Wedding Etiquette Forum

Kid free reception??????

I am getting married Summer of 2011!  My fiance and I do not have any children but I do have nephews. I want my nephews to be in the wedding but I don't want lots of kids at the reception. My sister and brother will be responsible for their kids but I am not sure about guests bring their children. Since the reception could go as long as 1am I know small children get antsy and have bedtimes. Is it rude to tell guests they can't bring their children or should there be a age requirement to attend the reception only???
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Re: Kid free reception??????

  • Just write on the envelope "mr and mrs john smith"  don't include family.

    I personally think its fine, we had an adults only reception.
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  • I personally don't understand why adults want to bring their children to a wedding. Obviously I am not a parent, but I can't see myself having a good time with my husband if I brought them. I think what you are doing is more than fine.
  • You can certainly do an age requirement, but I am not a fan of inviting some kids and not others (if they're all around the same age). I know some disagree, but I think it causes huge issues if you teel some guests they can't bring their kids and they show up and your siblings have their kids there.

    If you set an age limit, I think you should stick to it, regardless of who's kids it is. 13, 16, whatever, just be consistent. And if you think it will go that long, you might just want to say no one under 18 at leave it at that.
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  • That's fine. And because your nephews are in the WP, you can get away with inviting them, but not inviting other children.
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  • How old are your nephews? Would they be the only kids at the wedding? Are you letting them come to the reception too? Are they for sure being involved in the ceremony? If they're not a part of the wedding, I can see people being very offended by not being allowed to bring their own kids. They might be offended even if your nephews are part of the wedding, so you should be ready for that, but it's more understandable that way I think.



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  • Agreed to what Shelly said. However, be prepared for 2 things: 1. if you do invite some kids and not others, some guests may feel slighted. 2. if you tell people they can't bring kids, they decline the invite all together.

    If you're going to invite children who are only immediate family and are willing to make that clear if guests inquire if their kids are invited, then go for it. But you really can't pick and choose on non-family children withouth offending someone.
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  • I would do either a "kids" or "no kids" policy.  Trying to set an age limit like "no one under 13" gets tricky.  The parents of a 13 year old and a 9 year old will have plenty to say about that.  

    If you dont want kids, its fine to not have them.  Some people will bitch, but people will always bitch about smething. 

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  • The knot is totally eating my answers.

    Meaghan, in my area, weddings are family events and I can't imagine not inviting kids. The weddings are the big parties I've seen on TK, more like, invite the family, catch up, say hi to everyone, and that's about it. I mean I'm not bashing kid free weddings, just saying why I completely understand parents bring their kids. I can't wait to see cousins that I haven't seen in a while!

    OP, basically I said, fine do it. But some guests might be upset if they see some kids (not really realizing they are your nephews) be allowed to attend and their kids weren't.
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  • I think since they are nephews its fine.  They are immediate family. Nick's nieces were in the wedding, and they were the only kids at the wedding.  I think its a huge difference between them and my 2nd cousin's kid.
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  • And there's all the responses. Jeez knot.
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  • Yeah I know what you mean Whit, but a 1am ending time automatically would tell me to leave them home.
  • I only had my neices and nephews.  It was not an issue in my world.  Actually it's excepted that kids are NOT invited.   If you see kids it's pretty know they are immediate family.






    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. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_kid-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e17accc4-9202-4775-8fc5-3a8dbeaf9a28Post:ef00f847-6550-42b0-96f6-c77e52999231">Re: Kid free reception??????</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would do either a "kids" or "no kids" policy.  Trying to set an age limit like "no one under 13" gets tricky.  The parents of a 13 year old and a 9 year old will have plenty to say about that.    
    Posted by eastunder1[/QUOTE]

    see, i disagree with this completely. let the parents of a 13 year old and 9 year old squawk if they must. what they really should be doing is explaining to 9 year old the 13 year old has certain privileges due to being older. that's life.

    also, what with all the ?????????????? op?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_kid-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e17accc4-9202-4775-8fc5-3a8dbeaf9a28Post:92da7434-e627-4c4b-a0d0-88357426bf3f">Re: Kid free reception??????</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just write on the envelope "mr and mrs john smith" 
    Posted by shellydiane820[/QUOTE]

    oh also this really disgusts me.
  • It's fine to have a clear cut-off of kids, the same as it is for adults. The first time I got married, our nieces and nephews were invited, but no other children. (And we had a special room for them at the reception with a sitter so the parents/grandparents were able to spend the night without worrying about their kids.) I can't imagine anyone who doesn't understand that that relationship is different from our relationship with other, more distant, children. And quite honestly, if they didn't, that's their problem, not mine.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_kid-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e17accc4-9202-4775-8fc5-3a8dbeaf9a28Post:7fcfeb2f-e4ff-4d2a-90ec-2c5c998cb595">Re: Kid free reception??????</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Kid free reception?????? : oh also this really disgusts me.
    Posted by daffodil_jill[/QUOTE]


    okay...then "Mr John Smith and Mrs. Jane Smith" whatever.  The idea I was getting across was just the parents.
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  • We're only inviting children of immediate family. I have a friend who asked if his BF (who I havent ever met) could bring his children and I politely explained that we are only inviting the children of immediate family. Which isnt very many anyway. like 5. lol

    Basically, I think that what you are planning is perfectly fine.
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  • Meaghan, true. I didn't think about that part.
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  • Here in the South, it's common to have a Kids Room at the ceremony site and at the reception site.

