Choosing to have an adults-only wedding reception can be great, but it does pose one little problem: Does keeping kids off the guest list mean you’ve got to nix the flower girl and ring bearer? If you’ve got your heart set on sending a few tots down the aisle—but keeping them off the dance floor—our experts have some tips to help you walk that fine line.
The short answer is, yes, you can definitely have a flower girl and a ring bearer without inviting kids to the reception. The important thing is to plan accordingly and communicate that as clearly as possible.
Once you’ve selected the kids of honor, let their parents know that the reception will still be just for adults. Work with them to provide child care for the evening, as well as transportation, so your preferences for the party don’t cause a huge hassle. Here are a few different options you can offer:
If your reception will be in a hotel ballroom, make sure the flower girl's and ring bearer’s families are staying upstairs. Then, after the ceremony, have a babysitter take the kiddos up to their room for room service and movies. Consider asking the venue to send up a couple of slices of wedding cake so the little ones don’t miss out on the best part!
Is the hotel nearby? A babysitter can pick the kids up and take them back to the hotel for the evening. Even better, see if Grandma and Grandpa want to come to town! They can sit in the last row for the ceremony, then grab their grandkids for an evening of fun while their parents celebrate with you—that is, unless their grandparents are also your relations and wouldn't want to miss out on the fun to be had at the reception.
And, of course, if your venue has a spare room, set up a kid-friendly zone on site where the little ones can stay without disrupting the adults’ evening. Games, coloring books, snacks, and a movie—plus some pillows and blankets in case anyone gets tired!—will do the trick. Don’t forget to pack some PJs!