wedding etiquette - adults only

From the moment their invitation arrives, your guests will start making plans for your wedding. They might need to book accommodation, take time off work or simply start hunting for the perfect outfit. However, if you’ve decided to have a child-free wedding then the parents on the guest list will have much more to arrange so it’s important that your invitation makes it clear that your big day is going to be an adults-only affair. So, if you’re feeling a bit confused by wedding stationery etiquette, here’s how to let them know that kids aren’t invited…

how to say no children to your wedding guests

Images: Left via Rock My Wedding | Centre via Style Me Pretty | Right via Love My Dress

Keep it simple

Sometimes, we’re all guilty of over-complicating things. We’ve often got the tendency to over-explain things too, particularly when we’re worried about offending or upsetting people we care about. We go out of our way to explain the thinking and the reasoning behind our decisions but, as thoughtful as this can be, it sometimes isn’t helpful. So, the first rule is to keep things simple.

A simple line or two, printed clearly on your wedding invitations, is all you need and here are some of our favourites so choose the one that works best for you:

  • Due to the size of our venue, we’re unable to invite children to our wedding.
  • Please respect our wishes for a child free reception
  • In order to allow all guests, including parents, an evening of relaxation we have chosen for our wedding day to be an adult only occasion. We hope this advance notice means you are still able to share our big day and will enjoy having the evening off!
  • Children are very welcome to attend the ceremony but the reception is an adults-only affair.
  • With respect, we’ve decided that we would like our special day to be an adult-only occasion.
  • Although we do love all of your little cherubs we would request that our wedding remain adults only. So, book a sitter and dust off those dancing shoes!

Of course, you could take the subtle approach and just address the invitation itself to the adults in the family but this can be risky – we’ve all heard the stories of guests misinterpreting this and just assuming that their kids can come with them. It’s up to you if you want to risk it but you might need to be prepared to have a few frank conversations with friends and family when those ‘we’d all love to attend’ RSVPs start rolling in!

If you don’t want to be upfront or subtle, there’s always the compromise and that’s to personally contact guests with children and explain your ‘no children’ policy directly to them. You could include a personal note with their invitation (or, if you’re brave, go for a phone call!) but remember to keep the message clear and be prepared to withstand any comments…

how to say no children to your wedding guests

Images: Left via Bridal Musings | Right via Love My Dress (as above)

Keep it consistent

Once you’ve decided to plan a child-free wedding, you have to stick to your word! Nothing is going to upset guests more than if they turn up on the day only to find that some children have been invited whilst theirs haven’t. If you have decided to invite children of close family for example and not those of friends, warn people in advance so there are no unpleasant surprises on our wedding day. This is possibly the only area of your wedding where one size absolutely must fit all!

Keep your cool

As with all things wedding, everyone and anyone is likely to have an opinion on your decision. Keep your cool, stay polite, don’t get into big discussions about your choice to have a child-free wedding and remember that this is your wedding, not just a day out for everyone else. You can have a wonderful wedding without children and the first step to that is with your wedding stationery – good luck!

 

Written by Tamryn Lawrence


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