    So as people arrive for the marriage ceremony, they drop their kids off in the Kids Room where there is a babysitter/minder.  Then they pick up their kids on the way out.

    On the way in to the reception, they drop their kids off at the Kids Room, where there are several babysitters/minders who provide age-appropriate activities for the kids and the venue serves the Kids Meal for those kids in the Kids Room (usually something like chicken fingers and fries).
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_kid-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e17accc4-9202-4775-8fc5-3a8dbeaf9a28Post:8b9921d0-c2c5-4942-8b3a-cdb7370a1b2b">Re: Kid free reception??????</a>:
    [QUOTE]Here in the South, it's common to have a Kids Room at the ceremony site and at the reception site. So as people arrive for the marriage ceremony, they drop their kids off in the Kids Room where there is a babysitter/minder.  Then they pick up their kids on the way out. On the way in to the reception, they drop their kids off at the Kids Room, where there are several babysitters/minders who provide age-appropriate activities for the kids and the venue serves the Kids Meal for those kids in the Kids Room (usually something like chicken fingers and fries).
    Posted by Kristin789[/QUOTE]

    Here is South Dakota, it's common not to leave a child with a complete stranger.
  • [QUOTE]Here in the South........as people arrive for the marriage ceremony, they drop their kids off in the Kids Room where there is a babysitter/minder. 
    Posted by Kristin789[/QUOTE]

    I lived in Tennessee for the first 30 years of my life and I don't ever recall going to a wedding where parents dropped kids off in another room.  The kids are either with the parents the entire time, or not there at all.
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  • We had a no kids wedding, and we never thought twice about the decision.  My nephews were part of the wedding ceremony in a minor way (they handed out programs), then they went home and were babysat by their grandparents (my brother-in-law's parents).  Our reception was an elegant sit-down dinner, and my sister (their mother) agreed that they would not have any fun being the only kids there.  They had more fun getting pizza and watching movies at home.
  • We are having only immediate family's kids.  I am very close with my entire family, and cant imagine not having my cousins there!  No one else will be invited with kids.  I think its ok, as long as you have your clear cut lines.  Dont make exceptions to the rules you set! :)
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  • My FI and I are doing something similar. The only kids we have at the wedding are immediate family and teh children of our wedding party (a total of 8) most of the ones coming are between 11 and 13, one is 9 and the other two (my FI's nephews who are out ringbears) are 5 & 7. I know that my FI's sister-in-law is thinking of having her parents pick up the 5 & 7 year old after dinner but I'm not sure if that is what is going to happen. If guests inquire, we have been telling them that while we would love to have their kids celebrate with us we unfortunately aren't able to do invite any more than immediate family due to space constraints but that they are welcome to bring thier children to the ceremony. Our max guest count for the reception is 200 and the max for the church is 440. People have been very understanding and most won't be upset if you limit it to immediate family only for kids.

  • I forsee a problem in saying to write only the names of those invited. People seldom write the names of children, yet people still bring their children. Does anyone have a reference for how to politely state NO CHILDREN ALLOWED? I think that's what she's looking for. Having a separate table for kids is defeating the point of saying no kids because someone still has to watch the kids; moreover, why should she have to budget for kids (because people would still expect for you to feed their children) when they weren't even invited.
  • I'm in the same boat, but I have decided, and with my Fiance's and monthers approval (they really wanted this) that we are NOT having any kids under the age of 19 (legal in Canada). The reason being on MY part, is that my reception is already costing colse to $10, 000. And I dont want kids running around.

    The way I see it, if you and your fiance are in agreement on the kids thing, then no one can argue with you. As for having the kids in the wedding party, they can be 'introduced' to all the guests, and then taken home after the first dance.

    The last wedding I was at had them stay until after the dinner, but then I guess that all depends on where you are having the reception, and whether or not they will give out discounts for having children there.
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  • we had a morning wedding with a buffet luncheon, and we still didnt include kids.  our ceremony was just over an hour, and it was long enough for the adults to sit thorugh, i couldnt imagine kids sitting through it.  i dont understand, tho, why if you want a kid free wedding you are contradicting that by having kids in your wedding.
  • we're only having nieces and nephews. some are in the WP and some aren't. i don't think there's anything wrong with only inviting immediate family kids, but again, that's what's acceptable in my area.

    i think for the invites, the etiquette is to put Mr. and Mrs. if it's just the parents, or to put The Smith Family if children are invited as well. what i've seen is the outter envelope labeled with Mr.& Mrs., then the inner envlope with their individual names. if you were to invite The Smith Family, then it's implied the kids are invited and their names would be on the inner envelope as well. yes, some people still don't get this, but that's when you call and politely explain that children are not invited. writing on the invitation who is not invited is not something people would do in my area, but it may be totally acceptable somewhere else.

    also, you can use your RSVP cards to help manage this. by only having two lines for their meal options, it's another way of saying, i'm only expecting RSVPs and choices for mom and dad... just a thought! GL!
  • Im doing the same thing. Only his nieces and nephews Along with our FGs and RB will be there . Other then that everyone is going to be over 18.... on our STD i only put the parents names and also on the invites Im going to only put the parents.
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  • It's not rude and actually quite common.  I think you'll be fine, just expect that some people might complain.  But that's pretty likely to happen no matter what when it comes to wedding planning haha. 
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