and nephews are non-negotiable, so they'll be there unless their parents decide to find a sitter on their own accord. We actually haven't even decided on a flower girl or ring bearer yet... he has so many frickin' little ones in his family, it's impossible to chose two for the role without leaving someone out! Actually, I feel obligated to ask his nieces and nephews to be flower girls/ring bearer since I didn't ask his 3 sisters to be in the wedding (...can you blame me? THREE sisters?!?). And as far as the children of my cousins go... I have 2 young cousins coming in from Seattle with their parents, so that's non-negotiable, as well. So since they'll be there I might as well have the other handful of kids. I'm thinking of doing the kids' table now that I decided that there will be at least 15 kids there... or hire an on-site sitter?Have any of you been to a wedding/had a wedding with a sitter or a kids table? Did it work out?
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    edited December 2011
    P.S. You all are fabulous, thanks for your HO's! ;)
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    PensChick20PensChick20 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We had an adult reception. And I did not feel bad about mentioning it on the invite even though that is an etiquette (sp?) no-no. It ruffled some feathers and one family no longer speaks to us and that is one of the reasons. I had one of DH's aunts calling me (the day before! Ugh like I had enough I had to worry about!!) asking if she could bring her daughter and I said that I was sorry but I already told other families no and you can't be the special exception. The only children invited were the two flower girls and ringbearer. I was OK with people if they had a newborn, because its hard to leave them at home, Even my brother and his g/f left their children at home and one of those nieces was the flower girl! They said they were so happy to have a night out without their children. And another family, my cousin and her husband, have 3 children. It so happens their anniversary was the same day as our wedding, so they had a free night with dinner and dancing, without the kids with a valid excuse not to bring them haha. :)
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    edited December 2011
    I think it's personal preference.  If you just want kids that are in the family and not friends' kids I think that's totally reasonable.  We are doing an adults only reception except for the 5 kids that are in the wedding (1 flower girl, 2 ring boys, and 2 candle lighters).  The 5 that are in the wedding are the family that we are close to.  If we invited all children it would be an additional 27 people and our venue isn't that big.  I think because we're older most of our friends have kids and it would just be too overwhelming (and the 27 kids would be 12 and under...that's not even counting the teenagers!)
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    edited December 2011
    I didn't have kids at my first wedding but decided to invite kids this time. Only about 15 are coming. A few are young while the others are between 4-16. Most opted to be kid free for a night. Our wedding is casual with a 15 min ceremony so it's not a big deal. I love the young ones running around but that's me. FI wanted to only invite kids who he wanted and I said it was all or none for me. GL in your decision!
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    edited December 2011
    You can do whatever you like, as etiquette dictates that the hostess, not the guests, do the inviting. So you can do all, none, some, family, wedding party, only the ones you know well, etc. The only faux-pas would be to write "Adults Only" or "Adult Reception" on the invite.Have any of you been to a wedding/had a wedding with a sitter or a kids table? Did it work out?I have seen this done at about five weddings I've worked. Not once did it work out, as the parents whose children are disciplined will behave regardless of a special entertainment area/sitter and the parents whose children are poorly disciplined will be poorly behaved despite the provided accommodations. I've never seen it work unless the sitter is actually at a hotel or in a room upstairs, totally separate from the reception.
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    EmilyBerdellEmilyBerdell member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We're being selective. My cousins' kids (who I'm close too) and my future neice and nephew are invited. Plus anyone in the bridal party (which adds like 4 more.) But that's it. Other people have kids but I didn't want a sea of kids there. As it is, there are close to 20. I'm not worried about. I figure, it's our wedding...we can decide what works best for us. JMHO.
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    edited December 2011
    We actually had a very easy way to figure this out, since my family is huge and I am the youngest of all my cousins (and since i'm 29, that means the rest are all married with 1-3 kids).We decided to go to the first cousin level only (DH has no family further down the tree than that anyway) and my 2 nieces and nephews who were in the wedding.  The youngest of the cousins would have been 12, 13, 16, 17, 18 and 20, but we ended up only having 13 and 17 at the reception, so they are old enough that I didn't count them as "kids."  So we had the three in the wedding, ages 3, 6 and 7.My older cousins' children would have added at least another 20 guests and they would have all been out of town, making it that much more difficult for the parents.  And we do have two friend couples with 3 kids between them and we did not invite their kids.  They were also OOT and one of the friend was a groomsman, so that added to their difficulty.  In hindsight, I can't imagine most people would have brought their children anyway.  School had just started and again, they were mostly OOT.This was a pretty easy decision and my mom only got 2 comments (from the same aunt) and we just said we didn't have the space (which was true).  And everyone had a great time. 
