Maine

A word of advice on not inviting kids...

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!
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tblane02

Re: A word of advice on not inviting kids...

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the advice MiniMin.  We don't plan on having kids at the wedding and have been telling people that from the beginning.  I can't imagine the added stress this is causing you, I hope all will work out.  I will keep your advice in mind for when we send out our invitations. 
  • mikell22mikell22 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Its not tacky to put on the Reception card "Adults only Reception".  Working in a bridal shop previously that did invites as well, we had brides do it all the time and that way there is no question.  It is hard though.  Bc no matter what it will cause drama.
    tblane02
  • schadbourneschadbourne member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    i am still in my early planning mode through i know i will be having kids at my reception but i love that you say screw etiquette, sometimes i want to be like who said you cant do so and such who wrote the book, who cares to the people telling you things are tacky or rude. If i weren't inviting kids i woud take your advice so thank you!
  • mainemommymainemommy member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_maine_word-of-advice-not-inviting-kids?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:98Discussion:62f3c1ab-07e8-4929-9678-7ac1e229849fPost:7b60a8ac-69c3-4210-ae19-c5fae95d3f3f">Re: A word of advice on not inviting kids...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Its not tacky to put on the Reception card "Adults only Reception".  Posted by mikell22[/QUOTE]

    Acutally it is & its considered very bad etiquette. That said as a mother of 2 I wouldnt mind it at all, I would actually prefer it because then theres no question as to whether or not theyre invited. Ive never assumed I've always asked but a card like this would save me the phone call.

    I still cant believe anyone would pay $75 for a 9 month olds dress. Thats ridiculous. So sorry you have to deal with this crap. At least your headaches now & not at the wedding like mine will be Im sure at some point Ill be thinking I shouldnt have invited children. <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif" border="0" alt="Wink" title="Wink" />
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  • mikell22mikell22 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    This is copied and pasted from The American Wedding Invitation website with formal etiquette on not inviting children.  Though some individuals think it is tacky, it is listed as being socailly acceptable to print "Adult Only Reception"
      Everyopne will of course have their own opinions on this, especially those with children.  I would not take personal offense at it knowing how much weddings cost and that people want an event free from crying and whining.

    Here is the exact quote from the website:

    As mentioned before, one of the most glaring points of contention and potential insult comes with the issue of children at a wedding. Many younger couples like to avoid having the little ones at the ceremony and reception because of the potential for misbehavior. Depending on the individuals, it can be difficult to ask a parent to not include their children in any activity. The easiest and most appropriate way to not invite a child is simple; you should leave their name off the invitation entirely. If the name of the child does not appear anywhere on the outer or inner envelopes, then the guest should assume that their child is not invited. Without proper indication, guests may assume their entire family is invited.

    If you are worried about this happening, even if the child's name is not mentioned on the invitation, there are a few steps you can take. A subtle and indirect method of uninviting children is to let the information that no children will be at the wedding pass through your family and friends. Tell a few people that should not be offended by the fact that the ceremony and reception are for adults only. Then, if anybody has questions, they may likely hear the answer through one of the other sources that children are not invited. If your group of guests may not be in close enough contact with one another, or you are still worried that some parents may try to bring the children along, you can simply specify on the response cards that an adult reception will be held after the ceremony. This will subtly inform your guests that only adults are welcome without singling out any particular family. A final measure that can be taken to ensure that children do not attend is to simply fill out the number of guests slot on the invitation ahead of time. If you specify how many guests are allowed, the invitee should be able to pick up what is going on. These actions are all socially acceptable ways to ensure that children are not at your ceremony.

    http://www.theamericanwedding.com/blog/?view=plink&id=181


    Hope this is helpful to the original poster!!!
  • edited December 2011
    "The easiest and most appropriate way to not invite a child is simple; you should leave their name off the invitation entirely. If the name of the child does not appear anywhere on the outer or inner envelopes, then the guest should assume that their child is not invited."

    The approach we took -- didn't work out that way! We tried the spreading it through the family thing too -- also didn't work.

    Not helpful to me, since it's way too late, but good insight for everyone else.

    I wonder when someone will write an etiquette book about incorporating modern technology? "If you're still worried people will bring their children, send them a Facebook message." Wink
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  • edited December 2011
    It was difficult in my family as well and to this day I am still not speaking with my cousin over it.  (Of course I couldn't stand her to begin with anyway).  

    Tough personal choice for sure.  I wasn't concerned with babies, but I had been to WAY too many weddings where 3-ish year olds just ran and ran around the dance floor and in once case knocked over an old lady and she left in an ambulance to the hospital.  I didn't want that nightmare.

