Everyday Etiquette – Invitation Wording – Adult Wedding Receptions


We are planning an adult only reception, how do you tell you guests in the invitation? What is the proper wording, saying…?


The Everyday Etiquette Answer:

Dear Lillian,

This is always a sticky situation when children are involved. Most etiquette experts agree that it is improper to say “no children” or “adult reception” on your wedding invitations. My son and daughter-in-law had the same issue last year. They were dealing with the Matron-of-Honor’s baby and a good friend’s toddler. There are several ways to get around this. We let family and friends know that we had a babysitter available for the children during the ceremony and reception. This let them know that the kids were not included at the event, but we hoped this would help them out. It worked like a charm! This approach is especially helpful when you have out of town family and friends. You can also let it be known by word of mouth that children are not invited. The groom’s mother can let her side of the family know, and you or your mother can advise your side. By personally informing your guests in advance of the game plan, you can head off this issue before it becomes a full blown problem. Hopefully, your friends and family know that ONLY the people whose names appear on the inner envelope of the invitation are invited. Here are a few examples of what I mean and how to address the inner envelopes:

Mr. and Mrs. Jones

Mr. Jones
Ms. Anderson (his date)

Mr. Jones and Guest (if you don’t know her name)

Mr. and Mrs. Jones
Sarah and Billy (when the children are invited)

Mr. and Mrs. Jones
Miss Sarah Jones
Master Billy Jones (young boy)

I hope this helps you out and send my best wishes for a wonderful wedding.

Ms. Carey

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