• {Planning Tips} 5 Rules for Making your Wedding an Adults-Only Event (a.k.a. the nice way to keep the kids at home)

    5 rules for having a no kids wedding by oh lovely day

    I love when readers ask me questions about styling, planning, or getting inspired for their wedding.  Today’s planning tips post comes from a reader question.

    Dear OLD: My fianceé and I are not having kids at our wedding, aside from the ring bearer and flower girl.  How do we let our guests know?  Should we include something with our invitations? Thank you!

    Whether or not to include kids in your wedding, either in your wedding party or as guests, is a decision each couple must make together.  There are lots of reasons to include kids or to go for an adults-only affair.  If you do decide to keep your wedding adults only, there are a couple of ways to let your guests know.

    5 rules for having a no kids wedding by oh lovely day

    1.  Tell them who is invited on the envelope
    If you’re doing an inner and outer envelope (does anyone do that anymore – I didn’t) then you individually list each member of the family invited to the wedding on the inner envelope.

    So if you are inviting a married couple, their 16 year old daughter, but not their 5 year old twins, you would do the outer envelope like this:
    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
    123 Green Street
    Nowhereville, CA  99999

    And then do the inner envelope like this:
    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
    Caroline Smith

    Make sense?  But what if you aren’t doing inner and outer envelopes?

    2.  Put it on your wedding website
    You can include in the description of your wedding that it is an adults-only celebration.  My husband and I offered babysitting services for any guests who were coming in from out of town and wanted to bring their children.

    3.  Have your parents help you spread the word.
    It is a good idea to call and personally spread the word to any invited guests who have children to let them know you won’t be including them. You can enlist your mom or mother-in-law to help you do the dirty work.

    4.  Choose an age cut-off and make no exceptions.
    You should decide an age (say 14, or whatever you’d like) and make no exceptions of inviting children under that age.  That way no one gets offended because their 12 year old wasn’t invited, but you made an allowance for a friend’s 10 year old.  The only allowable exception: the flower girl and ring bearer.

    5.  DO NOT include anything in, on, or near your wedding invitation about kids not being invited
    It is a major don’t to do two things when it comes to invitations: don’t include gift registry information on or with your invitations, and don’t exclude or announce an exclusion of a group of people.  The invitations are supposed to “invite” so see rule 1 on how to do it properly.

    5 rules for having a no kids wedding by oh lovely day

    Will you piss a couple of people off by not including kids?  Maybe.  I know we had a guest who made a big fuss about her kids not being invited and made some passive-aggressive comments on facebook (which I replied to by blocking her altogether).  But you know what – it is your wedding.  And most of your guests totally understand.  Most of our guests didn’t want to bring their kids because they wanted to have a fun night with just the adults.  Either way, make your decision early, follow these rules, and stick to your guns.

    Is anyone having an adults-only wedding?  How are you handling it?  And if you have a reader question, email it to me at chandra (at) oh-lovely-day (dot) com and I might answer it in a post (I won’t name you, don’t worry!).

    {photo credits} top photo originally seen in this gorgeous mint + pink storybook wedding / middle photos originally seen in this Southern DIY rustic chic wedding / bottom photo originally seen in this charming backyard DIY wedding

    leave a comment.


    1. Posted Nov 15 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      I had an adult-only wedding, no children were in, or attended, the wedding. Not because I don’t love kids (because I genuinely do!) but more for financial reasons and capacity at our venue. I’ve been to a fair share of weddings with kids at them and they were super cute on the dance floor. However, I knew at my wedding that I wanted the adults to really be able to enjoy themselves without having to chase after the little ones.

      In order to get the message out, we did almost everything you suggested with the exception of writing it on our wedding website. The best source of getting info out was having our parents spread the word. We did offer for a few kids to come to our rehearsal dinner when we felt it would be a burden to have the parents get childcare for two evenings in a row. No one seemed to have any major issue with our decision. In fact, I think some of the guests were looking forward to a night out sans children.

      In the chance that someone does rsvp with their children names(they will sometimes even RSVP with a +1 adult when they weren’t invited with one) just assign one of your parent’s to call them up and nicely explain, “due to capacity/financial reason’s the bride and groom have decided to just keep the reception adult-only – we hope that’s not an inconvenience and would be happy to help you find a sitter if needed.” These things happen, don’t let them make or break your wedding day 🙂

      • Posted Nov 15 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        Great addition, Marissa. You’re right, someone very well could rsvp with children and that is a great way to handle it. I had no kids at my wedding for the same reason as you, and it was the right decision for my venue too.

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