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    jennybean2010jennybean2010 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    and if you don't note "adults only reception" somewhere, then how is anyone to know?
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    edited December 2011
    jbean--the invitations are addressed to the invitees (names on inner envelope) and if someone RSVPs back with kids, you can kindly call them and explain it is an adults only reception.  If you put Adults Only on the invite, but still invite some little ones, then some people might be miffed at the reception.
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    edited December 2011
    I never understood why people had the nerve to call and b*tch about being so all-inclusive about weddings. I can't include every single child, significant other, etc. to the wedding, and I just wish that everyone could just understand that... no-strings-attached.Re: Aunts (or any relative, for that matter) that burn bridges for not inviting her children... I can't believe people get so absurd about these things. My dad's side of the family would be dramatic and make an issue of it, too, no doubt. I can just see my one (technically a great aunt, but she's still young) aunt specifically adding dates for all her children on her rsvp card. Is it really that hard to figure out? And when I explain it, no doubt it will be an "issue," but whatev. It's my prerogative.
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    jennybean2010jennybean2010 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    spend enough time here, and you will quickly learn that there are too many people that pay no attention to the inner envelope and invite whomever they please. ask angela about the guest that was not invited, but brought along anyways, despite being told that the guest was not invited. oh, and that the guest was 12 yrs old and supposed to be a date for their child. i know i pay attention to my invitations and inner envelopes, but not all do and feel they can invite whomever they please. in fact, i have a wedding invitation on my fridge that states "adult only reception" as we speak. i know i know, don't stoop to her level! apparently everybody thinks that their guests are telepathic. mine are not, and i'm so tired of this board thinking that they are the etiquette queens who can decide which rules are ok to break and which ones should be followed, and then expect that everybody else knows which rules are ok to break, based upon someone else. maybe the next sticky note should be the rules of wedding etiquette, as per the pittsburgh knotties. that way everybody knows.
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    edited December 2011
    We only invited my first cousins (and in DH's case his cousin's kids b/c they were out of town and they are closer in age to him than his 1st cousins).  That was our easy out incase anyone complained...however, I totally agree with everyone that says you can invite whoever you want to.As far as the children's table, depending on their age that might not work out well IMO.  We didn't have one at our wedding, but I know from being at family get togethers, a lot of the time smaller kids need help eating, even 4 or 5 year olds might need their food cut up.  I'd also ask the parents if they'll need high chairs, our flowergirl who was 3 was more comfortable in one than sitting in the chair.  However, a table after dinner with creative stuff to keep the kids entertained seems like a great idea.
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    edited December 2011
    It's such a tough thing, I understand. As a matter of fact, I was just invited to a wedding and was invited as a single with no +1... was I confused and a little urked because I have an official FI and not just some random date? A little. Did I send the card in with my name and FI's? Nope! I wish everyone was as polite as I am, haha, and I'm not even mad about it really, because I'm planning a wedding and I totally understand/sympathize! It's just such a touchy subject. :/If only all wedding guests realized how expensive it is and how hard it is to accommodate all these extra little ones and dates. It's so hard. *sigh* No one likes cutting lists, but it has to be done!!
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    edited December 2011
    Daveysbaby, love the after dinner entertainment idea... like I said, I think I'm locked into having at least some kids at the wedding bc of familial obligations, but I want a drinking, dancing, let-loose kind of affair. I'm sure it will all work out. These things usually do... *crosses fingers*
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    themissizzthemissizz member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Normally, I'm all for etiquette.  However, I think that the idea of having "Adults Only" listed on the invitation being a faux pas is antiquated. It may be the case according to Miss Manners, but I don't think it's the least bit offensive or uncommon. We went to You're Invited in Mt. Lebo for our invites. The woman there was an etiquette stickler and she never once mentioned that we shouldn't put "Adult Reception" on our reception cards. She was extremely particular with everything so I think if it was that big of an issue, it would have certainly been mentioned to us.
