Author Topic: Invitation Wording Suggestions?  (Read 3500 times)

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kittencanoedle

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Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« on: July 25, 2007, 05:04:10 PM »
We usually throw a huge Halloween party at our house and invite over about 30-35 friends and family members.  This year, we are holding an Oktoberfest-themed party at the end of September due to the fact that my sister-in-law is due to have a baby sometime within the two weekends when we usually have the Halloween party.

One year, we allowed children.  The next year, we asked people politely to find babysitters since we had spent all of our time the previous year trying to strike the balance between a good time for adults and being appropriate for kids.  People still brought their children and they complained about cursing, drinking, etc. even though we warned them it was an adult party.  So, rude behavior of some guests aside, we are inviting the same people again (some are family and it would be very tricky not to invite some and not others, etc).  My question is, which of the following invitation wordings would work best for people who maybe didn't get the message when we asked them verbally?  Or should we call the people who brought their kids last year and explain, leaving it off the invitation altogether?

Note:  The party, weather permitting, is outdoors, meaning that it would be especially inappropriate for little ones who won't have a place to take a nap, watch tv, etc.

Options:

Due to the nature of the party, adults only!

No children, please.

Absolutely no children (seems harsh, but there are a few family members who think it applies to everyone but them if the message is too gentle)

For the safety of any little ones, please leave them with a babysitter.

Or any other suggestions?

I understand this sounds like a dangerous event or something, but we are quite responsible (always have a sober person on hand, we block off our yard to prevent wandering away, we take keys and we allow anyone who needs it to stay overnight).  It hasn't gotten out of hand in the past, we just don't want adults to feel like they need to hold back because of kids.




jimithing

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 05:08:40 PM »
Honestly, I like the first one about it being an adult party or the one about getting a babysitter.  This makes it sound like you're looking out for the kids, not being a meanie hostess!   :)

I have seen "No nursery provided" on a baby shower invitation, but it sounds like that is too cryptic to work with this bunch!

Sibby

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 05:20:45 PM »
Options:

Due to the nature of the party, adults only!

No children, please.

I like eitehr of these - to the point & clear.

Absolutely no children (seems harsh, but there are a few family members who think it applies to everyone but them if the message is too gentle)

too harsh IMO, for the people who won't think the no kids applies to them, perhaps a phone call is in order to verbally confirm no kids.

For the safety of any little ones, please leave them with a babysitter.


This is not clear enough.  plenty of people will think "oh no problem, I'll keep my eye on them.."

sparksals

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 05:30:14 PM »
I think you definitely need to clearly specify that kids are not invited and the type of party is not conducive to children attending. 

Hey Friends

It's time again for our annual party which will be an Oktoberfest theme this year!  We have lots of adult activities planned.  Please ensure you get a babysitter as children cannot be accommodated at this event.



Lisbeth

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 05:34:25 PM »
Unfortunately, there really isn't any way under etiquette that allows you to state directly in an invitation that children are not invited.  It's considered very ungracious to issue non-invitations-even to kids.

So I'd call each guest and make very clear that their children are not invited.
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kittencanoedle

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 05:45:24 PM »
I didn't know that rule applied to party invitations...I thought it was a wedding rule. Thanks for the heads up.

Unfortunately, the verbal request hasn't worked on several occasions in the past.  I think I have to choose between not spelling it out or risk ruining the other guests' time, as almost happened last year :-(

Lisbeth

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 05:50:56 PM »
I wish it didn't have to be that way...I guess if these people are so crass and clueless, I'd call them and use sparksals' wording.  But it sounds to me like these people don't even understand that.

I hate to suggest it, but maybe you need to get new friends or just not invite those who don't understand and will make a fuss no matter what the circumstances.
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kittencanoedle

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 05:54:56 PM »
Keen, I wish I could find replacements, but the people in question are immediate family ;-).  Short of starting WWIII, there is no way to invite some family members and not others.

Lisbeth

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 06:00:37 PM »
Keen, I wish I could find replacements, but the people in question are immediate family ;-).  Short of starting WWIII, there is no way to invite some family members and not others.

