How to kindly say "no kids" at your wedding
Updated: Apr 14
Real talk here, I think we have all been to some weddings where there are just too many children. You add in alcohol, loud music, dancing into the late hours this is a disaster waiting to happen. You end up having irritable kids (or disobedient kids) that take over the dance floor with parents that aren’t watching their children closely, then what follows? Crying children and irritated guests that end up leaving early to escape the reception that turned into a kids party. Because of these very issues lots of bride and grooms are making the choice to have a no-kids-allowed wedding. Although we love and adore children that doesn’t mean you have to include them into your guest list. So you might be wondering Well, how do I word "No Children" on my wedding invitations and not offend my friends and family?
Here are a few tips on how to address this touchy subject.
1: ADDRESS THE INVITATION TO THE AULTS ONLY
If you don’t want children crashing your wedding day then don’t invite them, sounds easy right? Well here is tip 1, when sending out your invitations to friends or family who have kids make sure to address the invitation to the adults only. Here is why; If you address it to the ‘The Smith Family,’ it sounds like the parents and any children are invited as well, and encourages them to bring the whole family along for the celebration. Now if they have an older teenager or adult children that you would like to be there, they could either get their own invitation or be very specific on who’s names are on the invitation. Make sure that on the front of the envelope only has the parents names on it and not family. For example here are two ways the address could read :
Mr & Mrs. Andrew Holden
123 Main Street
Mr. Andrew Holden & Mrs. Rebecca Holden
123 Main Street
2: MAKE IT CLEAR ON THE BOTTOM OF THE INVITATION
If you’re still worried that some people might not get the point that children are not invited to your wedding then tastefully write it at the bottom of the invite. Here are some examples:
- “Respectfully, an adult occasion"
- “Respectfully, attendees must be over the age of (18, 21, etc.)"
- “It is requested that the evening be an adult event"
- “While your children are loved and adored, we request the wedding 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."
3: ADD A SEPARATE CARD IN THE INVITATION
If you don't want to write it directly on the invitation then you could add a separate stationary card to include into your wedding invitation suite that your wedding will be an adult only celebration and you could use any of the above suggestions for the wording on that card.
4: MAKE IT OBVIOUS ON THE RSVP CARD
Another way to avoid confusion is to include these phrases on your RSVP cards:
M_____________________(this is where you write exactly who you are inviting). For example
“Mr. Andrew Holden & Mrs. Rebecca Holden”
We have reserved 2 seats for you.
____ Number attending
If they write in 4 instead of the 2 that was invited a phone call might need to made. The RSVP cards are a great way to show off your “couples style” and make it very clear to your guests your reception is not open to children. One way you could do this is a light hearted and fun statement, such as “We really love your children, but thought you could use a date night and enjoy yourself! Adults-only, please and thank you!”
5: MAKE SURE YOUR WEDDING WEBITE SAYS THAT THIS IS AN ADULT ONLY OCCASION
If you have a wedding website, ( Minted has some great options ) make sure to make a tactful but obvious note about your child-free Tampa wedding ceremony and reception. This should be another way to tell guests that have any lingering questions on if you’re allowing children or not, you can use your website to help clear up any confusion.
In the end, you might have some parents that get offended that their children are not included into the guest list. Simply put, when you are paying the bill you get to decide who is invited and who isn’t. Your goal is to let your guests know that you're not trying to be rude and it's nothing personal against them, rather it’s a personal choice and one that you want your guests to respect. However, if you make your request clear on your invitation, envelope, RSVP card, and wedding website that your request that no children attend should be obvious to everyone who receives and invitation.
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