So I am not having kids at the wedding unless they’re 16 and older. I am also having my 4 year old niece and my fiancé’s 4 year old nephew as our flower girl and ring bearer. How do I respectfully put that on my invitations without trying to offend anyone?
For the RSVP card you can include "We've reserved _ seats in your honor" for the amount of adults invited. On your wedding website you can also put it in your FAQ's. If anyone asks for a specific reason, tell them budget/venue space is an issue and the only children invited are part of the wedding party.
Not inviting children should be enough. Just address the invitation to who is invited, don’t mention who isn’t. You can also specify how many seats you’ve reserved for their household on the RSVP card. If you really feel like you need to explicitly say “don’t bring your kids,” your website would be a more appropriate place to put it. I will say that setting random age limits can often lead to more drama than just no kids at all. What will you do for a family that has, say, a 14 year old and a 16 year old? One kid is welcome and the other is not?
I think 16 is a random #, what is someone has a 15 and 17 year old? Their 15 year old can't come, but their 17 year old can? It just seems random. I'd cut off at 21 if you can still adjust the number. I'd address the invite to the specific people invited then put the # of seats reserved on the RSVP card. But I would expect people to be confused if 16-20 year olds are invited but not other teenagers.
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Thank you for your input! I wasn’t seeing it in that way. Honestly, it’s been a confusing process with that. There are lots of young children in our family (toddlers) that if we would’ve allowed them all to come, we would’ve had at least 15 toddlers at the wedding. Therefore, I just thought of having a flower girl and a ring bearer and the 16 year old cut off is because my fiancé and I have two nieces who are 16 and 17. All other children are way under 16 years old.
I wouldn’t necessarily consider a 16 or 17 yr old as a child. Clearly they are, but not in the little kid way we usually think of when saying we don’t want kids at our wedding. I think that is fine. It’s your wedding, you can make up the rules. So a “no young children” rule is completely acceptable. Those who are in the wedding are excluded from the rule.
You don't mention who's not invited anywhere - that's super rude. Just address the invites with the names of people invited (ex: John and Jane Smith instead of "The Smith Family") - you could also do the "we have __ seats reserved in your honor". If someone tries to RSVP for someone not invited (including kids) follow up with "unfortunately the invite was only for you and Mrs. Smith - we hope to see you there!".
*you mention an arbitrary cutoff of 16 - please just make sure you're not splitting up any families. It's super rude to invite parents, their 16-18 year old, but not their 14 year old.
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Thank you Jeanie! You get me! 😊 Lol. I’m glad you’re understanding what I mean! You said it exactly how I mean it. I don’t want young children running around at my wedding. If you were in my shoes, any suggestions on how you would word that? Or would you just not put it on the invitations at all and just address the envelopes specifically for who they are for?
Personally I think it should be fine to just address the envelopes to who is invited. However, after seeing so many people on this site have issues with guests not understanding that, you may want to write something if you think it will be an issue. I have on my wedding website that no children are invited other than mine (obviously). So putting something there could help answer anyone's questions. Another option would be to just say "adult reception," or "no children, please." I wouldn't could the older teenagers as children, because they are old enough to act appropriate in adult-only environments. Just keep in mind that there will always be someone who doesn't agree with your wishes and will try to convince you otherwise, and some will be mad. But at the end of the day, it's your wedding and your budget, and is your decision.
Even if you are specific in addressing your invitations, noting the number of seats reserved, and mention a no children rule on your wedding website, you can still expect people to try and slide it by you. I did all three and my cousin wrote on her RSVP that she was bringing her 4 kids (all under 5) with her! That was an awkward phone call. But I simply stated that our venue could not accommodate and left it at that. There are only two children invited to our wedding - my 5-year-old nephew (the ring bearer) and my fiance's 13-year-old niece who is very mature for her age.