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    PensChick20PensChick20 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am one of the older knotties who has an "eff it" mentality. Do what YOU and FI want and what makes you and FI happy not what all your guests will like. If you do that, you will think back and say "you know I wish we could have done this and this and not that." When I saw all the kids I would have had to invite, I imagined us having to pay $15 each for them to eat one chicken finger and half a noodle. Not that I don't love children, there were tooooo many to invite and our reception site was smaller and def not kid friendly. Plus, our wedding went til almost 12am, so not kid friendly there either. If you want to make sure no kids are there, then put adult reception. If you don't, expect to make a lot of phone calls to explain. Not only that, I personally think it would be even more awkward to have to call someone and tell them their kids cannot come than just stating it loud and clear on the invite, no weirdness over that, not as much anyway. BTW, I am NOT a fan of etiquette whatsoever, its very outdated in these days and times which is why I stated it on the invite. Rules of weddings have changed. (My friend used *gasp* labels on her wedding invites! OMG I could not believe it...yeah not really, it worked for her!). thats just my opinion, not trying to get anyone all in a hoopla over it.
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    edited December 2011
    JBean - It isn't great to hear that you think that we on the board are know-it-alls.  It jsut seemed like something that wasn't necessary to say in that way. We are all trying to be helpful to each other. If you have issues with anyone specifically, maybe you should talk to them. I just like to think of this as a helpful community and I kind of have an obligation (although I get not a penny for it. :P) to keep the peace. So hopefully you can talk to me about it or anyone specifically with who you have issues or maybe take a break from the knot if it is frustrating you that much. Hopefully you understand what I'm saying.
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    julieyarzjulieyarz member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We are allowing kids that are cousins or kids of cousins.  The only other kid we are allowing is a two month old.  The rest we didn't invite, and no one has questioned it ot rsvped to bring extras.
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    McBridetobeMcBridetobe member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We invited kids (either family members or people from OOT, so not all or nothing for us) because we couldn't imagine our wedding without some of our favorite little ones.  I'm really close to my cousins and their babies...and DH has a lot of little cousins still.  We had fun with them!  I have been to 2 weddings where babysitting worked well - both were in separate smaller ballrooms (hotel weddings.)  Each had 2 babysitters, a small TV for movies and parents brought toys...and they had food for the kids in there.  We thought about it for our wedding, but the only room available was like a coat room, which was so small...and I didn't want like an area of the ballroom set up like a daycare.  We did seat kids near the exits, in case parents needed to get up during a meltdown.  And we asked the parents to bring boosters for the kids who needed them.  As far as etiquette, I learned so much about wedding etiquette from this board and I'm happy to pass it along to other people who are interested...and I gather from posts like this that people are still interested.  Of course, there are plenty of times that I think it is pointless and a PITA (like labels)...but there is something to be said for a formal wedding and (IMO) the beauty of the rules that make it formal.  For the record, I used inner envelopes and not one person RSVPed with a +1 or asked if they could bring someone else.  Maybe I had courteous guests...or maybe they just understood who was invited.  If you don't want the etiquette advice - don't read it or don't use it for your own wedding...it is obviously your choice.  It is that simple. 
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    AMK2009AMK2009 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    IMO, I think having a babysitter is a waste of money.  Maybe all kids are different, but I know my cousins would have been upset if they had to sit in a seperate room and watch movies instead of being on the dancefloor with the rest of the guests.  And really, if you're going to do that, you may as well not even invite them.  I got the kids at my wedding little favor boxes with candy, little toys, and a little wedding coloring book and crayons to keep them occupied if needed, but they all had fun on their own.I don't think I'd put "Adults Only" on the invitations though, especially if you do plan to invite some kids.  I think most people will not add their children if it doesn't list them.  I think most people will understand.  I did have an issue with my aunt bringing a "date" for my 12 year old cousin.  The invite was addressed to my aunt and my cousin, and the RSVP card came back with +Seth (my 12 year olds cousins' boyfriend), my mom called my aunt and told her he was not invited and could not come, and everything was fine.  Then the day of the wedding, guess who shows up with my aunt and my cousin... the 12 year old boyfriend!  I don't think that's a typical problem though, I think my aunt is just an A$$.  And I don't think having "Adults Only" on the invitation would have solved the problem, since she was specifically told that he could not come, and she brought him anyways.
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    AMK2009AMK2009 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I don't think anybody's being etiquette queens, but Amber asked, so I feel like we're entitled to give our honest opinions.  I'm sure there's many things that I did that broke the "etiquette rules", but I didn't care, and therefore didn't ask anybody's opinions. 
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