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Reception Ideas

Kids as guests at the reception? Yes or no? Guests and Brides feedback please!

edited July 2014 in Reception Ideas
I really want to stay within my budget of around $3,500. Is telling my guests that it's an "Adults Only" event rude, understandable, or even common? ANY advice helps!

Re: Kids as guests at the reception? Yes or no? Guests and Brides feedback please!

  • edited July 2014
    Thanks so much! I didn't mean directly telling the guests to "leave their kids at home", but your advice is great!
  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    I was delighted to not include children.  Don't just look at the cost of catering...think of cost of bar and other things.  For example, my open bar charged for kids (something like $5) in case they get cokes/juice/etc, then a different price for those 21 and over.  If you have to rent chairs, that's an additional cost, maybe two if you have chairs at ceremony and reception (that would've been another $14 per kid for me since I had two sets of chairs).  A cupcake for each kid...another $3/each.  Macarons for each kid...another $1.00 per macaron.  Additional tables and linens.  Additional favor (about $2.50 each).  It adds up really fast.  I looked at it as a total p/p cost, not just the food, so make sure you're considering the total picture.

    Not to mention, I had my wedding at an estate with a lot of art, a lovely historic house, race horses.  I wanted it to be quiet and adult, no crying kids, kids running around.  A few people couldn't come because it was no children invited, and I was completely okay with that.  I wasn't going to give an exception for one person, then have someone else who didn't get the exception have hurt feelings.

    If it would help your budget, or in general, achieve the event you want, do it!  I'm really happy I did.  Just be emotionally prepared to tell people no.

    An aside: I enjoy adult weddings more.  I think family reunions are a great place to bring the babies, toddlers, and young children.  But if I'm going to spend money on a nice present and get all dressed up, I tend to enjoy evening weddings with plenty of cocktails and no tired, crying children/children hijacking the dance floor.  Some people here will tell you they love seeing kids on the dance floor, etc.  It's just preference.
    Knottie64705600PrettyGirlLost
  • It's ok not to invite kids, just realize like PP that you may have guests who are not able to attend due to their kids. I opted to allow out of town guests to bring kids. I only had one of those, my niece had a four month old that she was breast feeding at the time. They live 11 hours away from us. It's one thing for a nursing mom to pump so she can go out for the evening or even a full day. But there is no way to ask her to leave her 4 month old at home for 4 days. So since she was bringing her 4 month old I couldn't say don't bring your 5 year old.

    Knottie64705600
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It's rude to put "no kids" or "adults only" on an invitation.  But it's perfectly polite to not invite kids.

    That said, some parents may refuse to attend if they can't bring their kids, especially nursing mothers or out-of-town guests.  And still others just won't agree to leave their kids with babysitters, whether of your choice or their own-especially if the babysitters are strangers.
    Knottie64705600
  • It is definitely ok to not invite kids to you wedding (we're doing it!). Just make sure to get on the same page with you FI and stick to your decision when people start asking you if their kids can come. Also be prepared for some people to not be able to attend if they can't bring their children. I think it is becoming more common for people to have kid free weddings. We had a lot of people that asked if the kids could come, just to clarify, but once we told them no they didn't fight us on it. I think a lot of the parents are looking forward to a night with out the kiddos.

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    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    Knottie64705600
  • It is fine to not invite children. However, since you asked for feedback, I personally enjoy children at weddings. I like the generational celebration.
    Viczaesarholyguacamole79
  • I would say address it only for the parents, but don't be surprised if people RSVP and try to automatically include their children or grandchildren without consulting you. In that case, I'd recommend whoever is closest to the couple (bride, groom, parents, etc.) to call and say due to a limitation, unfortunately only the husband and wife were invited. If people say they can't possible find a babysitter (traveling from out of town, can't leave kids at home, etc.) then see if possible to hire a couple of babysitters with a movie, games and color books in a nearby, discreet location.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My son and his wife had an adult only wedding.  My daughter included children at hers.  Both were lovely.  I think the decision is up to the couple.  As a guest, I can also go either way.  From my perspective, the only time children become an issue is when they are attached to parents that have parenting/common sense issues. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    ajsmith14 said:
    I would say address it only for the parents, but don't be surprised if people RSVP and try to automatically include their children or grandchildren without consulting you. In that case, I'd recommend whoever is closest to the couple (bride, groom, parents, etc.) to call and say due to a limitation, unfortunately only the husband and wife were invited. If people say they can't possible find a babysitter (traveling from out of town, can't leave kids at home, etc.) then see if possible to hire a couple of babysitters with a movie, games and color books in a nearby, discreet location.

