I have sent out save the date magnets with the specific instructions of "Adults-Only Reception". How do I handle guests who bring their children to an adults-only affair?
Make sure your invitations don't say "and family" or "and guest" or anything like that. Only the people named on the invitation are invited.
But you seem to think you may get some tiny crashers. If you don't invite their children, why do you think your guests will bring them? That magnet sure would have put me off bringing kids, I can tell you that!
I'm not sure what you men by "How do I handle" any such guests. What are your choices? Same as for any other uninvited guests: either you make a place for them, or you politely as possible tell the people who brought them that you regret so much that you won't be able to include them. Of course, then they will all leave -- what else can they do, put their kids in a taxi and send them home? (This would be a lot easier to say if you have a seated dinner reception, of course; how could you not "accomodate" an extra guest, of whatever age, otherwise?)
In the end, you may have to just suck it up. It is very rude to bring an uninvited guest to someone's wedding. But if someone does it, just as if they do anything else rude, the important thing is for YOU not to be rude BACK. Just be gracious about it. It probably wouldn't ruin things as much as you seem to fear -- you probably wouldn't even notice the kid anyway. What WOULD ruin things is for you to come across as a child-hating prima donna, not like a lovely bride and gracious hostess.
If you have out of town guests who will be bringing their children, and you don't want them at the reception, arrange for babysitting for them.
I love children but I think that there is a time and place for everyone and weddings and receptions are not! Of course, I will accommodate any unexpected guest, even children but I, like you, would not bring my children to anything that said, "adults-only". Even as an out-of town guest, I would not bring my child to the function because like a wedding or even a job, I would make the necessary accommodations and arrangements for my child, at my expense. I am not a child hating "prima donna" but this is a very important day for me and children will be welcomed, regardless of the message before hand on the magnets.
Oh, believe me, *I* wasn't saying you are a "child-hating prima donna" -- I just meant you want to make sure that if someone brings a kid or asks if they can, you don't do or say anything that could let them tell anyone you are. People are SO sensitive when it comes to their children. For example, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your comment, "there is a time and place for everyone and weddings and receptions are not!" But a doting parent could take that to mean, "Your children are screaming brats who will ruin my wedding reception" or "Your children will steal the spotlight from ME" or something. You would NOT be saying that -- but people are funny. Plus, some people LOVE having children at wedding receptions, or had them at their own, and they could take such a comment as a criticism. Your reception may well not be appropriate for children, but others are.
So if someone asks, "Can't we please bring little Angela?" I would gently explain how much you would love to see her and can't wait to spend time with her on another occasion, but unfortunately you're unable to accomodate children at this reception. You can always add something like, "Of course we know Angela would be no trouble at all, but we can't include all my cousins' children, and they will have fits if I tell them we can't bring their kids and then they see Angela there." Get the idea? DON'T talk about WHY you don't want children there -- they will just argue with you or get insulted -- just tell them that you regret you can't include children and ask them to "help you out" by understanding.
For out of towners whose children will travel with them (like a new baby who can't be left behind), do try to arrange babysitting, even if you don't pay for it. They will feel much more comfortable with someone you know and trust than a stranger chosen from a phone book or something. At our wedding (two million years ago), we did something that might work for you. There were a handful of young cousins, some local, some from out of town. They came to the ceremony, but then after the ceremony, the ones under 12 all went with a sitter to the home of the in-town cousins and had pizza (I'm not sure there was such a thing as videos yet then). I think they had a lot more fun than if they'd stayed, and their parents reported that THEY certainly did! A pizza or two and a sitter probably costs less than even one or two dinners at a reception. Another time, at a reception held in a hotel where the out of towners were staying, even though children were included, we knew the littler ones wouldn't make it through the evening, so we had some teen friends come and babysit in a couple of the rooms so the parents could return to the party after the kids were sleeping or otherwise happily settled down. I think people really appreciate that.
Don't be suprised if several "guests" decide not to attend, because their children were not invited. Of course they will have an excuse, but that will be the underlying reason.
I like the idea of having a babysitter and babysitting location arranged "just in case".
Yes, there will be some people who can't come because of the kid issue but that's just how it is. As a parent, I came to terms early on that there were things I would not be able to do because of my kids. That's just how it is. And as a parent, I also don't like seeing kids where they don't belong. And as a parent, I don't like seeing kids run around "like wild banchees" when they should be behaving and their parents doing nothing to stop it.
