So you and your fiancé have decided that you would like your wedding to be adult-only. It is very important when planning your big day to really figure out exactly who you want beside you on the day of your wedding . It is completely fine to not want children on that guest list, however when approaching the subject with your guests, it is best to tread lightly and make additional arrangements. While you do want to be honest and clear, you also want to be sensitive to your attendees. The following are tips on how to successfully plan your adult-only wedding.
Photo Credit: Audrey Hannah Photography
How to Write Your Wedding Invitation
Every couple worries about proper etiquette for writing wedding invitations. It can be especially tricky when you are addressing a potentially touchy subject. You want it to be clear that your wedding is tailored to adults only without sounding insensitive. When writing your wedding invitation, personally address it to your guests by name. To push your point further, you can write their names again on the response card that they send back as an RSVP. This should help make it clear who specifically is invited.
It is a good idea to leave the phrase “adult-only” out of the invitation. Since some families with young children may not be completely on board with a children-free wedding, sometimes a more subtle (but still clear) approach is best. You can also ask friends and family members to spread the word.
Note: If you have a wedding website that provides dress code, transportation options and other types of details, it is okay to also make a note there about your age restriction for the guest list.
Ceremony Vs. Reception
Some couples wish to invite children to the ceremony but not the reception. You may want your younger cousins and friends’ children to be around when you say your “I do”s, but not during the dancing. This is not unheard of, however it may make feel children feel left out. If you want kids at the ceremony, the best way to avoid things getting uncomfortable afterward is by making separate arrangements for everyone under a certain age. Pick (at least) one of many ways to keep children excited at weddings, such as hiring a magician or face-painter along with a babysitter to watch over the children.
Note: Do not make exceptions to the “adult-only” policy for some children and not others. You may want your niece to be the flower girl at the ceremony, but being selective about the children you invite is bound to hurt feelings.
Photo Credit: Heide Benser Photography
Stick To Your Restrictions
You might come across parents that assume their children are also invited. This can sometimes be an awkward situation, but it is important for you to kindly explain that your wedding is for adults only. Again, this can be a sensitive issue for some people, so it’s best to be polite but honest with your guest. If you do find yourself dealing with a particularly angry guest, first of all, take deep breaths. It can be challenging to find ways to relax during the craziness of your wedding planning, but try to stay calm and stick to your rules. You and your fiancé have decided that you want your wedding day to be adult-only, and that is perfectly fine! No matter how uncomfortable the conversation may get, remember not to make exceptions for specific people.
Note: If you can afford to do so, it is a nice gesture to arrange a babysitter to watch over children at a hotel nearby. This will help ease the nerves of worried parents, however it is NOT required.
Photo Credit: Petronella Photography
There is nothing wrong with having an adult-only wedding. Some couples prefer to not worry about entertaining children or having guests worry about supervising their young ones. Some couples limit the age of their guests simply due to money restrictions. No matter the reason, it is perfectly okay to not have children at your wedding; however explaining this to your guests may require taking cautious measures in your arrangements and invitation wording in order to avoid hurt feelings. If you want a kids-free celebration, you can also consider inviting children to your wedding but continuing the festivities by throwing an adult-only wedding after-party. Whatever your decision is, just be sure to stick to it, be confident, and when the time comes, enjoy your big day!
Photo Credit: Emily Harris Photography