Getting your wedding guest list is absolutely crucial. Besides, you likely have a number you are working toward (or are allowed to). And let’s be honest, we only have so much money.
With every guest comes additional expense – and will have a large impact on the day itself. As such, you may have decided to make a simple rule – no kids allowed!
But how do you relay this critical piece of information to your guests in your wedding invites? Well, today, I’ll be walking you through it.
I’m going to give you twenty wording examples shortly.
But before we get on to them, remember this.
You will want to inform everyone clearly and politely that your reception and ceremony will be an adult-only celebration.
The best way to do this is on your save the dates and your wedding invitations – just to make sure everyone understands your plans.
Always let everyone know your decision to have a child-free wedding as soon as possible to give everyone a chance to organize child care.
Now, let’s look at how you need to approach your decision and how to relay such information to your guests.
How Do You Politely Say No Children At A Wedding
You politely say not children at a wedding with a clear, yet respectful message on your wedding save the dates and invites.
Though, here is how you are going to need to approach it.
Be respectful of your guests who are parents, you may not want to invite their children, but it can be hard for some parents to understand why you have made this decision.
Some of your guests with children may be offended or have to decline your invitation if they cannot bring your children, but this should not be a reason to go against your decision.
However, do not skirt around the issue.
You will want to let them know clearly that no children, or just immediate family who are children, will be invited to your big day.
Keep Your No-Child Policy Short & Sweet
You do not have to over-explain why you have made this decision but be respectful and warm with the way you tell your guests.
Also, make sure you tell everyone a good few months before your big day.
This will give any parents the time to arrange child care so they can still attend your wedding.
Above all else, be honest.
This is your big day, and you should plan it any way that makes you comfortable.
Their children won’t remember your wedding in ten years, but you definitely will.
You do not want to have any regrets that you did not plan your big day the way you always dreamed.
What To Write On A Wedding Invite To Specify No Children
So, you have decided to organize an adult-only wedding celebration, but what do you write on your invitation to let people know you won’t be inviting any children to your wedding ceremony or reception?
It is tricky because you want to be polite and avoid upsetting as many people as possible.
Here are 20 examples of what you can write on your invitations to let your guests know your wedding will be child-free.
1. “We are so sorry, but due to venue restrictions, we will be unable to accommodate children at our wedding.”
2. “Our wedding will be small, and so, unfortunately, we are only able to accommodate children from immediate family.”
3. “Our venue has a strict over 18s only policy, and we will be unable to extend this invitation to any children.”
4. “As much as we love your little ones, we are only able to accommodate children from close families. We hope you understand and are still able to join our special day.”
5. “We would like our special day to be an adult-only event.”
6. “Adult-only event (except for children under six months old).”
7. “Please join us for an adults-only reception.”
8. “Due to space issues and/or budget constraints, we are unable to accommodate anyone under the age of 18.”
9. “No children, please. We would like to keep our wedding an adults-only celebration.”
10. “We have reserved X number of seats for you and won’t be able to invite children to our wedding.”
11. “Adults-only ceremony and reception.”
12. “A small request: Although we adore your family, our wedding will be for adults only.”
13. “Regrettably, we are unable to accommodate any children.”
14. “We hope you will join us at our adults-only wedding reception.”
15. “We wish we could invite everyone to our special day. Unfortunately, we just do not have the space and have decided and can only invite children from our immediate family.”
16. “We cannot wait for you to join our adult-only wedding celebration.”
17. “We kindly remind all guests that this will be an adult-only wedding celebration.”
18. “We have decided to have a child-free wedding and hope you can still attend.”
19. “Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate children at our wedding. We hope you are still able to join us for this special celebration.”
20. “We respectfully request no children under the age of 18 at our wedding reception and hope you understand.”
Important Considerations When Specifying No Children
Letting your guests know that your wedding will be child-free is not just about how you tell them.
There are other things that you will want to keep in mind if you have decided to plan an adult-only celebration.
Make It Clear
We all have a habit of fluffing up our language use when we are worried we could offend someone.
However, this can actually lead to more confusion and hurt feelings.
Although you should always be polite when telling guests their children will not be able to attend, you will also want to make sure that no one can take your words to mean something else.
Make sure that it is very clear and obvious, even if you are saying it sweetly, that you won’t be able to accommodate children at your wedding.
Include On All Invites
Even if you have bent the rules a little for close family members or a friend or two, do not forget to include your no-kids wedding policy on all of your invitations.
This way, you know that everyone invited is aware of the situation, and you can reduce even more confusion.
Now, if you are doing save the dates, you could include a little note on your child-free plans to give your guests even more time to arrange childcare for the day and evening of your wedding.
Trust me when I tell you, many parents will really appreciate the extra heads-up.
Make Guests Aware Of Immediate Family Exceptions
If you have made a few exceptions for children in your family or a very close friend, include this in your invitation.
It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it avoids any hurtful surprise when other guests arrive at your wedding and find that you actually did invite children.
Consider Offering Babysitting
The biggest issue when children are not invited to a wedding is that finding childcare can be very tough. Especially at late notice.
Plus, it’s really expensive, and not everyone can afford it.
If you can include a babysitting or creche service in your budget, many of your friends and family who have children will love you for it.
This way, guests can still enjoy the revelry of your special day, but they don’t have to worry about taking out a loan or not being able to come at all.
Stick To Your Guns
You are going to get the odd negative reaction to your decision to have an adult-only wedding celebration; it is inevitable, unfortunately.
The best way to combat these bad reactions is by being prepared for them.
However, do not let anyone else’s opinion on your wedding being child-free make you change your mind.
You don’t want to regret changing your plans just so your second cousin could join your wedding reception, even though you won’t see them again until the next family wedding.
Be Prepared For Invitation Declines
As I said, childcare is expensive and sometimes hard to come by.
Expect that quite a few of your guests may not have the option of a babysitter and may have to decline your wedding invitation.
You may get many invitation rejections, but this is your big day.
Unless you want to accommodate those who cannot find a babysitter, you are going to have to accept that not everyone can be there.
If you think you want to bend your own rules a little, make sure you discuss this with your partner, and they are totally on board with your decision.
Address Your Invitation Envelopes Properly
This one might not seem like a big deal.
However, it can muddy your no-children wedding message.
How you address your envelopes can make it seem like you are making an exception for different people if you are not careful.
If you are only inviting your adult friends and not their children, ensure you address the invitation to just them.
Avoid any ‘To The Smith Family’ type addresses and keep it as clear and concise as possible.
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!