Adults only weddings and receptions... why do some people/family/friends not "get it" and PUSH to get their little darlings invited or worse, bring them anyway???

Adults only weddings and receptions... why do some people/family/friends not "get it" and PUSH to get their little darlings invited or worse, bring them anyway???

Beautiful wedding and reception with only adults invited. One couple brought their toddler children anyway (knowing they were not invited). The children proceeded to disrupt the wedding ceremony with their noisy chatter and bucket of Lego's their mother brought to distract them. Yes... they distracted everyone. PS family... this was not YOUR day. It belonged to the bride and groom.



Jun 16, 2011
Addressing the issue...
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

I apologize that you were offended at my response. That was not my intent.

The only question you asked was why do they bring children to a formal, adult only wedding. Short of asking that person in question, I do not have an answer for you...

I cannot tell you why they did it. I can only offer possible reasons that might have been beyond their control. If they brought the children without any circumstances for it, then that is poor etiquette and shows a lack of good judgment.

My comments were not really based on the fact that they brought children because you cannot change that. It already happened. My comments were based along the lines of how to react because that is something that you can change.

I prefer to advise people on improving a situation instead of pointing the finger at someone that shows poor manners. There are so many people in society that are not understanding of others and lose their patience.

Which leads back to the whole point of our website. For us, manners and etiquette are not a bunch of rules about social behavior. They are principles of how behavior affects and influences others.

As this situation clearly shows, this person's lack of etiquette had a negative impact on you and others. The sole purpose of my previous comment was to illustrate how to take that negative influence that was already done, and how to positively impact people.

The vast majority of people would look at the situation and say, "How rude of them to bring children!" It's true, it was rude of them. My only point, is what does that solve?

Again, my comments are not to offend. They are merely to show an alternative way to address the situation.

I know you spent a lot of time meticulously planning the details of the ceremony and that is applauded that you love the couple enough to do that for them. But, at the end of the day, you cannot control the actions of others.


Jun 16, 2011
Response to Advice
by: Louise

This is an etiquette question. During this season of our lives when many friends and family members are getting married, bringing uninvited guests is a serious problem. It occurs in some form at all weddings, and especially when adults only are invited.

To suggest that anyone honored to be invited to a attend a precious, intimate, and formal wedding should leave to take care of someone's children who were not invited is is wrong. This action will is very hurtful to the bride, groom and their families. They invited you because they wanted you to attend the festivities.

Perhaps a better solution is to have a a trusted friend or employee designated to quietly remove those children and families who disrespect the event by bringing their children. These ingrates could also be politely handed a formal card asking them to please remove their children.

My husband and I have held three formal weddings in the last few years, and I can attest to the many months of planning every detail so as to honor the bride and groom's most important day.

Whether it is bringing uninvited children, not sending in a rsvp in a timely and correct fashion, disrupting any of the festivities out of selfishness, rearranging place cards at reception tables... I can assure you these actions, though forgiven, will be remembered far longer than any gift you could bring.

As someone who always tries to quietly help in these situations, I take offense at your comments and inability to truly address this issue.





Jun 16, 2011
Children and Weddings
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

Based on your question, I get the feeling that your post was more about venting than really asking a question. Sounds like you are pretty frustrated with how it turned out, and I can certainly understand that.

Your question is why do people bring children to an adult only wedding or reception. Truth be told, you could ask "why" all night and not come up with a satisfying answer.

Maybe their babysitter backed out at the last moment. Maybe they wanted their children to experience a wedding. Maybe their children had separation anxiety. And on, and on, and on...

There are a million and one reasons why they brought the children, and none of those reasons would probably satisfy your question of why. Nor, do I have a magical answer to answer the question of why.

So, the only way that I can see to make your question productive from a manners and etiquette standpoint is to change the question. Instead of asking why, I find it is better to ask "How can I make this situation better?"

Most people's reaction to a mom bringing kids and Legos to a wedding ceremony would be to stay away and not be associated with them. So, here is a chance to step in, be a hero, and turn a bad situation into a better one.

What would have happened if you went to the kids and offered them a more quiet solution? Like drawing with them, or folding a paper airplane with them (or any other quiet activity)? The mother would have been grateful for your help, the kids would have enjoyed themselves, and there would not have been a distraction. Everyone would have benefited.

Would it have taken away from you enjoying the ceremony? Of course it would have. But see this is the whole point.

The whole definition of etiquette and manners is to do things that put the needs of others before your own needs. Why do you chew with your mouth closed? It doesn't provide you with any benefit at all. The only thing it changes is people's perception of you while you eat. You do it FOR THEM.

This is the heart of having manners and etiquette. The situation you describe is a perfect opportunity for someone to step in and help the kids, help the mom, and make a huge positive impact on others.

That is the whole purpose of our website is to show people that you can use manners and etiquette to influence others when it is done properly. Every difficult situation is really an opportunity to shine.

My recommendation would be that the next time you find a difficult situation like this, take that opportunity to find the better result and you will make a lasting impression (for the good) on those around you. Then you will not only find out how powerful proper etiquette can be, but you will also find a lot of personal satisfaction knowing that you made the best of a difficult situation.

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