    Stuck in box...

    Since this gets suggested all the time, I think you should know that it's always followed by "I'd never leave my kids with a stranger" and "I don't think having the kids in a separate room will work" by other posters.  I don't necessarily agree, but this is seen as a bad idea here in this forum.
  • edited July 2014
    We had a kid free wedding and I wouldn't have it any other way. I enjoy kids, but I like adult weddings.

    To do this, address the invitation only to who is invited - the parents (e.g. Mr and Mrs Smith). If you think yours is a crowd that would assume kids were invited, you may want to word your RSVPs so you can follow up on any misunderstandings. We worded ours like this:

    "We look forward to celebrating with you!
    ___ # attending
    ___ decline with regret"

    If anyone responded with a higher number than those on the invite, we could follow up. We had a buffet, but if we had done menu choices, we would have worded like this:

    "We look forward to celebrating with you!
    ___ # attending
    ___ decline with regret

    Please provide each guest's initials by their menu choice:
    ___ beef
    ___ chicken
    ___ veg"


    ETA: As PPs have said and to reiterate, it's NEVER ok to put "adults only" or any rendition thereof on your invites, website, STDs or whatever else.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • It depends on the style of the wedding. If it's a daytime, outdoor wedding, for example, I think it's fine and even ups the "family" feel to it if there are some kids running around. If it's an evening, formal dinner-and-dancing type of event, I think kids seem out of place. 

    Also, if there's a lot of kids I think some accommodation needs to be made to have something to keep them entertained and out of the way a bit. A few kids can just go with the flow with all the adults, but if you have a hoard of them, it's nice to give them a way to "be kids" without trying to force them into sitting still next to each other for a couple hours, and never being loud or running around!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    ajsmith14 said:
    I would say address it only for the parents, but don't be surprised if people RSVP and try to automatically include their children or grandchildren without consulting you. In that case, I'd recommend whoever is closest to the couple (bride, groom, parents, etc.) to call and say due to a limitation, unfortunately only the husband and wife were invited. If people say they can't possible find a babysitter (traveling from out of town, can't leave kids at home, etc.) then see if possible to hire a couple of babysitters with a movie, games and color books in a nearby, discreet location.

    Stuck in box...

    Since this gets suggested all the time, I think you should know that it's always followed by "I'd never leave my kids with a stranger" and "I don't think having the kids in a separate room will work" by other posters.  I don't necessarily agree, but this is seen as a bad idea here in this forum.
    Not only that but it also presents the opening of "oh well I will plan to leave Little Susie with the babysitter but if when we get there and she is not happy then I will just bring her to the wedding instead."

    PrettyGirlLost
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We had some kids at our wedding and it was a blast!  We only found out later that one of the kids had a coughing fit during the ceremony (I honestly didn't hear it / notice it).  The mom was apologizing to us profusely a few weeks later and I had no idea what she was talking about.