And, as a former bride, I believe it is up to the bride and bridal party to decide whom they wish to invite and whom they wish to exclude. So, don't let anyone make you feel bad or chastise you for saying Adults Only. That's your perogative, and I'm with gellchom on not giving any reasons. You don't have to justify your request for adults only any more than you have to justify your choice of colors or flowers. It's your wedding, therefore your decision.
But fortunately you've faced reality that there's a good possibility your request will be ignored and there will be kids to deal with. Babysitter in a separate location with pizza, games, videos whatever is the best solution.
And when I say separate location, what I really mean is somewhere on the same premises if possible, just removed from where the main activity is taking place. A hotel room in the same hotel, a classroom in the church, etc. If you have to transport the kids by car, it opens up a whole new headache.
lowspark is right that you shouldn't give a reason. She writes, "You don't have to justify your request for adults only any more than you have to justify your choice of colors or flowers. It's your wedding, therefore your decision."
That is true. But not only do you not NEED to justify your decision, in my opinion, you shouldn't. For some reason, we feel that our message will be better received if we make it seem like we are just citing some neutral rule or principle. I think that is what you are feeling when you write, "there is a time and place for everyone and weddings and receptions are not!" Your point is that you are not criticizing THEIR children (or children in general). But somehow it often doesn't come across that way. People feel defensive and try to argue about the rule we think is our protection. And you can be setting yourself up without meaning to. "Huh! We had children at OUR wedding -- I suppose she was judging us for that." "So does that mean I am not supposed to include my OWN children at my wedding?" "She told me she believes children don't belong at weddings -- but her sister brought HER children to MY wedding" or, a few years down the pike, what if you have children, and they are invited to someone's wedding? -- You don't want to be eating your words by having declared some big unshakable RULE. Anyway, people disagree about children at weddings, and, as I posted before, some weddings are child-friendly, some aren't.
It's much easier on YOU (let alone them) if you don't make it look like it's important to you to be RIGHT about some principle or that you refuse to see their perspective. Don't give any reason; just tell them you regret that you "can't" include children (this almost-an-apology subtly lets them know you acknowledge their feelings and inconvenence, too) and that you appreciate so much their understanding. Let THEM be the gracious ones.
And children dont belong at weddings or receptions because.........? What is classified as a child anyway? Under 10? Under 18? Under 21...? That may also be an issue, depending on what type of family you have. It sure seemed as though every wedding I have been to has been "family oriented", are you not including younger cousins, etc.? Are you fearful some will misbehave? If so, the babysitter is a good idea definitely. Children do not eat much, and well-behaved ones add joy to any occasion, and they are a rather important part of any family. Many children rather irritate me to say the least, especially misbehaved ones, but I know that I would be inclined not to attend an affair where children are not welcome, especially mine, because of the very nature of events that require "adult only" labels. I understand that it is your wedding and your decision, but I'm sure lots of parents (and children?) wont forget.
I understand your point of view, Victoria. Having children at a wedding is wonderful. However, in some cases seating is very limited, and has to be allocated to the adults important to the bride and groom. Also, if the budget is limited, children have to be left out. Even tho' children don't eat much, sometimes the food provider charges the same for adults as for kids, which can really add to the expenses.
Victoria, it's certainly your perogative to skip an event where children aren't invited and I'm sure you're not alone. But there are a lot of things to be taken into consideration when deciding if kids belong or not. Here are a few I can think of offhand.
-- Is this an afternoon affair or an evening with drinks and dancing?
-- Is it somewhat casual or dress-to-the-nines-formal?
-- How many kids and what ages would be there if all the children involved were invited?
-- Will the food being served be appropriate for kids' tastes, or will something special have to be ordered for them?
-- Is the reception an hour or two, or will it last hours or until late at night?
Say for example that the bride would have to invite 20 children under the age of 15 and the reception was a cocktail hour, dinner and dance lasting until 11 pm. Not only is that sort of party not appropriate for the younger crowd, but imagine 20 restless children wreaking havoc on the dance floor keeping those who want to dance from being able to. Think that's not realistic? I've seen it. And it ends the party much earlier than intended.
One thing I think many parents are not prepared to face is that children simply do not belong everywhere. It's great to have them, and if the bride feels strongly about having kids at her wedding, she'll make appropriate plans which will be condusive to their presence. But that's totally her (and her groom's) choice.
