Proper wording for excluding children

I am currently working on ordering my invitations. My fiancee and I are hosting a rather large reception (~ 215 people) at a slightly expensive catering hall. We are planning on having only adults. My fiancee’s father comes from another culture in which it is common practice for a couple invited to a wedding to bring their children along even when they are not invited. My fiancee’s father has insisted that we include something along the lines of “Adults Only” in our invitations. I believe that this might seem tacky, so on our response cards, we left a blank for the guests to notate the Number of Adults. I am hoping that this, along with the envelopes addressed to just the couple, will be enough to indicate that no extras can be brought. His father disagrees and believes that this is not strong enough wording.

Is there any other nice way to indicate this on the invitation without using the very explicit “Adults Only”?

Thanks so much!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Jill,

It is never appropriate to write: Adults only on our invitations. We aren’t supposed to imply it by anything other than listing the names of those invited. To write “Number of Adults” on your response card is probably not a great idea either, as this implies that they may invite others.

It is best to convey the information by word of mouth. This is the most appropriate. If all family was to call those close to them, it could be a fairly easy process. But, we have, in the past, resorted to also listing the names of those invited on the response card instead of the typical ‘Mr/Mrs’________. This is just barely appropriate and potentially costly. But, it usually works well.

Best wishes,