WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

So we are trying to keep the cost of Katy's wedding down... We are also wanting it to be a day for them and their friends to enjoy. One way we were trying to do that is not inviting children (other then the flower girls) under junior high age. Don't get me wrong, we love kids, but when you have large numbers of them at events not set up for them they tend to go nuts. We went to a lovely wedding recently that had a large number of kids who kind of took over the reception. The parents just let them run wild for the most part and for 2/3 of the reception the oldest person on the dance floor was 10. I love our church, but it does seem to attract a lot of people who have the "let kids be kids" parenting style... We were not that kind of parents... Quite the opposite, we believed that our girls should learn how to act in socially acceptable ways in all settings... I know it sounds like I don't like kids, but I do... I love them at VBS or Awana... I Love them in Sunday School and at playgrounds... These are all places set up for kids... Katy's wedding reception won't be... Here is the problem... When we sent out invitations to families with young kids we specifically addressed it to the mom and dad... Not the whole family. I also used RSVP cards with spaces for only two (ex. M_______________ & M_______________)  to RSVP, but of the six cards we have had returned three of them have included their children... This has not only added stress but has doubled the number we intended to invite with those six invites. We are limited by our venue to 175... We invited 160 (with only about 140 of them expected to come) I did the math tonight, if everyone we invited decides to bring their children we will have 211 there! I did everything "etiquette guides" advise to let people know that we are only inviting adults... What now? Do I have to call these people and tell them their children are not invited... What a way to spread goodwill... Aghhhhh.... Help!

Thanks for listening,


  1. OH. MY. GOSH.

    Kay, Rebecca-- you know I am mother to 4 very small children. I HATE finding a babysitter.

    Keep all this in mind, kay?

    I would totally TOTALLY find a babysitter for a wedding. Bringing little kids to weddings is rude.


    Someone's gonna be so mad at me when they read this and I don't care. IT'S RUDE.

    I went to my cousin's wedding last month (we were very close; we are a very close family-- it was a close to a sibling wedding as it gets). Kids. Running amok. I left my kids home for all of it. Wedding breakfast, reception. All of it. I think it is so rude.

    You know how many times I've seen toddlers running amok and dipping massive quantities of things in the chocolate fountain, covered from fingertips to elbows in chocolate? Drives me nuts.

    please again keep in mind that I hate to find a babysitter. RUDE.

    Having said that- -I have no idea what you can do about this. You made it as politely clear as you could, using subtle manners. What can you do?

    1. Thank you for saying the "R" word... It needed to be said, but I guess I was a big chicken to say it!

  2. Oh I know this is uncomfortable and difficult but I am in complete agreement with you on this one. I do think unless you're prepared to have kids at the wedding then yes, you need to phone people and let them know you are so very sorry but you are not including children in the reception. If someone has their nose out of joint don't take that on as your problem. (I say that because I know I would) And I guess its possible that people may say they can't attend if their children can't which is a shame but is better than having kids run amok at a reception. I could go on a little rant here about watching kids run wild at a reception and stack their plates sky high then dump it all in the trash while parents sat idly by. I won't go into a rant but I definitely could.

    It seems to be a bit of a trend nowadays that kids go everywhere. I love children of all shapes and sizes but there are some places where they just don't belong and I think a wedding reception is one of those places, unless they're actually in the wedding.

  3. Oh dear. This is a tough one!

    A few summers ago, we had a cousin who got married and the reply card said "Adult reception will be held at ... ". It didn't come right out and say no kids, but we got the message. ;-) (I know this doesn't help for your current situation, but maybe for the next one!)

    -Allison P.

    1. I tought of the "Adult Reception" line but it seemed rude... Look where that got me... I guess it's what we'll have to do for Allison's as it looks like her choice of venue (at this point) may be even more limited...

  4. I think I'd send an e-mail to everyone (not just offenders) explaining that the reception is an adults only event. Explain the limited venue size and say we wish we could have them all but . . .

    For out of town guests, maybe hire some youth group kids to babysit at a nearby site? Then offer that to the parents.

    1. This is probably what I'll have to do... Now what to do about pushy venders? We have a DJ who is hounding me for his deposit even though his web site says a deposit is not due until 60 days before the event! I feel like I have a bill collector chasing me down!

  5. Hi Rebecca, I'm visiting from LJW's blog. I don't have any lovely advice for you but I just wanted you to know that I sympathize with your dilemma! At the risk of sounding heartless (which I'm not--I hate disappointing people), it is not their wedding. When it is their turn, they can do it their way. Now how to fix the misunderstanding... I'll pray you know what to do!

    Angie W.

  6. Nip it in the bud!! It's costing you precious peace of mind... that is the important thing. Weddings are limited, that's no surprise. Obviously they can respect your entirely reasonable request or not come - that is THEIR choice. And certainly trying to offer a babysitter(s) would be a complement to out of towners. You can probably decide how to contact them, but I would make sure they definitely get the message this time. For your sake, don't worry about it too much, just get 'er done. I am sure you will have bigger fish to fry. You are just clarifying a mistake. Your guests are obviously very special to have been invited to such an exclusive event in the first place so don't sweat their feelings. You could always send them a link to your blog...

    Mansfield, MA

  7. I like Mindee's e-mail suggestion. As you well know, this is a national epidemic. To quote Mandi, people are just RUDE. More often than not, it's a result of not being trained properly themselves, but sometimes it's just brazenness. People who love you will not be offended by a gentle correction, if they get mad... well they can figure out how to get glad, now can't they?

    I'm SO taking notes for my daughter's October wedding.

  8. This is the 3rd time I've replied. Hopefully if I make this short it won't get eaten by my laptop.

    Short and sweet...