There are plenty of places where children just don't fit. Some restaurants, theatres, concerts, etc. And some weddings also fall into this category. That's just the way it is.
lowspark illustrates why there can't be a one-size-fits-all "rule" about whether or not children "belong at weddings." And that's only variables regarding the reception and numbers and ages of kids. How about relationship?
It's one thing to expect your children to be included in an invitation you receive to a work colleague's child's wedding -- even if it is a daytime picnic at the beach. Quite another if it is your own brother's wedding -- even if it is a black tie event. And how about if the child is the child or grandchild of the bride or groom? Even in these examples at the extremes of the continuum, I wouldn't make a "rule" -- there will always be other circumstances. For example, it might seem like it's a good idea to invite nieces and nephews. But if the wedding is for 40 people, and there are a dozen or more nieces and nephews, maybe not. But even then, if everyone else in the family ALWAYS includes children, then they will just think that this couple loves sophistication more than their relatives and is putting their idea of a dream party ahead of other people's feelings. The point is, just look at YOUR family and YOUR wedding, including your budget, and figure out what makes sense, remembering to consider others' feelings, too.
I think that people only get into trouble over this when they know in their hearts that they are doing something wrong, selfish, or hurtful -- like including some, but not all, their nieces and nephews -- and they are looking for some "rule" about the "time and place" for children with which to defend themselves and tell themselves that other people "have no right to be offended." As any reader of this or any wedding forum knows well, that NEVER works.
Here is how we handled the situation with adults only on the save the dates, givng plenty of warning. When the groom's relative rsvp'd on the number attending [when the invitation was for just the two] that a yet to be born baby would attend too, I just asked the future mother-in-law to take care of it. When the groom's counsin's wife emailed a veiled threat to the bride about her kids (who are wild) being the exception, DD forwarded the message to her future in-laws seeking their help. That was resolved quickly by the groom's parents who contacted the cousin's mother. All went smoothly after that. It is the bride's day. That is the number one rule.
Children do not belong at weddings unless they are in them. When a child appears at the reception, the child is counted as an adult who will be partaking in the meal (or buffet) and the parents of the bride are charged for "feeding" this uninvited guest. I am crazy about children, but there is a time and a place for them, and a formal wedding is not appropriate. I have thought many times that it would be funny and worth the expense to place a wedding etiquette booklet in the invitation of the usual freeloaders. By the way, "and family" is never proper, but "and guest" is.
I think this topic is one that never ends. It has been debated forever. If the bride and groom desire an adult party, those guests that only attend family style events should be expected to send their regrets and not complain about it.
If the couple were invited to a dinner and a theater evening, would they expect to bring their 4 kids along?
The bride and groom should not have to feel defensive about this. It is the guests, that do not realize they are guests and not the host and hostess, that should examine their attitude
I did not have children at my wedding. We offered to pay for a baby sitter at the hotel where most of our guests were staying.
My sister did have kids at her wedding. She had a seperate room for their kid freindly dinner, hired a baby sitter, and used www.namesakedesign.com to have a custom coloring book favor made for the kids. The kids loved the food, the coloring books kept them busy, and they joined the adults when the dancing started.
Here is a link that might be useful: kids favors
I was glancing through this forum and thought this was a subject that should be brought up again.
I'm a firm believer that there is a time and place for children and weddings are usually not one of them.
I am a mother of 2 kids, now 23 and 28, and I would never have brought them to a wedding when they where young.
Hubby and I where invited to a wedding when my oldest was only 2 1/2 months old. This was a formal wedding, 6pm ceremony, 7pm reception.
The invite was addressed to us and did not include the baby.
Inside our invitation was a handwritten note that told us that the bride and groom had reserved a suite at the hotel reception site with several babysitters that they new and trusted and would have special activities and cribs for the babies as well as a special room was set aside at the church for the children as well. The inside note also read, "please come to our wedding and reception and bring the baby. We understand the difficulties created with children in the home, it will be our difficulties one day. We want you to share in our joy and have provided for all to attend. If you have any other suggestions, please tell us."
We where so thrilled with the thoughtfullness of the bride and groom and the ease that it made for us to attend.
We had a lovely time, our son was well taken care of, I left the reception a few times to check on him, nurse him twice and all was well.
