When it comes to creating an adults only wedding guest list, the decision for who you invite is totally up to you. But when it comes to having a child-free wedding, things can get a little sticky when kids aren’t welcome to the wedding ceremony or wedding reception. My suggestion is walk lightly and use few of these few tips.
Avoid Printing “Adults Only Wedding” On The Invitations
Feeling guilty for not wanting children at your wedding is something you shouldn’t do. After all, it is your wedding. But I would take a few extra steps and make sure guest know that this is an adults only wedding. However, writing it front and center on the invitation most likely will hurt a few of your guest feelings with such a direct approach. A better approach might be to ask family members and friends to personally spread the word to guest of you having an adults only wedding.
Address Your Invitations Directly
When creating your invitations and response cards, consider designing your invitations to personally address whom you wish to invite. If not, some of your guest will assume their children are invited as well. Here’s what I mean. On the invitations, put the names of the guest you are inviting. On the response cards, insert the names and leave an open check-box next to “I will attend” or “I will not attend.” This way it is very clear you are inviting Mr. and Mrs. Blank, because you’ve created the invitation to specifically invite two people.
Feel Free To Add A Note To Your Wedding Website
Your wedding website is a central place for putting information that you won’t be addressing in your invitations, and the perfect place to make mention of an adults only wedding ceremony, wedding reception or both. You might want to go a step further and make reference of a few near-by babysitting options for out of town guest.
Provide Childcare In An Nearby Room
Let’s say you have a few flower girls or junior groomsmen participating in your wedding ceremony, but you do not want the children at the reception. Nine-times-out-of-ten, they will feel they’re missing the best part of the party and the parents won’t enjoy the reception without their children. What you could do in this situation is provide childcare in a nearby room, which the parents can freely check-in on their children, and they’re close by if anything happens to go wrong. Also, be sure the children have entertainment appropriate for them to enjoy and plenty of food to eat.
Don’t Show Favoritism Among Guest
You’ve designed the layout of your wedding to include children sprinkled throughout the ceremony, but now it’s time for the reception and the children must go. Here’s were an issue could form and lead to a pretty uncomfortable situation if you are not mindful to not bend the rules for people with children. If you allow some guest to bring their families and not others, it might appear that you are showing favoritism and some of your guest will most likely get upset.
Call Guest Who Might Assume Their Children Are Invited
Once you’ve decided upon an adults only wedding, you will probably receive a few phone calls from family members or friends. Here’s where you can be direct (yet sensitive) and address the issue right away by explaining that you can’t invite everyone you’d like. You can either blame it on the budget (which could truly be the issue) and often wards off any additional questions. Are you could simple be direct and say it was a decision that you and your spouse agreed upon. But remember, you’re not obligated to give a lengthy explanation as to why. You’re not going to please everyone, and that’s perfectly okay.
Stick To Your Guns – Don’t Back Down
Be prepared for a little feedback from a few family members who want their kids at the wedding, and will buck your decision. Just remember, this is your wedding and you’ve decided not to invite children to the reception–period. Simple address the issue and upset the parents with sensitivity, but stick to your guns. “As long as you’re thoughtful and helpful to the guest with kids, then that’s the best you can do,” Sozmen says. “If parents are still awkward and upset beyond that, then they probably shouldn’t come to your wedding altogether.”