“I do not want children at MY Wedding!”

This is a sentiment that I am hearing more and more from my brides lately. While for some this is not a big deal, for others it is tremendous. I am told there are family members or friends that will feel their children are exempt from this preference and will ignore the wishes of the Bride and Groom. The Bride and Groom and not left with too many options to let the guests know their wishes but primarily guests should follow etiquette the same as the Bride and Groom. The invitation is addressed to only those invited. If your children’s names are not on the invitation there is probably a reason. If you are unsure, call the Bride or the Mother of the Bride for clarification, but do not get your feelings hurt when you are told they were not invited and please do not just “show up” with your uninvited children.
I am often asked, “What the best way to handle this situation.” Let me first say that that it is NEVER proper to indicate “No Children” anywhere on or in your invitations. Usually, my first suggestion to the couple is to create a wedding website that can be used by all guests to obtain Hotel Information, Timeline Information, Registry Information and little tidbits such as No Children. My second suggestion would be to send out a separate newsletter to your guests with all this information included. Do not send it with your invitations! I know this is twice the postage but it is simply not appropriate etiquette. Lastly, and I believe the die- hard- etiquette experts will disagree with me, I would suggest having “Adult Reception to Follow” placed on the invitation.
More and more weddings and receptions are taking place in very “Adult” settings and in the later evening hours. While these precious little ones make adorable ring bearers and flower girls, if the reception is being held at an adult club and alcohol is being served, it is simply not the place for a child. The adults with the children are not able to enjoy the evening and dance and party and the children are usually tired and grumpy as well. They are better off at home with a sitter.

As a very last resort, I tell my Bride and Groom, you may want to hire someone to act as a babysitter during the reception and to make arrangements for a separate room where the children can go into during

the reception. There are wonderful services that will entertain and take care of the kids for a modest fee.

The most important thing is to remember it is your day (and night) and if you prefer no children, make sure it is communicated (properly) to your guests.