On the other hand I have been to weddings with young children in attendance and just couldn't believe the problems that they created.
long receptions are not for young children. They are not able to stay seated and behave for long periods of time. Either the parents spend their time trying to keep their kids under control, or they just ignore them and hell brakes loose.
I've seen servers spill coffee on guests because kids where running around, pastry dropped on guests, food thrown around.
In reality, what does one expect young children to do? You are asking them to behave like adults and they aren't capable of doing that.
Leave the kids home or brides, help out your guests and make arrangements for these children at your reception so that you beautiful day is not ruined for yourself and your guests.
The bottom line here is that only those that are specifically invited are supposed to attend any event. Whether or not children are invited is up to each individual couple. But unless your children are included on the invitation, don't bring them!
I saw this and my heart stopped.... A few years back my oldest (and very dearest) niece was married. Most everyone was from out of town and therefore travelling to where she was living for the wedding "weekend" (breaker party on Friday for those arriving, wedding on Saturday, and picnic on Sunday)... months prior to the wedding we were told it would be an "adults only" reception on Saturday, but not to worry, and they were arranging for babysitting for all the children. So, at the time I have 3 children 12, 10, and 6... the invitations arrive and sure enough say adults only Saturday night, but there is no mention of the babysitting... so, as I'm talking with my mother and brothers and sisters, no one is saying anything about the children AT ALL. So, I called the hotel and looked into their "hire a stranger" service... which to say the least I was less than impressed with. Then about 2 weeks before the event it finally "slips" out that oh... all the other cousins ARE invited (ages 13, 14,15, 17) they are counting them adults.
Well... blow me down! I guess I was an a@@ for assuming that adults were 18+ or maybe even 21+ given the alcohol serving issues.... but no, we drew an imaginary "adult" line... and gee... yours are the only children in the family not invited....
Long and short of it was we opted NOT to attend. And boy did we hear about it from EVERY family member under the sun... how could we disappoint the niece this way??? Let's see... I was willing to let my children stay with a sitter... wasn't happy about the hotel service... but probably would have sucked in (although to be brutally honest here, I had expected when my niece did not arrange for sitters, that I would hire the other "older non-adult" nieces/nephews to watch them during the reception time.)
So now, several years later this is STILL a topic of family problems... and my oldest in particular, has little interest in her oldest cousin as a result of being "left out"....
The point I'm trying to make here is IF you decide adults only... make it ADULTS... don't selectively invite some without others, especially in your immediate families.
I know my niece did not intend for us to be upset by an adults only invitation, and truthfully when we were under the impression that it was truely 'adults' and therefore NONE of the minor cousins we wer fine with it.... by the same token I did not intend to upset a bride with our decision not to attend... but look at the position I'm in... we've all travelled here and on Saturday night I have to say to my children (while no one else is) that you can't come with us as it's adults only, but yes indeed your cousins who are not adults can come with us.... as a parent I could not do that to them... so we opted out...
and to be fair to my niece, she later said if they knew how many people would decline to attend (most due to child care issues) they never would have done adults only.... remember... basically everyone had to travel, a fair distance, leaving on a Friday and returning on a Sunday, for the shortest of the travellers... so anyone with children had to arrange for weekend care for them... if they didn't live near other family not invited to the function, they either had to ask friends to take their children for a weekend, or bring them along and deal with the hire a stranger service.... when you don't have children yourself, you can't begin to understand how hard it is to find people to drop your children on for a weekend.... or how disagreeable of an idea it is to leave them with a stranger....
just be prepared for all sorts of unexpected fallout....
When a child appears at the reception, the child is counted as an adult who will be partaking in the meal (or buffet) and the parents of the bride are charged for "feeding" this uninvited guest.
This is not always true. Some venues are organized enough tha tthey will serve kids' meals (chicken tenders, hot dogs, sometimes even PB&J), and charge less money for them.
Pumbly, in my humble opinion, while I understand your sentiment towards what occured, your biggest mistake was that you involved your children in this squabble. And that to me is sad. If you have an issue with an adult member of your family, you should handle it accordingly as adults with them. If you were upset by the turn of events, then you are completely within your right. However, for your eldest to have "little interest in her oldest cousin as a result of being "left out"...." shows to me that you incorrectly opted to have a 10 year old involved in an adult conflict. And that's why you continue to have issues with your family. Children have no place in adult family arguments.
