For Guests Who Ask For An Exception
If a guest explains that there is no option to leave the kids home, Swann recommends being firm but compassionate in your approach.
“In this particular instance, you would not be able to bring little Johnny as we are requesting for this to be an adult-only occasion. Wed love to have you there, but we are not going to have children.’“
Honesty Is The Best Policy
Your guests will appreciate your utmost honesty on concerns surrounding the ceremony.
If children are restricted because of cost, let the guests know that the event is limited to adults because of budget constraints.
If some of the activities you are planning for the reception may be too rowdy or adult-centric, informing the guests about it not only lets them know that children cannot attend, but also allows them to mentally prepare for what you have in store.
If certain children will be allowed to attend, explain it to your guests. Possible reasons include only the children of immediate family members can be accommodated, or the ring bearers and flower girls will be children. You can also opt to allow only infants.
Regardless of your explanation, it is best to be upfront about it. You may announce it through your wedding website, a post on social media, or call your guests individually. This mitigates the chance of miscommunication, or the announcement being overlooked.
This may entail a difficult and lengthy conversation, so patience and transparency are of utmost importance. At the end of the day, you have to respect the decision of your guests, whether it be an acceptance of the invitation, hesitance, or denial.
Can You Put A No
Seems like a good idea but what would the etiquette police say?
The debate over whether or not to invite children to the wedding is one that so many brides and grooms are forced to have. If you’ve ultimately decided against having little guests at your big day, it’s important to send out invitations that tactfully get this message across. On your wedding day, you’ll want to avoid what’s happened to so many couples who’ve tied the knot before you: Unsure about how to actually specify that it’s an adults-only wedding, couples end up with a few guests who arrive at the wedding with their little ones in tow, leaving other attendees upset that their children weren’t allowed to attend.
There are a few other creative ways to say that kids are not invited: One is including a line on the reply card that says, “We’ve reserved seats for you,” and then fill in “2.” It’s effective, but some recipients may feel that it smacks of passive-aggressiveness. Other brides and grooms choose to get real right away, with a line urging adults to “leave the littles” at home and think of the occasion as a date night. If you’re hiring on-site babysitters, you can include an enclosure card that asks guests to outline which kids will be staying in the children’s zone for the evening.
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How To Say No Kids At Your Wedding
First, always address the invitation to the adults onlySecond, if you are inviting ONLY certain children to the wedding Now, for specific wording on invitations where no kids are invited:
- “Respectfully, an adult occasion”
- “Respectfully, attendees must be over the age of “
- “It is requested that the evening be an adult event”
- “While your children are loved, we request the ceremony and reception to be adults only.”
- “The couple wants their wedding guests with children to be able to relax without the worry of little ones running about. They encourage you to find a sitter and enjoy the evening out.”
In the end, you might have a parent get upset that their little darling isn’t invited to your wedding. But hey- at $25 a plate, YOU get to decide who is invited… but it doesn’t make it any easier to let them know their kid isn’t invited. So as a last resort, you can always blame it on the venue:
- “Venue restrictions limit children under the age of ___ from attending.”
- “Due to venue restrictions and the availability of alcohol, children cannot be permitted into the reception”
Inform Close Family Members Of This Policy
Make sure your immediate families know of your no-kids at wedding” policy as soon as youve made the decision so that they can share that information with anyone they’ve invited. If you have friends that have kids, be proactive and have the conversation with them early on that unfortunately they won’t be able to bring their kids, says Weinberg. Give them as much time as possible to make arrangements for childcare.
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Wording It: No Kids At Your Wedding No Problem
It may be that you are trying to keep costs down, stuck on how to keep them entertained, or your venue doesnt allow guests under a certain age whatever your reasons, deciding to not have children at your wedding isnt an uncommon occurrence, and is a completely personal decision. Need some help? How to word no kids at your wedding without causing offence!
This can be an emotive issue, with the bride and groom wondering how they can politely convey their wishes to their guests without causing any kind of offence I know I struggled!
In the past, one way was to address the invitation to the parents only in the hope it will be interpreted in the way it is intended that the children are not invited to be guests. However this can lead to even stickier situations and cause a lot of unnecessary stress through the ambiguity!
Luckily for you lovely lot, Ive taken the headache away for you No Kids at Your Wedding No problem. To help you avoid any kind of confusion or hurt feelings, here I give you a personal selection of wording examples I have researched for clients in the past, if you are considering having an adults only wedding day
What To Say When You Are Allowing Certain Children
‘Unfortunately, as much as wed love to invite all of our friends children, we can only accommodate a few close family children. We hope that you will understand this decision and that you will still be able to join us on our special day.’
‘In order to meet guest number restrictions, we are only able to extend our invitation to the children of close family and/or our wedding party.’
‘Due to space constraints, we are only able to invite the children of immediate family to our wedding.’
‘We are unable to accommodate children beyond our page boys and flower girls.’
‘We are only able to accommodate the children of the wedding party.’
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Consider Setting Up A Space For Kids
Even when you have all the reasons in the world to make the wedding kid-free, some parents might not join want to join it without their kids. Furthermore, if the guest is coming from oversea and they have kid, they simply cannot visit without the little one. In such situation, you can consider having a small space for keeping the kid with some babysitter. You will require paying them payment but its worthy.
Furthermore, you can allow the in the ceremony but not in the reception. In such case, make sure that you are mentioning the condition politely in the wedding invitation. Write something like this: while we are ready to welcome kids in the ceremony, we want to keep the reception adult only.
When You Want To Keep It Short And Sweet
Please join us for an adult reception at six oclock.
Please note this will be an adults-only celebration.
Adult reception to follow.
We respectfully request no children under 16 at the reception.
Although we love your little ones, this is an adult only affair.
The bride and groom request that this be an adults-only reception.
