As a single mother, I have to learn the art of balancing my professional life as well as spending time with my precious little superhero. But, what to do when you are invited to an event and the invitation states in bold letters
"No Children Allowed."
My first response is always, "oh well, I guess I'm not going." Don't get me wrong I understand in some situations, venues, and/or events, children should not be allowed in. But in cases of a wedding or birthday party, is it really necessary to exclude some guests. I mean if their children cannot participate and there are no available sitters, then those guests (and gifts) may not make it to your party.
I had that discussion with a bride a few months ago. She wanted all her family and close friends to be there on her special day but she worried that the kids would be a distraction, or worse a disaster. She was torn on the subject but eventually opted to have the little ones there.
What would you do, on both sides of this issue? If you were invited with no kids or having an event with no kids?
As I said earlier, if the event is or could be kid friendly, then why not. My little guy is well behaved, in fact he loves going with mommy to set up for parties. I would advised parents of, well, the not-so well behaved children to be considerate when attending a function with their kids. If it got to the point of a child potentially knocking down a centerpiece or cake table, I would have no problem with asking the parent(s) to either watch their kid(s) or politely asking them to leave. The day should not be highlighted by a running child with a champagne flute in his/her hand (which I have seen before).
So how do you handle these "No children" invites? Well first, don't get offended, It's not about you or your child, it might just be the hostess had a bad experience and is fearing and preparing for the worst. Second, reach out to the host or hostess, and explain to them why you may not be able to make it and maybe arrange a brunch meet up at a later date.
Offered a kid friendly table like this one pictured here from http://didterest.blogspot.com/2012/01/reception-kids-table.html either in the back or corner of the room filled with crayons, coloring pages (great way to incorporate your theme, use coloring pages of a bride and groom, flowers, wedding bells, or a wedding cake), or even a small assortment of candies.
Coloring Pages: http://www.sheknows.com/kids-activity-center/list/weddings
Kids also love candy tables, so think of incorporating one in your event. http://www.candywarehouse.com/ have an assortment of candies and color theme candies to match your theme like this one pictured on the left. Sugar rush central but the end justifies the means. (lol)
Consider assigning a monitor, a niece or little cousin would love the idea of being in charge. Now I can't promise they wont ask you for payment...hahaha.
I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them.