Although children can be a lot of fun at a wedding, there are plenty of couples who decide to have adults only wedding receptions. There can be many reasons why you might choose to go this route, from financial to space to personal preference. These are some of the things to take into consideration when you are deciding whether or not to have kids at your wedding reception.
One of the top reasons to have an adults only reception is cost. Obviously, the fewer guests that you have, the less you will spend on meals. A smaller guest list may also mean that you will be able to rent a smaller reception venue as well. Conversely, some couples decide to omit children from their guest list when there would have been only one or two kids coming.
Generally, the main reason that a bride and groom opt for an adults only reception is not about cost, but about the type of event that they are hoping to have. Time of day is often a factor. For instance, perhaps your vision has always been a black tie wedding, so that the bride can really dress to the nines in a fancy wedding gown with custom bridal jewelry. Black tie wedding ceremonies always start at six in the evening or later, which would make for a very late reception. This is one of the strongest indicators that it is not an appropriate event for children. (Unless you don’t mind having some very grumpy overtired little ones at your reception.)
Sometimes it is less the time of day and more the flavor of the party that would call for an adults only reception. If you are planning to have a swanky cocktail party, maybe children running around under foot does not match up with your vision of a sophisticated and elegant reception. Perhaps you picture yourself hanging out in a cool custom lounge in your hip bridal gown and trendy jewelry; the pitter-patter of little feet might not really match up with this scenario.
There are also certain venues that might not lend themselves to young guests. Nightclubs, art museums, and couples-only resorts would be examples of reception venues that are not particularly child-friendly. Of course, if you do plan to invite children, this would be a reason to avoid these types of sites.
Once the decision is made to have an adults only reception for your wedding, there will be a few things to keep in mind. The first one is how to make sure that it is perfectly clear to your guests that the wedding invitation does not extend to their offspring. The tricky part is to achieve this without offending anybody. You should also keep in mind that no matter how tactfully you handle the situation, there will be some guests who are offended anyway, and there may also be some families who will make the choice not to attend a wedding if they cannot bring their children. This is unfortunate, but there is really not much that the bride and groom can do about it, other than be as gracious as possible.
Strictly speaking, a wedding invitation is only being issued to those whose names appear on it. In the best case scenario, your guests will recognize this when they receive the invitation bearing only the names of the adults who are being invited. Some couples also address the adults only reception by including a response card with the number of guests invited already filled in, leaving it up to the couple to simply fill in the portion that says yes or no to attending. In the worst case scenario, it may be necessary to call up certain guests and gently inform them that it is to be an adults only reception. This unpleasant task is best assigned to someone other than the bride or groom, allowing them to remain above the fray, as it were.
In certain instances, an adults only wedding reception is the perfect answer. This type of reception definitely lends itself to being more formal and more elegant. If that is your style, than an adults only reception may be right for you.