Have you and your partner been thinking about doing an adult-only celebration? Maybe you have, but you're not sure how to go about it. That's why we are here. Acting as your trusty wedding steed, we've compiled some tips and tricks on how to say no to kids at your wedding. Couples choose adult-only weddings for a variety of reasons. Whether it's due to cost, formality, distractions, guest limitations, the venue, or anything else. You have to remember that this is going to be your day - and you can do what you please. And have a guest list comprising of whoever you please, too. Do what feels right for you! Whatever your reasoning - you will have the time of your life. So, let's dive into some of the ways you can let your guests know that your big day is just going to be for the grownups.

How to say no kids at your wedding politely and successfully 

1. Wedding Invitations 

First things first - pop it on your invites. If you let your guests know as early on as possible that you want an adult-only wedding, it gives them ample time to prepare. This could mean getting a family member or babysitter to look after them on the big day. This is especially important if you're having a destination wedding, or a wedding spanning over a few days. The earlier you tell your guests that children aren't invited, the better, and it will leave much more room for guests to make arrangements. There are other places you can let guests know about your decision aside from invitations. For example, on your wedding website. You should also be prepared that some parents might decline your wedding invite. Try not to be disheartened by this - it's usually just a matter of inconvenience rather than anything else.

2. Wording is important - how to say no kids at wedding

In terms of what you write, you want to be careful about the wording on your invites and stationery. Here are a few examples of what you could write on your invites.

  • We're very sorry, but we are keeping our wedding day as an adult-only celebration.
  • We unfortunately will not be able to invite children to our wedding, and we really hope that you can still come.
  • We are very sorry, but due to venue restrictions, we will not be able to invite children to our wedding.
  • Due to guest number restrictions, we unfortunately will not be able to invite children to our wedding.
  • As much as we'd love to invite them, children will not be able to attend our wedding day, as our budget can only accommodate adult guests.
  • As much as we'd love to invite all our friends' children, we want the weekend to be an adult-only occasion. We hope that you can understand this decision and that you'll still be able to attend.
  • Whilst we love your little ones, we have decided to make our wedding an adults-only celebration - we hope you understand.

When writing this, there are also some things you should avoid. Some parents might leap at the prospect of having a child-free weekend, but the decision has to be theirs. Don't make them think that their children are unwelcome. Sentences like "Come and enjoy a night off from your kids!" or "We want to have a great time, so won't be inviting children" should generally be left out. 

3. Compromise is a possibility 

If you have close family members or friends who have young children, you may want to consider arranging a separate kids' event or hiring a babysitter to watch over the children during the wedding and reception. This will allow the parents to enjoy the celebration without having to worry about their children. Of course, this is not always a possibility. It's entirely dependent on your wedding venue, whether you want your day to be entirely adult-only, your wedding budget, the number of guests you will have, and other factors. But it's important to remember that children at weddings aren't a black and white, yes or no option. So, when thinking about how to say no kids at wedding, remember this option, and talk about it with your partner.

4. Be clear and direct 

When responding to guests who inquire about bringing their children, be clear and direct about your wishes. It is possible that some guests might ask for an exception, or they might ask to switch invites (if their partner or friend can't attend, for example). In these instances, you just have to be clear with them. Being firm and compassionate is important - understanding where they're coming from, but staying true to what you want from your wedding and your guests. For example:

  • We're really sorry, but in this instance, you won't be able to bring (child's name) along. We want it to be an adult-only occasion for (reason). We would absolutely love to have you there celebrating with us, but children are not invited.
  • We're having a wedding that is more adult-driven, so we politely ask you to make arrangements for your child(ren).

Children at weddings - as with every other aspect of your big day, it's entirely up to you! Your day, your way.

It's important to be consistent with your message and apply it to all guests, regardless of their relationship with you. By being clear and respectful about your decision, you can avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Let us reiterate once more; your wedding is your wedding. You should do what you want to do, and invite who you want - adult or child. Some different venue types won't allow children at their events. If you want a comprehensive list of the different types of wedding venues, then we've got you covered. One of the reasons couples decide to go adult-only for their wedding is due to cost. If you want to find out how to save for your wedding, then our article is a great place to start. If you're in the camp where you want lots of children at your wedding, then our podcast episode on kids at weddings will be right up your street.

Sasha Kirkham

Written by Sasha Kirkham

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