I have seen a lot more couples wanting to spend their day, especially their reception, without anyone younger beings nearby, mainly children. Although this is becoming more and more popular, it certainly comes with a few challenges of how to address this situation ESPECIALLY when it comes to a family members child and their emotions.
Let me first tell you:
Do Not Feel Guilty For Not Wanting Kids At Your Reception
Many couples are now employing the adults only reception and they love it! Of course, if approached appropriately, this could be very successful!
A very popular way I’ve seen people addressing this issue is writing on the invitation “adults only.” Although this cuts straight to the point, it might be best if you are utilizing this method, to forewarn the guests who have children that it will be no children allowed for the wedding (aside from the flower girl and ring bearer). This might be a sensitive subject for some, so when I have bride’s going this route, I always warn them to first speak with the relatives over the phone to explain your stance of making it “adults only,” and then send out the invitations. TO some, this is going to be a sensitive subject, and instead of waiting for them to open the invitation, it’s sometimes better to address it differently. (See Below For Suggestions Of What To Say In The Invitation)
This phrasing and approach to just having children during ceremony is usually when you are having a ring bearer and flower girl.
And mentioning the ring bearer and flower girl, definitely remember that if you want them for your ceremony, you can certainly have them join cocktail and reception with a hired babysitter (see below) but remember to be wary of the other exceptions you might allow for other children. This could potentially be a very emotional subject for some and you don’t want to make your family feel a certain way about their children not being invited. It’s all about how you approach it and if the families still have an issue not having their children attend (especially traveling guests) then go for my favorite option: Babysitters!
This is my preferred method although it does require a little more work on the planning side. Instead of addressing the envelope with the “John Family” the invitation will specifically name each person invited to the wedding and the same goes for the RSVP card. Putting the exact names of the attendees is a very clear and concise movement made by the bride and groom. All you have to do is match the names from the front of the envelope to the RSVP card and all they would have to do is check who is attending or who will not attend.
When there’s anything in particular you do not want to put into your invitation (for whatever reason) i.e. registry, accommodation activities around, dress code, transportation, the works then you can always add it to the website!! I love wedding websites because it makes everyone’s lives so much easier! The only downfall to the website, which is obviously not addressing the readers of this page, is that some older generations will not go to your wedding website. I say this not because they don’t love you but because they simply do not know how to go to it or see the necessity in seeing the website (although there could be pertinent information). In that case, a quick call or maybe even a text (if they’re tech savvy) would be sufficient to share the information that is not shared on the phone. Of course, mentioning the website, you can also add information about the adults only reception/wedding and maybe even provide a few options for neighborhood nanny services IF you have not hired a few yourself.
A method I have employed time and time again to solve all of these family dynamics is babysitters! I love hiring babysitters for the kids, it’s such a brilliant idea because you can have your cake and eat it too. Essentially, you hire a babysitter (I only use insured and licensed babysitters) and they come to you! We set up a room with food and drinks for the kids and the babysitters and maybe some fun toys and/or iPads and they are good to go. Another great factor is if the mom or dad would like to go see their children, they can easily access the room that will be close by!