Can I say “adults only” on the invite?

QuestionMy fiancé and I are on a tight budget because we are paying for the wedding ourselves. We’d like to include our young nieces, nephews, and maybe our close friends’ children, but we can’t afford to invite every guest’s child. Is this proper? How should I get this message across to our guests?

AnswerWe can all relate to the financial strains of a wedding. As such, it is commonly understood that children are staying home unless their names are specifically included in the invitation. So, if you are inviting your nieces and nephews and the children of close friends, make sure you write the parent’s names as well as the name of the child(ren) on the inside envelope. Otherwise, include only the names of the adult guests.

There is some debate as to the use of such phrases as, “Adults only reception”. Since there are some gray areas as to its proper etiquette use, we suggest refraining from using such terms. Instead, pass the information on through personal phone calls or let your friends know directly the next time you see them. As your friends, they will understand that you are limiting your guest list for financial reasons.