As for the topic at hand, it's completely up to the bride, groom, and their parents to dictate who they want to attend their wedding. If you do not want children there, pass the word around, and specifically detail who you want invited on the invitations. No matter what, people will do whatever they want to do...so just know that you might have a few wee ones running around. It's doubtful that they will cause that much of a distraction. But if they do, politely ask their parents to distract their kids a bit and I'm sure things will be fine. Best of luck and congratulations!
"Of course we know Angela would be no trouble at all, but we can't include all my cousins' children, and they will have fits if I tell them we can't bring their kids and then they see Angela there."
I thought that the above was EXCELLENT advice.
Having been recently seated at a table with a five year old and a two year old, I came up with this idea: Seat people who bring kids with OTHER people who bring kids. The parents will be able to empathize with each other when Jr. spills stuff on the table and they can take shifts watching each others kids while they go for food, etc.
My husband and I were seated with the kids no doubt because the parents are my husband's brother and wife. We love them dearly. But no amount of us trying to help entertain the kids kept them from getting into trouble of some sort or another throughout the evening and us having to endure the parents disciplining the children on a constant basis. And, these, IMO, are not monster kids, but kids two young to be able to sit still at such a long and stimulating (music, dancing) event.
Well, thank you, alisonn!
I want to add an admonition not to be too hard on parents who ask if their children can attend, especially in the case of relatives, when the family is scattered. Unless your family has annual reunions or all live close together, weddings, like all other life cycle events, are the only times everyone is all together. It is natural to want to have the children meet their relatives, and the other relatives coming may well want to see the children, too. If they are traveling for the wedding, they probably aren't going to make another trip to visit relatives the same year.
Of course it is "the bride and groom's day." But it is not ONLY their day: it is an important occasion for the whole family. For far-flung families, weddings are also reunions. It would be very sad if the only time all got together was at funerals (which aren't very child-friendly, either, are they?). Everyone is coming to see the wedding, of course, but they are also coming to see each other. I'm certainly not saying that therefore every wedding for a spread-out family has to include children (or anyone else). But it is something for the bridal couple to keep in mind when they are deciding.
sandysometimes... I hear what you're saying... but... we HAD planned on attending (although hadn't responded as we were still working the childcare bit) and my oldest was well aware we were planning on going... not being fond of lying to our children, we explained to her why we decided not to attend... I don't think our intention with that was to "bring them into" the topic... it was soley to explain why there was a change in our family plans.
The whole topic just makes me sad... it's not that our family (entire extended family I mean) has "problems" with this... everyone understood why we opted out... or that they didn't agree with both sides of the topic... or that we don't feel it IS entirely up to the bride and groom to decide whatever they want (we do)... it's just a very touchy thing still years later... we've never been shown wedding photos yet we all know they exist... the wedding was never spoken about with us after it happened or in the years since... it's almost as though everyone in the family wants to forget the day happened when we're around... and it all could have been avoided with clear communication upfront...
All I intended to point out with my posting was that those planning weddings must make their own decisions on what they want, set their standard, and then be prepared for others reactions to those. This may mean people you expect to attend will not.
In this case, I KNOW my niece wasn't prepared for us NOT to attend, she called me in tears talking about how their decision had caused so many people not to attend and how she wished she haad known ahead of time that would happen. My sister called, my mother called. All three understood our position and agreed with us. That did not change the situation, nor did we expect it to...
My message to those planning weddings with many out of area invitees with children really is... be prepared for them to decide it is best for them not to attend if you are not willing to have something arranged for the children of those you invite IF they are not being invited to the festivities... Not everyone has childcare available for a couple of days and nights to be able to leave their children behind.
we had several family children in the wedding and their sibs attended the reception...BUT...2 of my grands were picked up by their aunt who lived close by and after my special dance with my ds2, i took the 3 other grands home (i don't drink, and didn't mind)
This keeps going around and around, and there are so many approaches.
I agree that it is all in how it is handled. No "rule" is going to protect you if you hurt someone's feelings, even if there were some one-size-fits-all rule, which there certainly isn't.
Do what you want with your own wedding, and guests should graciously comply. But aggressive, proscriptive statements like "Children do not belong at weddings unless they are in them" and "there is a time and place for everyone and weddings and receptions are not!" are fightin' words to parents (and perhaps to others who like having children at weddings). And what is the point? All chidren? All weddings? All the time? Who are you to be proclaiming that? (I think that there are usually children in the photos we see of royal weddings -- it can't be THAT incorrect!)
