How to Host an Adults-Only Wedding

Keep the peace with your 'no kids allowed' guest list.

It’s your wedding. If you don’t want kids there, then don’t invite them. We aren’t fortunetellers, but if you do this, we can predict one thing. There will be some ramifications to this touchy decision. With these quick tips, hopefully keeping the peace will be child’s play.

Address the invitation properly.

Make your adults-only wedding intentions obvious from the get-go by addressing your invitations to exactly who’s invited. If you address it to “The Smiths” some guests with children might assume the entire crew is invited. You can also write in exact names on the response card, so they just have to check “will” or “will not attend” under their names.

Never actually call it an “adults-only” wedding.

That’s a very quick and easy way to hurt guests who have children. Instead, consider asking savvy wedding party members to spread the word. Warning: Do this as soon as possible because sitters can be tough to find.

Put the news on your wedding website.

If you feel like you must mention it directly so as not to have any confusion, do this on your wedding website. Since this is a catchall of general info, it’s also a great place to offer local babysitter information.

Wedding kids are exceptions—sort of.

This is a messy double-edged cake knife. If you have kids in the wedding party (flower girls, ring bearers, etc.), then excluding them from the reception will make them feel left out. But invite them, and guests with children will get confused why their little cherubs weren’t allowed. The best bet is to have a treat for children in your wedding. Hire a babysitter during your reception and have a separate entertainer like a clown, face painter, or magician.

Speak up.

If you think someone isn’t clear about your wishes, here comes the hard part. You have to say something. By say something, we mean say, not text or email. Call them and explain how you can’t invite everyone you’d like. Throwing your budget under the bus is a great way to stop the conversation right in its tracks, even if it’s not a truthful reason why.

Don’t back down.

Remember that this is your wedding. You can invite whom you want. Yes, you might be given a side eye or two, but you’ll eventually all see eye to eye. Especially when they’re enjoying a night out without the kids.


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