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Invite or Not Invite: Kids at your Wedding

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.

If you'd like to have a kid-free wedding day, I recommend these five tips for your wedding invitation wording:

1. 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 10 are to fine to invite. List their names individually and stay away from using "Mr. & Mrs. Gary & Judy Duffy & Family". It's too vague.

2. 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 15" (or whatever the cut-off age would be)
  • "This is a day to enjoy yourself too. Leave the kids at home (with our babysitter) and help us celebrate!"


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 wanted 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 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.

Good luck! I hope that helps.

Reader Comments (2)

Its also enjoyable to have kids in a wedding. Aside from they can be your special flower girl they will also enjoy this.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplaymobil

People who reject kids are cursed from the start.

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDad

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