“No Children Please” Wedding Invitation Etiquette
Whether you are planning an intimate wedding for just close friends and family, your venue has restrictions on children or you simply do not want kids at your party, couples need to articulate this clearly to their guests. At my own wedding, we had one couple bring five children whom we didn’t account for in dinner or seating! Weddings without children are becoming more and more popular for many different reasons and there’s no judgement here. After all, it’s your special day so you should be able to celebrate the way you feel is right.
A lot of people feel embarrassed or worry about coming across as rude when asking that there be no children present. There are several different ways to get this message to your guests in a polite way via your wedding invitations.
The Envelope – Addressing
This is how I approached the situation for our wedding, but I missed steps 3 and 4. Some people may not fully read the envelope so an approach where you incorporate other methods is best to really get the point across. When you address the envelope, rather than “X Family name” write our (or have your calligrapher write out) each name of each person from the family invited. For example “Mr. Ted and Amy Smith” If you do not add children’s names or “and guest” it should send a strong message that only those listed are invited.
Adult Only Reception
On your wedding invitation there should be info regarding the ceremony and reception details. Typically the timing and locations are included. A good way to include the message is received is to include something at the bottom or in plain view that requests no children be present. You may choose to have children at the ceremony but not the reception so that guests can focus on having a good time and not on keeping their sugar-infused toddlers amused. Wording can include “Adult only wedding” or “Adult only Reception to follow”.
On your Website
Most couples these days find that doing up a wedding website is a quick and easy way to provide details to invited guests and family members. Some people forego written or paper invitations for only only. This is another great opportunity to get your messaging across. Make sure to add your wedding website URL to your stationary if having paper copies as well.
The RSVP card is another place where you can ensure your guests understand who or how many guests are invited to your wedding day celebrations. Create a number attending line or, better yet, a space where they can fill in “names of those attending”. If someone still hasn’t received the message or puts names or a number higher than allocated and you feel uncomfortable speaking to them about it, designate a maid of honour or another family member to handle letting them know. This takes stress off of you and gives eager friends and family a job to do!
If you receive a hard time from anyone be firm in your stance. You don’t want to bend the rules for one person and have others confused. Weddings naturally already include a great amount of compromise and there is nothing wrong with politely indicating your plans and preferences for your special day.
Have you had guests that were uninvited or children show up to your wedding when it was an adult only celebration? How did you handle it? I’d love to hear below in the comments!