How to Say No When Someone Asks to Bring Kids to a Wedding

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There is nothing wrong with having an adults-only reception. If a friend asks you to include her children in your adults-only party, be firm. Explain how the event would be inappropriate for kids. For example, tell your guest that you don't want to expose her children to the antics of your husband's groomsmen. Explain that children would be bored by the formal event and that you want her to enjoy the party without worrying about her kids.

Be Proactive

  • The best, easiest and most polite way to say no is to be proactive. Call guests even before you have sent out the invitations and explain how you want them to attend, but you need to let them know as soon as possible that it is adults-only so that they can find a babysitter.

Be Direct on the Reply Card

  • People once knew that only those whose names were on the invitation were invited. Nowadays, to head off kids inquiries, you may need to be more direct. Include the line “Adult Reception” on the reply card. Or write something like, “Two seats are reserved just for you.”

Sitters to the Rescue

  • If cherished friends are coming from out of town or just can’t manage the logistics of your wedding and a babysitter, hire one or two sitters. The kids can go to a separate room with them for the entire evening or just after dinner. Fill the room with games, crafts and even a movie. Kids will prefer that to a reception, and so will the parents.

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