Parentdish has asked if kids should be banned from weddings.  “Etiquette” expert Diana Mather says that… …”excluding kids isn’t rude at all.” But what is the best way to make it clear it’s going to be an adult only affair?

Mather is right on when she says “weddings are expensive and children can disrupt the service with their squeaks and squawks and generally cause chaos.”  I know about this first hand.

When I got married, I would have preferred it to be an adult only affair, but to keep the peace with my husband-to-be’s family, I agreed to having two of my husband-to-be’s siblings bring their kids (total of four, ranging from a baby to age 10).

What I predicted happened–one baby niece began wailing during the ceremony! Thank goodness the parents took her away before we had to ask them to!

I have to say though, after that, the kids were not a chaotic addition to the event. In fact, the post-wedding party included a lip sync contest (yes, really!) and my sister-in-law and 10-year-old nephew ended up doing a a lip sync so memorable it’s one thing a lot of people who were there still talk about today.

In any case, kids coming to a wedding are a risk factor. If you want to exclude them, Mather’s says the best way to do this is–not put childrens’ names on the wedding invitation or don’t put the words “and family” after the names of the people you are inviting.

While Mathers says it is uncool to bring kids anyway if the invite is worded either of these ways, I am not sure that this wording would make it clear to all people that it is an adult only event. Why? Because people with kids are more apt to assume that if they are invited so are their kids.

To be sure, like some who weighed in on Families of Two & Beyond facebook page, it seems somewhere on the invite printed or handwritten, should be verbiage like “Adult-only Ceremony & Reception.”  Doing something like this is more common these days than when I got married, but I’m not sure it’s more accepted.

Well, maybe if it’s a royal wedding…besides the ring bearers, do you think William and Kate’s wedding ceremony included children on the guest list? I would guess not. Many people still see wedding as when whole families gather, from the youngest to the oldest.  Others say it is your day, do it the way you want, and if the invitees don’t like it, they don’t have to come.

Childfree out there, if you are married, how did you do your wedding?

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