Q: How do I get the message across that invitations to my wedding do not include children under 15? Should the invitation read, "No kids"...

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Q: How do I get the message across that invitations to my wedding do not include children under 15? Should the invitation read, “No kids”? Should I call the families who usually show up with the entire brood in tow, even when they are not invited?

A: It’s up to the wedding party to get the word around that children should be left with sitters. Supply the wedding party with the guest list, identify the potential offenders and then make it a point to spread the word early.

That might sound like, “I think that Mike and Judy are pretty clear that the reception would be tedious for children, so it’s best to leave them at home. That’s what we’re doing.”

Be prepared to stand firm should anyone pursue the matter with you directly.

I think it’s mighty rude when guests ignore an invitation’s intent and make their own rules. Lamentably, we seem to have reached this low point in today’s society; now we need to start coping with it.

In the case of uninvited-yet-expected kids, arrange for on-site sitters for the wee ones.

Designate a teenager to play games with the older kids and keep them away from the reception. Soft drinks and sandwiches should be offered.

Mary Mitchell is a Seattle-based corporate trainer and author. E-mail questions about home etiquette manners while enter to Mary@themitchell.org. Sorry, no personal replies.