    No kids allowed at reception is okay. Call or email to make sure everyone understand. If they complain they can suck lemons and stay home with their negative attitude. Not your problem. This wedding is about the bride and groom not whatever the guests may want.

    For out of town guests you might recommend a sitter or even arrange off site child care but the parents should cover the costs not you.

    1. Sorry you had such a hard time leaving a comment! I think I refrain from actually telling my pastor's wife (one who RSVP'd with children) to "suck lemons" but know I giggled a little too much at the idea... :)

  9. The only weddings I have been to since having kids are ones where my kids are a part of it! And those weddings were kid-friendly, I suppose, and there were other families with children and it was all fine. But, that is neither here nor there. I would contact everyone you invited and apologize for any misunderstanding, but that the reception is for adults only.
    I think I would definitely check first to make sure kids were welcome.
    If people get that upset with it, then they don't need to come. Some people won't be able to come simply because they cannot find a sitter (ask me how I know). But, I would rather be told that it was not intended for whole families rather than show up and have people annoyed at me! Just be gracious about it, don't make them feel like they were RUDE for including their children. It may be just an honest misunderstanding.

  10. Rude is the right word! Our children have been invited to weddings and their names were on front of the envelope. (usually it was the oldest two who were invited)You totally have to let them know that it is a adult wedding only. I would sure want to be told if I happened to misunderstand the invitation. Good luck!

  11. My parents raised my siblings and I to behave in public; we were never allowed to run wild. It really irritates me that many parents today could not care less about how their kids act {or the homes they destroy}. I guess the email will have to do, since people can be pretty dense. Try not to stress too much about it. I had children at my wedding, and even though there was a designated reception room for children, they still were with the adults- tearing down centerpieces, putting their fingers in the cake, and chasing each other through the maze of our very tight reception hall. I actually *adore* children; I led children's ministry at our church, which is how I became fully aware of the terrible behavior of some kids... and far FAR worse, their parents' complete disregard. I don't know when it became socially acceptable to shrug your shoulders [in Church] and say "We don't believe in discipline."
    Shocks my socks off! "Kids will be kids." Which is why God implemented a family, with adults to guide, disciple--> DISCIPLINE, their children so they would become righteous adults who loved the Lord. Parents today are allowing their kids to live like they are from non-Christian homes and *hope* that their children will "make the right choice" about becoming a Christian and behaving. SERIOUSLY?! How do you expect a 3 year old to "make the right choice," when they are not taught what the right choice actually is?!
    I'm stepping down from my soap box to pray for you... that you show up to the reception without a single jam-handed monster in sight.
    <3 <3 <3

  12. I think I'm in the minority here,and hope I don't sound rude by saying this. I don't (and never have) understand not allowing children at weddings. We had a very kid friendly reception. We looked at our wedding for us, but the reception as a thank you to all out friends and family for being there with us on our big day. Because we wanted the reception to be for our guests, we couldn't imagine not allowing kids there. We made it very kid friendly, we had separate kids tables with lots of crayons, papers, a few crafts and many snacks and candies. Other than one small "problem", a little boy was showing us a picture he drew for us and got it a little close to a candle and started a smal, very small fire (which I could do nothing but laugh at, because he was trying to do something so nice) the kids all stayed busy and we all had a great time. Yes there were times that only the kids were on the dance floor, but it beat having no one dancing.
    With that being said, that was my wedding and that is what I wanted. This is Katy and Jed's wedding and needs to be what they want. I don't think it's rude to bring your kids or to assume they are invited also, that's what I would do if I weren't told otherwise (but my kids are also taught to respect people and the things around us. They don't get to run around and do whatever they want like some kids). If this were me, I would just want a phone call to explain to me the limited space and that it is intended to be for adults only. I would much rather be told than to show up with them only to find out they shouldn't be there. Yes, you might make some people mad, but that's not your problem really. They had their wedding and need to remember this isn't it.
    For the few kids that will be there, I would suggest to have a activity for them. It could simply just be some construction paper and crayons, that should keep kids busy for awhile.

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      You know, it really doesn't have anything to do with 'liking' or 'not liking' kids. And it really has nothing to do with whether they'll behave or not. (Because some of them will and some of them won't, and all the parents are going to assume their kids are in the first category.) And it doesn't matter!

      The decision of who/how many to invite is up to the people giving the wedding - usually the bride and groom, (and her family because they're paying for it). It's THEIR preference, THEIR budget, and THEIR decision.

      It's simply presumptuous and rude to bring along anyone that wasn't specifically invited. That includes your children, or a date (unless your invitation reads "and guest").

      Frankly, I wouldn't try to organize child care, as you may get overwhelmed by guests taking advantage of that, and their kids are not your responsibility.

      We had three boys in less than five years. (Those were some wild and crazy years, and - NO - we did not let them run wild.) There were times we had to find a babysitter so we could go enjoy an adult event, and there were times that we missed things because we couldn't pull it off. Or just one of us went.

      That is part of the season of life of young children! Parents need to expect it and DEAL WITH IT.

      Now, some of them may have been a bit "etiquette-impaired" and not caught the clue that you were only inviting the adults. Those phone calls or emails will be easier, as you're just clarifying. The ones who are pushy/assuming/demanding that they're just going to bring their kids will be harder.

      My advice is to deal with these people as you would with a pushy sales person, which is - don't apologize and don't give reasons. Any time you try to soften the blow by explaining, they'll view it as a problem-solving exercise and try to overcome you by countering your objections.

      I'm not saying "be rude", but be firm and matter-of-fact. "I'm sorry, but there seems to have been a misunderstanding. We're not inviting children to the wedding/reception. We hope you ("you and Bob", or whoever) can make it."

      And don't say anything more.

      Hang in there, my friend!



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