Many couples we’ve worked with in the past have chosen to host an adult-only reception after their wedding. Whatever the reason — for budget reasons, fewer disruptions, fewer restrictions for activities — an adult-wedding reception can be a great option for any couple! However, there’s no doubt it can feel awkward to let your guests know that you want an adult-only reception.
“What is the right way to tell my guests?”
“What are parents going to do with their kids?”
“What will people think?”
These are just some of the questions we’ve frequently heard from our clients. So we wanted to address them in this blog post and also talk a bit more about adult-only reception etiquette so you know exactly how to handle this situation!
As with any wedding decision, you’re going to want to think through how you want to handle letting your guests know about your adult-only reception. Although it’s not necessarily your job to control how your guests react to your decisions about your own wedding (more about this in FAQ 3: “What will people think?”), it’s still always nice to let your guests know in a respectful and clear manner.
We always suggest letting your guest know by including it on your invitation and wedding website. You can include phrases such as…
All these options are short n’ sweet, polite, and to the point without extra explanation, which is always a great way to go. In our opinion (and as our experience has shown us), you don’t need to jump into an explanation unless a guest reaches out personally. Remember, this is your wedding, not theirs!
Another tip is to address your invitations to the parents (not the whole family) to reiterate that the invitation is only for adults.
It’s understandable to be worried about your wedding guests who have kids and may not have access to a babysitter or a caretaker. This can be especially tricky with out-of-town guests.
That’s why we suggest offering a babysitting service for all your guests who are parents. Alternatively, if it’s not financially feasible to offer every parent this service, you could offer babysitting services to only your out-of-town guests or the ones who simply can’t leave their children at home and have no other options.
We most commonly see our couples offer babysitting services for their out-of-town guests who want to make a vacation out of their trip!
If you need a recommendation, our clients love working with Tootles Event Sitters!
This is something you may worry about, but you shouldn’t! Realistically, there may be a few guests who are surprised or offended by this choice, but you might be surprised by how many people are completely fine with your decision to have an adult-only reception.
In fact, we predict many of your guests will love the opportunity to have a night out without having to be a parent and can let loose for a bit!
Here are some other reasons why you shouldn’t stress about what people will think about your decision:
In the end, we recommend being confident and clear in your decision, not letting anyone sway your decision (if you make one exception, you have to make an exception for everyone), and being understanding of people’s situations.
We also recommend being straightforward about your adult-only reception right away so that your wedding guests can start preparing ahead of time if they need to.
In the end, you know what’s best for your wedding and your guests can choose whatever they want to do for their own weddings or other parties!
Whatever your reason for hosting an adult-only reception, we hope this post helped you understand how to handle hosting an adult-only wedding reception. Remember that your reception isn’t just a simple after-party — it’s a whole different event that you can set different rules for! You have the ability to make your reception whatever you want it to be, so go ahead and create your dream reception!
If you’d like some help navigating this, we would love to hop on a call with you to talk more about how to plan for this. Get in touch by clicking here!