I'd stop socializing with them or tell them directly, "Your kids are not invited."

Something we make a big point of in the Ehell forum is that being "family" doesn't mean that you have to put up with people taking advantage of you.
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kittencanoedle

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 06:26:04 PM »
I read and appreciate the comments on my invitation wording question.  Keen pointed out that there is no gracious way to state that children are not allowed.  After I thought about it, I came up with a possible solution.

What if I state that the party is 21 and up because alcohol will be served???  Everyone normally invited is over 21 and that would exclude the kids without actually pointing them out.  Is that a polite way around the problem?

ETA:  I am not asking to be told something is okay etiquette-wise if it isn't...I just really need help with finding a way if there is one!  I also deleted this question posted as a new one...but it keeps showing up!

sparksals

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 06:54:01 PM »
I didn't know that rule applied to party invitations...I thought it was a wedding rule. Thanks for the heads up.

Unfortunately, the verbal request hasn't worked on several occasions in the past.  I think I have to choose between not spelling it out or risk ruining the other guests' time, as almost happened last year :-(

KC - Keen and I are 99% of the time on the same page, but not in this situation.  I think it's perfectly acceptable for you to specify no kids in a polite way because of the past party where it was difficult to balance adult vs. kids and the 2nd that was to be adult free, but people still brought children.  I think the mistake you made was allowing kids to come to one and then people assumed that they could come to all. 

You need to set the boundary again by communicating this is an adult event.  I think it's perfectly acceptable for you to specify on the invites for them to get a sitter and that children cannot be accommodated - of course, in a polite way. 

Given the history of people bringing kids when it has been specified as an adult only event, you have no choice. 

Sorry KR! ;)  :-*

jimithing

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 07:00:53 PM »
I didn't know that rule applied to party invitations...I thought it was a wedding rule. Thanks for the heads up.

Unfortunately, the verbal request hasn't worked on several occasions in the past.  I think I have to choose between not spelling it out or risk ruining the other guests' time, as almost happened last year :-(

KC - Keen and I are 99% of the time on the same page, but not in this situation.  I think it's perfectly acceptable for you to specify no kids in a polite way because of the past party where it was difficult to balance adult vs. kids and the 2nd that was to be adult free, but people still brought children.  I think the mistake you made was allowing kids to come to one and then people assumed that they could come to all. 

You need to set the boundary again by communicating this is an adult event.  I think it's perfectly acceptable for you to specify on the invites for them to get a sitter and that children cannot be accommodated - of course, in a polite way. 

Given the history of people bringing kids when it has been specified as an adult only event, you have no choice. 

Sorry KR! ;)  :-*

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Shoo

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2007, 07:03:25 PM »
I think it's okay to state that it's an adults only party.  It's your home, right?  You get to decide if kids are allowed or not.

This kind of party isn't as formal as, say, a wedding.  Indicating the type of party to which your guests are being invited actually seems kind of courteous to me.

But be prepared to turn away people at the door who bring their kids anyway.  It would be incredibly unfair if you allowed them entry to the party when others who came had actually gone to the trouble of getting a sitter for the evening.

chigger

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2007, 07:07:13 PM »
I like:

        Due to the nature of the party, adults only,please!

Then make sure to follow up with the ones you're worried about, so they know yes, this means you!

twinkletoes

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Re: Invitation Wording Suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 03:37:40 PM »
I think this is one of those tricky situations where you know etiquette.....but you also know your guests.  I can see putting 'adults only' on the invitation to make it clear. 

You mentioned most of the "offenders" were family - is there anyone you can talk to who can put the bug in their ears that kids aren't invited?  Let's say it's all your DH's siblings who are doing this - if your DH can talk to his parents, maybe they can talk to the siblings and take some of the heat off of you both?

You might also need a bouncer of sorts.  There will still be people who think "that silly no-kids rule applies to everyone else" and bring their kid(s) with, especially as they were allowed for previous parties.  Someone needs to stand guard and act as a bouncer.  Can you get someone who isn't a family member to do this?  The offenders might be more receptive of someone else telling them and not "my mean in-law told me I couldn't bring my kid!"