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How do i ask nicely not to bring children to the reception?
My fiance and i are working on a very tight budget for our wedding we our only inviting a certain amount of guests and the reception is more of an adult planned party. i dont want to be rude by asking them not to bring their children. but in a all honesty i dont really want them there. i dont have the money to keep them entertained as well as all the other guests. Can anyone help me?

Married: 10/18/2010
Posted On: Feb 21, 2010 at 3:45 AM | Vendors are allowed | Add to My Watchlist | Flag As Inappropriate

17 Answers This question is closed for answers.

Brian Cesario Photography, LLC
Feb 21, 2010 at 4:23 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
This is a very understandable concern. You could start by addressing the invitations to "NAME & NAME" only instead of "The _____ Family". That's usually a big tip-off. Also, make several references to the fact that this is an ADULTS-ONLY wedding.
Feb 21, 2010 at 10:15 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Yes - I recently received an invitation and written on the response card was "Adults Only Reception". I would hope, especially in these economically hard times, that parents would understand.
Feb 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Have "Adult only reception 7pm to 12Midnight" (or whatever time you are doing it) printed on the response cards or the invitations. That should get the point across!
Feb 21, 2010 at 9:32 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
You have to say exactly what you mean. People need clarity. They would rather you telling them upfront rather than making them feel unwelcome. After all, it is your wedding, your wedding guests and most of all, your wedding celebration. The people that you invite to your wedding are the most important people to you. You want them to share in your joy.

Just write on the reception card, "ADULTS ONLY!"
Your guests will respect you for letting them know. Just be sure to send the invitations early in order to give your guests sufficient time to find a babysitter.

Please let us know the end results!

The Wedding Invitation Specialist

The Invitation Place
Feb 21, 2010 at 12:40 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
If your invitations include the traditional double envelopes, the inner envelope is where you indicate exactly who is invited "Mr. and Mrs. Brown" with no children's names listed underneath. If you only have single envelopes it gets a little trickier. If "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brown" is written that is supposed to indicate no children. If you MUST express it elsewhere, please do not list anything on the actual invitation wording itself, that is condsidered inappropriate. Instead, insert a seperate Reception Card worded with "Adult Dinner Reception" or whatever type of reception you are having (or just Adult Reception at so-n-so time, or following). If you put it on the Response Card they will be sending that information back to you & may forget later that no children are supposed to attend. If in the end, people respond with more guests indicated than how many were invited, simply make a friendly call explaining the situation - you can even blame it on the venue space limitations.
Feb 22, 2010 at 10:08 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
print it clearly and loud on your invitations



those who respond...will be the real " ADULTS " you want !!!

Jubilee Photography

Ashley Varney
Feb 23, 2010 at 1:34 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have seen many invitations that have read "Adults only Reception" Most people respect that, once in a while you get a few who show up with a kid or two anyway... if that happens my advice to you is dont sweat it on your wedding day, if the kids get bored or thier parents get offended you warned them :)

Married: 10/10/2009
Reviews: 5
Feb 23, 2010 at 8:09 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
"While we love children, we ask that you kindly make alternate arrangements for their care during both the ceremony and reception."


Cakes By Christina
Feb 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
When I got married 3 years ago, we only put the names of the people invited in the family on the RSVP cards (where they had to pick what meat they wanted).

Everyone but two families got the hint. Each family sent back their card with the kids names written on the RSVP card. Both were on the groom's side so he called and explained that the kid's names weren't forgotten to be added, but were left off for a reason.

Both couples still came, without the kids.

Debbie Do It All

Princess Bride Events
Feb 26, 2010 at 9:58 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
On your reception response cards have a line that says
"We have reserved __ seats in your honor"

then another line for
Accepts __ Declines __ Number___

Almost always when you address it to just Mr and Mrs - many will still bring univited children regarless of age -you have to spell it out to avoid problems.

Yolanda B.

Fun Spaces
Mar 02, 2010 at 1:40 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Definitely state "adults-only" on the invitation and/or reception cards. I was invited to an adults only wedding last year and was not offended by this wording.

If you have out-of-town guests, help them by suggesting a babysitting/nanny service that can keep children entertained, probably in their hotel rooms, without cost to you.
Mar 04, 2010 at 7:36 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
You do need to make it clear and it is YOUR choice. And you do not need to be the "bad guy" if someone shows up with children. You can assign someone that duty of reminding them that it is an adult themed event.
Some couples invite families to dine with them and then make the after dinner time for adults only. This option gives you the best of both worlds.
YOU get the choice here! Just be willing to stick to it. If you make even one exception the word will get out.

Married: 05/29/2010
Mar 04, 2010 at 7:48 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
LOL i just did my invitations in febuary and sent them out the end of febuary and on my resposne card i put please no kids under 13 and i started get back alot of cards back but only one person had the nerve to send it back with two kids and i kindly called him and told him no kids and he was highly upset
Mar 08, 2010 at 12:33 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
When my daughter was married in 2004, we utilized virtually all of the above suggestions and still one couple sent back their response card with their children's names written in. As the MOB, I called them (they were also my neighbors). I started off the conversation by admitting I felt uncomfortable, BUT...then proceeded to explain why we'd rather not have the kids attend. It was all good (but maybe I got lucky!)

I agree that in this economy, most parents will be very understanding.
Mar 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Agreeing with everyone here, alot of my clients
use wording such as
Evening Adult Reception
Glencole Club

It still sounds fancy without sounding snobby! :)

Because I Said So
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 15
Mar 16, 2010 at 3:22 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
you don't have to pay to feed everyone's kids, don't worry. just put on your invitation 'we're sorry but the venue cannot accommodate children under 12' or whatever age you want the cutoff to be. that way it looks like it's a rule someone else made, not you!

Married: 10/10/2010
Mar 21, 2010 at 12:16 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
me and you are getting married around the same time :) and i am currently getting ready to send the save the dates and have the same problem as you. if you decide to send the save the date this might help. ours is a "fun" save the date and on the inside gives a little more info than normal by saying 1pm cerimony followed by an adult only reception. then the adult only reception can be added on the response cards just so it sticks in their heads. hope that helped and happy planning :)

Vow of Conduct