Q: I am hosting a ‘jewelry party’ at my home and want to include my female cousins. Each of them have daughters under the age of 3 that they bring everywhere. I know it’s not polite to say ‘no children’ on invites, but unless it’s in black and white my cousins will bring the children. These are not well behaved children, they are disruptive and rowdy. Their presence will distract from the event and would be inconsiderate to other guests.
I also need your advice on how I should handle the ‘I’d love to come, but I don’t have a baby sitter’ response. I was thinking ‘What a shame, we’ll miss you’ would suffice?
A: Since you have past experience with your cousins bringing their children when they are not invited, you have to be very direct and write on their invitations Adults Only. While it should be understood that only the person’s name listed on the invitation is invited, there are some who disregard this, as it seems is the case with your cousins. Ask for a response, and when they call to confirm make it clear again that you wish you could include all the children but you cannot. And yes, if they respond that they can’t get a sitter, “What a shame, we’ll miss you” is the perfect response. You have to be firm with them since they apparently disregard the basic rules of invitations otherwise.