    It was also SUPER cute to see the kids dancing, too!
  • We have also decided to not have kids at our wedding. There will be a open bar and having a bunch of kids running around would not be a sight to see.
  • Agree with PP on the logistics. I did not have kids save for the OOT guests. They left early, I was not upset at all. I'm really glad we were kidless.
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    We only had 2 children at our wedding. One was our ring bearer and the other was our employee's daughter. I put together activity bags for them and they were the same age so they played together and it worked out well. I got some really cute pictures of them laying on the dance floor during dinner coloring in their coloring books. They were both really well behaved. We probably wouldn't have invited children if it meant that there would be 30 kids running around because that would have been too chaotic and not really the vibe we were going for.
    image
  • Originally I was leaning toward an adults only wedding but half our guests are coming from out of state and I don't think it's fair to invite the kids from Florida but not the local kids.  Also, most of the kids we're inviting are over 14 so I'm not too worried about a bunch of little ones taking over the dance floor.  I remember it being such an honor to go to the few weddings I was invited to as a kid.  I want my cousins children and my niece to have those memories too.
    ohannabelle
  • One of the best dances at my daughter's wedding was when the bride asked the children to join her in "The Hokey Pokey"!  What a photo-op!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • It is a personal preference and your guests should respect it. I am not looking forward to having kids screaming and running on the dance floor. I know some people think it is very rude, but I will send an "Adults-only reception" invitation.
  • It is a personal preference and your guests should respect it. I am not looking forward to having kids screaming and running on the dance floor. I know some people think it is very rude, but I will send an "Adults-only reception" invitation.
    Please don't do this.  It IS rude!  Just address your invitations to the adults in the family.  If someone responds that they are bringing their kids, you call them and politely explain that you cannot accommodate the children at your wedding.
    Adult reception = strippers and pole dancers?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • "Adults-only". Not "Adult reception".
  • Every time kids and weddings are mentioned, people always mention screaming kids, and kids running amok, and kids throwing tantrums, etc., as if this is usual and expected. Not just this thread, but many.
    What kind of parents are these, with children who don't know how to behave in public?

     I can honestly say, in all the years I've been attending weddings, (aprx 50 years) I can only really remember seeing one crying, badly behaved child. One. And I've never seen kids "invade" a dance floor, or kids getting knocked down on the dance floor, or any of the other horrible things I've heard mentioned or predicted.

    I'm all for having a kid free wedding, if that's what somebody wants, but be real about it. I just can't believe that the entire younger generation of parents won't control their children or teach them appropriate "special occasion" manners. 
    I personally love seeing children at weddings, all dressed up and adorable.  I'm one of the sort that think weddings are about family. I enjoy child free weddings as well, but not as much.
  • Every time kids and weddings are mentioned, people always mention screaming kids, and kids running amok, and kids throwing tantrums, etc., as if this is usual and expected. Not just this thread, but many.
    What kind of parents are these, with children who don't know how to behave in public?

     I can honestly say, in all the years I've been attending weddings, (aprx 50 years) I can only really remember seeing one crying, badly behaved child. One. And I've never seen kids "invade" a dance floor, or kids getting knocked down on the dance floor, or any of the other horrible things I've heard mentioned or predicted.

    I'm all for having a kid free wedding, if that's what somebody wants, but be real about it. I just can't believe that the entire younger generation of parents won't control their children or teach them appropriate "special occasion" manners. 
    I personally love seeing children at weddings, all dressed up and adorable.  I'm one of the sort that think weddings are about family. I enjoy child free weddings as well, but not as much.
    Glad I'm not the only one. Most of the weddings I attend are huge Catholic family weddings with kids and an open bar. I've never seen crazy, out of control children.

    We had maybe 10 kids at our wedding. They were perfectly behaved during dinner and caused less of a ruckus than the drunk adults there. They danced, played in the museum our reception was in, and were generally loads of fun.
    image
    ohannabelle
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    "Adults-only". Not "Adult reception".
    Still rude.

    Like CMGr said, just state who is invited on the envelope and leave it be.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2014
    Every time kids and weddings are mentioned, people always mention screaming kids, and kids running amok, and kids throwing tantrums, etc., as if this is usual and expected. Not just this thread, but many.
    What kind of parents are these, with children who don't know how to behave in public?

     I can honestly say, in all the years I've been attending weddings, (aprx 50 years) I can only really remember seeing one crying, badly behaved child. One. And I've never seen kids "invade" a dance floor, or kids getting knocked down on the dance floor, or any of the other horrible things I've heard mentioned or predicted.

    I'm all for having a kid free wedding, if that's what somebody wants, but be real about it. I just can't believe that the entire younger generation of parents won't control their children or teach them appropriate "special occasion" manners. 
    I personally love seeing children at weddings, all dressed up and adorable.  I'm one of the sort that think weddings are about family. I enjoy child free weddings as well, but not as much.

