Can We Only Let Some Guests Bring Their Children to Our Wedding?

Etiquette
children dancing at outdoor wedding

Photo: Corbin Gurkin

Guests lists are tough—and often the source of more than a few wedding spats. Our experts weigh in on whether it's okay to exclude children, second cousins, ex-coworkers, and more from your guest list, in our daily wedding etiquette post.

A lot of our guests have kids, but we don't want our wedding to feel like a circus. We plan to write "Adult Reception" on the invitations, making exceptions for the flower girls and their brothers, and for children of people who are flying in. Will other guests be insulted?

Once you open up the guest list to kids outside of the wedding party, you've got to invite all guests to bring their offspring (though not everyone will want to) or make a strict age-related cut-off (no children under five, for instance). To corral the young ones, set up an on-premises nursery overseen by a baby-sitter(s) recommended by a friend or by your officiant. You won't save any money (you'll have to pay the sitter and feed the tots), but you will take a load off guests' minds and preserve the atmosphere you're after. When you write out the invitations' inner envelopes, list the names of every person who is invited, including the children. Include a printed card that says there will be a supervised children's room.

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