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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our First Bride Post.......

A Couture Bride "Vicky" from Boston sent in this question for us to address. Here you go Vicky, hopefully you'll like the answer.

I love children…but not at our wedding!

I’ve been informed by former brides of the nightmares that are still to come. To date, wedding planning has been a breeze (Thanks Annmarie!) My biggest concern, as I think of the months leading up to the wedding, is how to handle “uninvited” guests. We both come from large families and decided together, due to budget restraints, that there would be no children (other than those in the wedding party) invited to the wedding. I’m worried that Mr. & Mrs. will respond Mr. & Mrs. plus their darling three children! How will you or did you address situations like this?

Answer: From us at Couture and a little info from some other industry professionals!
Some couples, for reasons of their own, do not want for children to attend their wedding reception. The reasons for this may range from trying to lower costs by trimming wedding guests from the list, to simply not wanting to put up with potential crying, wailing, or hyperactivity on the part of little ones.

If you are thinking about an Adults Only wedding reception, it is important that you consider the matter carefully and realize that some may find this to be a tad offensive, ungracious, or downright cold. Weddings are not always adult only events - in fact, throughout history, children have played an important role in the symbolism associated with weddings - and therefore some might be offended that you are dictating that they must leave their little ones at home.
Ultimately however, your wedding day is YOUR day and the bottom line is that you have a right to be happy and have it your way on this one day. If, after carefully considering this, you decide that this is the way it is going to be, you should follow the following rules for this delicate situation:
• Indicate that the reception is to be adults only by having the words "Adults Only Reception" or "Adult Reception" printed along with the reception location and time on the invitation.
• Do not use phrases such as NO KIDS, NO CHILDREN, etc. The only correct wording is Adult Reception or Adults Only Reception.
• This information should be printed by the printer on all invitations. You must never write ANYTHING by hand onto the invitation itself - whether it pertains to this or any other matter. Doing so is considered socially incorrect (in other words, tacky!) and inappropriate.
• If you are excluding some children, the rule is that you must exclude all children. There must not be different rules for different people or some individuals will be deeply offended and hurt - and rightly so. The only possible exception to this would be any children who are in the wedding party. However, while some etiquette experts feel that it may be alright to make this exception, there is a stronger belief that if the reception is to be adults only, no children should be included as part of the wedding party. Otherwise, parents of children who were not allowed to attend may feel slighted that clearly some exceptions are being made to allow children, while they were instructed to leave their kids behind.

If cost issues are the reason you are contemplating the Adults Only route, keep in mind that the cost of feeding a child at the wedding will be considerably less than the cost to feed an adult. Most caterers or reception sites have children's menus from which they will serve kids under 12 years of age, typically at a drasttically lower cost. Inquire with your caterer about the availability of child's plates. This may solve the entire dilemma for you so that everyone can end up happy.
And what if someone does show up with their children, despite it all? Do you say something to them? Do you send someone over cuss them out?
Do nothing, What’s Done is done. No sense in creating an unpleasant, uncomfortable situation. Nothing could be more unbecoming of a bride, groom, or host.
Best advice? Take a deep breath, then let it go. Put it out of your mind and get on with having a good time. This day is going to fly by faster than you'll ever want as it is; don't waste a single moment of it caught up in negativity. Remember, this is one of the best days of your life!


  1. Great post. We don't want kids at our's a touch subject but hopefully everyone understands.

    What if the youngest baby in the family is the Groom's goddaughter? Is it offensive to not include her?

  2. HI Kristina,

    You know your guest list and the notion of what "offends" them better than I do but I would say you are safer omitting all kids VS selective ones.

    Most parents are happy their children are not invited/included so they can enjoy an evening out with each other.

    Good Luck!