How do you feel about inviting children to your wedding? (Kids are considered anyone under the age of 12.) You love them. They’re great in candid photos. Their spontaneous moments can make your day more light-hearted. But how do you politely request that you don’t want kids at your wedding? And what wording should you use on your wedding invitations? It’s a tough subject because people will secretly disagree with your decision. In fact, 37% of brides have an adult-only wedding (according to Brides Magazine, 2012), so you’re not alone. Kids are great, but it’s your day. It’s your call.
If you’d like to have a kid-free wedding day, I recommend these five tips for your wedding invitation wording, including emailing out a personal note before they read it in your invitations:
1. On your RSVP card, you could use wording such as these options:
- “No children please. We’d like our wedding day to be an adult-only celebration.” It may be tacky to print this right on your wedding invitation, so save it for your RSVP card or wedding website.
- “We have reserved ___ seats for you” (and that number would only include the adults).
- “We’re having an adult-only reception“
- “We hope you understand that our wedding is not suitable for children. Adults only, please.”
- “Due to the limited number of seats, we request that the reception be an exclusively adult celebration”
- You could also add something like, “Sweet Dreams for those under 12” (or whatever the cut-off age would be)
- “This is a day to enjoy yourself too. Leave the kids at home (or with our babysitter) and help us celebrate!”
2. On your wedding invitation outer envelope (and inner envelope if you have one), be very clear about who you’re inviting. Using parents’ names only is a good way to indicate who exactly is invited. Or maybe you decide that children over the age of 12 are to fine to invite. List their names individually and stay away from using “Mr. & Mrs. Gary & Judy Duffy & Family”. It’s too vague.
3. You may want to break the rules to allow your flower girl, ring bearer, or close family to be at the ceremony and reception. (It’s your call, though.) It would be nice to offer babysitting services and activites for the kids to keep them occupied at the reception (play-dough station, crayons, toys). If you truly want everyone to have a worry-free, let-your-hair-down-and-put-your-dancin’-shoes-on good time, be sure that the kids who do attend your wedding are in good hands. Consider a special kids’ room where they can have the time of their lives…while you do the same.
4. Although each of your wedding reception cards will be printed with your no-kids request, do make phone calls to the “kid exceptions” at your wedding. Tell the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer what your expectations are for the day.
5. Be firm with your decision. One exception for out-of-towners leads to another exception and then another. And then inevitably, feelings get hurt when your personal attendant sees kids at your wedding, but hers couldn’t come. Kindly say “no” and stick to your wishes. Word of mouth is probably the best way to pass along the information.
And if you just can’t avoid the presence of kids, here are three ways to keep the spotlight off the kids (from an article on Brides.com):
- Let guests know that the venue just isn’t “kid-friendly” and recommend a babysitter instead.
- Tell your vendors to keep the spotlight off kids at all times. (That means no chicken dance song. Mr. DJ).
- Provide a “kids’ room” for children to run and play, watch movies and be loud. It will keep them conveniently out of your reception hall directly.
Good luck! I hope that helps. How could you resist that little smile? 🙂
If you want more advice and tips read our blog, How to Narrow Down Your Wedding Guest List Without Offending People or Feeling Guilty.
The Wedding Day Designer will also become your best friend when it comes to inviting guests!