But even if there were any such rule, the hosts make a big mistake by saying things like that. What do you want, a gracious way to have an adults-only wedding? Or to be RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT, everyone else's feelings be damned?
You get to decide what kind of wedding you want, and who is invited. But you are still a host, with the duty of hospitality, so you have to handle whatever decision you make with consideration for your GUESTS' feelings first. So invite adults only if you like, decline requests to bring children with regret and sympathy, not RULES proving that they are WRONG, apologize for the inconvenience, and ask them to "help you out of a tight spot," allowing THEM to be gracious in return.
if a bride and groom dont want kids at their wedding, thats how it should be. case closed. ive been to some receptiond where the kids are running around the dance.floor bumping into people and then about 8 oclock they start to get tired and start whining and crying. you'd think the parents would want a night out with out their kids.
Here's another perspective and parents and bringing their kids to weddings.
(First I'll say, my kids never attend a wedding unless they're invited. I would also leave them home even IF they were invited, if I wanted to)
But when my kids are invited, I like to bring them.
Because this is a TRAINING SESSION for them. How will they learn how to behave in a formal setting if I don't teach them? and part of that teaching is having them be IN a formal setting.
Weddings are a part of my children's culture. And how to behave at a wedding, and what happens at a wedding, are important things to learn.
Even MORE important to learn is "how to politely entertain yourself when you are bored stiff and would rather be home sorting socks" which is how I feel at many of the weddings I go to. (it's a big extended family)
And "how to make small talk w/ people you either don't know at all or don't know very well."
If I never take my children to a wedding, they will probably never learn these things.
I leave earlier when my kids are there, when they start to get whiney. I take stuff with me to entertain them. (It was actually easier when they were a little bit younger; my kids were much easier to deal w/ at age 3 than at age 9 and 13; their boredom threshold is much lower now)
Whie I agree with Talley Sue that kids need to learn how to behave in social situations, I do not think a wedding or reception should be a "Training Session" - it's just too important an event. Birthday parties, etc are more appropriate for that.
As for my wedding- I had the ushers armed with AK 47's to shoot any kids who tried to crash, and the entire area draped with fine mesh net in case they attempted to sneak in. Even so, some did get through and we captured them and dined on them later. I love kids, so tender!
I do not think a wedding or reception should be a "Training Session" - it's just too important an event.
I will agree strongly w/ Gellchom to say that YOU are not qualified to state this as a BLANKET RULE.
This is a HOST-SPECIFIC question. And if you don't invite my kids to your wedding, I will not bring them. And I will defend your right NOT to invite kids, should any of our mutual friends and relatives criticize you in my presence.
But you have no business telling everyone else in the world how weddings or receptions "should be."
I have been to many weddings at which brides felt it was important to include my children, and other people's children. Are you telling me that those brides were WRONG? That they didn't treat their own weddings as important?
That would be phenomenally rude of you.
Or perhaps you are not secure enough in your personal preferences, and only feel you can justify your stance if you can invent some "rule of etiquette" that you can fall back on? If so, I would encourage you to be more confident and more sure of your own personal PREFERENCES.
Because that's what they are--a PREFERENCE, and absolutely NOT a rule.
And as a host, you are ENTITLED TO your preferences.
"It is the bride's day. That is the number one rule."
I'm sorry, but that just makes me want to spit up.
Our children (11, 16) are named on our invitation envelope, but the reception is "adults only". I presume that their names were included because they are the brothers of the groom, and the wedding is a 3-4 hour drive from our home. How do I ask the bride about their attending an adult only reception? (Our 17 year old daughter is participating in the ceremony by reading a passage, and has been invited separately, along with 3 other now adult children also receiving invitations)
swwizzrd, I'm guessing that your children, as the groom's brothers, are exceptions to the "adults only" reception. (Does it say "adults only" on a reception card or something?)
You ask, "How do I ask the bride" about this. If your children are the groom's brothers, that makes the groom your (or at least your husband's) son, right? So it seems to me it's a simple enough matter just to ask for clarification from your own son. If you don't get along with him or something, then from your future daughter-in-law. Clear and simple communication is often the answer.