    Well, last Labor Day weekend my then-BF and I went to visit my family for the first time so they could meet him as our relationship had become serious.  As I live in NYC (I'm about to move) and they live in Houston, it was not possible for them to meet previously as work and other scheduling didn't allow it.  We met in California, where my brother and his family live.  My family kept pushing my BF and me to do things on our own, wanted to see other people, and always wanted to bring my brother's children with them whenever we got together, even though I was hoping for some two-on-two time with my parents.  The one time we got together, they told me that they had already asked my 5 year old nephew along, and he kept screaming, "I want your attention!" every time it wasn't on him.  And he got it, because my parents are soooooooooooooo invested in being grandparents and our family is a very kid-oriented family.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my nephew and his older sister, my niece.  But I do not want them screaming "I want your attention!" or otherwise acting out for it at my wedding.  I would not put ignoring me at my wedding past my family.
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    edited July 2014
    Jen4948 said:
    Every time kids and weddings are mentioned, people always mention screaming kids, and kids running amok, and kids throwing tantrums, etc., as if this is usual and expected. Not just this thread, but many.
    What kind of parents are these, with children who don't know how to behave in public?

     I can honestly say, in all the years I've been attending weddings, (aprx 50 years) I can only really remember seeing one crying, badly behaved child. One. And I've never seen kids "invade" a dance floor, or kids getting knocked down on the dance floor, or any of the other horrible things I've heard mentioned or predicted.

    I'm all for having a kid free wedding, if that's what somebody wants, but be real about it. I just can't believe that the entire younger generation of parents won't control their children or teach them appropriate "special occasion" manners. 
    I personally love seeing children at weddings, all dressed up and adorable.  I'm one of the sort that think weddings are about family. I enjoy child free weddings as well, but not as much.

    Well, last Labor Day weekend my then-BF and I went to visit my family for the first time so they could meet him as our relationship had become serious.  As I live in NYC (I'm about to move) and they live in Houston, it was not possible for them to meet previously as work and other scheduling didn't allow it.  We met in California, where my brother and his family live.  My family kept pushing my BF and me to do things on our own, wanted to see other people, and always wanted to bring my brother's children with them whenever we got together, even though I was hoping for some two-on-two time with my parents.  The one time we got together, they told me that they had already asked my 5 year old nephew along, and he kept screaming, "I want your attention!" every time it wasn't on him.  And he got it, because my parents are soooooooooooooo invested in being grandparents and our family is a very kid-oriented family.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my nephew and his older sister, my niece.  But I do not want them screaming "I want your attention!" or otherwise acting out for it at my wedding.  I would not put ignoring me at my wedding past my family.



    For some reason, I found this to be a hilariously specific thing for a child to say. Like, that's what all screaming children really want, but this kid is evidently very self-aware.


    ETA: GD paragraphs!
    image
    This baby knows exactly how I feel
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    Every time kids and weddings are mentioned, people always mention screaming kids, and kids running amok, and kids throwing tantrums, etc., as if this is usual and expected. Not just this thread, but many.
    What kind of parents are these, with children who don't know how to behave in public?

     I can honestly say, in all the years I've been attending weddings, (aprx 50 years) I can only really remember seeing one crying, badly behaved child. One. And I've never seen kids "invade" a dance floor, or kids getting knocked down on the dance floor, or any of the other horrible things I've heard mentioned or predicted.

    I'm all for having a kid free wedding, if that's what somebody wants, but be real about it. I just can't believe that the entire younger generation of parents won't control their children or teach them appropriate "special occasion" manners. 
    I personally love seeing children at weddings, all dressed up and adorable.  I'm one of the sort that think weddings are about family. I enjoy child free weddings as well, but not as much.

    Well, last Labor Day weekend my then-BF and I went to visit my family for the first time so they could meet him as our relationship had become serious.  As I live in NYC (I'm about to move) and they live in Houston, it was not possible for them to meet previously as work and other scheduling didn't allow it.  We met in California, where my brother and his family live.  My family kept pushing my BF and me to do things on our own, wanted to see other people, and always wanted to bring my brother's children with them whenever we got together, even though I was hoping for some two-on-two time with my parents.  The one time we got together, they told me that they had already asked my 5 year old nephew along, and he kept screaming, "I want your attention!" every time it wasn't on him.  And he got it, because my parents are soooooooooooooo invested in being grandparents and our family is a very kid-oriented family.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my nephew and his older sister, my niece.  But I do not want them screaming "I want your attention!" or otherwise acting out for it at my wedding.  I would not put ignoring me at my wedding past my family.



