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There are several ways to note that your party is an adult party and children are not invited.
One way is to set the time late enough so that parents understand this is not a kid-friendly party i.e., 7:00 or 8:00 pm. Another is to state Cocktails (or Cocktails & Dinner); again, most people understand that cocktails & kids don't mix. If people are in doubt, they will ask.
Be sure to address the invitation to the adults only. However, if you want to be absolutely clear, you might state on the invitation, in small text, opposite the RSVP line: Adults Only Please.
Many etiquette experts do not like this information printed on the invitation. They believe that printing "Adults Only Please" on your invitation adds a negative statement to a positive invitation. They recommend that you only spread this type of information by word of mouth and confirm your request when people contact you to R.s.v.p. Communicating why you made the decision not to invite children may make an angry parent understand your position better than if they just noted it on the invitation and read into it whatever they wanted.
I agree that if you print on the invite "Adults Only Please" that may have a negative connotation. I don't recommend printing those exact words nowhere in the invitation suite (inserts) -especially as a footnote directly on the invitation. Our wedding was an Adults Only wedding, so on the Reception card first line it was titled "Cocktail Dinner Reception" the last lines ending the reception invite (not as footnotes) were as follows:
Wedding and Reception
are adult only affairs
These two features, both at the beginning and end of the Reception card insert are pretty clear, yet a classy way of letting the guest know. Also, we added this information in a couple of sections of our wedding site: the Reception page and the RSVP online page. We only printed the names of those invited on the outer and inner envelops; excluding their children’s names. We also printed "2 seats have been reserved in your honour" (1 for single guests) on one of the inserts, to clearly specify that only those on names printed on outer/inner envelop are invited, we wanted a very intimate wedding.
P.S. love this site!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|