I want a kid free wedding reception?

by DIY wedding planner on August 25, 2012

I ordered my wedding invitations and forgot to put “adult only reception” do you think people will bring their kids?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

awommack August 25, 2012 at 5:43 am



MiMi D August 25, 2012 at 6:38 am

Some will depending on how you word the envelope. Hopefully you did not have those printed as well. If not, then simply address the envelope to the individuals invited. For instance, in stead of saying “The Smith Family” you would say “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”.

If that doesn’t work and you notice on their reply cards that they have answered 3 or 4 attending and not 2, then you need to simply call them and explain that you would prefer not to have children at the reception. Being that this has become extremely common, due to the costs of weddings, I do not think anyone would be offended by it.

Good luck


Barbara B August 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

They might.

When people RSVP, look carefully and if there are children coming, call the parents and remind them that they will be completely responsible for keeping their darlings in line during the ceremony and the reception.

BTW I brought my 2-year-old son to my SIL’s wedding – I sat in the back and when he started to fuss I quietly took him outside. Yes, I missed the ceremony – but was profusely thanked after-wards and we all had a grand time at the reception.

You also might hire some child-wranglers from a local day-care center in case people insist on bringing their little ones along despite your request that Percy and Shelley stay home. It will be a couple of hundred dollars very well spent.


Faiths mummy & Grace on board! August 25, 2012 at 7:30 am

unless it states no kids then there is every chance they bring their kids…..

personally kids make a wedding for me… but everyone has different opinions on weddings and its your special day to enjoy however you decide…

i would send an extra note to be sure x


Just tryin' to help August 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

You shouldn’t put “adult only reception” anyway. Just be very specific when addressing the envelopes: “Mr and Mrs James Smith”; “Mr James Smith and Guest”

If (actually “when” most likely) you get responses back for more than you sent them out (i.e. “Mr and Mrs Smith” respond with four people attending) you need to call those people individually and say something along the lines of, “There was some confusion in the invitation. This was meant for only Jim and Jane, but there seems to be more responses. Will Jim and Jane be able to attend?”


lytehoney08010 August 25, 2012 at 8:53 am

You have to be specific about what you want or people will do what they want! Give your maid of honor, mom or close friend a copy of your invitation list and have them call each person and explain the error. Also who ever is in control of taking the rsvp’s can reiterate no children at the reception and put a check mark next to the names so that you know they have been informed. Good Luck.


CorpCityGrl August 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

It depends on where you live. I live in NYC and wedding receptions are generally adult only unless the couple indicates it otherwise, but even then people do not bring children.

I would be very specific when addressing your wedding invitations and tell both sets of parents, siblings and bridal party that you wish to have an adults only reception so that they can spread the word or tell people when asked.


11/25/04 August 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

I’m pretty sure they will.


Garnet Glitter August 25, 2012 at 10:38 am

here’s a way you can get around it…..

Many folk will include a separate print out of the directions to get to the ceremony & reception venues….I’m sure if you don’t have access to a printer, you can have this done at Kinkos or some other similar place.

Somewhere on the directions you can print something like adult reception, please no children.

Now technically it’s an etiquette no-no but since there are people who are dense and think they can bring their kids because the invitations that only mention the adults being invited do NOT pertain to them, sometimes you need to be a wee bit rude to avoid them being even ruder by ignoring the specifics of their invitation. If not, then you have to call up all those who RSVP that they are bringing their kids and explain to them that it is an adult only reception.

Either include this in the wedding invite or spring for the extra stamps/envelopes and mail these out SEPARATELY from the invites….that way no one can say ”She had the nerve to include a no children in with the invite.” because that, with the directions, arrived in a separate letter/envelope.


nova_queen_28 August 25, 2012 at 11:35 am

Its all in how you address the invite and setup the RSVP card.

If you mail the invite to “Mr. John & Mrs. Jane Smith” — that is supposed to indicate that the kiddies aren’t invited. But not everyone gets the hint in this way.
What I also did for my wedding was have the RSVP Cards printed to read:

Name: _____
__ of __ accepts

Then I came along & pre-filled the info

Name: John & Jane Smith
__ of _2__ accepts


~*Mrs. GM2*~ August 25, 2012 at 11:41 am

I would bring mine, after all, it’s $2 or more an hour for a babysitter and with 3 kids, that’d be $6 or more an hour. As a general rule, if parents have kids, they’re going to bring them, especially if they’re young children, after all, they’re part of your guests family too. While I respect your decision not to include children, it does present a huge financial burden to your guests, especially if they live out of town or out of state. We had tons of little kids at our wedding, they were just fine and the parents don’t let them run wild, so don’t worry about it.


lalala August 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

You are not supposed to include “adult only reception” anyway. That would be like saying your guests are not intelligent enough to realize that if their kids names aren’t on the invitation they aren’t invited.

Hopefully your guests have that common sense to know their children aren’t invited. However if they RSVP with their children (or any uninvited guests), you call and tell them there has been a misunderstanding and that their children are not invited. If, after hearing this information, your guests can’t or won’t come without their children, you have to politely accept that.


Libby August 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Some parents think the world revolves around their children, and will assume that their kids are invited even if the the invitation specifically states “Mrs. & Mrs. Jones.” Here’s what I put on my “Information” insert:

Child Guests
Children 13 and older are welcome to attend.
A complimentary babysitting service will be offered
for guests with children 12 and under.
Please email to reserve.

Whether you hire a babysitter or not is up to you, but what you can do is on your RSVP card in small letters are the bottom put something like: “Please Join Us For a Semi-Formal, Adult Only Reception.” If you have a seperate insert for directions and whatnot, put it there. Anyone who would be offended by it needs to realize that their little angels don’t run the show, and some occasions and places are just not child-friendly.


Messykatt August 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

You take care of this with the RSVP cards, and also the way you address the envelopes. But the RSVP cards are the most important part of it, and you may even need to have them redone. There needs to be a way where you do a “total # of meals”. If you have an entree option, that works best, but if not, just do # of meals. Then make sure that the invite is only to Mr. and Mrs John Smith. If you invite a married couple and get 4 as your meal count, this is when you make the phone call. And you’ll also probably need some help from mom or other relatives to reinforce the issue.

If you do end up re-doing the invites, don’t put “adult only reception”. Just say “adult reception to follow”.


MagnusMoss August 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm


Unless you specifically say no kids, people will bring kids.


Luv2Answer August 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Not if they aren’t invited they shouldn’t.


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