    For some reason, I found this to be a hilariously specific thing for a child to say. Like, that's what all screaming children really want, but this kid is evidently very self-aware.


    ETA: GD paragraphs!
    Well, my wedding is one time when I do not want it said, regardless of how "hilariously specific" it might be.  He will have his own birthdays, bar mitzvah, graduations, and perhaps a wedding of his own when he will be entitled to that attention.  He needs to learn that he is not entitled to it at other times.
  • Jen4948 said:
    Every time kids and weddings are mentioned, people always mention screaming kids, and kids running amok, and kids throwing tantrums, etc., as if this is usual and expected. Not just this thread, but many.
    What kind of parents are these, with children who don't know how to behave in public?

     I can honestly say, in all the years I've been attending weddings, (aprx 50 years) I can only really remember seeing one crying, badly behaved child. One. And I've never seen kids "invade" a dance floor, or kids getting knocked down on the dance floor, or any of the other horrible things I've heard mentioned or predicted.

    I'm all for having a kid free wedding, if that's what somebody wants, but be real about it. I just can't believe that the entire younger generation of parents won't control their children or teach them appropriate "special occasion" manners. 
    I personally love seeing children at weddings, all dressed up and adorable.  I'm one of the sort that think weddings are about family. I enjoy child free weddings as well, but not as much.

    Well, last Labor Day weekend my then-BF and I went to visit my family for the first time so they could meet him as our relationship had become serious.  As I live in NYC (I'm about to move) and they live in Houston, it was not possible for them to meet previously as work and other scheduling didn't allow it.  We met in California, where my brother and his family live.  My family kept pushing my BF and me to do things on our own, wanted to see other people, and always wanted to bring my brother's children with them whenever we got together, even though I was hoping for some two-on-two time with my parents.  The one time we got together, they told me that they had already asked my 5 year old nephew along, and he kept screaming, "I want your attention!" every time it wasn't on him.  And he got it, because my parents are soooooooooooooo invested in being grandparents and our family is a very kid-oriented family.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my nephew and his older sister, my niece.  But I do not want them screaming "I want your attention!" or otherwise acting out for it at my wedding.  I would not put ignoring me at my wedding past my family.
    Well, there you go. I would be frikking appalled if I saw a child allowed to behave like this, and wouldn't want to be around that kind of child. I'm from a seriously kid-oriented family as well, but in my family it means you have the serious parental responsibility to turn those children into well behaved, polite children who know how to function in public. No special snowflakes.

    At five, my own kids would never have dared raise their voices to an adult. You're allowed to scream if if there's an emergency. If you misbehaved in public, you were immediately removed from the restaurant or store, or wherever you were, and for the next thirty days (yep, full thirty, hard time, no exceptions) you were not taken anywhere because, "I'm so sorry, and I'll miss you, but you haven't learned how to behave in public." It takes exactly once for that lesson to be learned. It sucks to stay home with a sitter or grandma while everyone else is off to the park or library or out for ice cream.

    By five, a child should understand how to say how do you do, or happy to meet you, please excuse me or (permesso depending on which relative and situation) please and thank you, and how to sit quietly. They should know how to put their napkins in their laps, eat small bites, and never complain about food. They should know how to say "Thank you very much for inviting me," when they leave. If a child need an adult's attention when they're speaking to another adult, or on the phone, they should be taught to stand quietly and gently rest their hand on the grown up's arm until the adult can address them. They should understand the difference between indoor and outdoor voices, and when you say "company best" manners, they get it, and step up the game.

    (Optional and priceless rule: Don't talk to Mom until she's finished her morning coffee.) 

    The rewards for this behavior are excellent for both parties. A kid who's extravagantly praised and rewarded for good manners enjoys the attention, the parent's life is about 10000 times easier.

    So, no, if there's a screaming monster, they should not be invited. Who could blame you? 
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