So, you’re thinking – I know one thing for sure, ‘There are no children at my wedding; wording my invites is going to be challenging!’

 

‘I don’t want those children running around ruining my day’! What if they scream during the ceremony? What if the children mess around and upset my guests? I want a good party – it’s no place for children!

There are many reasons for not wanting children at your wedding. And hey, you’re the boss, so it’s up to you! But how do you word an invite without offending your potential guests?

This guide is broken into three main sections:

  1. How to word an invitation to ask that no children are invited.
  2. How to say no children EVEN IF your own children or close families children ARE coming.
  3. What to do if you really do HAVE to invite some children even though you are not keen on the idea!

 

1. How to word an invitation to ask that no children are invited.

Ok, so here’s the bottom line – there probably isn’t a polite way to ask people not to bring their children! But there is an etiquette you may choose to use. You may of course just choose the blunt, to-the-point, message – it’s your choice!

Let’s start with some blunt, to-the-point, messages you could use:

  • Adults only
  • Kindly, adults only (softens the blow slightly!)
  • Adult only ceremony and reception (clear and to the point)
  • No children please (clear)

This above messages are clear – everyone knows not to ‘accidently’ bring their child/children with them.

But they can be a little ‘sharp’ in their approach. Many people like their invites to be loving and warming.

If you want something less blunt, you may choose a message like these:

  • Adult affair (you could add to the invites of families – so sorry it’s not for your children)
  • Leave the littles (this is a cute way to address the problem!)
  • Make this a date night! (This encourages your guests to have a great time as well as sharing the message)
  • Although we adore your children we regretfully are unable to accommodate them at our venue. We hope that you see this as an opportunity to let your hair down and celebrate with us. (This may actually be very true. It may of course be a cunning lie to get your own way in a polite and unthreatening way!)

Be warned, the above messages are not quite as clear to some guests as you may expect! You may find that the message flies right over their heads and they mistakenly assume that their children are invited. If you are worried this may happen – get your bridal party and friends to spread the word that this really is an adults only wedding!

General tips

Address the invites to Mr and Mrs Simpson, not The Simpson Family.

Have an RSVP card which states, ‘We have reserved ___ adult seats in your honour.’ You can simply write in the number two where the space is.

By not including children’s names , you’re implying that they are not invited.

Message your friends first to ask them if its alright to invite adults only. Most people really do understand and given enough time to find a babysitter, they will happily come on their own and enjoy the occasion – a night off children duty!

Don’t want teenagers either? Make it clear when you know families have some older children – sorry, no guests under the age of 18, 21 or whatever.

For some excellent tips on general invite writing, take a look at these 15 ideas.

 

2. How to say no children EVEN IF your own children or close family’s children ARE coming.

It is fine to have your children at a wedding bit to erfuse other babies! Bride and her baby bonding on their special dayMaybe you have this problem – you have children (perhaps your own) in the immediate family and they really do need to be there. Perhaps it’s their aunts wedding or even their mother and fathers – they just have to be there! But if you invited all of your friends children, it would be overwhelming and you just couldn’t cope!

Here’s the good news. As the bride (or groom), you are in charge! You could invite your dog and it would be OK! If you have made a decision that a small group of children can come, but a larger group of children can’t come then it is fine! So how do we communicate this to our guests?

How to break this type of news!

  • Although children from close family will be attending, we regret to inform you that our venue will not cater for anymore children (Possibly true! Or indeed a lie!)
  • Sorry, no children at our wedding. Our own children will be attending since it is their Mummy and Daddy’s wedding day. (Clear and honest.)
  • Our venue is too small to accommodate everyone’s children. Due to limited space, we regretfully ask that you leave your children at home. (Similar to the first one, worded differently).

 

3. What to do if you really do HAVE to invite some children even though you are not keen on the idea!

Children at a wedding in NorwichIf you really do need to invite some children, it isn’t the end of the world – really. As long as you plan for their presence, I guarantee it will be fine. Actually, having children at your wedding can be quite cute and you can have some fantastic photographs for the album.

It is recommended that you hire a babysitter and set them up in a separate room so that younger children can sleep and older ones can go there when they start getting bored. Perhaps include a games console in a room or even set up a ‘kids-food’ table and set up a little café for the older ones. They will love to sit in here drinking milk (not hot coffee, obviously).

To see some planning tips for children, consider the 12 most common mistakes people make when planning weddings with children.

 

So, there you have it! You want no children at your wedding; wording this on an invite should no longer be a problem!

I hope you enjoy your wedding planning

 

Nick Twist

Wedding entertainer.