today's escalating wedding costs, many brides and grooms who
have no children of their own, ask
A-wedding Day something akin to: "We want an adult only
wedding and wedding reception."
Is there a proper way to request that our guests not bring
their children to wedding ceremony and wedding reception?"
The answer is both, yes and no.
If you think that this makes no sense, keep reading.
When you send out your wedding invitations and reply cards,
address them to Mr. and Mrs.... or Mr.... or Mrs.... or Miss....
or Ms... This indicates to them that they are the only invitees.
You may even add Adults Only Wedding.
Most people will
take into consideration that the invitation was not sent to
- and Family and will make arrangements for their children
so they can attend the wedding without them.
So, you may ask: "Where does the NO come in?" Well;
What about your family and wedding attendants?
Is there a
chance that they will get insulted and view you as ungrateful?
Did you take into consideration your out of town guests?
they leave their children behind and travel without them?
Will they simply decline your invitation replying that they
cannot attend? Will they be offended and think that you are
inconsiderate, especially when they see your ring bearer and
Or will they bring the kids anyway? This happened at my
wedding 40 years ago.
Ours was a small wedding with only 35 guests. Even first
cousins were not invited. Yet almost everyone understood that
this was all we, 2 students, could afford at the time and
did not take offense.
Everyone except Rose and Harry who drove
from Haverhill Mass to Brooklyn N.Y to attend. They brought
their children Debbie and Mark 7 and 8 years old at the time.
Fortunately our reception was a buffet and we did not assign
seats. 5 tables of 8 left a few empty seats, enough to accomodate
As it turned out, the seats were not necessary because Mark
and Debbie attached themselves to the photographer. You guessed
Every group picture portraits Mark and Debbie sitting
right smack, dab in the middle. It made no difference to them
if it was a photograph of the wedding party, the bride's side
of the family or the groom's. Those two parked themselves
in the center.
Today we have grown up children and grand children
and have learned a lot since our own wedding.
Having seen both sides of the coin, you may ask: "Is
there an adequate solution that will benefit all?" The
answer is a resounding YES! It takes thought and planning
but can be done even on a tight budget.
If our suggestion appeals to you, you should add a note for
guests who have children that if they must bring their children,
the kids will be supervised and entertained in another location.
Let them know that their children will be cared for by a qualified
adult. Ask them to reply if they plan to bring their children
and if so how many, what ages and what gender. Provide this
information to the supervisor(s) so they can prepare accordingly.
To decide how many adult supervisors you need consider:
up to what age a minor is considered a child to be supervised.
Check your list of possible locations for your wedding ceremony
and or reception, to find out if they have an additional room
you can reserve as a children's Center for the duration of
your wedding. Most religious institutions have school rooms.
Hotels may offer you a small conference or meeting room, or
a suite that includes a sitting room. Restaurants that facilitate
weddings usually have rooms of different sizes and will be
glad to accomodate you with an additional smaller room.
same holds true for country and other club houses. Now that
you know what to look for, choose the wedding venue that is
able and willing to accomodate your young friends.
Figure out how many children need to be supervised, Secure
a very capable adult or adults who can play educational games,
do art and crafts, are good story tellers or readers, and
are gentle and caring.
Your best choice would be a teacher,
a camp councellor, a den mother or a girl scout troop leader,
for example. DO NOT HIRE A TEENAGER to just sit with the kids
and watch TV! You need to assure your guests that the children
will not just be baby sat but will have a good time.
Interview potential adult supervision candidates and find
out how they plan to give the children a good, meaningful
time while their parents are at the wedding, especially since
the children will be of varying ages.
If you can afford it,
you may provide an artisan such as a balloon artist to make
crowns and animals, a face painter, a magician etc... A wedding
planner who also plans Bar-Bat Mitzvahs and other children's
events can help you locate such individuals.
Or if your community has a pier, a promenade, an open street
market or other locations where street artisans gather to
show their talents, choose those that you believe will be
best for your young guests and interview them. Since many
street artisans work for donations, they may agree to provide
their services at a reasonable price.
So, now you have a venue, and qualified supervision for your
guests' children. It is time to plan your next step.
out what art and craft materials you need to supply, what
entertainment items will be appropriate such as a movie on
VHS or DVD, etc... Gather your needs and have them packed
and ready to deliver to the Children Center at your wedding
You are not quite finished. The kids need refreshments. Ask
your caterer to suggest a kids menu. Make sure it is healthful.
If you plan the menu by yourself, stay away from too many
sweets. Avoid nuts as some children are allergic to nuts.
Do provide fruit, salads and how about Pizza?
Having planned a children's haven, you should decide how
many supervising adults you need. Your best criteria should
- The number of kids in attendance. You should plan on one
adult for every 10 children.
- Ages of the children divided as follows:
Pre-school to 3rd graders;
4th to 6th graders;
Jr. high 7th and 8th graders.
Now that your guests children are taken care of, Enjoy your
Adults Only wedding assured that your guests will have a good
time as will their children.
And all that can be accomplished even on a tight budget of
only a few hundred dollars. Stop for a moment and ask yourself
this question: "Is our DREAM WEDDING, happy and relaxed
guests, combined with good will toward their children worth
a few hundred dollars?