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First of all, congratulations on
your engagement! And second, as a stressed-out member of the
recently-engaged, wedding-planning club myself, I sympathize. How come
no one tells you BEFORE you get that ring that planning a wedding can
become as much about your families as it is about you and your sweetie?
How much you’re willing to compromise your own visions to appease the
families can be an enormously difficult decision.
You obviously feel strongly that this reception is already way
out-of-hand, and I can certainly see why it might be awkward for your
fiancé’s family if they’re out-numbered 11 to 1 at this event, in
which case, your desire to make this an adults-only affair doesn’t
seem unreasonable. Ultimately, though, here's what it comes down to: is
it worth the potential of incurring the wrath of your relatives – who,
petty and unfair though it might seem, may hold a grudge long after the
event has come and gone – for the sake of a few hours of child-free
If you do decide it’s still worth putting your foot down, I still
wouldn’t advise issuing an invitation that specifically states
"No kids allowed." It’s a sure-fire way to ensure that all
guests who have young children are going to be miffed, and you’ll be
plagued with enough snide comments from snarky relatives that the
presence of a few running, screaming kids will, in the end, have seemed
preferable. The subtle – and socially acceptable – way of dealing
with this is to simply omit the children’s names on the reception
invites; if an invite is addressed to "Mr. & Mrs. Random
Relative," it should be understood that the Mr. and Mrs. are the
only two people invited. If you’re concerned that your
etiquette-ignorant guests will just assume that an invitation to them is
an invitation to their entire family, ask a few of your closest family
members – Mom, Sis, your favorite cousin – to quietly spread the
other suggestion would be to make this an evening affair. Since
the reception has already mutated from a simple backyard bbq to
something fancy-schmancy and overblown, why not make it an
after-dinner cocktail party instead? Start the
festivities at around 8pm or so, and chances are good that
parents will think that’s too late for their little tykes to
be out, and leave the kiddies at home with the babysitter for
Best of luck, congrats again, and have fun in Hawaii!o
lounge . nourish
host . laze
. home .