Please celebrate with us at an adults-only reception immediately following the ceremony.
Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children thank you for your understanding.
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If There Are Special Circumstances
Lets face it, not everything is black and white, and some cases may actually warrant a second look. Maybe a guest you originally didnt extend a plus-one to got engaged after your invitations went out. In these scenarios, its best to call or send a thoughtful text to let them know their nearly-wed partner is also invited.
Or, maybe a friend has recently become much more serious with their partner and youve begun to spend more time with the couple. If your wedding guest asks politely if they can bring their SO, use your best judgment.
Note: Make Optional Calls
Before sending invitations call your friends and relatives who you think might not really like the idea of giving child-free wedding invitation! Just calmly tell them the reason behind it so that they wont mind at all and understand your point of view.
Click to learn more etiquettes for an adult-only wedding from the Knot.
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What To Say When You Want To Keep It Simple
‘We are sorry that we are unable to accommodate children at our wedding.’
‘We would like our special day to be an adult-only occasion.’
‘Please be aware that this will be an adults-only wedding.’
‘We are unable to invite children to our wedding. We hope that the advance notice means you are still able to attend.’
‘We are delighted to welcome children to the ceremony and early reception. However, from XXpm onwards, the wedding will be adults only.’ Optional extra: ‘We will be providing a creche, please see our wedding website for further details.’
‘We respectfully request that under-18s do not attend the reception.’
‘Children outside the bridal party are not invited for the ceremony, but are welcome for the reception.’
‘We would like our special day to be an adult-only occasion, however we would like to open the invite up to your children at the evening reception at XXpm.’
‘Following the ceremony and drinks reception, please join us for an adults-only reception at XXpm.’
Just Close Family Children
Unfortunately, as much as wed love to invite all of our friends children, we can only accommodate a few close family children. We hope that you will understand this decision and we very much hope you will still be able to join us on our special day.
In order to keep numbers to a minimum, we can only invite a small number of children. We also thought you might like a day off!
Unfortunately, due to number restrictions, we have been unable to extend our invitations to include any children. Only children involved in the wedding party will be present. We hope that parents are able to arrange babysitters so they can join us on our special day.
Sorry, no children allowed, apart from the ones included in the wedding party.
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The Rules Of No Children Allowed Weddings
- Be consistent – the rule has to apply to every guest. The only acceptable exceptions are children of immediate family and/or of your bridesmaids and ushers, and/or any page boys and flower girls, so long as you let other guests know.
- Don’t be upset if parents can’t attend. You are perfectly justified in having a child-free wedding they are perfectly justified in not attending if it’s inconvenient or they don’t want to be away from their children.
- Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you about your adults-only policy.
- Accept that some parents may need to leave early.
- If you’re having a destination wedding, you may want to reconsider the kid-free policy – it will be more difficult for parents to travel abroad without their children, or find childcare in another country.
- It’s a lovely gesture if you want to pay for a creche/professional babysitters, but it’s not obligatory.
- If you are particularly close to any friends’ or family’s children, it’s a nice idea to include a personal note with the invitations to reiterate that you’re sorry not to include them.
How To Word Your Invitations
If you’re not into having “The Chat,” one way to first notify guests of your child-free wedding is via your wedding invitations. Address the invites only to who is invited. The envelope and the RSVP card should only have the names of the parents, not the children. Don’t make any other mention of it on the invite itself”adults only” can feel more aggressive than necessary.
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Reasons To Make Your Wedding Kid Free
Feel free to blame your choice to exclude the kids on your venue, space, or budgetary restraints.
To make your invitations more personal, you can also mention the children directly. For example, you might send your cousin an invitation that includes a note like, While wed love to see little Jacob and Claire all dressed up, we will be keeping our reception adults only. We hope you can join us anyway!
You can explain why you can not accommodate children at your wedding due to budgets, due to the space at your venue, or be honest and say that you would like a night for your adult family and friends to let loose!
How To Signal No Children At Your Wedding
We’re not having children at our wedding. How do we get the word out?
Do not print “no children” or “adults only” on an invitation. The way an invitation is addressed, whether on the inner or outer envelope, indicates exactly who is invited, and, by omission, who is not invited to the wedding. If the envelope is addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Hayward,” then Mr. and Mrs. Hayward should not assume that their children are included. If the envelope is addressed to “The Hayward Family” or “Mr. and Mrs. Hayward, Sarah and Elliott Hayward” then it can be assumed that all mentioned are invited. In addition to this, you can talk to close friends and relatives and ask them to help spread the word about your preference to keep the event to adults.
I want to have an adults-only wedding, but my sister-in-law is insisting on bringing my three young nephews. What should I tell her?
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No Kids Wedding Invitation Wording
There are various ways to make it clear that kids are not invited to your wedding. Here are a variety of polite wedding invitation wording options that will tell guests that your wedding is adults only.
- Please join us for an adults only reception at. . .
- This is an adults only occasion
- Although we love your little ones, our wedding is an adults only event
- Please note that our reception is adults only
- Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children at our wedding
- Come celebrate with us at an adults-only reception
- Due to limited space, we are unable to extend the invitation to your children
- Although we would love to include your children in our special day, due to budget/space constraints we ask that only adults attend
- Due to restrictions at our venue, children under 18 are not able to attend
- While we love your children, we have decided to keep our wedding an adults-only event
- We respectfully request no children under 16 at the reception
- While we can accommodate children at our wedding ceremony, we are not able to invite them to our reception. Let your hair down at an adult reception to follow!
- We adore your children, but due to space / due to budget we are hosting a child free wedding.
- While we would love to have all of our family members on our guest list, please leave the nieces and nephews at home for a kid free wedding.
- Although we adore your children, we are not able to accommodate them at our wedding reception. We hope you understand!