While our guests were perfectly well behaved during the wedding, we were a bit blown away by their audacity in bringing children who were not invited. Why people think it's OK to bring people whose names are clearly not on the envelope is BEYOND me. What's worse is that the people whose children weren't invited and were smart enough not to bring them looked a little slighted. Who can blame them?
To Lori, you know, I think that is a tough call. I think there is some sense that an ivitation to the home with both adult parents could be interpreted as for the family. It seems to me that if you don't want any kids at a wedding it would be prudent to state that in the invitation. Most of the weddings I've been to seem to include kids even at the ceremony.
As far as kids at the wedding goes, most people limit them to immediate family (nieces, nephews, close cousins and the like.) There's a big difference between having your nieces as flowergirls at the ceremony and having dozens of your friends' kids running around your reception.
An invitation that would include the kids of a household would be addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Adult Adultperson and Kid's Name and Kid's Name (or simply "and family.) I think most people find it a little tacky to put "NO KIDS" on an invitation.
I think it is tackier to complain after the fact that someone didn't know your unstated preferance than it is to be clear about what you want upfront.
One of our friends asked if we could move our Sunday afternoon wedding to a Saturday night because in all seriousness she had to be at work early on Monday and wanted to be able to drink at the party. I decided to answer her with sarcasm and said, "Sure. Let me check with the 174 other people we invited."
Mainly it was at the ceremony. People requesting songs, not in honor of the bride and groom, but for they unborn son. We only had wine, water and iced tea at the wedding. Guest smuggled in booze and coke (not to snort). People are never satisfied.
We also had booze smugglers. Since we had a brunch, we only served champaign and mimosas. My husband's co-workers ran to the liquor store and stuffed a couple of cases of beer under their table.
Also, I had a guest call me two days before the wedding demanding to be seated at a table with her ex-boyfriend. At the ex-boyfriend's request, I went to great lengths to NOT seat her there, and make sure she was seated at a table where she knew everyone. We had our reception in the social hall of our synagogue. She showed up for the ceremony, looked at the place cards, saw she wasn't seated with the ex-boyfriend and left. Didn't even stay for the ceremony.
My parents are divorced and hate each other's guts. So, seating them at the ceremony has been an interesting experience. Mom wants to sit in the front pew - so does Dad. Dad is giving me away, so he should be able to sit on the front pew as well. But Mom doesn't think Dad will be "mature" enough to sit on the same pew as her. Dad told me the exact same thing. Everyone else has been great.
Give me rowdy kids over bickering parents any day.