    We ended up with three babies there, all under one year old and they were good as gold.  A lot of people worry about crying babies during vows, but our church had a cry room so I knew the parents would be mindful of that.

    I am against putting "adult only reception" on the invitation and prefer to put it on a wedding website or through word of mouth.  Just my opinion.
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  • mainemommymainemommy member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: A word of advice on not inviting kids...:
    [QUOTE I wasn't concerned with babies, but I had been to WAY too many weddings where 3-ish year olds just ran and ran around the dance floor and in once case knocked over an old lady and she left in an ambulance to the hospital.  I didn't want that nightmare. Posted by jaimebeth9[/QUOTE]
     
    I cant imagine that. My children would be in a time out for the rest of their lives.
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  • edited December 2011
    Not only old people but I use to work at weddings and I'd have trays of like 5-6 plates over my head about to walk through a door and kids would come out nearly running into us.. or with drink trays.. and I'd get so frustrated! It's not the place for children! (at least these weddings weren't and mine will not be!) but IDK how I'm going to do it! I've already started talking about it with family (i.e. Yeahh I'm thinking about cutting the list by starting with kids.. etc) and it's almost a year and a half early so hopefully they'll catch on! haha.. we'll see!
  • edited December 2011
    question!  I have a friend who just had a baby and he will be 2.5 months old come the wedding.  Because she is breast feeding, she asked if she could bring him.  I don't love the idea, but I want her to come so I said ok.  I'm a little worried about my cousins who have toddlers and other kids who weren't invited being upset when they see an infant.  What do you all think?
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  • edited December 2011
    Bethany - I personally think breast feeding infants are a whole different story and I would absolutely allow her to bring the baby.  Not to mention they're very quiet at that age! :)
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_maine_word-of-advice-not-inviting-kids?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:98Discussion:62f3c1ab-07e8-4929-9678-7ac1e229849fPost:41659fd7-41b2-494a-aa04-5e2e95e8cb7d">Re: A word of advice on not inviting kids...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Bethany - I personally think breast feeding infants are a whole different story and I would absolutely allow her to bring the baby.  Not to mention they're very quiet at that age! :)
    Posted by jaimebeth9[/QUOTE]

    Ditto. But I don't think a wedding is the place for an infant, personally. Of course that's her decision. But if there are other people with infants, you may want to extend that invite to them.

    I feel like I couldn't figure out how to make the cutoff. You have a baby that's on a bottle but not breastfeeding, but still not walking.. allowed? I felt like it was a slippery slope. If you allow a 3 month old, the parent of a six month old will want to bring their baby, then the nine month old, etc. etc. And what if people have a baby and a toddler? You're supposed to say, hey, you can bring your baby but not your other kid?

    gah! sorry for rambling. I'm still dealing with family over this and not happy about it.
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  • edited December 2011
    Mini - we dealt with it on a case by case basis.  Luckily we didn't have a TON of babies.  Most of my friends with kids wanted a night out and didn't even think of bringing their kids.  

    As I said, it did cause some hurt feelings in our family for sure.  I'm with you - I don't feel weddings (especially formal weddings, which ours was) is a place for kids.
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  • edited December 2011
    You should put a sign like this at the door:  If you're taller than this you can partake in the wedding reception.  As long as you don't have any extremely short friends...
  • edited December 2011
    The sad part is that the people that understood what you were doing by leaving the children's names off the invite will be offended when they show up and all of your cousins have brought their children.  It really puts you in a tough spot.

    Lucky for me, I've only got a couple friends/guests with children... and they are all looking forward to a fun evening without the little ones. 
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  • dmartineau1dmartineau1 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am going to have this issue too. We don't really want kids to be there at all, but we know that my FI's cousin and my aunt wouldn't be able to attend if they couldn't bring theyre young children. They're kids will range from 4 to 10 years old. I don't really know what to do...
  • edited December 2011
    We are not having kids at our wedding (in 5 days!!!) either.  Kids added just under an additional 50 guests to our listt.  We are also having an evening wedding, full open bar and plated meal so it just didnt make sense.  We made sure only the parents were on the invites but also knew it would never be enough!  So our invites read "adult reception to follow"   We are very happy about the decision and hasnt been an issue at all.  But make sure you stick to it!!  Some people may ask to be the acception.  

    Now if our single friends could just learn that its not ok to add a "plus one" just because they  shared a shot with someone at a bar last night! :) 
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