As I’ve said time and time again, weddings are an emotional business, in both good ways and not-so-great ways. While planning one is an amazing ride, you just might hit a few bumps along the road to the big day. That’s where this series comes in! Whether you’re dealing with a mother of the bride or other wedding guest wanting to wear white to your wedding, or you’re having issues with people assuming they’re invited to your wedding (when they’re not), it’s always best to be prepared for touchy issues during such an emotional time in your life. Good news is…you’re certainly not alone in wondering how to deal with them! This series addresses these situations and more, continuing with what you should do when you and your groom are opting to have an adults-only wedding reception. Read on for details!
Whether you’re opting for an adults-only wedding reception due to the time of your celebration, the presence of alcohol, or some other understandable reason, knowing how to tactfully yet clearly address your wishes to guests can be a very touchy business. Luckily, however, it doesn’t have to be.
1. Use the way you address each invitation to signal the arrangement.
I’m not at all stating that you should put “Adult Reception” on your wedding invitation. In fact, most sources state that this is one of the least tactful ways to let guests know about the situation. Rather, the way you address the invitation to each guest should clearly signal who is welcome (and who is not) at your wedding and reception. For example, if you address the invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Smith, then that couple should understand that you are only inviting the two of them – not their four children, in addition.
2. Offer assistance by securing a babysitter to watch the children during the event, or arrange for a children’s reception nearby with fun activities.
Arranging for this detail instantly diffuses the entire situation and makes sure that you really do have an adult-only reception…without all the hassle to get there.
Remember that without this detail, out-of-town guests and even local guests may opt out of attending altogether to avoid the hassle of arranging for a babysitter to come to your wedding. Lastly, you’ll find some guests may be flat-out hostile towards the idea of excluding kids in general without offering any convenient arrangements for them. These are just a few of the reasons why making arrangements for guests with children in advance may help you seriously nip drama in the bud during the days surrounding your wedding.
3. Don’t make exceptions.
Making exceptions for your favorite little cousin, flower girl or ring bearer, or even your own kids can drum up too many hurt feelings, harsh words, and even rash actions. Draw the line with an age limit, and stick to it – with no exceptions.
4. Use family and friends as well as your wedding website to spread the word about the arrangement.
Have your family and friends mention the babysitting arrangement or children’s reception to guests who have kids so that they know you’ve thought of their needs, and you want to make things as convenient as possible for them. Family and friends will also be instrumental in helping spread the word about your adults-only celebration even if you do not opt for a babysitter or children’s reception. Also list details about the event regarding children on your wedding website for easy reference. I suggest doing this in a Q&A format, as if you’ve received the question numerous times and are making it easy on the guest by answering where everyone can see.
5. Stand your ground.
Don’t let your desires get trampled on by an insistent (or even belligerent) guest. You and your future hubby’s wishes matter most on your wedding day, so don’t let anyone bully you into changing your arrangements or making exceptions. Politely state that you hope they can understand your wishes and will be attending your wedding.
Do you have a touchy wedding situation that you don’t know how to address? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask, and your request just might be featured in the next installment of the series!
Get more tips and planning ideas for your wedding via a Pink Bride Magazine and by attending a Pink Bridal Show this season!
All images courtesy of Murfreesboro wedding photography company Gordon-Ralston Photography.