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wedding dilemma::children at weddings

2010 Bride Mandy emailed and asked, “How can I keep people from bringing kids to my reception? I really want an adults only reception. Can I put ‘no kids’ or ‘adults only’ on the invitation? My mom and I are going back and forth on this and I’m just not sure what to do!”


There are a few things you can do to give guests the hint that kids aren’t allowed and avoid the “no kids” wording, or to cope if kids do end up at your reception.

  1. Use inner and outer envelopes on your invitations. While it’s a bit of added expense, the inner envelope can be used to write out each persons name invited, and this is a great place to let people know their children are not invited as well. For example, your outside envelope would say, MR AND MRS ROBERT FRANKLIN and your inner envelope would say BOB AND MARY, so they will know little Susie is not invited.
  2. Let a few key people know of your choice, such as parents, aunts and uncles and bridal party members. That way if people get their invitations and aren’t sure if their children are invited, they can ask a friend or family member.
  3. Lastly, prepare for the inevitable. People MAY bring a child or two to your reception, or you may be faced with the dreaded phone call of a guest calling and asking to bring little Susie…it’s going to be harder than you think to tell Mom her little one isn’t invited. Hire a few sitters and set up a children’s room at the reception (complete with snacks, coloring books or toys) or at the hotel guests are staying at.

Hope that helps Mandy! Keep the questions coming and as always, we’ll do our best to give you some tips to tackle your wedding dilemma’s!

wedding etiquette 101:invititations

(Invite by Michelle Mospens)

As a wedding+event planner, I often turn into the go-to gal for etiquette info with friends and family. Over the holiday, one of my relatives brought out a wedding invitation she recently received and as it got passed around it became a topic of debate, until it finally made it into my hands for a final verdict.

The scenario: The very lovely invitation included not one, not two, but three registry cards from various retailers. One was even nice enough to include a coupon.  The question that arose—is this acceptable?

The verdict: Absolutely not. You should never include any mention of gifts in your wedding invitations. This is acceptable in shower invitations, but not in the actual wedding invites. You can also include this information on a wedding website!

Do you have etiquette questions you’d like answered on the blog? Email them to Jessica (at) StellaEventDesign (dot) com and we’ll feature them in an upcoming Wedding Etiquette 101 post!

wedding videography at coastline studios

(Coastline Studios, Grand Rapids)

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet two wonderful West Michigan vendors. On Saturday morning I stopped by Coastline Studios in Grand Rapids. I met with owner John Pottenger, and had a chance to learn about the company, its philosphy, their role at the wedding, and even their equipment. I definitely left feeling like I could much better serve my brides in the area of videography, and again wishing I could go back and hire a videographer for my own wedding!

Coastline Studios can best be experienced by visiting their website and blog, and looking through some of their amazing wedding films. Their cinematic style embraces hollywood techniques to create wedding videos that are far from the stereotypically boring films of the past! Stop by their website and check out what your wedding could look like on the big screen (or in your living room).

Stay tuned for another fabulous West Michigan Vendor: La Stellina Studio

Q: can we ask for money?

Today I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions about invitations, etiquette and gift requests!

Q: We would like money in lieu of gifts—is it okay to indicate this on the invitation?
A: You should never mention gifts in your invitations. While it’s perfectly fine to include registry information with shower invitaitons, your wedding invitations are not the place to include registry information, or outline any specific requests for gifts. My best advice is to spread the word via family and friends that you are in the market for cash instead of presents. Also, registering for fewer items will be a huge clue to guests! So if you’re looking for cash to fix up your new house (or buy one!) pass the word to you parents so they can answer any inquiries about gifts!

Q:Do we have to list our parents on our invitations?
A:This is completely up to you—but if your parents are contributing to the cost of your wedding, my best advice is to ask them! Some parents will be fine with throwing the old-time traditions to the wind—while some may be surprisingly offended by being left out! Sit down and discuss it with your parents so that you’ll all be happy!

Q: How many stores do I need to register at?
A: There is no magic number here, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure you offer options that will appeal to all of your guests! If you’ve got guests coming from different areas of the country, make sure you’re not excluding your relatives in the South by choosing a retailer that only services the midwest! If you’ve got a favorite regional retailer, make sure you also include a national chain, or another retailer that will appeal to other regions! And, more importantly than where you register, make sure you register for a variety of items in a variety of price ranges to meet all of your guests’ shopping needs (and yours! You’ll be surprised how handy those tiny kitchen gadgets can be!)

If you’ve got wedding-related questions you’d like to see answered, feel free to email us at info {at} Stellaeventdesign {dot} com. We’d love to hear from you!